Last Fall, I got to test out Giant Loop Moto’s Great Basin Saddle Bag on a long tour through the highlands of the Colorado Rockies. I came away thinking the Great Basin is a great product for dualsport motorbikes. For less than $400, you can carry a lot of stuff in a waterproof bag. It has great advantages over pannier boxes in terms of light weight, cost, and convenience. But there is one huge problem for me. There is no place to stick my big Rush “2112” sticker. Another smaller problem is when we camp, all my buddies have boxes to sit on around the campfire, and I always have to sit on a rock. I’ve checked out a few solutions for boxes, and it was a tough decision between the BMW factory Adventure boxes, and the new Touratech Zega-Pro. I like the options that Touratech offers in terms of replacement parts and accessories. I like the fact these come in black. I also like the price difference: retail to retail, the Touratech Zega-Pro anodized black boxes, rack, and matching locks are about $400 less than the factory boxes. Stay tuned for a full report on the installation process. The folks at Touratech say it’s easy. I’ll put that advice to the test.

Zega-Pro black anodized panniers from Touratech.

Zega-Pro black anodized panniers from Touratech. Photo courtesy of Touratech-USA.

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6 Responses to Packing Up Them Boxes, Hittin’ The Road

  1. Mark Bennett says:

    So, can I take your Giant Loop Moto’s Great Basin Saddle Bag out for a test drive then? Thanks, as always, for the ongoing gear research and reporting.

  2. moto says:

    Mark, definitely. I bet it would look great on the back of the KLR.

  3. Mike says:

    “Another smaller problem is when we camp, all my buddies have boxes to sit on around the campfire, and I always have to sit on a rock.”

    I used the same rational many years ago when I wanted some hard cases. I then found out it was a lot more comfortable to pack a small camp chair. That still doesn’t solve the problem of where to put a sticker though…
    Wondering if you gave any consideration to the Happy Trails boxes/rack?

    Just glad that Touratech doesn’t make farkles for any of my bikes. Saves me a lot of money. Until the weekend…

  4. moto says:

    Mike, the money thing is definitely a drawback of just about anything that comes shipped with the yellow tape around the box. In this case, I narrowed my decision down to the BMW factory kit vs. the new Touratech Zega-Pro system. The BMW factory adventure boxes and rack are even a couple hundred more. I’m going to do a full write-up with a side by side comparison. The only thing that is bumming me out right now about the Touratech system for the F800 GS: for the outside of the boxes to be equidistant from the center of the bike, the left box is a 31 liter vs. a 38 on the right side. This is because of the space needed to clear the exhaust. It’s better than the asymmetric look I had going on my KTM with the Gobi boxes. They were the same capacity, but the one on the exhaust side stuck out farther, so if you were riding behind me, it looked like they were offset. In the case of these new Touratech Zega-Pro boxes, the 31 liter box just looks a little, well, skinny.

  5. Tom says:

    I really like these cases in terms of quality and look. I think the only thing keeping me from buying them at this point is the varied box sizes you mentioned (purely aesthetic) and that (i could be wrong) the mounting kit appears to have them set a bit wider than absolutely necessary. Would be great to see some rear shots and measurements once you get them mounted. For me its between these and the special pannier system touratech has with two of the older 41 liter zegapro boxes the left case having been cut to accommodate the exhaust. The mount for this system seems to have them very closely mounted the bike and looks very clean. But damn, that anodized black, low profile anchor loops, and corner protection are pretty smooth. Guess I’m still undecided.

  6. moto says:

    Tom, the aesthetics of having one skinny box on the left takes a little while to get used to, but it is already growing on me. What I can tell you is, after mounting the rack on the bike, the thing is rock solid. I plan to do a post on the install process, but the whole thing took me less than an hour. The BMW factory adventure boxes have the cut-out on the left side for the exhaust, and they also have the benefit of being able to take the boxes off the racks without having to open them. On these Touratech Zega-Pro boxes, the dials to lock the boxes onto the racks are inside the box. So to take them off the bike, you would have to open them up, take a few things out if fully loaded, and release the dials. I’m guessing the Zega boxes with the exhaust cut-out are the same, because they have the Touratech 4-point mounting system.

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