In the process of getting the KLR ready for some serious riding come this spring and I'd like to get some input on racks and panniers.
The KLR is my only bike and as such has to be a Jack of all trades so flexibility is the key to whatever setup/configuration(s) I go with.
For starters I'm using a 12 liter Tourmaster tank bag. It's just fine as a "glove box" and works well for me in terms of volume and not getting in my way.
After seeing the reports on the Moto-DirectUSA soft saddle bags I got a set. Very nice for the price and should do well for the back roads/trails day trips and overnighters.
I've got a large J.C. Whitney (Givi knock-off) topcase on the way and that should cover me for more road oriented stuff and utility outings like shopping.
Now I need to decide on hard panniers/luggage for longer trips. At this point I'm leaning towards a Happy-Trail rack and some Givi E36's as striking a good balance between cost, ruggedness and security for urban travel. The fact that I can pop them off in a heartbeat for the motel or to toss on the soft bags and hit the trails is a huge plus in my book.
Running a close second in consideration is the Caribou system http://www.adventure-motorcycle.com/...=i&item=000040
I'm not going to be doing any "millions of miles from anywhere" trips this year. Most of my plans are along the lines of State highways, rural/unpaved backroads, doing as much camping as possible to save $$$ with the occasional motel as needed. I will be venturing to/through some larger cities so providing a reasonable level of security for my gear is a consideration.
I know that aluminum panniers are more typical for KLR's and adventure touring/riding in general but can't quite get my mind around them. Having metal cases that can be mangled and being firmly bolted to the bike makes me nervous about snags, crashes and fall-overs.
I guess what I'm looking for is some Real World input from those that have BTDT: "Brand X stuff sucks. It fell off in the middle of the road", "Configuration Y was a PITA to pack", "Brand Z is indestructible", etc...
Oh, and I've ruled out cheap racks and ammo cans. It's a KLR but I still think its attractive it its own way and I'm not going to make it look like something the Russian Army would have salvaged from a WWII battlefield.