I received an email from friend Bruce Humphrey down in Bathurst in the Eastern Cape about the new love of his life – the Yamaha XT 660R. He’s made a couple of mods to it, not least of which are his “Pelican Case” panniers. Read on…
I got totally hooked on big singles early on – they are an acquired taste – and my present Yamaha XT 660R is my eighth XT Yamaha. The list of my big singles also includes five Suzukis, two KTMs and two Kawasakis.
As you can see I have fitted Acerbis handguards (half the price of the genuine Yamaha ones), a carrier with a Givi top box that has done duty on several bikes over the past five years and Leo Vince noisy aluminium exhausts which, with a DNA air filter and Dyno tuning, gained me 13% more power. The most recent addition, and why I did the photo, was the addition of a set of Motech pannier brackets, but my old soft panniers didn’t work well on them. But good aluminium panniers are ridiculously expensive, as in R15,000.00 for a pair!
I then had a ‘lightbulb’ moment and thought “Pelican” cases! Under half the price of proper bike panniers and available in four different colours. I took a photo of the bike and in Photoshop added a rounded rectangle shape the right size and in the right position so I could check out the colours. Black would have been the obvious choice, but I liked the yellow/blue contrast and the extra visibility, so yellow it was. The cases are firmly bolted to the frames with five bolts, but the pannier frames themselves are attached to the bike with three half-turn quick fasteners on each side which can be removed in seconds with a R5 coin (but with a place for a padlock if you are worried about theft).
So that’s my current Baby, and a joy to ride.
Thanks for the update and tips Bruce.