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Additional Storage with Front Panniers ( ST1100 ) *

Started by KoTAOW, October 05, 2017, 01:12:52 PM

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Submitted by David Kunze, STOC #1155


Additional Storage with Front Panniers ( ST1100 )

Since some have expressed an interest in the following truly unique and custom farkle, I am posting additional information and photographs within this thread.  Additional secured storage was obtained by installing a small pannier on the tip-over wings.

Here's a photo/farkle for the guys/gals who may ride two-up and prefer more cargo capacity for tools, spare parts, camping gear or anything else on your list... I allocate the trunk space for riding gear while parked and use the front bags for the heavier items such as tools, tent stakes, rain/cold weather gear or less frequently accessed items.

>Love the idea of the front hard bags. How did you mount them? <

I know the front bags are not for everyone. However, I don't care to shuffle things around that I don't use everyday simply to access things I do use every day, especially while traveling two-up or motorcycle camping. Most riders don't care to drag their tool bag, air compressor or spares into a hotel room or to sort their luggage in the parking lot.

The extra capacity is significant. The smaller bags hold a lot more than you may guess at first glance. Even the lids are shaped to accommodate more.  A lot was gained and very little compromised by installing the bags.

The mounted front bags/panniers:
* are narrower than the width of the rear panniers and may be the same width of the mirrors.
* provide additional protection from the wind and rain.
* retain access to the oil fill cap (simply unlock and lift the lid)
* prevents tampering of the oil fill cap and spark plug wires
* provide additional leg protection while in an accident. I met an amputee once who lost his
   leg due to a broadside collision with a car while on a motorcycle. (If packed with heavy items,
   such as tools, the bags offer an additional buffer.)
* are secure with matching locks
* keep the cargo weight low and towards the front
* do not interfere with splitting lanes or moving the motorcycle
* do not interfere with rider's legs
* do not create any heat dissipation issues
* are mounted with only four bolts and may be removed quickly
* provides peace of mind by being more organized and packing bags according to frequency of use
* helps an owner become more self-reliant by packing more troubleshooting tools and spares.
* often fools the general public into thinking they are stock OEM bags or accessories
* become permanent once used for a while by spoiling the owner

* larger front profile and possibly less aerodynamic (ref photo)... perhaps a fuel tax?
* appearance for those strict 'form over function' folks
* Fortunately, I have not had an opportunity to crash test the panniers/bags.

The installation is rather simple. I purchased:
* the bags on eBay from a company in San Francisco. ($135-ish in 2017)

GA Series Hard Saddlebags

* a pair of aftermarket ST1100 highway pegs & associated mounts (ref photo)
* Honda OEM markers and Pan American Logo
* services of a local fabrication shop to provide the mounting platform.

Btw, if you are careful while determining the placement of the front panniers, the maintenance covers may be removed while the front panniers are mounted.

I hope all these photographs inspire fellow riders, seeking additional storage, to consider a similar upgrade... just tell everyone it is Honda's 'grand touring' option.

Hopefully the following photographs are self-explanatory.
>Why do you need that much storage capacity?<

Every rider is different and each of us have different hobbies, interests and priorities. I enjoy photography and travel with a lot photography equipment. As mentioned above, I like to have everything secured while parked and walking about in a park or in the city. (Don't give a thief an opportunity to disappoint you..) Therefore, my riding suit and boots utilize the trunk while parked. I use bag liners in the panniers and allocate one to my gal and one for myself or we share one and utilize the other for a small cooler containing food she prepared before leaving. (Her cooking is much healthier than the restaurants.) I suppose some may take advantage of hotels/restaurants and do not camp. I am sure many motorcycling-campers on this forum would like additional storage. When camping, additional volume is needed... sleeping bags and tents are not heavy. By utilizing the smaller aux. panniers for smaller items, additional space is available in the rear panniers for larger items. For three years I did not have a car/truck and used my motorcycle for everything. The extra capacity may be convenient for the daily riders without a second vehicle for daily errands such as going to the grocery store. As I mentioned in the original posts, I understand this mod isn't for everyone...

Finally, the motorcycle reflected in the photographs was recently sold to a fellow ST-Lister, Jim Aragon, and I believe he will attend WeSTOC next month.  If you have additional questions not covered in the above, please feel free to send a PM or post to this thread. 

(Many thanks to Jim Aragon for sharing the first 'last ride' photograph.)

The farkle isn't totally unique... there's another ST1100A in red with the same grand touring option....
Btw, I would like to add the highway pegs are not usable, as hoped.  Therefore, they are not required nor recommended for this installation.

Thank you & ride safely!


Thank You again for your contribution David Kunze, STOC #1155