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I haven't any first hand experience with this vendor. There are some of these boxes and racks in my area, and for all intended purposes, they are second to none. The fit and finish is of a professional quality. Every person I know first hand had no trouble receiving what they ordered in a timely manner. There were some problems reported from some disgruntled riders last spring on another forum. The guy was dog piled pretty bad and fell off the map. I still don't know first hand of anyone who didn't get what they paid for.

He produces a high quality product at a bargain price. I would think your risk minimal, as you live close enough to follow up if things don't jive. Keep us filled in on your experience. I have a bike that needs outfitted, and will jump on this if things have stabilized for him.
 

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I hadn't noted your location in respect to the vendor of of these boxes until vatrader mentioned it. I would ask him if you could come look at the stuff in person if, of course, you're interested in doing that.

If he'll let you, you should be able to tell in very short order if you think the stuff is of good quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info. I will certainly ask about taking a look at them before purchasing.

If I get the purchase past the CEO, I'll certainly be posting pics, opinions, and whatnot.

PEACE!!
 

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I saw the same ad on CL. Please let me know how you get on with these if you get them. If you are heading his way to look then let me know, I might tag along.
Cheers Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Got The Boxes in Question

Gate, sorry I didn't give you a heads up. It was a whirlwind trip.

So I got a hold of Eric. He was fine with me coming to his shop to get the boxes. Gave him money, he gave me the boxes. I was visiting Seattle anyway so a trip to Mt. Vernon (about an hour one way) wasn't a hassle.

It took me about 45 minutes to measure, drill, and install. There are footman loops on the lids, and the boxes are lockable if you don't mind throwing four padlocks on. Gaskets on the lids, which could be beefier. Everything is powder coated.

The mounting rack is sturdy enough that I could drag the tail of my bike around with it.

There seemed to be a handful of people who got screwed trying to mail order these. That's why I went to the shop. Eric builds these in his one car garage all by himself. It looked like he had three or four kits on hand. He makes top boxes too.

No real testing yet. Rode to school in the rain, no problems.

I think I've attached some pictures.
 

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Just wanted to share this, the same guy that makes these panniers has screwed people over on ADVrider.com. I'm certain it's him, and maybe he's turned himself around now. Use your own judgement.

I can't post the URL (lame!) so just go to ADVrider.com and look for the thread titled "EP!C Panniers (now Gosolobox / SOLOBOX scam alert)"
 

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Given the both positive and negative feedback I went instead with some Givi stuff. It may be alot more expensive and have similar "waranty" on a bike but it is like betting in Vegas.. go with the better odds.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's the link to the ADV thread, it's closed now.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=549028

I was pointed at this thread after I came across an ad on Craigslist for the boxes. Yeah, there are a lot of negative comments. Seems to me that Eric (the dude who makes'em) was doing great for a bit, then hit a bump of some kind. Stopped posting and talking to his customers.



SOAP BOX . . .
Not trying to defend his actions regarding the people who paid money and didn't get boxes (if there are any still) but keep in mind that he's doing everything himself. Design, production design, production, sales, and shipping. When there's only one link in that chain, it doesn't take much to send things down hill.
I have a profound respect for people who start their own business. Restaurants, landscaping, building useful things in one's garage, I'll support these people long before chain stores or the big companies. Do things go wrong? Of course, and it sucks for those who get the shaft. That's why I made a point of going there myself, lucky that I could. Reduce my risk while supporting the guy with a heater in his tiny garage, and getting myself some awesome panniers. Hell, maybe he really does just need a decent secretary.
 

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I tend to give one man shops more leeway than corporations as I have owned as few myself and still do. Being a little bit late, crappy website, poor communications I can suffer. Paying for a product and zero in return is not the fault of the customer.

If I ever fail in business why should other people suffer, my fault, my loss.
 

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I've read some pretty bad things about this guy.... one man can get super busy but poor communication is just no good. You either want to do the business or not! :)
 

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Those are the stuff!

I think I paid 850 or more for HT and rack in 2006, you did well!
 

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Guys.. Eric started out with a fair system, with so-so welds, and terrible customer service.. He ended in an Epic Fail.. He burnt folks and didn't care..

If you're after great bags with excellent customer service, made by a guy who makes a great product, with excellent welds, and actual customer service, check out Muffin Top..

http://muffintopindustries.com/

I have a set of MT1-9's in black powder coat.. The quality is amazing, and I got a reply email EVERY TIME I sent one.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Hardy, I got lucky, bein' able to go to his shop and pick them up.

To further my evaluation . . . The gaskets are not as hardy as I would have them be. Replacements are in the works. I'm sure they'll still keep water out, especially due to the adjustable buckles but the gaskets have compressed some. A sturdier neoprene would be better.

However, what Paper says is true. Although I can't speak to Eric not caring. People did seem to get screwed though. The MuffinTop website was long on my list of bookmarks. They do look like fabulous boxes.

Whatever one goes for box-wise, if practicality is the goal, get boxes! I sit in my garage and stare at my bike, imagining things the way I used to imagine adventures for my Star Wars action figures. Or one could get married, have kids and drive a mini-van. Hehehe.

PEACE!!
 

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Whatever one goes for box-wise, if practicality is the goal, get boxes!
Some of the old timers here are tired of this story, but a few years ago I rode my KLR up to the UP of Michigan, camping on Lake Michigan, on Green Bay (the bay, not the town)

Anyway, I had my aluminum panniers and my Pelican case on the back, as well as a Kawi tankbag and Aerostich copy tank panniers..

As I pulled in, my bike was completely loaded with my tent, sleeping bag, fleece sleeping bag, air mattress, cooking gear, clothes, ect. I was out for a week and everything was packed away in the bike without anything being visible..

Here's the bike after I unloaded, but all that stuff was locked in the bags..



Anyway before unloading, a kid camping down the line came up and asked me if I was camping?? I told him "Yeah" and he wanted to know where all my stuff was?? "It's all in the bike".. He then asked if I had a tent, or a sleeping bag, or anything?? Again "Yeah, it's all in the bike.".. I told him to stop by 15 minutes later..

15 minutes later he and his brother, and their Dad stopped by and the kid pointed and said "See!!!"

The Dad laughed because I had a more comfortable bed than they had with the air mattress, and everything fit in my saddlebags.. They had brought a truck, trailer, and still forgot stuff at home..:)

Later that afternoon I grabbed some beer and some pasties in Escanaba, and as I was about 1/2 way back to the campsite I stopped and grabbed a bundle of wood from a house along the way.. I paid the guy, and he said he'd never sold wood to someone who strapped it on the back of the bike.. I told him I'd never purchased wood for camping any other way.. :)

Amazing practicality, and oddly enough, my fuel mileage went UP a couple MPG when I went to hard panniers, rather than my old Wolfman soft bag..
 

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Do you ever find the front end feeling it's too light? Not so noticeable on blacktop but, get into a little loose gravel or climbing hills , it gets your attention. I've got the same setup, only with Pelican 1550's for side & top cases.

Sleddog
 

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The 1550's are a heavier bag than the aluminum. A co-worker has 1550's as both side and top box, and I notice it even on pavement.. Just feels lighter on the front end..

I rode a lot of loose gravel with my boxes loaded, and I didn't really notice any difference, but I also tend to toss a fair amount of weight in the tank panniers and also the tool tube is full, so there's already a fair amount of weight on the front end.
 

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The 1550's are a heavier bag than the aluminum. A co-worker has 1550's as both side and top box, and I notice it even on pavement.. Just feels lighter on the front end..

I rode a lot of loose gravel with my boxes loaded, and I didn't really notice any difference, but I also tend to toss a fair amount of weight in the tank panniers and also the tool tube is full, so there's already a fair amount of weight on the front end.
I agree, Pelicans are hefty. One of the things on my agenda for the winter is to take a run up to Muffintop & have a look. I've busted up a couple tool tubes so now keep that stuff in the panniers....tools, tire pump, WD-40, emergency sleeping bag etc.

This pic is how it was loaded with the front end light. The orange bag is my tent.



I moved the tent into the backrest position & took my laptop out of the topcase & put it inot the left Pelican....made a HUGE difference in handling!



Sleddog
 
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