Himalayan Panniers and Set Ups

dirk.earth

Getting there...
Location
Netherlands
As a happy owner of my first motorbike, a black 2021 Enfield Himalayan BS6 (European model), I now have the fortune (ahum) of seeking out some luggage options...
I must have already spent a solid couple of days browsing and still can't decide on what I want / need!

First I thought I would at some point by the RE panniers, but already at the dealer they felt so heavy that it made me doubt. After looking into soft luggage options those seem to make more sense now. But then to find something that also looks good :).

Last weekend I did a 2 day trip with my regular backpack strapped to the passenger seat with a bungee net and this worked fine. I've toured India, duo, on a Bullet with luggage rack with our 2 backpacks (about 40-50L each) fixed with bungee cords, which worked fine. And I like to travel lightweight so a travel backpack usually fits all my stuff (except maybe motorcycle specific gear that might be good to bring along).
  • I don't foresee having to take camping gear yet. But will do long trips of one or more weeks.
  • For everyday use it seems very practical to have something to store a helmet in (and fit a daypack while riding). But this would require a rear top box, which all seem to cost more than the helmet itself and with the load limitation on the Himalayan are pretty restricted in what you can bring in them otherwise (am I missing something here)?
  • One thing that gave my some worries is the laptop in a backpack while strapped to the bike. It seems like it will get quite a bit of compressions force and vibrations (as opposed to carrying the backpack on your back). What's the optimal place for a laptop?
So just to list all the options that are still open:

  1. A good backpack (like Kriega R30) and either carry it on your back or strapped to the pillon seat.
  2. Dedicated pillon/tail bag like the SW-Motech Ion M or Touratech Ambato EXP. The first one will actually fit a helmet, but then would require something to lock it to the bike well enough.
  3. Soft panniers. Either with a soft rack like the Kriega OS-Base with 2x 18L bags. Or mount a luggage rack and use any throw-over bag, although I haven't found any ones that I really like.
  4. A hard top case.
So, any wisdom on the basis of the above? I've tried to keep it short but clearly there is a lot to it :p and some unclarity comes from now knowing exactly how I will end up using the bike most.

Also, does anyone here have the SW-Motech SLC system mounted on the bike, or the Kriega OS-Base? Would love to see some pictures of that!
 

petespace1

Well travelled
Location
NSW Aus
Itchy boots used a mosko moto reckless (rack less) soft pannier bag plus a duffel or two kit and successfully covered most of South America on it. Laptop, drone, and other electronic gizmos. They are expensive though.

It was on a Himalayan too.
 
You'll know what you "need" when you find yourself missing it. I would suggest start out with the minimum, use it, and then decide what is the next thing on your list you want to buy. That way you don't end up buying stuff you may never end up using. Once you establish the type of use, ie weekend camping in a tent, travelling for many days, weather conditions you may encounter etc, then you fit the gear to meet those situations. There are many items I thought I "needed", never got around to buying, and now I realize I don't really "need" them afterall.
 

JurS

Getting there...
Location
Swindon
This is my solution:

I already had the hard cases (Hepco Becker) and just bought the dedicated mounting frames. I also have a top box which is huge and I don't actually like all that well - it affects the balance and handling too much. So, I dug out an old Richa tailpack and fitted that on the rear rack/pillion seat. While riding, I put my day backpack in there, and when parking and walking away from the bike I swap that for my helmet. Of course the helmet isn't secured (although I might be able to use a lockable net for that) but that is a risk I'm willing to take. I can put the black unmarked rain cover over it to make it less conspicious, or if I park in a really dodgy place I can just take the whole bag with me, helmet and all. It comes off quite easily with snap buckles.

My laptop goes in one of the side cases.

I took the bike to France the other week for a week's riding and this setup gives me plenty of room for a trip like that.

20210926_132142.jpg
 
Last edited:
This is my solution:

I already had the hard cases (Hepco Becker) and just bought the dedicated mounting frames. I also have a top box which is huge and I don't actually like all that well - it affects the balance and handling too much. So, I dug out an old Richa tailpack and fitted that on the rear rack/pillion seat. While riding, I put my day backpack in there, and when parking and walking away from the bike I swap that for my helmet. Of course the helmet isn't secured (although I might be able to use a lockable net for that) but that is a risk I'm willing to take. I can put the black unmarked rain cover over it to make it less conspicious, or if I park in a really dodgy place I can just take the whole bag with me, helmet and all. It comes off quite easily with snap buckles.

My laptop goes in one of the side cases.

I took the bike to France the other week for a week's riding and this setup gives me plenty of room for a trip like that.

View attachment 3731
That looks like a versatile setup. I use the SW-Motech dry bag as opposed to the top box for the same reason. It can double as a carry item, can be removed easily and in general carries the load a little lower. its also able to be used with varied gear inside and retain a lower profile when needed.
 

dirk.earth

Getting there...
Location
Netherlands
Itchy boots used a mosko moto reckless (rack less) soft pannier bag plus a duffel or two kit and successfully covered most of South America on it. Laptop, drone, and other electronic gizmos. They are expensive though.
Hehe yes I'm well aware of the Itchy Boots setup (we're also both Dutch...), and I remember the part in the video where she got the Mosko gear fitted on the bike and then went 'oh woow look how pretty she is now' and I was thinking to myself 'Really??'. No doubt it's quality gear but I think the curvy shapes and all the branding it has going on, take too much of the good looks out of the Himalayan.

You'll know what you "need" when you find yourself missing it.
Yes actually great advice that you tend to forget even though you already know it, thanks!

And funny enough, yesterday shortly after posting I came to the same realisation as @JurS that for now, a soft tail bag that can fit a helmet when parked and my regular day pack while riding is all I need for now.

So I picked up the SW Motech Ion M bag, which is nice all black, minimal and well-designed logo's, rigid construction even when not loaded fully. Fits helmet or daypack. Expandable from 26 liter to 34 liter, which I reckon would even be enough for weeklong trips if it came to that on the short term.

20211020_105937.jpg

The zippers can be locked, and I also ordered a Steelcore Security Strap (also a good one from Itchy Boots!), I hope to find a way to secure the bag to the bike with helmet inside, just for peace of mind. I'll post some pics later of how it looks on the bike!
 

JurS

Getting there...
Location
Swindon
That looks like a good bag.

I checked on the Kriega Steelcore Security Strap and I think that is a good solution. I'm pretty sure I could strap my bag on the rear rack with it, and by leading it in between the bag and the carry handle and doing it up tight I don't think it would be possible to open the bag and take out the helmet. I may get one for additional peace of mind, thanks for the tip Dirk!
 
So after riding with panniers and full camping gear I noticed that there now seems to be more lateral play in the side stand when it is down. (not when up).
I haven't been under the bike yet to investigate, but wanted to bring up the issue as getting on and off the bike with the panniers and full gear requires standing on the foot peg before swinging over the far leg. Anyone else notice this lateral play before? When the bike is leaned over on the side stand it seems the stand gives a bit more than it used to. I guess I will need to see if some thing changed, the nut holding still seems tight and hasn't loosened.
 

dirk.earth

Getting there...
Location
Netherlands
So after 2 multi-day trips I can say the SW Motech bag is a great choice! It compliments the Himalayan very well and with the Steelcore cable I feel it is as safe and practical as a lockable topbox without all the drawbacks (except maybe sacrificing the passenger seat). Capacity has been enough for 4-day trips, carrying some spare (cold weather) clothes, rainsuit, laptop, accessories, etc.

It fits nicely onto the rear seat and with the included straps it can easily be attached to the rear rack/frame. The steelcore cable is very stiff so it won't slide off at all. I run a small padlock through the zippers and around the cable. Also tested in the rain and even without the included inner-drybag I think, almost no water leaks into the bag. Excellent job!

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Pirate

Well travelled
Location
Aldershot, UK
So after 2 multi-day trips I can say the SW Motech bag is a great choice! It compliments the Himalayan very well and with the Steelcore cable I feel it is as safe and practical as a lockable topbox without all the drawbacks (except maybe sacrificing the passenger seat). Capacity has been enough for 4-day trips, carrying some spare (cold weather) clothes, rainsuit, laptop, accessories, etc.

It fits nicely onto the rear seat and with the included straps it can easily be attached to the rear rack/frame. The steelcore cable is very stiff so it won't slide off at all. I run a small padlock through the zippers and around the cable. Also tested in the rain and even without the included inner-drybag I think, almost no water leaks into the bag. Excellent job!

View attachment 3878
View attachment 3879
Looks very smart and also practical. Tempted to get one for myself now!
 

JulianK

Well travelled
Location
Germany
In the front I have two 10L bags with a DIY kinda quick lock mechanism. It is made of plywood bolted onto the bag with big washers, a cut aluminum U-profile bar to take the weight and a 25mm belt to keep everything pressed against the Himalayan's frame. I have done only 2.000km with this, so far there is no sign of failure.

IMG_1292.JPG IMG_1293.JPG



On the rear I have the GIVI side racks with two cheep saddle bags. An aluminum L-bracket was used on my tour to support some weight and keeps the bag off the exhaust. The cheep 30L bags could not take heavy load and offroading. It was used for 11.000 km.
I'm going to build a quick lock similar to the front.

IMG_1298.JPG



The top case is just a cheep aluminum box from the hardware store bolted on using threaded rods bend into a U shape and some plywood to help spread the load. The thin 0.8mm bottom of the box broke quickly on my tour doing offroading and was replaced with a 2mm plate hamered into shape. Works great! 13.000km and no sign of failure.
The box can be locked and has a hinchey thing on the top to lock the helmet on.

IMG_1294.JPG

IMG_1296.JPG IMG_1297.JPG
 

petespace1

Well travelled
Location
NSW Aus
Very creative and functional solutions 👍
Post pics when you complete the pannier mounting boards. I am looking at a similar solution for my Naz bags soft panniers to sit flat against the pannier rack away from the exhaust.
 
I've owned motorcycles since 1970, buying a BSA 250 Starfire in London and riding it 8,000 miles around Europe that summer. I've been in love with bikes since then. I recently bought my first Royal Enfield, a 2022 Himalayan, and I have installed the pannier mounts, along with a few other goodies.

I want to buy soft panniers but I'm concerned about the exhaust heat. It sure looks like soft bags mounted to the right side of the bike will hit the exhaust and that doesn't seem like a good idea.

I'm sure many of you have had the same question and have some suggestions or solutions. Fire away!

I'm very happy with the bike, and can't wait for warmer weather to spend some quality time on it.

Thanks
 

modiorne

Well travelled
Location
Charlotte, NC
I have the RE pannier racks - then have both hard and soft (Lomo) panniers. The rack helps keep the soft bags away from the exhaust - Been two years, camping, shopping, long trips and short - no issues! I have seen people add a small "shield" or shelf to help keep bags and the exhaust from getting too cozy.

20210614_102149.jpg
 

Robert

Well travelled
Location
Holland
Also have the RE racks and Lomo bags. Was worried the first few times that I rode with this set as there was only 4-5 cm between the bag and the exhaust, but so far (about 1000-1200 km) they haven't touched. If I want to be sure I'll make some sort of heat shield on the exhaust, I already bought some hose clamps for this, but as it didn't seem to be urgent it is still waiting.....
 

Bluestrom13

Well travelled
Location
UK
Oxford Sovereign bags. Advertised as "lifetime" bags. These I removed from my old BMW R80ST and they are still going strong.
Oxford Sovereign Bags.jpg
 
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