Kawasaki Bags? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-10-2013, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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Kawasaki Bags?

I'm contemplating buying a new KLR in the next week or two and have been looking at some options. The local dealer has a full set of hard/soft Kawasaki bags for the bike. They seem a little on the soft side, also small and have warning labels which limit weight to 10 pounds on the rear and 5 pounds in each side. The 5- piece set, including tank and handlebar bags are about $500. Anyone have any experience with these? Are there better aftermarket units with a little more capacity and maybe more rigid (I'm used to the Harley tour pack and saddlebags)? Any advice would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 13 Old 04-10-2013, 10:37 PM
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Lots of aftermarket options are out there - depending on how much you want to spend...

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-10-2013, 10:39 PM
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No experience with those but I just mounted some pelican knock off boxes on some Happy Trails SU racks. I like them. So it depends on what you're wanting. I wanted a hard box that was lighter than aluminum and ammo cans. So that's the compromise.

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post #4 of 13 Old 04-10-2013, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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No Saddlebags?

Pelican sounds about right for the rear deck, but what about saddlebags?
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-10-2013, 10:46 PM
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The Kawasaki bags are a poor bargain on a $/lb basis - they are small and expensive.

A better option in the smaller size is the Cortech Sport Bags. I have had these and found them acceptably well constructed, but the zippers are crap.

A larger bag is the Nelson Rigg CL 850. I use these bags extensively and feel they are top notch bags.

Nelson Rigg also make a smaller sport bag similar to the Cortech. I have not used them so can't comment, but I would expect them to be very good.

For multi-day camping I use the Chase Harper Alaska bag. It will hold my entire camp, food, and civvies. Once camp is set up it can collapse down fully with its compression straps to hold as little as a spare tube and tool kit, a canteen and munchies for day rides.

I think all of the above are well made and well priced.

For hard cases, most use either the Pelican or the SeaHorse cases. They are pretty much identical, but the SeaHorse are less expensive. Some use ammo cans or Mermite cans. Some use purpose-built aluminum panniers from Happy Trail or Twisted Throttle. These tend to be the high end of the cost spectrum.

Hard cases will require a $$$uitable rack and will bang the hell out of your calf under the right circumstances. Soft bags usually require only a rack-$orta-thing to keep the bags off of the side panels.


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Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 04-10-2013 at 10:54 PM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-10-2013, 10:47 PM
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I've got the kawi soft saddlebags. They work fairly decent but they don't hold much. For light packing they would probably be fine. I wanted more space though so stepped up to aluminum panniers. For what the soft kawi saddlebags cost I think you could find better/larger soft luggage.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-10-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Good advice.

I'll start looking at your suggestions. My gut feeling was that the Kawa bags were not going to cut it for me. At the very least, I need something lockable for the camera gear and the 10-pound weight limit seems just about useless.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 12:40 AM
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Oooh! Thanks Tom, I like that chase Harper bag that you suggested. Good price point too!

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post #9 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 02:32 AM
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Cyclerack with pannier set and top bag (all empty), plus auxiliary fuel container on Kolpin bracket:

Luggage mounts and demounts quickly, easily and seamlessly; not totally waterproof, in my experience.

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post #10 of 13 Old 04-11-2013, 09:48 AM
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The Nelson Riggs are top quality bags from what I experienced and they were great soft semi rigid side bags and large!

If you really wanted soft bags over hard cases or boxes then those are the ones to buy...IMHO.

They come with rain covers also.

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