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Pannier bags/top boxes

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Hi Guys, 
New onto the forum here but hoping for some advice from you if you wouldn't mind! 
Currently undertaking a university project where we are looking into the transportation of medicines across Sub-Saharan Africa. 
For this project I am looking at a new form of pannier/top box for the honda ctx200 bike which is commonly used/available over in that part of the world. 

I am going to make this universal but solely focusing on this bike in the mean time. 
As I understand Pannier bags/Top boxes are used a fair lot and I was wondering what sort of everyday issues you face if using these storage methods yourself? Do you feel lots of drag when riding? Lots of noise or your fuel consumption dramatically dropping? Or even them just being cumbersome, a pain to fit/ remove or causes issues when riding? 

Any reviews/ opinions are greatly appreciated as they'll help me in the development stage of my product more as I aim to make a low drag, aerodynamic box/pannier. 
Thanks a lot and I look forward to all replies! 
Kind regards, 
Louis

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I have no direct experience with what you're inquiring about, but in general, would aerodynamics be an issue?  I'm baseing my question around the terrain you'll be traveling in.  I would think you would be mostly traveling at lower speeds.

 

I would also think durability of the unit would be paramount, as you may be traveling on some pretty rough terrain.

 

Other items I would think would be on the list: Insulation, temperature, humidity and vibration/shaking of medicine.

 

If I'm way off base, let me know and I'll delete reply.

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Just remember, the higher up you place your storage/weight, the more cumbersome the bike handling will be. Top boxes get your lowest weight cargo. Keep the weight as low as you can on the bike. Hard panniers usually mount to a framework you fit to the motorcycle, that stays attached. Then the panniers are quick disconnect for easy removal and fitment. For carrying medicines you'll want to be able to lock the panniers to the bike and the boxes themselve will need to be lockable.

 

You're looking at aluminum boxes to keep the weight down. Do not use anything with a zipper. If you don't use hard panniers, the next best thing would be waterproof, rolltop soft panniers made from something like truckers tarp. There is plenty of info and examples of both types of panniers on the net for you to get ideas.

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Is there a hard shell inside the soft outer bags?

 

Most soft panniers will have a hard plastic backplate for the side next to the bike and usually a hard plastic insert for the floor of the bag too. Depends on the manufacturer. But as for a hard box that fits inside the bag, no.

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I guess depending on the amount and weight of the product he would be carrying, he could consider a back pack.

 

That way when he dismounts, the medicine is with him.

Edited by WALKINGWOUNDED

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Hi guys,

Thanks for the replies! Much appreciated. To be honest aerodynamics aren't at the forefront of my mind but I was hoping to have some sort of shaping to the box/bags to atleast offset some of the side effects of having a large weight on the bag although as i've found the ctx200's aerodynamics aren't exactly incredible but due to universality on other bikes this may not be the case. Vibrations are a key issue to combat, as well as the high heat which is in sub saharan africa at nearly all times! Hard panniers/top boxes are my main focus currently. Are there any issues with heat from the exhaust on existing pannier bags or is this minimal? 

 

Many thanks for all your replies and any more help is greatly appreciated,

Kind regards,

Louis

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How much volume and or weight will you be transporting.

 

I'm asking because a back pack would certainly help with vibration.

 

You can get them insulated too, and pack them with dry ice if needed.

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Louis, you would have much better luck at ADVrider.com.  Ask there as well.  For your questions, depends on whether they are hard or soft.  Trailryder had a good response.  For medical supplies, I would assume you may need an insulated container.  Soft bags are preferable for many that ride off road, myself included, but often you can't get the volume you can with hard bags.

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