All luggaged up

I had some Cameron Barker panniers (see header image). They’re now discontinued and they didn’t work so well on the cruiser, the mounting system probably works better on conventional tourers and adventure bikes but I’ve torn the fabric where the eyelets meet the system due to the bungees pulling at an odd angle. They were very waterproof so top marks for that.


Held bag an Givi Topbox, and a tiny stowaway

My pannier supports met with an unfortunate incident involving my mother not listening and enthusiastically operating a powered garage door. I sought out a cheap alternative.


Parked up fuelling myself with coffee after getting petrol. Yes that is a plank of wood on the back. Stops the sidestand sinking on soft ground.

I tried a Held Waterproof Tail Carry Bag. The 30 litre option is plenty to supplement my 45 litre topbox. It’s really simple, a red PVC tarpaulin bag will a roll top, some compression straps and a shoulder strap for off the bike. I bought some rok straps to secure it to the pillion seat. They fit in seconds and are far more secure than standard bungees. I’ve been using it since the autumn and it’s not let me down. Really simple. Really waterproof.



Magnets on my tank

My leathers are less sweaty than my textiles so I have worn them through most of this year. If it starts raining hard I need to get waterproofs on fast or it will be too late. On an overnight or longer trip I will have a lot of carefully packed luggage, and extracting waterproofs is a pain. On a recreational ride I don’t want a top box. A small tank bag is the answer. I had a little Frank Thomas one. It was terrible, determined to move about and come off. No Headstock strap and the magnets were really weak.

I bought an Oxford X4 based on BCF recommendations. The magnets are insanely strong, and on a removable board. There are Velcro straps so it can be used as a tail-pack if required. The zips have some kind of rubbery shroud so are water resistant. There’s a satnav holder, an A5 map holder that’s just big enough for my Philips Compact Atlas or directions printed on booklet mode. It has a headstock strap too. Most importantly, it stays put really well. Right now it’s carrying my waterproof overjacket, my waterproof trousers, my goretex winter gloves, visor cleaning kit, hand sanitiser, a spare buff, a pen, an tyre pressure gauge, my disk lock and (because I fail at packing) my ledergris and boot brush. My phone and wallet sometimes end up in the top section, and sometimes I use the map holder.

It stayed put during every crazy run I’ve made since I’ve had it and feels really well made. It is quite small at 4 litres, so consider a bigger one from the same range if you want something to carry everything. For the bits of tat that I want straight away, it’s perfect. Highly recommended.

All luggaged up

All luggaged up