Does anyone have the Brooks Panniers or have an opinion on them? I bought a new ST and am looking for luggage. I have heard mixed reviews on the Yamaha panniers so I am looking at my options before I take the plunge.
Brooks Ebay store dropped the price for the panniers and racks for the tenere down to 500 bucks and I pulled the trigger. Overall I am impressed. I was on my own for nuts and bolts for mounting though which was a little frustrating. My first real trip with them on the bike is this next week with a trip to colorado. I will likely have some opinions on the durability when I get back. For $525 shipped, it is a no brainer if you are looking for hard panniers.
Here is an update on the Brooks Panniers after a dual sport trip in Colorado in July. They worked well overall, but the mounting racks leave much to be desired. I will likely be replacing mine with Touratech racks, but the panniers I will keep. I loaded them down with a couple days worth of gear and water and hit the road. About 30 miles into first 60 mile dual sport run (Stunner Pass), the 40L pannier mounting bolt came loose. I re-secured it and kept going. About 10 minutes later I hear a knocking coming from the rear and stop. The pannier was literally hanging on the rack, barely on the bike, having stripped BOTH of the mounting bolts where the passenger handles go. This was very disappointing, but I will hopefully pay the overloaded gear tax once.
I was able to zip tie the actual racks to the rear rack on the bike and was able to carry the weight for the rest the run that day. I stayed in Lake City, CO in preparation for the Alpine Loop on day 2. I removed the 4L of extra water I was carrying and redistributed the weight better between the bags. I also used paracord to lash the racks to the frame to supplement the zip ties. This worked quite well and held for the very rough ride up and down Engineer Pass. The real fun was coming down Engineer from the top of the pass to Animas Forks. On the 2nd switchback from the top, i lost balance at a near stop and fell down the switchback. The pannier protected me quite well and I was able to easily slide out from under the bike, (I have been pinned under a 700lb harley using my shin as a fulcrum before). That being said, and the reason I will be replacing the racks, is upon this tipover, the pannier colided with my rear brake assembly (where the hose feeds from the reservoir to the caliper, next to the bleed valve, damaging it, and effectively killing my rear brakes... with a 5000ft loose rocky decent to go. The next hour was without question the most technical riding I have ever done in nearly 8 years of riding. I only dropped it once more coming down, it was a very slow lay down due to loose footing and lack of braking. I have never had an adrenaline dump like I had when I finally found some decent road and had a place to pull over and rest.
The boxed held their shape well, and show only minor scuffs and scratches of the rocks they rubbed.
I caught a hell of a sale to pick them up for 525 shipped, now i believe they have a the black annodized version only for around 650 shipped, including racks. Given the opportunity, I would do it again, and with stronger racks, these panniers should last quite some time .