After much deliberation on the purchase of luggage for the KTM 1190 Adventure I have finally settled on a modest system of the Dakar Panniers from Bags Connection. The usual solution to this problem is the aluminium type with scaffolding mounting frames which was far more than my needs required let alone the very high capital investment. I could only see myself using these on rare occasions so the £277 outlay seemed to be more than adequate.
The usual Google search brought up Bykebitz as the best priced supplier in the UK so it was with these I parted with my PayPal virtual cash and sat back for the delivery. This phase of the experience was extremely quick and efficient, several e-mails and text’s kept me up to date on the delivery progress and the box duly arrived from DPD within the allocated time frame. First class service from Bykebitz.
The next job was to fit them, on my usual long list of weekend jobs I added “Fit Bike Panniers”, I did expect this to take a few hours with the usual messing about when trying to fit anything to a motorcycle but the opposite was in fact the result, from the timings on the photographs there is a period of 46 minutes between first and last.
The job really was as simple as taking off a few dirty bits and adding a couple of new clean bits of bracketry. The bags simply click into place with a strap across the passenger seat which Velcro’s together to give a bit of additional support.
With my LOMO dry bag strapped to the back seat I now have more than adequate capacity for the odd time I need it.
The proof is in the using so that will be in a couple of weeks, hopefully the manufacturers claims will be proved correct.
My participation in the 2015 South West Peninsular Spring Rally gave me the opportunity to give these panniers a very thorough test, firstly the good news. I can confirm that the panniers are indeed waterproof, the weather encountered on the rally was in parts horrific, horizontal rain, the roads were wet and muddy for most of the day and when I arrived home and checked the contents, all was dry so a big thumbs up for that however the bad news is that on the Friday before the rally, I did a 200 mile trip, whilst I was unaware of any problems I came across a glaring design issue, the plastic catches which clip onto the mounting frame are not strong enough in their own right to stay clipped on! Whilst this is not a major fault, as the main security for fixing the whole package is the large Velcro straps across the seat, the units are not going to fall off, well I hope so anyway. When I arrived at the Travelodge and unpeeled the Velcro strap the far side pannier dropped to the floor, bugger it! There was no damage to either the pannier or contents but it was a bit unexpected.
Now this is where your ROK Straps come in handy, you do carry some of these don’t you!?, well yes, when they are not left hanging up in the garage 150 miles away, a bit of thought was given to solving the problem ready for the Saturday main event as I didn’t really want to be checking these every five minutes. My problem was solved in the interim by using the top fixing strap as an additional support, I routed these over the passenger grab rails and pulled them tight which took the weight off the plastic clips, perfect, the things stayed put all day long for the full 450 miles covered during the day. The only concern was if the top strap was not in the correct position would the waterproofing be compromised?, the answer to that is answered above in the good bit.
The panniers are excellent, just what I need, relatively inexpensive for the rare times I will use them and now that I am aware of their shortfalls I will be using the ROK Straps as the main form of support so there will be no repeat and also checking the clips at stops.