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Thread: BMWplastic panniers vs allumium

  1. #1
    kiki
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    BMWplastic panniers vs allumium

    Hi, I'm new to BMW motorcycles and touring. I would like some input from experienced rides. What do people prefer and why?
    Thanks,
    Kelly

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyhanley View Post
    Hi, I'm new to BMW motorcycles and touring. I would like some input from experienced rides. What do people prefer and why?
    Thanks,
    Kelly
    Welcome to the forum Kelly. You didn't mention the size/model of the bike. For me, on the F800gs, I went with the plastic Vario cases. Size, function and fit they have worked out well. If I had a GSAdventure I probably would have gone with the aluminum. The only complaint I hear on the aluminum is the grey of the aluminum rubbing off on the contents. HTH Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  3. #3
    Registered User womanridge's Avatar
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    Welcome Kelly. Stop by the Women's forum whenever you can.
    I expect you will get various opinions and that's a good thing.
    Karen Jacobs
    Moderator
    2012 R 1200 RT
    MOA-133005, RA32109, IBA #37923

  4. #4
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
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    On my GS I got aluminum - actually, the bags that are for the Adventure although I had a standard R1200GS. I got them because I was sure the bike would be on its side sooner or later.



    The only damage in the above was a few scratches on the engine guard and a bit to my pride. The bags weren't even scratched.

    Yes, the aluminum will rub off on the contents a bit. I used liners from Kathy's Bags, which protected the contents and made things easier when I got wherever I was going.

    - Kate
    '12 K1600 GT

    What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

  5. #5
    Curmudgeon in training
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    Yeah, I'm a guy, but I saw the thread title browsing the main page.



    Scratches to cylinder protectors - check
    Bruised ego - double check
    Scratched plastic cases - check (that's why they make stickers, right).
    Adventures to far off places - priceless

  6. #6
    I love to lurk! tvgal2000's Avatar
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    On my R1200 GS, I've got Micatech aluminum cases - bombproof! I drop my bike (parking lot speed usually but once at 30mph) and there are very few scratches on them... They've held up very well for all the times I drop the bike (I'm not ashamed of how often that happens - I figured it was a GS so it could take it and it has very well so far!)

    my old F650GS single had the BMW alum/plastic cases and they held up pretty well - some scratches and an accidental melted hole when the case wasn't properly attached and rested on the muffler.... but that was my fault not a manufacturing problem. I don't think I dropped that bike more than once or twice.

    my first BMW - K75s had plastic cases and they held up well - I dropped that bike only a few times.
    Sarah B
    Milwaukee,WI
    '09 R1200GS 'Starbuck' my big silver baby
    '13 K1600GTL Graphite Grey... yet unnamed!

  7. #7
    kiki
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    bmw panniers vs aluminium

    thanks to eveyone who replied. Im new at this and wonder about the how they
    compare when it comes to keeping the rain out? i just bought a g650gs 2009
    Kelly

  8. #8
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Congrats on your new 650, Kelly.

    I had the aluminum bags on my '05 650GS. I found them to be hard to expand and not very durable. If you looked at them too hard, they would ding and dent. My solution was Linex. I also Linexed the bags on my 1200GS however, if I had to do it again, I would have gone with the big aluminum boxes on the GSA.

    The Linex has made them nearly indestructable. I've dropped both bikes with no scratches or dents. Here are links to two prior threads with pictures.

    Linex Thread 650GS

    Smurf - color matched linex

  9. #9
    A wandering Bird Vagabird's Avatar
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    I hope you have many (s)miles on you 650GS, Kelly.

    I don't know if this applies, since you have a 650, but the GSA bags on my GS never leaked a drop. I rode the bike to Alaska in awful weather, including one full day of torrential rain, and the contents remained perfectly dry. They could get a little tough to open if the temperature and altitude changed - they'd get almost vacuum sealed - but my RT bags do the same thing.

    Happy trails!

    - Kate
    '12 K1600 GT

    What is it you intend to do with your one wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

  10. #10
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Good:)

    I enjoyed your Linex pics and story on that surface material. Great idea! I use Jesse bags on my GSA, as i prefer aluminum. Jesse Bags are surfaced with some kind of paint that does not rub off on interior items stored in the bags. Randy

  11. #11
    kiki
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    Thanks for all your in put!
    kelly

  12. #12
    Motorcycle Muffin
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    I have BMW system cases on the R11Sen and am aiming for aluminum panniers for my KLR -- the plastic BMW cases are nice and rugged but they make the ass end of the bike SO WIIIIIIDE and hard to park (not to mention making it impossible to lanesplit while carrying them!).

    '01 Black R11S "Rosie"
    '04 Titan Grey Mandarin R11S "Erica"
    '08 KLR "Bruce"
    '91 VFR750 "Penny"

  13. #13
    Registered User Bullett's Avatar
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    Hi Kelly!

    I have an '09 F650GS, too. I went with Jesse aluminum bags for several reasons. At the time I purchased, the Jesse's were less expensive and lighter weight than the BMW Vario bags. I liked the way they looked. The Jesse's are painted or finished inside and are not supposed to discolor your stuff.

    It is my recollection that the bags I chose are 8" wide and fit close to the bike so they don't make my butt look big.





    I like being able to take them off when I want to ride without them.

    The plain racks don't look great, but they don't look awful either, IMHO.



    I haven't fallen over on them yet.

    The plastic cases on my RT have been very durable, despite 3 0mph drops.

    F800riders.org has at least one thread regarding options.http://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...age-For-F800GS


    Have fun!
    Sharon
    '07 R1200RT (my favorite!); '12 Yamaha Super Tenere (El Gordo); '07 Suzuki DR650SE (!);
    '59 R 26 (my first)

  14. #14
    kiki
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    Smile

    Thanks for your in put on the bags. your bike looks great!
    We have relatives in Salt lake city. I was just there for a wedding over thanksgiving. Look forward to returning to do some touring in your beautiful state.

    Kelly

  15. #15
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    +1 on the Jesse Bags. We have three sets mounted and they are the cat's pajamas.

    Stay away from the BMW expandable bags. They leak, are a pain to use and dent easily in my experience.
    Kevin Huddy
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

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