6 years after I first tried the Great Basin dual sport soft luggage bag by Giant Loop, I am amazed at how well-made these things are, and frankly, how convenient they are for a variety of moto situations. The one I have was sent to me when Giant Loop had just launched this model, and I did a tour through the San Juan mountains of Colorado on my 2009 BMW F800 GS. Since then, I have used it, abused it, loaned it to friends, and most recently ignored it, thinking it was too big and burly for my svelte KTM 690 Enduro R, but on a recent weekend trip to Baker, NV, and the Great Basin National Park (of all places), I thought it would be worth revisiting this fine piece of dual sport essential equipment.

Darth and I were not well-prepared for this trip. Darth usually has our GPS routes mapped out, the boxes on his BMW F800 stuffed and strapped with everything you can imagine. This trip came up very last minute. We winged it, old school. We were both on 690s, his all Rally Raided out to the max, mine not yet broken in. Carrying extra fuel was our main concern, since my bike only had the stock tank. I had previously added the Rally Raid soft luggage racks to my bike with Rotopax mounts (all available from KTMTwins.com), and was carrying a 1 gallon Rotopax fuel tank, and a 1 gallon water tank. Neither one of us had any plans to carry anything other than what we could fit in our pockets or in small tail bags (like my Kriega 20 liter). When we realized we had no room for even a bag of trail mix or the Utah Gazetteer that we needed since we were going sans-GPS, I remembered the dusty old Great Basin in the corner…

Sometimes the more room you have, the more you bring. Sometimes, if you didn’t bring it, you don’t need it. Sometimes it’s just nice t have a little extra room. The Great Basin was perfect for this trip because it was very cold in the mornings, but warmed up to desert temps in the afternoon. We had a place to stuff mid layers as the days warmed. The Great Basin draped nicely over the RR rack and Rotopax, and I hardly knew it was there while riding.

I went back to the Giant Loop site thinking I might get one of their smaller bag set-ups like the Coyote, and I still might. But for now, the 6 year old, beat up but still clean and dry inside original Great Basin bag does a lot to make my 690 a viable dual sport. If you were thinking about buying one and wondered how well they hold up, quit your worrying and just get one.

On the Pony Express trail with the Great Basin bag.

On the Pony Express trail with the Great Basin bag.

This is not the causeway you were looking for.

This is not the causeway you were looking for.

The bag perched nicely on the back of the KTM 690 Enduro R.

The bag perched nicely on the back of the KTM 690 Enduro R.

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