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Thread: How to organize panniers on R1200RT ('08)?

  1. #1
    Registered User bobframe's Avatar
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    How to organize panniers on R1200RT ('08)?

    I just bought my buddy's '08 R1200RT. It is loaded with goodies (windshield, fuse block, aux lights, stebel horn, radar, GPS, etc.) and frankly, there's not much farkling to be done.

    However, I did not receive any liners for the panniers and I'm finding it a challenge to pack them. My problem is that there's no way to hold gear in place...it wants to come tumbling out of the panniers when opened.

    So, I am interested in how you organize you RT's panniers. Do you use an accessory bag (Kathy's? BMW?)?

    Many thanks,

    Bob
    We don't take a trip...the trip takes us.

    2006 BMW R1200GS
    2008 BMW R1200RT

  2. #2
    Lost again Texpaul's Avatar
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    Cheap fix

    Bag liners are nice and you can usually pickup a set on the Flea Market.
    But, if you're cheap...economical like me there is one easy quick solution. Take a piece of cardboard and cut it to fit just inside the saddlebag. It will need to be about 1/3 to 1/2 the height of the bag. Then use zip ties to connect it to the elastic straps. Do one on each half of the bag. This will keep loose items from falling out when you open the bag. When the trip is over and you no longer need them you just cut the ties and throw them away. if you like the idea you can use one as a template to make the same thing out of some scarp plastic from your local plastics supply store. Get the type that's flexible and you can cut with scissors to make it easier to work with.
    Paul Mulhern
    MOA# 56330
    '05 1200GS Big Blue

  3. #3
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    For daily commuting the right side holds foul weather gear stacked loosely in the bottom for easy access. The left side is empty to take my fabric briefcase during the commute; the helmet and gloves go in there while the bike is parked at work.

    For road trips I use the fabric liners. They vary widely in price. I only use them for a week or two a year, so I got a cheap no-name pair from *bay. They're expandable, so they can be sized to fit just the inner half of the pannier or fill it entirely. They have a separate document pocket on the outside which is handy for hotel and gas receipts. A neat feature is that both sides have a full perimeter zipper. That way I can take clean clothes out of one side, flip them over and put the dirties in the other. You never have to unload them to root through all your stuff.

    There have been no quality issues at all, so at a fraction of the price of the name brands they turned out to be a really good buy.
    Dave

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  4. #4
    MOA #188066 tf78933's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new bike Bob. You're going to love it. A quick and easy way for me to keep stuff together is to use one of those nylon mesh laundry bags with a pull tie. I put my rain gear, liners, shoes, hats, extra gloves, you get the picture, rolled up and stuffed in the bag, kind of like a compression sack.

    This way, I don't worry about shoe laces, belts, gloves, half out of the side case when I'm trying to close it. I just messed up the side zipper of my wifes riding pants by just stuffing them in the side case. Pinched the zipper trying to close the case. Had I stuck them in my laundry bag, there is no way that could have happened.
    09 R1200RT, no longer own 99R1100RT, 98 Honda Shadow 1100, Penton 125cc six days, Hodaka 125cc Wombat

  5. #5
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    I have traveled with saddlebags by packing loose, packing in paper shopping bags, packing in small plastic stuff sacks, and packing in removeable liners. For me, it's easier to deal with a liner full of stuff (easy to pack in the house before leaving, easy to take with me into the motel while traveling) than to juggle and pack individual items or smaller bags full of items. When the liner is in the bike, I usually leave the liner's zipper open at the top so if I need something during the day I can reach inside without removing the liner from the saddlebag. Now using a set from Cee Bailey's, quite satisfied.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  6. #6
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Bob:

    I have one Kathy's Bag (lost the other) filled with clothes and put it in the left pannier (looking forward). The right side pannier is my "road pannier", and in it I use a fabric Safeway grocery bag. It has my tire kit, rain suit, fleece, sandals, bike cover, tools, SLR (if I bring one) and extra glove systems. The Safeway bag works real well to keep things from flopping out. The right side is a little bit further out of harm's way on the highway, when accessing stuff.

    A zipped liner is nice for clothes, but you don't really need one for utility stuff.
    Last edited by rinty; 03-09-2013 at 07:19 PM.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  7. #7
    Nuckin' Futs! tf1200rt's Avatar
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    I have a set of RKA bags that I use. I pack all of my emergency road gear, rain suit and maps on the left side of the bike (which makes it heavier), and my clothes on the right. I pack the left side heavy because the bike torques to the right when you hit the gas!
    2005 R1200RT
    2008 Honda CBR1000RR
    1984 Kawasaki ZX750 E1 Turbo
    BMWMOA, SABMWRA, PCA

  8. #8
    MOA #148075, BMWRO Shaun09's Avatar
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    How to organize panniers on R1200RT ('08)?

    We use Kathy's liners in the side-cases and 49L top-case, along with the BMW tank-bag. For solo camping, I use Seal Line waterproof bags (http://cascadedesigns.com/sealline) for extra capacity tied down with Rok Straps.
    Chris

    2009 BMW R1200RT (Shaun), 2004 MINI Cooper S (Gromit), 2006 BMW X3 (Wallace)

  9. #9
    Hammam Hammam's Avatar
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    I just don't understand why people would buy a $20,000+ motorcycle, plus farkles of all kinds, only to skimp on a pair of pannier bags that will cost them $80. Cee Bailey, RKA, Kathy... Get them and be done with it.

  10. #10
    Registered User bobframe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammam View Post
    I just don't understand why people would buy a $20,000+ motorcycle, plus farkles of all kinds, only to skimp on a pair of pannier bags that will cost them $80. Cee Bailey, RKA, Kathy... Get them and be done with it.
    Yes sir...ordered, done with, on to the next farkle.

    FWIW, I was initially reluctant to get liners, since giving up on the Honda liners on my ST1300...thought they took up too much space. But I think bag liners are probably the best solution for me, for now.

    Still open to someone else's brilliant, elegant solution....
    We don't take a trip...the trip takes us.

    2006 BMW R1200GS
    2008 BMW R1200RT

  11. #11
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    Very inexpensive, but functional solution. Purchase two of the (very large) ziploc type bags. They come with a handle moulded in, so carrying is easy. Close to be 100% watertight. They hold a lot more stuff and weight than you'd believe. Just fill them up, stuff them into the case, and close the lid. Reverse when getting to destination.

    The downside is that they are clear, so when you're checking into a motel, folks can see what's in them, so you've got to think about what goes where unless you don't mind people seeing your undies, etc. They last a long time; I used one set for two years and around probably two dozen trips of lengths from a few days to a few weeks each.

    Don't use them anymore, got tired of my riding buddy talking about me carrying around my garbage bags, so I spent the money and got some RKA bags off the forum. The ziploc bags actually work best, though!

  12. #12
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
    ...thought they took up too much space....
    Depends on whose. BMW liners (at least the types I've seen) are fairly rigid and do, indeed, take up significant space. Cee Bailey's are made of much more flexible material, with only a bit of stiffening in the bottom. They take no room. I had a set of RKA liners on the previous bike, and they were sort of in the middle: stiffer than the Cee Bailey's, but didn't take the room that BMW's did.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  13. #13
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    Buy bags for at least the topcase and clutch side sidecase- you won't regret having them.

    Here's my packing scheme for trips
    Clutch sidecase- riding gear layers for the day and netbook that holds software for GS-911 and RepROM CD with repair info.
    Throttle sidecase- tools, cleaners, maps, other docs, raingear, etc. Arranged in a series of smaller sacs so it stays organized.
    Topscase- bags with clothes and other stuff to go into motel room or tent. Allows room for small other purchases

    On rear seat - tent and campings, cooking gear in a waterproof duffel if I'm camping or perhaps my Veskimo if riding long miles in 00 degree plus temps.

    Tank bag- electrified to allow charging phones, etc, also holds water if not using a camelbak and my wallet.

    Even with all the above, one could add more stuff strapped on top of panniers and could add the Harley rack to the topcase lid to get ore space still.

    Plenty of room to pack enough to travel forever on the RT.....

  14. #14
    Registered User motocamper's Avatar
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    Greetings
    We use Kathy bags for the side cases. She has her bag and I have my, that is it. Camping or hotels we each have our side. If the trip is hotels then the top case is used for jet boil, nice camera, useless stuff and room to spare. Wash gear along the way. We are good for about a week out.
    Camping we each have our side, just less stuff (less clothes) and more gear (axe,cookware). Replace the top case with a rack the holds a dry bag for camp gear. If you and your's can do this for two weeks, you got the right stuff.
    If you are a single rider with an RT, you got it made.
    Tony
    We're not here for a long time
    We're here for a good time HUEY LEWIS

    2007 R1200RT, 2003 F650CS

  15. #15
    Rider on Ramald
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
    So, I am interested in how you organize you RT's panniers. Do you use an accessory bag
    We bought the Kelty Camp Hauler package from woot (now available at Amazon). It worked perfectly to use the "inner" bags inside the left and right saddlebags, and the big "outer" bag in the big top case.

    Worked GREAT, the elastic loops hold the bags in, and left room for soft stuff like jackets, etc. in the lid.

    Marc

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