Ammo boxes for saddlebags!?!! Unheard of!

Here I am thinking I'm Mr. Originality wanting to put ammo boxes on my 07 KLR, only to find out people have been doing this for quite some time. I was just wondering if anybody had some ideas for mounting the things on the cheap. I've got a buddy who can hook me up with the boxes, but if anybody knew a place to get the mounting bars or something for them for cheap it would friggin' sweet. (so far all I've seen are the happy trails heavy duty and lightweight racks and the ones on all of which running $220+).

I also can't find anything cheaper. I was thinking about making some out of conduit.

I too have read of some people trying the ammo boxes, only to find that they are HEAVY. Seems the more popular option are the Mermite cases or Pelican boxes.

Why do you need hard boxes? Go to your local surplus store; I used to US Army backpacks/ messenger bags for saddle bags. These were very easy to use and remove. I later stepped up to some Coretech bags, which are still soft... to some degree, but light. I made my own panniers; I bent and welded 3/8" steel rod. If anything, buy the panniers and go with soft luggage..... they will absorb a fall/ impact better than hard/ rigid mounted "boxes".

Just my 2-cents.....


That's the way I went on my KLR also, the Cortech tribag system. I debated over hard vs. soft for a long time. It came down to, you're more prone to injury if you get caught under hard bags in a crash/lay over than you are with soft bags.

If you decide to go the ammo box route, I highly recommend the sw-motech quick-lock side racks. I got mine at They're not cheap, $210, but I found it worth the buck. What I especially like is that most of the rack remains attached to the ammo box, and not the bike, so when you remove them, the bike is mostly bare of the mounting hardware. I can send pics of my DR650

Again, regarding the ammo boxes, if you decide to go that route, I'd recommend using army surplus Mermite food storage boxes instead of ammo boxes. All of the ammo boxes I've ever seen are steel and VERY heavy. The mermite cans are made of aluminum and are much lighter. Now, the process of extracting the insulation isn't a fun process, but worth the effort.

I once heard a story about a guy who broke his leg in crash..... getting caught under hard boxes...... Reason enough to only use soft saddle bags, and only when you need em. I use a rear trunk and tank bag for my daily drive.


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