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GearSack/Ventura/ or Panniers?

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by tunaranch, Feb 13, 2006.

  1. I am comtemplating which system to get to cart stuff around on and off the bike.

    The thing is, what are these things like to carry around? (Not the panniers, obviously, or can I?)

    The Ventura bags don't look all that comfortable to carry a somewhat heavy load in (5 to 10 kilos) for extended amounts of time. I'm told the back straps are quite uncomfortable for extended periods of time, and I need my hands free, so I cant exactly use the hand strap.

    What are the GearSack duffel bag things like to carry?

    Or would I be better off getting a set of Panniers, to carry stuff while on the bike, and a proper backback for moving around on foot?
  2. Some panniers can be carried like a back pack, others slung over the should so one bag in front one behind.
  3. I use a ventura rack and bag on the Guzzi and it works very well although you need to be careful you don't trap dust between the bag and the tank or you will end up scratching the tank.

    I use hard panniers on the Diversion and they are more convenient, but they mean lane splitting isn't really an option.

    As for carrying them around the panniers are easier, they are sort of like carrying odd shaped suitcases around, whereas the ventura bag is a poor backpack and the wrong shape for single handed carrying.

    I wouldn't like to carry either too far though!
  4. What about a ventura with a decent backpack inside? best of both worlds?
  5. Most of my Virago riding friends have leather panniers. They suit the style of the bike, although I dont know if they hold that much.
  6. I think the Ventura is the most convenient to use (hence why I have one). Panniers seem even more odd to carry around off the bike and take longer to put on and take off the bike. Tank bags are great but you have to be careful and very pedantic about keeping tank and bag clean or you'll scratch the tank.

    Ventura bags slip on in 10 seconds and come off in 5. The back straps aren't great, but they work. I don't use them simply because it's a 5 minute walk to and from my bike and I'm too lazy to spend the extra 15 seconds to pull the harness out and set it up.

    Also, my helmet fits in the Ventura which is useful when I walk around (less things to carry, don't need to worry about bumping helmet against things), and I suspect if I tried (and if the bag was empty) my jacket may fit in too.

    I think with any system, it's built to fit well on a bike, so it won't be great off a bike. Maybe carry a proper backpack inside your bag?
  7. Backpack inside Ventura sounds like a good idea. And I take it the Venturas are lockable so I can leave them on the bike? I've seen a few with the bag left in.

    All the panniers I've seen for the virago are rather pathetic.
  8. Ventura racks & bags are generally rated to a max weight of 10 to 12 kilos so the weight would be fine for the racking system. Gearsack is a bit stronger and can handle weights to 15kilo.
    Naturally pannier with a top box does hold the most wieght but kills off lane splitting and such.

    personally Ventura would be my preference
  9. Ventura's themselves are not lockable, but a bit of chain and a padlock can do wonders. However, it IS a softbag, so if someone really wants it, or the things in it, they can get it.

    The only way to have fairly secure storage on a bike is either underseat storage (not available on the Virago), or hard panniers, or a topbox.
  10. I use a top box for when i'm at uni.
    It is great for storing my jacket, gloves and helmet while i'm there so i don't have to carry around them all day.

    Only downside is that the top box weighs a couple of kilos and thus lowers the amount of weight you can carry in the box on a ventura rack.

    In that case i carry a backpack with some stuff in it and just stuff it in the top box with all the other stuff.
  11. unforgiven: So your topbox fits onto your ventura rack? How does it attach? And it fits your helmet and your jacket as well? Didn't think topboxes were that big!
  12. panniers are better for touring - the weight is better kept down lower than a ventura, so the heavy things can be put in the panniers and the lighter stuff in the ventura. tank bags are great for cameras, etc.
  13. I've got lockable hard panners for my bike, I usually put a normal backpack in them to carry stuff. Sort of the best of both worlds, secure and convenient. Not sure if that's an option for you though.
  14. Funny you should mention that. What I need to carry is photographic equipement. 2 bodies, about 2 or 3 lenses plus other bits. The trouble with the tankbag is that it would need to be secured to the bike while I'm away, which seems easier to do with a ventura?
  15. if you can, buy a gear sack rack to fit your bike (they dont make them for all models), they're alot stronger than the ventura racks. Failing that, use a ventura rack and get hold of an older gearsack bag. The newer gearsack bags won't fit a ventura rack.

    Gearsack is of good quality and way out last ventura, thats if you give ya bags a bit of punnishment like i do!
  16. I personally wouldn't leave that sort of photographic equipment in any sort of soft bag on a bike, locked or not. Far too easy to steal...

    I've also heard rumours that the amout of vibration that goes through a tankbag can be bad for cameras, you have to make sure you protect it from the vibrations or it can knock things out of alignment. Also rumours about the magnets in tank bags causing mayhem. I've had my digital camera in my tankbag and had no problems, just things I've heard.
  17. Don't plan on leaving the cameras on the bike... just to get from A to B intact. And yes, vibration is more of a concern than the magnets. Can't have the Image Stabilizer assemblies come unglued... Although my portable harddrive probably won't like the magnets, I could put that at the top.
  18. There was a discussion not so long ago on one of the forums (was it this one?) about storing cameras in tank bags, and vibration and the like...
  19. One option may be to get a rack, and get a nice padded camera bag in backpack form, and then okky strap or similar to the rack, or put the bag inside the rack bag? that way easy to trasnport, easy to carry aorund and protected at all times?

    If your doing the qld challenge are you able to keep up with the cars on the viagro? :p
  20. Tunaranch, I went to our club meeting last night and we had a speaker from a company called pacsafe, who do secure motorcycle luggage. It is quite expensive, but features a mesh liner, which cannot be cut through and a lockable mechanism that secures it to your bike. The tail bag, is not huge and can be strapped to a pillion seat or onto an existing rack, they claim to be bringing out a larger one soon, but it features a strap to put across your shoulder. More details can be found at www.pac-safe.com