Review: BMW Aluminium Panniers & Top Box

When I bought my first GS, for my Tour De Oz, I knew I'd need to kit it out with all things tough and practical: if I were to make it all the way around this great continent.

When it came to finding the right panniers, I chose BMW aluminium panniers & top box for a number of reasons: they're spacious, well made, a perfect fit for the GS, and they matched the lock to my ignition key. As a solo rider, it’s important for me to be able to lock-up my belongings when I go for a walk, or when I'm camping over night.

And frankly: they look great.

And frankly: they did the job. They travelled around Australia with me, and on many more adventures thereafter. I’ve used them in all sort of weathers conditions, crossed plenty of creeks, and even taken the liberty of the occasional crash test: on soft sand, rocky gravel, and bitumen roads (at high speed!).

Pros and Cons

Like all equipment, these panniers have advantages and disadvantages. But, to be frank, all the Pros far outweigh the few Con I have found.

Pros

  • Gear safety, as covered above, is vital to me.

  • The lids can open from the front and back, which is very handy.

  • It’s very easy to pop them off in just a few seconds, and to slide them back into place, via the two locking 'clasps' that hold the cases firmly in place.

  • Big capacity: 38/44 litres panniers, and 32 litres for the topbox, means I can take along a few extra luxuries on those long rides

  • They make a good, strong ‘side stand’ in case you drop the bike – and personally, I have no problem picking up the bike on my own from that angle, but struggle without them. This might seem like an odd 'Pro' to list, but it's very important when I'm travelling solo.

  • The strong make and sturdy fit means you can stack extra luggage on top of them
  • They're stable when you stand them up, making them a good table, chair or foot rest …

 

  • A full face helmet fit easily in both the right case and the topcase, for those travelling with a pillion

  • They're not the lightest option, and weigh considerably more than plastic and soft luggage. This is the trade-off for having secure (lockable) and strong storage.

Cons

  • They're not the lightest option, and weigh considerably more than plastic and soft luggage. This is the trade-off for having secure (lockable) and strong storage.

  • While the top box is 100% waterproof in my experience, the side cases can start to take on a little bit of water if you ride for a few hours in very heavy rain. Some riders tend to wait out downpours, but I love pushing on! My solution is to purchase some waterproof bags for my water-sensitive gear (especially the electronics)

My verdict?

Well, let me put it this way: after my major crash last year, I didn't hesitate to have them fitted on my new bike, too. They're tough, spacious, and practical, with the only real con being very easy to overcome.

 

Comments

Hi Kinga, you inspired me so much that a few weeks ago I bought the BMW F800GS Adventure and already started exploring NSW. It's like another new world when you do that on the bike. Also equipped my GS with these three panniers and absolutely love them, they are very convenient and practical. P.S I can't stay in Sydney on the weekends anymore :)

You may not relise how many people are happy to read you Blogs, posts, & what ever other posts your on, you inspire me to get out & about, & i always look forward to reading you posts, you are a very Bueatiful woman who enjoys getting out on your GS, & seeing this great country, well done Kinga, take care out there, & keep the rubber side down. Cheers Q

Thank you guys for your kind words, I'm glad to hear you enjoy my blog :)

Hi Kinga I am really enjoying you videos, advice, website and it's really motivated me to buy a BMW 1200 GS Adventure which I will buy in early 2017. I will continue to follow you and you adventures, by the way you are smoking hot. C Ya.

Add new comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.