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.
He now has over 100’000km on those panniers and they are still water and dust proof!
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 system by Touratech. After just a few small tip overs (no real crashes) with the bike, the boxes had a hard time to close, were not water proofe anymore and one even had a small crack. Not really what we would have expected.
Xenia was chosen to become the new MetalMule ambassador and got a new exhaust system and 31 liter Max Panneiers by MetalMule in Sydney. Since then she is a happy kiddo.
We bought some accessories for our panniers of which we believe are quite handy for our trip.
- 1x on the front of Xenias right pannier: ZEGA Pro Adapter plate dual bottle holdener for
- Chain oil in a small petrol bottle
- Petrol bottle for the primus cooker
- 1x on the front of Xenias left pannier: Adapter plate by Touratech with Ortlieb Waterproof additional bag (size L) – for our cooker and a funnel (motor oil/coolant)
- 1x on the front of Martins left pannier: Fuel can holder by METAL Mule for spare water canister 3 liter
- 1x on the front of Martins right pannier: ZEGA Pro Adapter plate for a 2 liter engine oil canister
- 2x per motorbike in the back: Fuel can holder by METAL Mule for spare petrol canister 3 liter
Sandstorm 3E by Enduristan
We had a hard time finding a fitting tank bag for Xenia’s XT660R and after first using one from a rather unknown brand, we found the Sandstorm 3E by Enduristan. The great thing is that this tank bag fits on many different kind of bikes, so we each have one on our very differently shaped bikes and they fit really good. The smart system is also great for refuiling and the tank bags are water and dust proof
Large waterproof map pocket (32 x 27 cm)
Red inner lining for high visibility
Removable document pouch under the cover with pen holder
2 smaller outside pockes and holders to make sure things are organized
- Water and dust proof and easy to wash
- Amazing company behind with great service and waranty policy
Things that could be better
- As the main zippers are a little on the smaller side (to make the whole thing waterproof), it is important to keep them clean otherwise they tend to stop working after too much dirt
Hurricane by Enduristan
(in use since June 2018)
As we heard that our favourite luggage production company released a backpack we kinda had to have a look at the new Hurricane backpacks. We knew that specially in Australia and Africa, where the temperatures are often pretty hot, it would be better to have a drinking bladder in reachable distance.
The Hurricane backpacks are fully water and dust proofe, have a really comfortable strap system and a great organizer system inside of the backpack. With an integrated pocket for water bladders it is the perfect backpack to have on your back all day long and still have some room to actually store something more than just a bladder.
Because we ride with luggage on the back of the bikes and would not really need huge backpacks, we went for the Hurricane 15 Liter, which offers enough space for a 2 week trip to Bali (seriously, we only had those backpacks as hand luggage for our little Bali trip). If you think you might sometimes a bit more space, there is still the possibility to add some packs. Enduristan offers two small packs which can be taken off very easy.
With the backpacks we carry each a 3L Hydrapak HP03 from Enduristan. Those Hydrapaks are really easy to clean, have a dust cover which protects the valve from collecting dirt and an insulated tube. Another really great product by Enduristan.
Thanks Marc from MMD Adventures for one more great consultation and your help to get those backpacks over to Australia!
Water and dust proofe
Outside heavy-duty mesh pocket with velcro lock
Elasticated net storage
Cargo loops to attach additional gear
Separate pouch for 3 liters Hydrapak®
4 compression straps
2 stow-away bottle pouches
Velcro section for individual patches
Additional strap to attach another small pack if needed
Reflective prints for better visibility (front and back)
Inside padded sleeve
Inside mesh pocket
Inside document pouch with pen holders, zipper pocket and keyring
Things that could be better
- The padded straps something slip out of their sockets
- The chest strap should be adjustable, as specially for women it can be difficult to have an universal chest strap
by Deuter / Touratech
(in use from July 2016 till June 2018)
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.
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.
Ride and Dry Bag by Guglatech
A fantastic bag that allows you to dry your cloths without getting them dirty or smelly.
We already are big fans of our amazing fuel filters by Guglatech and when they asked us if we are interested in testing their new Ride and Dry bag, we did not say no, as Guglatech is known for creating very innovativ and genius products!
Thanks to its unique, innovative concept, the bag RideNDry allows exceptional air exchange and ventilation during the daily transfers, perfectly shielding clothing from dust and dirt.
The double layer consists in an extremely light and resistant protective mesh and innovative Guglatech® membrane HP3D creating the ultimate shell to dry various garments, both technical ones and underclothes, during the trip.
Here some important facts about the bag
- Product dimension, while being open (HxL): 34×44 cm
- Product dimension, while rolled-up (LxD): 44×6 cm
- Maximum volume: around 6 lt
- Weight without accessories: 180 gr.
- Velcro Labyrinth Closing
- Cordure straps and D-rings
- Extremely high air and water permeability with optimal protection against fine dusts and other contaminants, thanks to the Guglatech® HP3D membrane
- Resistant to fuel/petrol and oil
- Hand washing
- Colour: Black/White
More technical information and the link to the product you find here
So far we have used the bag for our towls, freshly washed cloths and swim wear, when they are not dry before we head off. Its great how the cloths are drying while you ride on your bike and a big plus is, that nothing starts to smell. This is otherwise often a problem when you pack your things damp and can become really annoying. Specially the light travel towls start to smell extremley quick if you pack them when not dry.
We also used the bag for carrying veggies and other sensitiv groceries we did not want to squeeze into the panniers. Its pretty handy to have an additional small bag which straps onto your luggage very easy. As we use Enduristan bags which are already equipped with some handy loops, we can just clip the bag onto our Enduristan Tornado 2 pack sack.
big opening for easy cloth storage
you can use it for different things not only cloths
1070CC Hard Back Lap Top Case by Peli
We started of with some cheap soft cases to transport and protect our 2 laptops. It didn’t take long until the laptops started to loose screws, keys got stuck and USB ports stopped working. This happend because we have the laptops in our soft luggage, which we have to strap quite hard to make sure we don’t loose them, therefore the laptops were not enough protected in the soft cases.
The 1070CC Hard Back Lap Top Case from Peli is a very solid case. Hold it in your hands you can feel the quality and you know Peli wasn’t playing around when they designed this piece of equipment.
- Interior size 32.5 x 22.7 x 1.8 cm
- Exterior size: 38.8 x 30.4 x 4.1 cm
- Weight: 1.3 kilograms
- Fits all 13′ laptops (for example, our Acer Aspire V 13)
- crushproof – no stress on the laptop frame, itself while strapping on the bike
- Water and dustproof – very important when camping and doing river crossings
- Easy to open latch
- Lockable with padlock
- foam insert – laptop will not slide or bounce around
- Non-skid rubber feet
- Pressure relief valve – easy to open in any altitude
- Shoulder strap – easy to transport (for example, on board luggage while flying)
- Even more space for stickers ;)
Things that could be better
- Weight: 1,3Kg – isn’t super light but necessary for maximum protection
Over 1,5 years we are now travelling with these Peli cases to protect our laptops. We spent a great deal in wet conditions in New Zealand and on dusty corrugated tracks in the Outback of Australia. It is not the lightest or the cheapest, but the best product to keep our laptops and data save.
In order to save money, you sometimes have to spent money!
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