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Thread: GS Panniers

  1. #1
    aso215kd
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    Question GS Panniers

    Hey Folks,

    I had my rear frame adjusted by a Chevy Caprice last month. My Jesse Safari bags took a good part of the hit too. I'm looking to spend the insurance money and was wondering what positive or negative comments people might have about their panniers of choice.

    So far my observations are:

    Jesse Safari's are huge, they served me well on a number of long trips. Never could get the right bag completely water tight. Had to off load the stuff on top to open the lid to access the bags on the side of the road. Competitively priced.

    Micatech bags are a descent size and competitively priced. I like the side openning but, doesn't the stuff fall out when you open them?

    Hepco Beckers are kinda small. Made of composite(?).

    Touratech/Vega seems like an excellent choice. I like the idea of the removeable lids, but the price is not competitive.

    So, what do you think?

    David

  2. #2
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aysok5p View Post
    Micatech bags are a descent size and competitively priced. I like the side openning but, doesn't the stuff fall out when you open them?
    That's why the doors don't go all the way down the sides.

    Also take note that 'Spam-can' style bags tend to crush easily, and the slightest tweak can affect how well their lids seal.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

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  3. #3
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
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    I had the GSA bags put on my standard GS when I bought it. I liked the toughness of the aluminum and the top opening. They may be pricey - I don't know since it was rolled into the pricey bike. I've ridden in some all-day soakers, but the absolute worst was with these bags. No leaks. I've also tested out their toughness a few times by resting the bike on top of the bags. I strap down whatever on top of the bags, front-to-back, so that I can still open them without unstrapping the camping gear.

    I like them, but I have no experience with any other GS panniers.
    '12 K1600 GT

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  4. #4
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    I love the Pelican cases. They are absolutely waterproof and bombproof. They are cheaper than the Jessy, Micatech bags and maybe even some of the Motoport bag. Check them out. They are sold with specific BMW bike racks by Caribeau Adventure Gear. Google caribeau cases, or pelican cases and you will find them. Good luck.
    Keep the rubber side down!!
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  5. #5
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    Have to agree with Vegabird, I'm very happy with my BMW GSA bags that came on my GSA. Well built (made by Touratech, sticker inside says so at least), so far 100% waterproof. If you like the removable lids these have them and can even use the Touratech/Vega add on bits like the table connector if that is to your taste. I like the mounting system better than the Vega. Can't say it's stronger but much simpler than the "puck" system on the Vega's and pretty much impossible to get it wrong. If you don't have them all the way in the mount the lock won't close. Don't know what the price is but they are BMW/Touratech so I'm sure it's up there. Nice gear IMO though.

  6. #6
    Hogaan! testinglogin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boxerkuh View Post
    I love the Pelican cases. They are absolutely waterproof and bombproof. They are cheaper than the Jessy, Micatech bags and maybe even some of the Motoport bag. Check them out. They are sold with specific BMW bike racks by Caribeau Adventure Gear. Google caribeau cases, or pelican cases and you will find them. Good luck.
    +1

    "Caribou", BTW.

    Here is a link.
    Josh Metzger - Toledo, OH
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  7. #7
    TDI Guru jasontdi's Avatar
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    Micatechs.

    The best customer service i've seen in EONS.

    Tought too. Dumped them and they are fine, just some slight adjustment to the mounts.
    Jason
    Give a hand. http://www.akitas.org

  8. #8
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    I have Touratech cases and I like them because they do cave in a bit more than Micatech or Jesse's after a fall or accident. This allows the cases to take the hit rather than the bike frame....
    I had a get-off on gravel at 35 MPH and had to repair the righthand case but the bike frame is still straight. I'd rather bash a case back into shape than replace a subframe, but that would be me....
    The Micatech's would be my second choice as their mountsystem is very slick and the cases are huge. At the time I was shopping for luggage, Micatech was just on the market and a bit unknown to me. Just my 0.02 cts, YMMV.

  9. #9
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Jesse here:), 6 sets now....

    Never had any of them leak! I have found them extremely well made and today, my GSA and KLR650 both sport the Safari and Odessy2 bags he makes. Most all of the bags I've seen on the market have been successful and its really cool to have options when shopping. I happen to have picked Jesse's a long time ago and today, after 6 sets, I would not hesitate buying more. The "Quick Click" by Jesse, saddlebag arrangement on my new GSA is the simplest, nonobtrusive mount anybody has made to date. Some mounting systems are pure ugly, but probably work just fine. Al Jesse has a new guy(Rick) out of Tucson, with the distribution rights to N.America now and this is new. Al has always been in the past a very strong supporter of his products and replaces failing anything, in my experiences with him. Getting ahold of him today is a problem however, as the Rick guy(Tucson) is now the phone/order guy. Best wishes to him and I hope he is as good as his supplier, Al Jesse. Randy"Polarbear"

  10. #10
    Registered User mistercindy's Avatar
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    Based solely on things that I've read and one guy that I know who has them, I'm leaning towards Micatechs to replace my Varios. I like the fact that the Micatechs are side opening. That way I can have a loaded duffel bag on top and still get to them. And, as another poster said, they don't open all the way to the bottom of the case which, to some degree, ought to keep things from falling out.





    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabird View Post
    I had the GSA bags put on my standard GS when I bought it. I liked the toughness of the aluminum and the top opening. They may be pricey - I don't know since it was rolled into the pricey bike. I've ridden in some all-day soakers, but the absolute worst was with these bags. No leaks. I've also tested out their toughness a few times by resting the bike on top of the bags. I strap down whatever on top of the bags, front-to-back, so that I can still open them without unstrapping the camping gear.

    I like them, but I have no experience with any other GS panniers.
    Sorry if this is considered a threadjack, but I have a some questions regarding the 12GSA bags on a standard 12GS:
    • Did they require different mounts to work with the 12GS? I'm assuming that since yours was done at the time of purchase you didn't have to install them.
    • How big are they? Can you put a helmet in one of them? One of the redeeming qualities of the Vario bags is that the right side bag holds a helmet.
    • Since they are "BMW" bags, can they be keyed to your ignition key?
    Grant
    '05 R1200GS
    Former owner of an '03 R1150R
    BMWMOA #113847

  11. #11
    Registered User kurt1305's Avatar
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    * Did they require different mounts to work with the 12GS? I'm assuming that since yours was done at the time of purchase you didn't have to install them.

    Yes. All the racks and harware are ab0ut $500


    * How big are they? Can you put a helmet in one of them? One of the redeeming qualities of the Vario bags is that the right side bag holds a helmet.

    No, they are too narrow.


    * Since they are "BMW" bags, can they be keyed to your ignition key?

    Yes. Locks are $30 each for 6 of them plus labor to key them to your ignition key.
    2013 R1200GS

  12. #12
    How cold was it? shoeman's Avatar
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    I have the Jesse's and never had a leak. The strength of them is nice if you go down
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  13. #13
    Just puttsin' OldNuke's Avatar
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    I've been very pleased with the Jesse Odysseys on my airhead GS. They are roomier, yet narrower than the original BMW luggage and have been water and dust tight.

    The BMW/Touratech bags on my 1200 Adventure have also proven to be good performers, though they are wider than I like.

    I also like the Metal Mule line out of the UK. I understand there is now a US distributor for them.
    When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

  14. #14
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Helmets in bags?

    I like how the helmet question always comes up in baggage shopping. Never fails, DOES a helmet fit in the bag(s). I've never put my helmet in my bags and personaly don't care to. I usually always have too much other stuff in the bags anyhow to make it work, even though my bags do have room for a helmet, when they are mostly empty. Why not just leave your helmet outside the boxes, with a simple cable lock or something. After the first year, or maybe less in some cases, nobody wants my helmet anyhow. Its well used. To each there own. Happy Trails, Randy

  15. #15
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    i've got a hepco becker 38l for the left side and a 42l for the right side.
    these are the metal boxes, and they are just great solid quality.
    the hb mounts for the boxes are as solid as the frame.
    i'll upload some pics when i get home.

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