A topic that motorbike travelers love to talk about. Hard or soft luggage is the big question and we are sure that there is no right or wrong, no matter what you go for. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages with both systems.
We chose the hard luggage because of following points:
Possibility to lock
You can add oil and petrol canisters
They can protect your legs in accidents (of course they can also hurt you more if your leg is in between the pannier and the ground)
You can put stickers on it 😉
Martin chose the 38 Liter Max Panniers by MetalMule because of their sturdiness and their great attachment system. They are not the lightest nor the cheapest on the marked but nearly indestructible. After a highsider in South America with around 80kmh one pannier was pretty damaged but still whole. After a little „emergency treatment“ with the hammer they are closing again and look nearly new.
MetalMule does not offer a luggage system for the XT660R respectively only in combination with a new exhaust system. Therefore Xenia checkt out a lot of other pannier systems and after a while went for the ZEGA Pro 31 liter “and black” system by Touratech. She also had one or two small crashes but nothing too bad, therefore the panniers still sit tight on the rack. The panniers are light and offer a lot of nice additional accessories but seem to be a little fragile, therefore we will see how long they will close properly.
We bought some accessories for our panniers of which we believe are quite handy for our trip.
Everything is by Touratech, even the stuff we mounted on the MetalMule panniers.
1x per motorbike: ZEGA Pro Adapter plate with straps protection dual bottle holdener for
Air filter oil
Petrol bottle for the primus cooker
1x per motorbike : ZEGA Pro Adapter plate with straps protection for spare petrol canister 3 liter
1x on a MetalMule pannier: ZEGA Pro Adapter plate with straps protection for a 2 liter canister
1x in one ZEGA pannier: Luggage net M, for pannier lid – great for a wet towel
1x in one ZEGA pannier: case lid inner bag – perfect for first aid kit and other small items
1x on a ZEGA pannier: Adapter plate with Ortlieb Waterproof additional bag size L – for our cooker and a funnel (motor oil/coolant)
Backpack by Deuter / Touratech
We both got one of these backpacks even if Martin was not so sure about it in the first place. Already in Greece we figured out, that they are really handy and we use them nearly every day.
You can store away the rack system completley and fix the backpack to one of your paneers with the straps designated for this purpose (they fit on both pannier systems).
This way the backpack also serves as an additional storage place. When we go for a hike, on a ferry or just do some grocery shopping the backpack is ready in seconds to be worn comfortably. Also if it is really hot and we have to drink a lot while riding, we wear them at the back and have our hydro bags in it.
We are happy that we decided to buy these backpacks for this trip.
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