When I fitted the Tusk rack to my CRF250 Rally I had already decided to try out the Lomo soft panniers as they were cheap and seemed to get good reviews.
At £50.00 the Lomo soft panniers really are very cheap and on first inspection appear to be well made.
So for the Thetford Safari event I loaded them up, strapped them to the bike and headed off.
The first problem I had was that no matter how tightly I strapped the bags on they moved around a lot. I used the straps that they came with and two Rok straps on each side but still the bags would move around. This movement resulted in the back of the bags getting worn, which eventually would lead to a hole and water ingress so it was time to have a rethink.
Looking at the market place there are quite a few options for soft panniers available with many costing more than metal panniers.
After much research I decided to purchase the new Givi GRT709 Soft panniers. They’re some £200.00 cheaper than other manufacturers offerings but provide the same storage capacity and water proof solution.
The Givi GRT709 Panniers come with the mounting plate included for the total price of £400.00. This is £200.00 less than the Kriega soft panniers that don’t come with their mounting plate which then costs another £130.00 on top of the £600.00 pannier price tag making them extremely expensive.
The Givi mounting plate fits perfectly onto the Tusk frame and the panniers then lock to the plate using a key lock, something the Kriega offering doesn’t have.
Water proofing is a two part system. Firstly there is the outer pannier which has a solid back and attaches to the mounting plate secondly, there is the inner dry bag that can be removed from the outer shell with ease and comes complete with a shoulder strap to make it easy to carry.
The panniers provide 35L of storage each (5L more than the Kriega bags) and also have a waterproof bottle storage pod on the rear of each bag. This extra storage is great for carrying a water bottle or fuel for the camping stove.
I’ve used the bags now in all weather conditions including very heavy rain and everything has stayed completely dry.
This is a much better solution than the Lomo soft panniers as the bags don’t move around at all, are securely attached to the bike by key lock and provide more storage.
With a cost of £400.00 I think this is the best pannier solution for the CRF250 Rally, albeit not the cheapest.