Luggage System

Luggage System 1000 1000 Michael

Soft Luggage Hard luggage an often discussed question. I drive both, own both and that’s why I choose whats appropriate for my destination.

My first buy was the 89l rackpack. One bag everything in that bag on top of the 640 sounds easy but is totally stupid. For every item you need to pack everything out and pack everything together again. That it drives horrible was even the smaller problem during the Western Alps trip.

I haven’t heard anything good about the Balkan before my first trip (Eastern Adriatic Sea) so I wanted boxes this time. More space then I needed so I packed everything more or less useful into them, didn’t adjust the preload and was happy to come home alive again so horrible was the driving experience of the bike. I learned from that and did test drives with full setup before every following trip. Even if the Iceland luggage wasn’t much less the 990 could handle that weight much better. But with a fully loaded 990 the highland roads weren’t that great fun so I choose my 640 again for Balkan Compact. Still with aluminium boxes and reduced luggage the bike was still difficult to handle. Between this 2 trips was my second experience with soft luggage. Mostly because I didn’t want to ruin my boxes with salt I bought some used cheap Ortlieb saddle bags. Full preload and even with the big rackpack on top the bike did a quite good job on the ice. When I prepared for Siberia decided to go with soft luggage and bring the suspension to a specialist to optimise it for that luggage. It was the best decision ever.

Since that time I choose the Boxes only for On-Road and trips and therefore in combination with the 990. You get used to the Luggage quite fast and it’s not as stressful as an Offroad Trip anyway. Packing boxes is much easier than packing soft bags. Leaving luggage at the bike feels much more comfortable with the locked boxes, especially when you’re travelling in busy Europe and stay mostly in hotels.

My Soft luggage setup is growing but it’s the best setup for Off-Road trips. The drivability is much better. Not just because of the weight the movement of the bags reduces the work for you suspension too. The Boxes hit my feet off-road several times so it’s also a safety argument. If my trip is focused on camping anyway I would prefer the soft luggage even on-road. If you start driving off-road with a bike it’s not one second worth to thing about boxes. The sales personal at Touratech recommended me a Giant Loop instead of the boxes for my 640. They were totally right.

Luggage SystemWestern Alps 2013Eastern Adriatic 2013 Iceland 2014Primus Rally 2015Balkan Compact 2015Siberia 2016Baltic Sea 2016Alpide Belt 2017
Total Weight1,1kg15,8kg14,1kg3,4kg13kg4kg13kg4,6kg
Ortlieb Bag Rack Pack 50l958gto big and heavy for on top of 64011111
Ortlieb Bag Rack Pack 89l1090gto big and heavy for on top on any bike11
Ortlieb Moto Saddle Bags 2x20l2327gnot waterproof, no bag for bottles11
Mosko Moto Reckless 40L System3170gwish1 Central Rally Bag 26l680gwish11
Touratech Hydration pack Companero400gexpendable11
Souce Drink-bladder175gexpendable1
Tank Bag600g348g758g348g758g
Moto Detail Tankbag Moto Detail600grubbish1
Pharao Tankbag Pharao1350gto big
Wolfman Enduro Tankbag410gstill the best solution11
Selfmade Tanksidebags348ggreat thanks mum1111
Aluminium Boxes13708g12038g11656g11656g
Selfmade coverplate for boxes388guseless1
Liner Bag 31l614guseless1
Liner Bag 38l623guseless1
Touratech Box ZegaPro2 31l5500gnice but heavy1222
Touratech Box ZegaPro2 38l5900gnice but heavy1
Touratech Canholder inkl. straps355gdepends on12
Touratech Bottleholder inkl. straps328gvery useful1122

The Ortlieb or now Touratech rackpacks are a good solution for a rolie bag. They are very durable as long they don’t hit sharp edges. I used aluminium in the past for the necessary rack plates but after good experiences with Polyethylene on the 990 during Baltic Sea I will replace the one of the 640 too. The size of 89l is just appropriate for big bikes. On a light bike it’s a pain to drive with so much luggage on top even the 50l are too much.

The Ortlieb Saddle Bags took some damage during the Primus Rally preparation and the the Siberia trip. Because I plan to ride the 640 just offroad in future i want to replace them with a rackless system. The Mosko System is my current favourite. It makes it easy to get my gear mostly clean from the bike. If you stay often in Hotels, that’s a big advantage for you and the personal. Because 40l are not much I want to have a small rollie bag on top again. The XCountry 26l has a nice expandable concept but maybe I will just use an average 30l backpack.

Wearing backpacks like the Touratech Hydration Pack while driving is no longer an option for me. They ruin the ventilation function of your cloths and in this case just for drinking?

The Pharao Tank Bag ended up on the rollie bag on the first day of the Vosques Trip and was never attached to my bike since that time. The Moto Detail Tankbag was smaller but still in my way. The function as tankbag was even worse compared to the pharaoh. The Wolfman was the first that worked for me on the 640, but just if I mount it in opposite direction. Luckily it fits perfect on the 990. The tanksidebags for my 640 are a Mother/Son project. I did the planning and cutting and the skilful hands of my mother brought it all together. They do a brilliant job in carrying food and drinks.

The Touratech boxes are very stable I haven’t counted how often my bike lied on them. Even the new ZegaPro2 fastener was much more durable than I expected after the first trip. However for long distance travels on difficult terrain, I would prefer the old ZegaPro fastener if you don’t want to use soft luggage. Inside the boxes there are many sharp edges that ruined the liner bags (some E-Bay stuff) in one trip. I covered the inner surface now with needlefelt what makes the liner bag quite useless. The Coverplate was the idea of placing the bike on a box for maintenance without ruining the box. Sometimes I have strange ideas 🙂 More useful are the bottle holders. Buy two so that you can store 4 bottles you’ll need them. For Example big Chainlube, Oil and of course drinks. A bottle inside the main luggage is always a bad idea. The Canholder is not really useful. 5l Fuelcans are cheap and available nearly everywhere. In case you need it just one buy it and with enough straps you can fix it to your bike.

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