ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > GSpot > Parallel Universe
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-05-2008, 05:31 PM   #1
robhar54 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
robhar54's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 476
F800GS Metal Mule Panniers

For those who might be interested, thought I'd post a few photos of my Metal Mule 38L "Balanced System." I got them--the first set for the F800GS in the US--from David Petersen at BestRest Products. I paid $2250, which includes the rack, 38L panniers, and a Metal Mule (Skorpian) exhaust. Prices depend on the exchange rate, so they could be more or less now. (Yah, it's a lot, I know.)

I eliminated Caribous because they were side-opening, which doesn't work in my tight garage. I didn't like the lip on the inside of the Jesses and the Happy Trails. I wanted a rack with flat vertical hangers I could use with soft bags like the Ortliebs, if I wanted to, which eliminated the Jesses and BMW OEM systems, as well as the TT "Special System." I talked with Mike Paull of Helge Pedersen's Globeriders. Mike has seen enough failures of various panniers systems to know what works and what doesn't. He recommended I look at Zegas and Metal Mules.

It came down to the ~$1360 TT "29L/35L System" (system plus liners) vs the $2250 Metal Mules "Balanced System." I had a set of Zegas on my R80G/S PD.

Liked them a lot, except opening/closing two locks every time I went in or out of the bags was inconvenient, and I lost I think three of the now ~$150 lids in my travels over six years. (Until I got the internal tie-down straps.) I figure I've channelled enough of my income to TT over the years, so was open to trying something else.

The price of the MMs was a barrier. But if I rationalized it as "the price of a TT Set plus an aftermarket exhaust...and no liners necessary..." it kinda made sense.

The racks are 18mm round, and nicely braced, attached at three points to the bike on each side plus the cross-bar in the back. The cases are riveted together, with a strip of sealant at the joints, between the overlapping layers of aluminum. I see the sealant as a potential weak point over time, but we'll see. The theory is that it'd be easier to find someone to rivet the thing back together than someone who could weld aluminum. Realistically, probably not an issue with where I'll be going. (Within North America, pretty much.) The one lock per side system is super convenient. The cases come off in about five seconds, and mount back on in ten or fifteen seconds. (Takes a bit of juggling to line 'em up.) I like the symmetry, and being able to switch cases from side to side. They're anodized inside and out, so no need for liners. Duluth Trading does make some very nice $26 totes that fit perfectly inside. The exhaust that makes the symmetry possible (because it's thinner than OEM) sounds great. It's not too loud. They say it returns the same mileage you get from the stock pipe, but I am not completely convinced by that. That is essentially my only question so far. Otherwise, I'm perfectly satisfied.

Here are some photos:













Dave Petersen has been great to deal with, by the way.

I wish I was the kind of person who could be satisfied with something that does 90% of the job for 50% of the cost.... It would certainly make life easier (and my wife happier.) But I'm not. It's the curse of being a designer--you're always thinking about how it could work better or be done more elegantly. So far I can't think of anything I'd do differently with this system. That's sayin' something.

Oh--wait. Here's something. The stickers were a pain in the ass to get off. (I've added SOLAS reflective around the bottom of the cases since these photos were taken.) I'd suggest they give the stickers to people to put on themselves if they want them.

Rob in Seattle
__________________
Adventure Bikes: Rivendell Saluki + Rawland rSogn

robhar54 screwed with this post 12-06-2008 at 10:27 AM
robhar54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 06:19 PM   #2
WoodWorks
House Ape
 
WoodWorks's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: Ashland, OR, USA
Oddometer: 2,204
That's a great looking set up, Rob. Looks bomb proof. And tell your wife, amortised over the life of the bike, it's cheap, honey! Cheap!

David
__________________
David

I'm tryin' ta think, but nuttin' happens!
--Curly
WoodWorks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 06:40 PM   #3
Motorman
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Motorman's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Oddometer: 491
Nice looking unit. Thanks for being the first. I'll guess that you don't have the Ti can. Is there a reason you didn't get the lighter one????
Motorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 07:27 PM   #4
Bayner
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Penticton, BC
Oddometer: 1,461
Hey Rob, I'm curious if the racks come out far enough to serve as 'crash bars' for the tank area.... looks to be just a little narrow. Is that in fact the case?
Bayner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2008, 07:48 PM   #5
NORTH RIDER
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: THUNDER BAY,ONT CANADA
Oddometer: 726
metal mule

those look great . i was lucky to buy the METAL MULES on the africa twin when i bought it. the previuos owner did not want to give them up . it doesn't look like they have changed them much , except i see they have reinforced the rear bracket that goes behind the license plate . i had to add an extra bracket but might have to steal your design and have the local welding shop do the same. METAL MULES are the most expensive bags you can buy ,build quality is excellent but i fear they priced themselves out of the market . I LOVE MINE AND KNOW YOU WILL FEEL THE SAME ABOUT YOURS

NORTH RIDER

NORTH RIDER screwed with this post 12-05-2008 at 07:56 PM
NORTH RIDER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2008, 10:54 AM   #6
robhar54 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
robhar54's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 476
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks
That's a great looking set up, Rob. Looks bomb proof. And tell your wife, amortised over the life of the bike, it's cheap, honey! Cheap!
Thanks. A good friend's father once said to him "You're too poor to buy cheap things." Great advice. I'm planning on keeping this bike for a long time, so yah, amortization was another aspect of the rationalization.... I sold all my other bikes, so I could outfit this one without too much consideration of the cost. My wife is actually quite supportive of my motorcycling in general--she knows it's necessary for my mental health....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorman
I'll guess that you don't have the Ti can. Is there a reason you didn't get the lighter one????
The polished stainless can was the one that came with the set. I didn't know there was an option. I might have gotten the Ti can if I'd had a choice. I think the stainless one will be durable though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bayner
I'm curious if the racks come out far enough to serve as 'crash bars' for the tank area.... looks to be just a little narrow. Is that in fact the case?
The racks are about 1/2" proud of the (actual) tank at their leading edge. They have to be to mount the bags, which project both in front and behind the racks. So yah, I think they'll protect the tank area even if the panniers aren't mounted. (BTW Bayner, I'm going to measure the radius today.)

Edit: I meant to mention in the original post: Mounting was a breeze. Everything lined up perfectly. There was no pushing and shoving necessary to get the mounting points to line up properly, such as I experienced with the Hepco & Becker racks on my Xchallenge.

Northrider: Thanks! I hope you are right!

Rob in Seattle
__________________
Adventure Bikes: Rivendell Saluki + Rawland rSogn
robhar54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2008, 10:59 AM   #7
kootenay kid
Lets Ride
 
kootenay kid's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: kootenays canada
Oddometer: 2,614
Man that really is a great looking bike, especially with those panniers on. I am going to have to give that bike a try. I am not sure I like the simple piano hinge on the lids but I'm sure they are tough enough. Great looking ride
kootenay kid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2008, 06:24 PM   #8
robhar54 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
robhar54's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 476
Quote:
Originally Posted by robhar54
The racks are about 1/2" proud of the (actual) tank at their leading edge. They have to be to mount the bags, which project both in front and behind the racks. So yah, I think they'll protect the tank area even if the panniers aren't mounted. (BTW Bayner, I'm going to measure the radius today.)
Sorry all, I misremembered here. The point of the tank that's furthest out is proud of the racks, so no, they won't protect the tank. It's close. See below:





To answer your PM question Bayner, the inside radius of the corners of the rack is 1.25".

Rob in Seattle
__________________
Adventure Bikes: Rivendell Saluki + Rawland rSogn
robhar54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2008, 06:35 PM   #9
robhar54 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
robhar54's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 476
OK, a few more, with the SOLAS reflective tape, start of the obligatory stickers, and Adv-Spec crashbars.









Rob in Seattle
__________________
Adventure Bikes: Rivendell Saluki + Rawland rSogn
robhar54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2008, 06:45 PM   #10
Roadie
2-Wheels Rule
 
Roadie's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Location: Nor-Cal
Oddometer: 162
Cry

Dang, that is a sweet looking bike with those bags on it. Nice photos, they really show off the bike well.

I've got to get a test ride on one of those 800's soon.
Roadie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2008, 05:57 AM   #11
Motorman
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Motorman's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2004
Location: Rockford, Illinois
Oddometer: 491
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rider007
Nothing against MM or any other Pannier manufacturer but I don't like the look (or effect) of ANY pannier system. They make your ass end much wider, create wind resistance and cut your gas mileage. However, I realize I'm in the minority on this one.
Let us know about your gas mileage.
Motorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2008, 06:11 AM   #12
D.T.
One wheel wonder...
 
D.T.'s Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Moneyapolis, MN
Oddometer: 9,600
Thumb

I went looking to see one of those on Saturday, but they sold one the day it came in and another before it came in. The had the F800ST though and I sat on that. Man that seat was comphy. $12 large was a bit steep though. The 1200 is so damn wide, and it cost $20k also. If I got an adventure bike, the 800 GS would be the BMW I'd get.

Nice setup.
__________________
Quote:
Originally posted by burgerking So?
Holland is about the most expensive country in Europe when it comes to bikes and fuel..Stop whining and go riding It's just money and you only live once...

D.T. screwed with this post 12-08-2008 at 08:20 AM
D.T. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 08:19 AM   #13
One Eye Mike
Studly Adventurer
 
One Eye Mike's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Oddometer: 658
Thanks

I have been trying to make a decision on which panniers to throw on my 800. After reading this post, the choice is clear. Thanks for the insight and great photos, Rob. They look awesome.
One Eye Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 08:44 AM   #14
One Eye Mike
Studly Adventurer
 
One Eye Mike's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Oddometer: 658
Btw............

Which Top Plate do you have on the rear rack?
One Eye Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 09:34 AM   #15
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,370
How does the muffler sound compared to stock? I'm guessing the bags won't fit with the stock muffler, hence the need to replace it?
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 02:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014