Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

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Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by SteveW » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:10 pm

I don't like panniers!
The small soft type are okay, but I hate the vast increase of width you get when using solid panniers.
I also think they are vulnerable to damage if you have a slow speed tip-over.
I always ride day to day with a topbox.....tyre repair kit/pump/phone/tools etc...
On a bigger trip I use a topbox, tank bag and mid-sized dry bag strapped to the pillion seat behind the top box.
What's your set-up?

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by Richard Simpson Mark II » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:44 pm

I've bought second-hand Givi plastic luggage: first a top box and then panniers. I had to buy a new rack for the panniers, but the top box came with the plate you bolt to the existing rack. I've also got a tank bag and various bags that can be strapped to the luggage rack on my KTM 950 Adv.

I tend to use the top box to carry my DLSR camera and other kit if I have a photography assignment, or need to leave my helmet on the parked bike.

Main use for the panniers is for airport runs. You can park motorbikes for free at many airports. So I use them to store my bike kit while I'm away on the plane. I think I paid £40 (used) for the panniers and £90 (new) for the rack. Paid for in a couple of trips compared to the cost of parking a car, and even with the faffing about getting changed still quicker than off-airport parking and a bus transfer.

Those hard metal panniers can break your leg if you have an off-road fall, and, if I did have to take luggage on an off-road trip, I'd use soft bags only.

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by AlanHolt » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:51 pm

I have a pair of Touratech Zega boxes and they're not much wider than my knees/elbows when i'm on the bike, so its not a problem for me. There are times I wished I had a topbox, mainly to put the helmet in so I don't have to carry it around with me.
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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by gbags » Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:45 pm

I like panniers but not top box.
On the rack I put a plate and then have a roll bag across that. Oxford do cheap but very tough bags.
Panniers should be less width than your handle bars, like a cat’s whiskers, you’ll know if you can get through.
Hard panniers mean nothing inside should get wet and or get stolen. Soft panniers look cooler but can be slashed.
If I’m going a long way I add a tank bag with a map window.

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by OnHellas » Thu Jan 09, 2020 8:03 pm

My F800GS has had Jesse Panniers and Top Box for the last 90,000 miles or so.
Top quality kit, the kids take a soft bag under the clever grid that holds them in. Super kit.

However, it’s time for the 800 to go and the next bike, 700 Tenere, may well end up with Bumot soft bags.....although Moto Mosko look interesting too.

If anyone is interested in a 1 owner 2009 F800GS with 127,000 miles on the clock......
Full service history, lots of accessories.....

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by PHILinFRANCE » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:52 pm

Giant loop ;)

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by sven » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:22 am

I use unexpanded Vario panniers whenever possible to keep the centre of gravity somewhere near the right place, then a top box if required, and finally expanded panniers for longer tours.

A top box alone screws up the handling if there’s any weight in it, although it’s not quite as bad with a pillion aboard as they bring the CoG forwards a touch.

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by markoh » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:41 am

Depends what you are doing. For day trips a top box is really useful to stow your helmet when off the bike and somewhere to put odds and ends, waterproofs etc. For longer trips if hoteling panniers and top box are great because they provide security, leave the top box pretty much empty for helmet and jacket during stops. Off road probably best to stick to soft luggage.

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by OB1 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:35 am

Hard (Metal Mule) panniers and (Krauser) top box on big bikes:
PHOTO-2018-08-21-16-54-22.jpg (138.1 KiB) Viewed 1433 times
Soft (Kriega) panniers and (Lomo) dry bag on small bikes:

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Re: Panniers or Topbox? Or May be both?

Post by ibgary » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:31 pm

I started with hard panniers (Givi), they held up great threw multiple trips and impacts. Then my wife wanted them for her bike so now I have the Mosko Scout 25s on mine. Love the MM gear. I also have a Givi top case which although I think it's to Big I like it. For dirt bag camping it's my table for cooking, eating, playing cards and I can lock things in it if I check into a motel. ImageImage

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