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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all!

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/store/?name=Catalog&mode=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. ;)
 

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For my ride I'm considering some Pelican 1430's or 1440's... they are "Top Loader" style and until today I figured I'd have to fab my own rack. Someone posted this: http://www.packratadventuregear.com



This seemed like an excellent rack frame system to mount my Pelican cases to. And the rack is affordable.

Here's a pic of the 1430 (smaller top loader case)
 

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Welcome Airwolf.Here is a link to a thread started by Jamie and has a lot of good responses.Good luck and have fun trying to figure out what set up you want.My wife said I about drove her crazy trying to figure out what I wanted :lol:


http://klrforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=730


Happy Trails
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey Mike, thanks for the URL!

Yeah, I'm going a bit bonkers with it as well. :shock:

I've put it off as long as I can getting other parts of the bike in shape. RL-1's should be here Monday and that just about completes the mechanical upgrades, now I'm *forced* to decide on the remaining stuff. :mrgreen:
 

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The pelicans are strong and sturdy, at leat the ones on the wee I HAD was, but they look like crap in my opion. The givis look alot better but I don't know about the durability of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know what you mean. Can't fault the Pelicans for being damn near indestructible. Guess you give a little up in the looks department to get that.

Another thing I realized is that a set of Givi E36's would be about 40 inches wide on a KLR. :shock: Given that the stock handlebars are 35 inches it's sort of making me think twice about them.
 

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:oops: Man,I was on top of things there :lol:
 

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I too have just ordered a set of those Packrat racks!! They look the strongest most pannier friendly rack out there...IMO. They also are at a very resonable price too. I personally don't like the military cans for panniers either...to heavy just for starters!!! I am now thinking that the Nelson Rigg saddle bags that Patman uses are the way to go. I don't like the idea of trapping my leg infront of a piece of steal in a crash...or spill. Soft bags I am thinking will remove that hazzard in my mind. But to each their own!!

Good luck and I would suggest looking at those Packrat racks at least....good deal IMO!
 
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