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Panniers - How big are yours?

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by Finn, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. We're setting up the ZZR for Touring and I recently upgraded from the Ventura bag and got a H&B TC 50, Top case. Big! Big enough to take both our helmets +.
    At the moment, we've got Oxford soft panniers which are terrific. They hold heaps of gear but we want something a little more secure so we're looking at puting hard panniers on.
    I'm doing some window (monitor) shopping and I keep thinking, can they be too big?
    Hepco-Becker have the twin 40ltr combo for just $20 more than the twin 30ltr combo.
    In the future we plan on doing some longer tours of 7-14 days but for now it's pretty much just 3-4 day long weekends.

    So, I'm wondering.

    Do I need 130ltrs of storage or will it just be overkill? (I realise that I won't be fully loading the Top Case)
    The bike would be 160mm wider with the 40/40 compared to the 30/30.

    What size panniers do you have fitted to your ride and how happy are you with them?
    How long do you go away for with these fitted? I'm just wondering what the 'average' pannier size is for a particular time frame. i.e 2, 3,7,14 days etc.
    Besides the bike resembling a small car, are there other issues that I'm missing?

    I could use two of the 1550 Pelican cases I have and ask a mate to knock up a frame or buy the lockable kit, but it'd look shithouse on the ZZR. It's not a road/trail.

    Any advice I could get would be really appreciated.

  2. I have this on my '84 GSX-1100EF:



    And find it plenty big enough for all but the most insane of trips. With the topbag alone, my father and I went into town and came back with 2 x 5L oil packs, a few homebrew cans (1.25L cylinders), newspaper & magazine, and a couple of groceries like milk and bread. If we'd had the side bags on we could have stolen a few small kids as well! :LOL:

    I believe you would find the boxes you're describing as quite sufficient. With helmets, you can also buy locking mechanisms (hell, or even just a lock!) that'll secure them to your bike. I sometimes lock my lid to my bike using the disc lock, works well.

    You may also want to check these guys out: giantloopmoto.com They have some inhenious storage solutions, especially if you're not a fan on the traditional pannier/topbox solution. Won't work with a passenger but works well with pretty much any bike and doesn't require special fitting.

    Cheers - boingk
  3. This is my setup for the Buell.


    This was my setup for my last trip away. It includes enough to camp overnight as well as xmas presents for the family and my snorkels and flippers plus clothes for a week. It is two expandable dririder bags, small tank bag plus my rolled swag. Its overkill but it works well. It helps having a bike that doesnt have rear panels to scratch.

    I used to have a ZZR250, my solution for that was to get a hike pack of about 60 litres and take the pillion rail off (so it would lay flat) and tape the back section to protect it and just bungy it on. No pics because this was years ago. That was enough to go camping with if I watched how much gear I took.

    Most soft panniers will rub on paint and or go in the rear wheel on sports/sports tourers. Tape the panels to protect them as much as you can.

    The best advise really is to pack lighter. Unless you are camping or going two up you can get away with a tank and pillion seat bag which will enable you to lane split still and be more aerodynamic. Otherwise an expandable pannier is the way to go as you always bring more home than you leave with.

    Or just ditch everything and put your toothbrush and credit card under the seat and head off.
  4. I use two 30 litre Givi paniers for standard touring. When camping I add tent etc stuff across the back on top of the panniers. I always use a tank bag as well for phone, camera, wallet, water etc things you need most frequently. If touring with kids water is very important they dehydrate quick in hot weather. But I am generally touring without pillion.

  5. Thanks for the replies fellas.

    Boingk - Our current set up is identical to yours . (lol'd at the stealing small kids)
    I do like the Giant Loop Bags and if I were touring alone I'd get one for sure, but I need the seat for Wifey.

    VC - Yeah I found I have to tape the rear panel to stop the paint from being 'sanded' back by the paniers. No big deal though, it's only one strip of duct tape above the 1100 badge.
    Re: packing lighter. I'm notorious for over packing. I think it's more a case of, the equipment I have is not bike specific so is bulkier than I would like. eg, I don't have a puncture repair kit yet so I take a can of puncture repair goop. My bike didn't come with it's toolkit, so I throw in some basic tools.
    We don't have "rain suits" yet so we have wet weather pants and jacket.
    We're getting there though. As with a lot of people, it's slow going on a budget.

    CJ - That's the set up I'm after. I should have mentioned that I use a tank bag as well, for all the same reasons. I also keep a secondary phone in my pocket (very small blackberry). Over kill? Maybe but, come off and become seperated from the bike, have tank bag stolen, have primary phone fail....
    Re: Touring with kids. I have another 2 + yrs to wait until my oldest can come with me. Counting the days. (840 +/-)
    Anyway, back on topic.

    I think I'll go for the 40 ltr combo. I'm thinking that it will give us the option of perhaps not taking the Top case for short trips.

    Thanks again for your input.

    BTW. A pic of our current set up.

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