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Soft panniers vs seat bag

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by shelley rally, Jun 9, 2007.

  1. Looking at getting some luggage for my FZ6S. Just wondering if I should go for a seat bag or soft panniers? I don't really want to go the bag and rack option. The only worry I have with the seat bag is the capacity of them for weekends away. Pros and cons of each? What other people have found better? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


  2. I took expandable Oxford soft panniers around Tassie with a Ventura pillion bag as well. Didn't end up needing to extend the panniers plus used the pillion bag for day-tripping - plenty of space for 2 weeks touring. Panniers were more fiddly getting on/off being threaded under the seat whereas the pillion bag just clips off. Another rider had just an expandable seat bag plus tank-bag for day tripping.


    See the guys out at Bike Mart - always helpful :)
  3. The seat bag/tank bag combo works well......shop around & have a look at whats out in the market......Oxford, Motodry & Ventura all make some great gear.

    Biggest thing you need to work out is how much storage capacity do you want........handy hint & tip.....go for less.....if you have too much storage, you tend to take too much crap with you (speaking from experience here)

    +1 with Black Betty for Bike Mart, they have a great range of gear & good advice.
  4. Hey Shelley.

    I favour the soft throwover sports panniers. They keep the weight and therefore the centre of gravity lower, which is important to me. But no matter what anyone tells you, make sure that if you use throwovers, you put gaff or similar on your side panels to stop them rubbing and scratching.

    I'm a bit of a toothbrush, T-shirt and undies guy myself (in the panniers, not as riding gear...) so I pack light, but it works for me. I don't like the bike to wind up looking and handling like a barge...


  5. I have used both and actually prefer a tankbag and ventura rack and bag to either option. This is my opinion and I just want to share my experience with both, so take it how you want to :wink:

    I used an expandable seat bag on a weekend trip of 1500kms or so. I didn't have one of the pretty looking aerodynamic ones and I found that the bag kept slipping sideways. I had the Ventura rack on as well (fortunately) and ended up tying the seatbag to the rack to stop it moving. I have never used it since.

    I used the soft panniers late last year, again for a decent trip in NE Vic. I was quite excited at the prospect of having the weight lower on the bike. I had ridden Jay's VFR with its matching panniers and it felt good. I'm not sure if it was me on that trip, but I found I was having trouble feeling as the though I had to *really* throw the weight around. The best way I can think to describe it is like having liquid slopping around in a big bowl and the weight of the water as you move not matching where you're moving to (sloshing around). I hope someone understands what I'm saying, 'cos I'm struggling :shock: . I'm willing to try them again as I'm not sure whether it was just me riding really badly that trip, or whether it was the bags causing weight problems.

    I would suggest you buy both...you''ll use them if you have them :wink:
  6. I'll have some of what she's having. ;)

    Hard case backpack? Just thought I'd throw another option in there :)

    One thing I noticed with the bag's on the seat shorter folk had some trouble throwing the leg over the bike. Almost to the point of tipping the bike over. I guess a seasoned tourer would just get used to it. Last time I strapped my hard case backpack to the seat I had the same problems.

    I just did 1200kms to Eden and back and had a pretty sore shoulder, I think it was more to do with the long straight roads than the discomfort of the pack. On the way there (350km) I took the twisty road and felt 100% at the end of the first meet point. Then we did the long straight bits, and I started to feel the strain. I think it has more to do with the long periods of sitting on the bike without moving much rather than carrying the weight on my back. On the way home 7 hours pretty much 3 stops for fuel and toilet breaks, I really wished I had brought a couple more occy starps to get the pack off my back.

    Highly recommend the boblbee back pack as it is the most ergonomically designed pack to keep the weight from moving around too much. Of course if you plan on doing long days of riding it's probably not the best way to lug stuff around. Looks wise definitely beats the ventura rack and bag. I can't believe people put those ugly things on their beautiful machines. If I had the money and the bike to match, definitely get the Givi top box.

    Lil looks like you and me are on the same meds :p
  7. Thanks for all the advice guys, you have all given me some more things to think about that I hadn't thought of. Although I'm still no more sure of what to get! I guess the best thing to do will be take the bike and try out a few things.

    I used to have a Ventura rack and bag on my old CB250 which I found great, but don't really think it will look any good on the new bike. With that plus a backpack, that worked out plenty of room for me for a weekend away (including having a sleeping bag in the Ventura bag!).

    im.on.it: good point about being able to get a leg over with a seat bag, I hadn't thought of that, and as you know I'm not all that tall so would probably have the same problem. I sometimes ride with a backpack when I need to carry more stuff than can fit in my pockets (or on the old bike when I had an amount of stuff to carry that would be pointless to use the bag and rack), and I really hate riding with one. I will do it if I really have to, but hate it. Thats why I was thinking a seat bag (or maybe a tank bag now), so that if I only had a bit of stuff I could use a seat bad rather than use my backpack, and that way get good use out of it for using it reguarly and for trips away.

    I had thought about a tank bag, but thought it might get in the way. Does anyone else find this?
  8. My tankbags are my two most commonly used luggage carriers (apart from my bumbag for the little bits and pieces. I have an Oxford expandable bag which I've had for close to ten years now; mum has it at the moment so she could get her books and things to and from uni easily. The bottom bit with the magnets unzips easily and becomes a backpack. We also have a Motodry tankbag which can be made into two bags. The top half unzips and becomes a backpack while the bottom is just a small bag which stays attached to the magnets. I often use just the bottom half for things like coffee nights when I need to take a clear visor and light jumper for the trip home. I am tall and have no problems with the bag getting in the way. I actually often half rest on it if I'm doing a long staright trip.

    Best bet is to go to a shop and ask if you can put it on your bike and have a seat to see how it feels. With the topbox option that Nee mentioned, just be careful with making sure you have the correct mounting bracket for your bike. I did have one on a made up bracket as there were none available for my bike and it didn't take long to break. Now I have an excellent topbox that I never use :roll: (I may or may not have broken the bracket on a trip where speeds were a little higher than recommended :oops: :twisted: )

  9. Does any body know if there is a online store that stocks the Ventura Seat Bag?

  10. I just got myself an Oxford Humpback tankbag, it's actually a backpack (I like backpacks), but you can get a magnetic tankbag bottom or seatbag bottom attachments. I really like it, big zippers so I don't have to remove gloves to access it, it's expendable and when it expands it's just big enough to fit a spare helmet (not that I need it since I'm on my Ls). I'm also quiet tall and it doesn't get in my way.