Touratech Zega Pro Panniers
This is the most expensive accessory you will likely put on your bike. Zega Pro boxes with the racks cost about $1500 and Touratech never has a sale. Why buy them? They are the best. I have them on my KTM 1190 also. Our experience with some other pannier systems have been problematic. For example, the HepcoBecker racks broke on the GS1200 we rented in Chile. If you really want to save a bundle of money consider the Tusk racks and boxes, they are tough and cost only $400 complete rack and boxes. The Tusk don’t look as sharp but seem very functional. We gifted a set to Vicky’s son for his KLR and so far they are serving well without problems. But, if you’ve got the money, we love our Touratech panniers.
So far the only down side to the Zega Pro Panniers that I have found would relate to any pannier system in that they really increase the width of your bike. It is really tough to white line when fully loaded. Personally, I prefer to travel with only a tail bag, tank bag and a weather proof small duffle. With this set up, I am more stream line and have everything I need for any length trip. However, my stuff is less secure.
On the back of Jon’s bike, he has learned you can not safely have the right side gas can on as it will melt from the exhaust pipe heat. So, I switched the right side to the two bottle accessory and it does not feel the heat. I also have mounts on the front of the panniers that will have dry bags attached. Pics coming soon.
I finally got the Orleb dry bags to put on the front of my panniers. The 1.5 liter one is very small but big enough for bear spray or other trinkets. The 3.0 liter bag is big enough to put my one piece rainsuit in. They both can be put on any location with the quick release bracket. They also can be stolen very easily too. Hopefully not they are not cheap at $69 for the small bag and $89 for the larger.
CLICK HERE to view our Panniers on the Merchant Website.
I am going to mount two 3/4 gallon bottles on the back of Vicky’s Panniers for the Alaska trip. The weight is low and once to put the gas in the tank the bottles really weigh nothing.
Giant Loop Tank and Tail Bags:
After much research on a multitude of options Giant Loop bags were purchased for the DRZ. It was not easy to find a tail bag big enough but not adding too much on the height. This VERY expensive bag fit the requirements and was purchased from Revzilla.com. Did I mention that we love Revzilla. The tail bag selected is called the Klamath and it has a total height of 5 inches thus making it easy to swing your leg over to mount and dismount the dirt bike with ease.
CLICK HERE to see this product on Revzilla.com
The Giant Loop Fandango tank bag is fantastic and was designed perfectly for the DRZ. It fits over the tank without adding too much bulkiness for a dirt bike. It unzips and flips to the side giving easy access to the gas cap for filling up. It is very water resistant and also comes with an optionally inner bag that is water proof for precious items to give added protection.
I have made several water crossings with significant water showering but the inside of the bag stayed dry. Once I completely submerged the left side of the bike (Ooops!), but the inside of the tank bag was still dry. I am really happy with these bags so far even if they are a little pricy. The only complaint I have is the zippers are a little sticky, not smooth; but they are relatively impermeable to water.
CLICK HERE to see this product on Revzilla.com
BMW GS 700 Tail & Tank Bags
The first piece of luggage added to the BMW was a tail bag. It is impossible to get around town without something to put your stuff in. Jon bought a Tourmaster Tail Bag that has served me well and is a favorite accessory.
In fact, I love it so much, he bought one for his KTM 1190 and we gifted one to my son for the KLR. The only negative thing I can say about our bag is the color fades if you use it everyday. After 18 months my zipper broke and I had to buy a second bag. I know you would like something to last a little longer but I felt like I got my money’s worth. I overstuffed it many times, left it on my bike endlessly in hot parking lots, as well as through days of rain and snow and it served me well. It was inexpensive, easy to install and remove, perfect size for almost anything, and looks sharp. Again we turned to our favorite supplier Revzilla.com for this accessory. You can find this Tourmaster bag on their website if you CLICK HERE.
Finding the perfect tank bag for the BMW GS 700 was a little more difficult. I searched quite a bit before I found the Cor Tech Tank Bag that is perfect for me. My handlebars are loaded with mounts and electronic gadgets thus reducing available space for a tank bag. Plus, the GS 700 is a smaller adventure bike so the bag needed to be shorter to not encroach on the seat. I tried using the Giant Loop Fandango bag but it was not shaped well for the GS and it’s height made it not suitable under the handlebars. I also tried a Wolfman bag and it was just too big. I found my “Low Profile” tank bag on Amazon.com made by CorTech and it has been a welcomed addition that I have used for the past year. This bag comes with magnetic or harness mounts so be sure to get the correct one for your bike. The capacity is 5 Liters with expansion to 10 Liters if needed. Either compressed or expanded it fit well on the GS and gave me the extra space I needed for camera, wallet, gloves, sunglasses — those things you need in a hurry and repeatedly during the day. I found it a little difficult to get the installation perfect but once the harness was situated and the strap lengths adjusted if fit well. It is easy to unsnap from the harness and carry with you if you don’t want to leave valuables on the bike when you are not riding.
CLICK HERE to see pricing and details on Amazon.com. The bag is also available on Revzilla but I got same day delivery by Amazon and I wanted it fast!
I have ridden off-road on some technically difficult trails with both these bag ensembles in place on the respective bikes as discussed previously. I could stand on the pegs and guide the bikes easily using my legs without any impairment from the luggage. This is true of both bikes with the discussed luggage, the DRZ and its Giant Loop ensemble as well as the BMWGS with the Tourmaster and Cortech bags.
Kriega soft luggage mount
This is the second Kriega mount I have bought. This one is smaller than the first one and cost much less. About $80 from revzilla.com. It’s purpose is to stop you from melting you soft luggage bags. I plan to use it with the Wolfman expedition soft bag on the right side. The mount fits most racks. I will be able to easily move this from the KTM 1190 to the BMW GS700 or KTM 690. It also is ready for a rotopax for a gas mount. Cost much less than the Wolfman mount which was $178. It’s a learning process I guess. Expensive.
RotopaX 1 Gallon Gas Pack with Mount
This 1 gallon fuel option is on my KTM 690, the rack is actually a Wolfman aluminum plate, with locking Altrider RotoPax mount, all mounted on a a Tusk Pannier rack. This whole set up came from Rocky Mountain ATV cost for the whole thing is high but worth the investment for it’s muti-purpose function.
For merchant advertising and pricing:
The KTM 1190 has a RotoPax but a different mount also expensive from Revzilla
To view merchant advertising and pricing for KTM RotoPax CLICK HERE
This is my favorite accessory for a motorcycle. Hippo hands are amazing. You can wear summer gloves in freezing weather, rain no problem. I first saw these in Korea in 1981, then Afghanistan in 2011, how could these people ride in the snow with no gloves? They look stupid but are fantastic. Wish I would have had them on my first trip to Alaska in 2008. Cost about $120 and you have to order them from Canada. For merchant advertising and pricing CLICK HERE
Oxford Heaterz Heated Grips:
These were installed by Jon (not an easy task!!) on Vicky’s DRZ and they are working GREAT!! They do make the grip thick as compared to the stock grip and a person with small hands might find it a little uncomfortable. The on/off and temperature control is managed by a small push button controller that is mounted on the handlebar. They heat up really quick and provide substantial heat. Vicky love’s ’em and the price is right.
Grab on grip covers
The factory grips on BMW’s are hard uncomfortable and the heated grips will burn you through summer gloves. I was looking for a softer but secure padding to put under my gloves. I never had this problem with my KTM’s the grips were rubbery with some give to them.
So for only $14.99 you can fix this problem. The install took about 5 mins. To make it easy I heated them a bit with Vicky’s hairdryer and lubricated the insider with hairspray. This site is about a couple that share the ride, I have been using her hairdryer to soften new tires also makes install much better.
For years I was bringing a spot locator with me on remote trips, just incase. We had our tail bags stolen in Monterey, California in January so I needed to replace the Spot. I decided to upgrade to The Garmin InReach system. It allows for two way txt communication with GPS for a low fee. The Emergency system is equal and you can tell them what is wrong, instead of just activating the come save me beacon.
I bought it at REI for about $400, activation was $40 and the monthly fee for service is $24/month. For this you get 40 messages and all features I had on the spot. It is a pretty good Garmin GPS unit too.
I bought this mount from Amazon for $40 that delivers continous power to the device and a very secure mount on a RANS mount. Works perfect, does obscure my view of the BMW speedo but I never look at that anyway with the GPS speed being more accurate.
The home screen on the Garmin Inreach with power is always lit up. The buttons are easy to push even with gloves. This unit is much better than the spot. Cost per month is a littel more. Spot was $17 and Inreach is $24. For that you get a Garmin GPS and two way communication.