You probably noticed that a number of riders (and it was a genuine coincidence that it happened to be the guys I was also following) were using a Giant Loop saddle bag system to supplement their rally bike preparation... and when I looked into it, certainly if you are racing what is essentially a stock enduro bike (like many people do on the Tuareg), then having all your 'essential rallye kit' together in an easily mountable bag system actually makes a lot of sense...
With the increasingly technical nature of Rally Raid events, many riders are now choosing a light[er] weight ‘enduro’ based bike on which to compete, and correspondingly there are fewer options for mounting all the necessary tools, safety equipment and requisite emergency water supply. Similarly, the potential to carry a little extra fuel (without expensive auxiliary fuel tanks) or oil, a few spare parts, and not least somewhere to store waterproof or cold weather gear for the early morning starts and long road-liasion sections are all serious considerations.
When you also consider that the majority of amateur level competitors are unlikely to be able to afford a dedicated race-bike for what may only be one or two events a year, then a system that allows them to convert their existing trail/enduro bike with the minimum of modifications would make the process far simpler; and indeed those essential items that must be carried when racing though the wilderness are typically useful to have onboard when adventure touring and dual-sport riding in general.
After a hard week’s racing, I caught up with Austrian racer and World Altitude Record holder Lukas Matzinger (Husaberg Adventure Team), and Jean-Luc Solans from the If You See Kay Wines sponsored US-based RMS Rally team - both of whom were using the Giant Loop Mojave bag system:
Jean Luc is a firm advocate of Giant Loop luggage “I always use these bags on my dual-sport rides, and [at first] I thought it might be a bit of stretch to use them on a rally... but in fact they were perfect for the job! - They never got in the way, and don’t hurt you if you crash - which is important, as I did that quite a lot!”
“I was able to carry all the heavier items that I didn’t want on my person - tools, spare parts, extra water... which made it much more comfortable [and safer] to ride in race conditions”
he explains. “Yes, the weight is carried a little higher than in a bash-plate container for example, but honestly it didn’t seem to make any difference... it stayed secure throughout the race and you just forgot it was all there - which I think is the best compliment you can make for a luggage system”
Similarly Lukas was equally enthusiastic: “I must have dropped the bike a hundred times during the week, and not once did it [the bag] come loose or get damaged...”
he confirms. “It was particularly important for me to have the carrying capacity as I only had around 12 litres of fuel onboard, so was able to stow an extra couple of litres in a container in one side of the bag, together with extra [drinking] water in the other - and as importantly had easy access to both to replenish the bike and myself halfway through the stage - which often made all the difference”
he explains. “Also having instant access to my tools and emergency equipment [in the pouch over the rear fender] was far easier than having those items tucked away behind the fairing or down in the bash-plate...”
Both riders agreed that the Mojave was more than tough enough for prolonged racing use, and just as importantly it essentially provides any dual-sport/enduro bike rider with a self-contained ‘one-stop-shop’ for all your rallye [or trail] essentials in a single, easily mountable bag.
“The fixing system is so simple, and so secure”
says Lukas “I’d say it really is the perfect addition for both dual-sport day trips and rally racing!”
for further information: www.giantloopmoto.com
#116 Lukas Matzinger
(AUT) - Husaberg Adventure Team
#317 Jean-Luc Solans
(FRA) - Team IYSK Wines
#133 Dirk Kessler
(CAN) - Team IYSK Wines