Originally Posted by superfunkomatic
I have an AT on order and am debating whether to get the Honda panniers and top case or buy aftermarket ones like the Holan Nomada Pro Expedition
or Hepco and Becker
If they are up to the task of a tipover or low speed crash/get-off then I'd just assumed go with the Honda ones and their slick mounting to the bike.
Anyone have any first hand experience or seen them in action?
I can tell you what arrangement I have settled on. However, there are so many variable and personal likes and dislikes, that I don’t think there is a single correct answer. The correct answer is what you are comfortable with.
Something to also bear in mind is that I am a few year over the extreme riding phase of my life. The experience gained then is invaluable today. I now do more ‘adventure riding’. We do long distance dirt riding that may have various conditions in a day. It will vary from perfect gravel roads to thick sand, river crossings, rocky mountain pass, winding foot paths and so on. The whole trip experience is made up of the riding, sitting around the fire at night, with flavoured water, spinning tales about the day.
I have seen stainless steel panniers badly distorted during a relatively low speed fall. They had to be panelbeated, but could still be used for the remainder of the trip. I have also seen an instance where the stainless panier was too strong and the impact transferred to the rear frame of the bike, causing more damage. And then of course the plastic one just break up on impact.
From a security, or locking, perspective I ‘think’ it is dependant on the Continent where you are going ride. Where we ride, Africa, I have found that once you are in a country you are okish, because you can keep an eye on your stuff, and to be honest, once you are away from the big cities people are very friendly and helpful. However, during border crossings you cannot always keep an eye on the bike and generally that is where things go ‘walkies’. So being able to lock is a plus. Something to bear in mind. If someone really wants your stuff, they will take it, no matter what!
So, what I did was to categorize the rides, and get stuff to suite each and or a combination of them.
a) Soft Luggage: Hard, technical ride where you know you are going to really struggle through serious rocks and the odds of a fall all greatly stacked against you. I had a very serious look at the moskomoto gear (Backcountry 35 (left side) and a Backcountry 25 (right side)). http://www.moskomoto.com/collections...35-pannier-kit
. I looked at this range because our rides are generally over a week at least and one needs the capacity. Ashley put a deal together for me, but when one takes into account the exchange rate, and more importantly the duties and taxes, it just did not make financial sense. So at the end of the day I settle for the ATG Overlander soft luggage. This system is not as organized as the moskomoto, but it looks robust enough and I think it will do the job. I also spoke to a couple of people with experience on these and they are happy with them. http://www.atgear.co.za/atg-multi-ac...ddle-bags.html
b) Panniers: I choose the Hepco and Becker Xplorer (40 Ltr left and 25 Ltr right). It is an aluminium / plastic mix and it will certainly not take a major impact, but is has some form of security. (I will explain my reasoning further down as to why I choose these.) More importantly, H&B make OEM parts for other brands, so they should know what they are doing. I like their pannier frame. It seems to mount well, but I may try to brace it better under the seat. What is important to me is that the pannier frame is not made of a material stronger or thicker than the bike’s rear frame.
How I intend to use these:
I do some rides that are 100% tar rides and it is very easy to dump some stuff into a pannier, and off you go.
When we go on a local trip that involves dirt I will use the ATG gear.
What the intention is on a cross border trip is to use a combination of gear. There is always dirt on these trips and they will vary in conditions, but are not ‘extreme’. I will use the H&B panniers for some security, but in the 40ltr pannier I will stuff the 35ltr ATG bag. Should there be an incident, whether me or a mate, that means dumping a pannier, I will have another bag available.
What I am still investigating a way to fit a bag, about 35ltr, across the rear seat. I would not mind if it rests on the seat and tops of the panniers. The standard rail is in the way. I don’t really like having things sitting out there on the rear bracket. Until then, I always have a very old Baehr soft bag on the rear seat. On a trip I place the heavier stuff here. That will be stuff like compressor and tools.
To me, the most important thing on an adventure trip is confidence. My mind set on adventure riding trips is to be VERY positive. When you are riding and something feels like it is going to catch you out, your FIRST INSTINCT must be to be looking for the way to overcome the obstacle, and not to be looking for the best place to fall.