Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I see, I like, I buy

I am a very impulsive buyer... I see, I like, I buy. If I can afford it of course. This was definitely not the case with panniers for my motor bike, I just couldn't afford it. What this allowed me to do was to first shop around and that is exactly what I did. Three years to be exact. It also gave me time to think about what I really needed. Soft or hard luggage, removable or permanent racks, for 5 day or 5 month trips, tar or gravel...the list goes on. Slowly I started making up my mind. Now it was just the case of finding the right stuff.

I decided on soft panniers - They look more manly for the bush, they can be repaired easier, they can be flung over your shoulder like cowboys do with their saddle bags, can be stored behind the flat-screen TV, can be used on most pannier racks...again, the list goes on.

My choice in pannier racks wasn't that easy though. I did not want to have permanent racks on the side of my bike when I am not traveling. I just don't like the look of panic handles. I wanted something that could be removed. So, I was looking for removable racks like WS-Motech. Even here I was not 100% happy because once you take off the removable parts you still sit with part of the bracket exposed...and a sharp part for that matter. I was stuck.

Then a few weeks ago I walked into Flying Brick shop and Chris showed me my options on saddle bags. On the floor he had pannier racks from Rumbux, manufactured for Yahama. I saw, I liked...but I needed it for my F800GS so I didn't buy. Lo and behold Chris told me later that Rumbux is working on a F800GS version. Chris gave them a call and they said they are doing final testing, should be ready the following week. Very reasonably priced too.

Today I received my panniers. Chris and myself didn't waste time and fitted them on the pavement in front of his shop. It would have taken us 30 minutes or less if I hadn't stripped a bold. The panniers fitted perfectly. They could be removed in a jiffy if I wished to do so, but because they look super cool and can also act as crash bars to protect the exhaust they are staying on permanently. The powder coated finish looks amazing, but what I like most is the shape of the racks that follows the lines of the bike. They look as if they should be there.

I also bought ATG soft luggage bags to complete the picture and if all goes well then I will be testing out my new equipment in three days time on a 5-day trip across the Southern Cape dirt roads. Watch this space for feedback.

Like my mother-in-law said the other day, "one thing calls for the other". Now I need those front crash bars and I am not going to wait another three years....

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