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Thread: BMW vs. Al Jessee Safari Panniers

  1. #1
    Registered User 14348's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    St Petersburg, FL

    BMW vs. Al Jessee Safari Panniers

    All BS aside, I have a 2010 R1200GSA on order, and I'm in a quandry between the over-priced BMW metal panniers vs. the Al Jessee Safari Panniers. The Safari's are larger, and appear to be better built (welded seams vs. rivets). And, there's a significant difference in the price. Looks like the full set of Safari's including the 45 ltr top case are cheaper than just the BMW panniers by themselves, then I have to still buy the top case. Any thoughts? The only drawback that I see to the Safari's is having to lower the exhaust pipe. Anyone have any EXPERIENCE with the Safari vs the BMW panniers.

    BMWMOA #14348
    OTL #15920

  2. #2
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Land of the Big Sky
    I have two sets of Jesses and numerous friends with them as well. Some have been through serious get-offs and all have seen rugged use. They are very high quality and worth their cost. The rub on the beemer cases is that they seem to get tweaked relatively easily and lose their water tightness.

    A good second choice after the Jesse bag is Happy Trails. Cheaper, yet still well made. Less refined than the Jesse's but much more bang for the buck than the BMW kit.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Nevis, MN
    One word... Micatech!

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    San Tan Valley, Az
    I have had the Safari bags on my 07 GSA since May 07. I can pack the house and still room, with no top box. I will use a Motofizz bag sometimes.

    Installed footloops on the top of both boxes and can strap on Grandmas' Atic with room to spare.

    The package came with the material required to lower the exhaust pipe. Will be a small issue if you are going to install an Ohlin on the rear, but nothing that you cannot overcome.

    I did not like the BMW bags due to all the holes drilled for the rivits. Looks good on paper, but....


  5. #5
    Turbo Fluffy-NY Chapter SNOONE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Greenwood Lake, NY. On The Appalachian Trail in The Beautiful Hudson Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by robinje View Post
    One word... Micatech!

    Love my micatech V2's
    2002 1150GS

    "Some people will tell you that slow is good - and it may be, on some days - but I am here to tell you that fast is better. I've always believed this, in spite of the trouble it's caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba...." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    "They're not the best at what they do, they're the only ones that do what they do"- Bill Graham

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Wilmington, NC
    I don't even own a GS- got an RT- but am at a rally looking at the many case options for the GS because a lot of my friends ride the GS.

    The Jesses are nice,popular, and well made but those Micatechs are huge and built seriously solid- great mounts, etc.

    I'd suggest checking out the Micatechs before making your choice.

    Both appear to be good choices so I don't think you can make a mistake.

  7. #7
    Lazy Lightning BobFV1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Fairfax County, VA (Washington DC Area)
    FWIW I found the crosswind handling of my 2006 GS ADV was twitchy with the Jesse bags. All the positives mentioned above - build, toughness, durability, are correct IMO. I think bottom line is that if you plan to actually dual-sport on the bike, the Jesse bags provide a great alternative. If you just plan to use the bike on blacktop (like me with my current bike) the stockers are adequate, easy to fit - albeit a bit pricier.
    2010 R1200GS - "Sieglinde"
    2008 550i

  8. #8
    Registered User Bullett's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Southern Oregon coast.
    I'm happy with the quality of my Jesse's on my F650GS. I went with Jesse based on price, looks and weight.
    '07 R1200RT (my favorite!); '12 Yamaha Super Tenere (El Gordo); '07 Suzuki DR650SE (!);
    '59 R 26 (my first)

  9. #9
    On a Ride sfarson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Just FWIW, no issues with the BMW cases. Love 'em. Really like the appearance. Wife and I take take trips, she likes the backrest coming with the top case, and they hold everything. Have thrown serious off road ventures at them and they've always come through.

  10. #10
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Atlanta 'burbs
    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    ...those Micatechs are huge and built seriously solid- great mounts, etc.

    I'd suggest checking out the Micatechs before making your choice.

    I've had them for a year now and I just love them more with every mile.

    The build-quality is second to none. They hold LOTS of stuff. The mounts are not ugly or obtrusive when the cases are off the bike.

    And best yet, they are SERIOUSLY water-tight! My stuff stayed dry all through last year's Georgia Mountain Rally.

    See the review I wrote in the ON last year (I forget exactly which issue).
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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