Long term update: Mongolia or Morrison's
Adventure bikes are supposed to have panniers. How else am I supposed to carry my gear to the Mongolian Steppe, or bring my shopping home from the shops? Whatever we use them for, hard luggage is incredibly useful. So I’ve opted for Suzuki’s official set-up, which includes two panniers and a topbox.
It’s hefty gear, the panniers are 37 and 45 litres and the top case holds 38 litres. The complete set, including all three boxes, the rack, rails and fixings will set you back £1250 (www.suzuki-gb.co.uk). Fitting is around £130 for labour at a Suzuki dealership but it’s a cinch to do yourself. Fitting the set was 10 times easier than I thought it would be. The fixings and brackets fell into place like a dream and the rack links together with big single twist screws. The boxes slot straight onto the pannier rails and then one latch locks it in place.
The whole job took about an hour and you only need a couple of Allen keys, a spanner and a flat-head screwdriver. Unfortunately the rails don’t come with locking mechanisms to keep them secured to the bike. It’s worth having just in case someone decides they want to unbolt the entire rack and walk away with the rack and panniers. The lock system is a further £35.
The luggage looks smart and sleek in black and the boxes feel sturdy and solid. I’ve yet to ride with them in the rain and on my long commute home to Slough from Peterborough. But an upcoming camping trip to the New Forest will make for a great test.