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Hey AT owners! I'm 5 months in to my 2016 AT and am loving it. I migrated over from the orange bikes (I forget their name now...). I LOVE my AT!!!! Anyway, I was wondering if any of you fine folks have tried a Giant Loop Great Basin on the AT? IF so, how does it fit? Do you locate it more over the pillion seat or back over the rack a little more? How does it work with the grab handles? Pictures on the interwebs are murky.

I bought my bike used with the 36/40 liter Bumot panniers. I like them- good construction and great method of attachment- you can lock the boxes on the bike and still have them unlocked for opening (two separate locks) for errands. I am a metal fabricator, so I'm picky about construction and these are made very well.

My problem is that I don't like how wide these panniers are when getting in the gnar gnar. They really affect the handling. So I am contemplating a "summer / hardcore" rig and a second, more tame rig with the Bumots. The other idea is getting a smaller set of hard cases from Bumot (31/35L) which would save about 1-1/2" on each side. I'm sure there won't be much weight savings on this option, just a leverage savings with not having the boxes stick out so far.

I had an older version of the great basin on my 990 some years ago and it was BY FAR the most unobtrusive and lightweight rig I have ever used. It felt like there was no luggage at all on the bike and gave me lots of confidence to ride aggressively. I am not a great packer so room was tight and I almost always needed something I didn't have, or it was at the bottom and I'd have to de-rig to find it. I can be on the ADD side sometimes so stuff never goes back in the same way it came out... The other bummer was that my arthritic hands didn't like the zippers. The new version of the Great Basin is a roll top and a little bigger, so they have made both of my gripes go away. I would have to take off the Bumot frame to use the great basin, which I don't mind so much but maybe a PIA for a weekend sortie. Hard on the hardware too. Nyloc nuts don't like repetitive use!

Then there are soft panniers, such as the Kriega OS and Giant Loop MotoTrekk panniers. I have to run either of those with some sort of adapter on the exhaust side as I have a cut-away style rack/pannier on that side. In addition, maybe even the proprietary rack mount system that each company uses. I have tried the Mosko soft panniers but didn't really like them. I found them way to stiff to be any fun to operate, though I will say that Mosko are amongst, if not the, best and most rugged soft luggage out there. I ditched their waterproof liner and opted for lightweight dry bags from REI and used those inside instead. The mototrekk panniers list at 42 liters of storage for the pair (Great Basin lists at 68L and 32L each side for the Kriega), and I could just keep my tent/pad/bag rig up on the seat as I do now as the storage would likely net out the same. I don't mind light stuff up high. With the great basin, I'd maybe be able to put some kind of duffel behind the rear of the bag on the top rack for food. Food is the one part of my rig I just can't seem to nail down.

Anyway, that's my meandering for the day. I was just out catching a few more sections of the AZBDR over the weekend and have come to realize that these wide panniers, albeit easy to pack and spacious, make for difficult steering. One of my only gripes about the AT is the single sided exhaust that puts us in to the asymmetrical pannier zone. Most bikes do that, so it's not really a Honda specific issue at all. My 1190 KTM was the same.

Would love any input on the Great Basin or the Mototrekk, specifically soft luggage mounted to an existing pannier rack or with a separate mini flat frame that attaches to a separate pannier frame.

I am DEFINITELY not wanting to start another threadfest on the merits of hard vs soft.... I'd say that horse has done been wrung out.

It all comes down to packing as tight as you can, no matter what, if you want to retain any sort of handling on the bike when loaded.

Thanks!!!
 

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I have about 12k miles of travel on my roll top Great Basin bag with about a third of that off-road. It lays over the stock rack just fine and just touches the top of the stock muffler with no heat issues. I strap the bag to the rack in the rear and rings bolted to the top passenger footrest mounts (footrests have been removed). Even with lots of rough terrain it stays firmly in place and has not suffered any wear holes. I have added heavy 3M protection film to the rack and side covers to save the paint. I load tools, water, and other heavy stuff in the sides (keeping the weight as low as possible) and strap my sleeping bag and pad to the rear and top of the bag. It comes with a well thought out and durable strap system.
I love this thing because the roll top is so easy to load and access with overall width of the bag is no wider than the muffler, so no worry catching tree limbs and bush when off-roading. My past experiences with soft bags, like Dirtbagz, were less than ideal when going off-road. I ripped them off more than once and learned to carry those giant zip-ties.
If one is strictly a pavement rider, go ahead and stick with those big suitcase panniers (or just buy a GL :) ) but if one likes to take their Queen into the wilds, this bag is the ****.
 
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