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Old 11-21-2007, 12:45 PM   #1
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 523
KTM 640 Adventure luggage options explained

I'm prepping a new (well, not anymore!) 07 for a 6-month trip through Central America. Here's the fruit of my research, an update on the current state of motorcycle luggage for your bike:

Jesse: I have these on my F650 and I like the way they fit snug to the bike. Unfortunately they aren't made for the 640A. Next.

Touratech/KTM: The official KTM factory luggage is rebranded Touratech. Oddly enough, the racks and cases are significantly cheaper if you buy the KTM version rather than from Touratech directly. Someone should tell the beemer guys - I'd love to see GSes with orange logos Unfortunately the KTM boxes only come in 35L and 41L sizes. To get a 29L/35L combo (the only reasonably narrow choice) you have to buy the 29L from TT for about $100 more. The Zega boxes are raw aluminum, which reportedly gets black aluminum oxide all over your stuff. Plus they don't come with locks - you either use padlocks (two per case) or buy an expensive lock kit which requires drilling. After all is said and done, you're getting close to $1000, including a 30+ day backorder on the rack. Munn Racing ( seems to be the best deal for the rack & 35L case.

Motosport Panniers: The panniers are visually similar to the Touratech Zegas, basically an aluminum box, and they come in 37L & 26L capacities. For about the same money you get a lot more case - they are powdercoated (no aluminum oxide issues) and they already have integrated locks. Motosport used to make their rack for the 640A but this is no longer available. However, if you ask for it they will include a drill-it-yourself mounting kit specific to the Touratech rack. After I found multiple reports in the forums that the cases leak (plus the 30+ day wait for the KTM/TT rack) I decided to pass. Again, it's about $1000 for the whole solution.

SW Motech: They make a bracket system that features adapters for several third-party cases including Givi, Hepco-Becker, Shad, and Krauser. Apparently the brackets themselves come off the bike, "preserving the original visual appearance and size of your motorcycle." I keep my motorcycle covered in a protective layer of mud so I'm not really concerned about that. I also never take my luggage off. The luggage options don't excite me; all the boxes mentioned are too wide and too flimsy for the abuse I plan to give them.

Hepco Becker: If you can read german, you can probably order a rack for the 640Adv made by H-B themselves. Then you can use the german instructions to install the rack to the bike. Then you can mount the enormously wide plastic Gobi cases or the flimsy-feeling aluminum cases. No thanks.

Happytrails: Updated commentary at After eight months of travel, I do NOT recommend this option. Former comments follow: These guys still make a rack for the 640A. They had it in stock. At $255 it's significantly cheaper than the TT rack. They sell a drill-it-yourself mounting kit for $50 for two cases (TT sells their pucks $50 per case). They also will sell you the whole kit, including powdercoated aluminum panniers, for about $900. They come in a variety of widths. The rack (which I bought) is indestructible. Their cases (which I did not) have a canyon cut (more crash survivability) and a great reputation online. However, I chose the DIY approach and Pelicans. BTW these guys are are smallish shop in Idaho and sell direct. Much nicer purchase experience than Munn talks to Touratech who probably subcontracts the manufacturing etc...

Pelican Cases: Indestructible and waterproof. A little over $100 each, available at almost any camera store. At least one company (Caribou) makes a whole mounting system for these boxes, but unfortunately they don't make one for the 640A. That's ok, a little drilling and the $50 mounting kit will bolt it up to the happytrail rack. The question is which case? The standard (used by Caribou and almost everyone online) is the 1550 side-loader, ~34L. I prefer top loading, but the only reasonable option is the 1440, which lists an external width of over 12", two inches wider than the 41L Zega I can't stand. I think much of that may be overhang around the lip but it's still big and heavy (~15 lbs each, vs ~10 lbs for the 1550 and ~8 for most of the aluminum panniers). I chose to go with the 1550s and ordered the Caribou versions, which include lid lanyards, retention straps, and lid locks. It's $50 per case more expensive than the bargain online dealer ( but I'll take the convenience. Caribou luggage is at

So... I haven't mounted the rack to the bike yet (need to unbend my subframe first ) and I just ordered the Caribou-Pelicans. Since the 1550s are side-loading I have to make a decision about lid-in or lid-out. I'm considering lid-in on left side and lid-out on right side. The idea is that if the bike is on the sidestand, it will be leaning left. Lid-in on left side means that stuff will tend to "fall" into the body of the case as it opens. Lid-out on right side means that stuff will tend to stay in the case when opening. I'll post pictures when I get it mounted.


stickfigure screwed with this post 08-12-2008 at 01:25 AM
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