Best Panniers?

Discussion in 'Parcel Racks, Panniers, Luggage & Seats' started by rafael, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. rafael

    rafael New Member

    Hey everbody. New member here... I did a lot of research on the best all around dual sport bike and chose the Kawasaki KLR 650 which I pick up in a couple of days. Got a lot of back road riding planned in West Virginia and Western PA for this season.

    What's the word out there on the best aluminum or plastic (hard) pannier and mounting frame for this bike? Happy Trails? Givi? Hepco & Becker? Touratech?

    I'd really appreciate your opinions on the best durability, convenience and price combination.

    I'm leaning towards Happy Trails because they seem to have so much stuff ready made for this bike and the panniers and mounting frame do not require moving the rear turn signals. On the other hand, I read about a guy who used the Happy Trails frame and mangled it pretty bad on a spill. He said they weren't very strong.

    For that matter, what's the deal with Happy Trails radiator and crash guards? Are they strong enough being just 5/8" tubing?

    Thanks for any input.
  2. Lewis

    Lewis New Member

    Hi Rafael: My Happy Trail panniers and racks got bent. The important thing to me is that they were repairable. I bought them in early 2001 for my KLR. They are now on my DL650 V-Strom after nasty crashes and long slides on the KLR in South America. Tim Bernard of Happy Trail is a good man to do business with. The DL650 is a far better machine for adventure touring. The only thing a KLR can do better is off road, because of its high ground clearance and suspension travel. The DL is kind of like a BMW GS except it is faster and cheaper - a lot faster than a F650 and even quicker in the 1/4 mile than an 1150 GS. Have fun riding. Later, amigo.
  3. dengwynn

    dengwynn New Member

    As far as indestructo bags, Leaather with a steel internal frame [bates] works real well I have had mine since the late 60's and they still are good.and I've dropped my bike onto them a number oftimes. just bend the frame back straight and you are in business after a daub of lack shoepolish on the cowhide.
  4. cfesting

    cfesting New Member

    No matter what the product, some guy somewhere has broken it.

    I've got a set of Happy Trails. From the 90's (I'd have to double-check). They still are stout.

    Perhaps I should spill more often and harder.

    The Happy Trails are fine, and the people are good.
  5. JohnM

    JohnM New Member

    You might also consider Moto-Sport
    I have the aluminum boxes that I switch between my '01 DR650 and my '95 R100/GSPD. They are excellent quality and the company has excellent customer service. The cases seal well, have great volume, and are very well made. Ed, at (303) 679-9316 is great to work with. Not cheap, but very well made and durable. Good luck!
  6. Bob S

    Bob S New Member

    Rafaelle... Bob Speer here. I have a '97 that I purchased with Givi mounts already on the bike. I ordered the side bags from Happy Trails and later the top bag was added for a laptop. I rode and dumped it in Copper Canyon Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and New Mexico with only some minor scratches to bear. If I had to do all over again with out the original mounts I probably go with the aluminum style for longivity, but there is a major price difference. I would also recommend the powder coated version as the stock ones will turn things black inside, I've heard. At any rate Happy Trails is a good supplier which ever way you go.

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