OK, I'm starting a long term project for the KLR, or more of a feasibility study.
Goal = Hard case panniers, cheap.
Background, I like to do a lot of off the beaten track (don’t we all) riding and camping. And have the 2008 setup with Wolfman Explorer Lite tank bag, First Gear soft side bags that have been modified to bolt on to my Wolfman side racks, a new Christmas present, a Wolfman Ridgeline tail bag.
For some odd reason, or peer pressure, I seem to want hard panniers even though I have talked myself out of them multiple times. I guess I would just like to try a trip or two with them to see how they work out.
On that note, the cheap part. Ammo cans seem to be the answer in that department. I went out and bought two 20MM cans at a surplus store for $29 each and started planning things out. But at 19.8 pounds each, I thought I could lighten the load the burrow has to carry.
Stage one- lighten the load.
The latches are designed to hold ammo in place, not camping gear and clothes. They had to go, along with one side of the diagonal rail support. I have a set of spot weld drills and started with the rail.
Shaved the end handles off the boxes, and then started on the lid ends.
I did have a little problem and tore open four holes in the end that I had to weld up and grind down again.
So with about an hour and a half of drilling/grinding/welding/grinding of my own labor, I now have one “clean” box that shed about four pounds.
I have looked up some twist latches that will work at around $8 each for stainless steel, but I’m wondering if the finished product will be close to what I want.
Any Ideas out there?
Or should I just find some Happy Trail Tetons and bite the bullet?
The Tetons are about the same size, and weigh around 9.5 pounds. I'm still about double that and have no latches or hardware yet.