This website is entirely in French, and we don't have the courage to translate it. Anyway you can find plenty of other bike-world-tour-blog in English on
Horizons Unlimited web site, or simply look at our pictures in the 'Photos section'.

Here, in case it helps other travelers, I will just put a set of technical stuff.

The home made pannier

For those interested to have an interactive map of their trip, I have made a page that helps you to draw your travel itinerary on Google Maps(tm) and put links to your blog. You can see the map of this trip here. Or try it directly here . Just click on the map to add points, click on the points your created to put some text or links to a blog section of yours. Drag the map to move, or change the zoom level with the +/- buttons. You can also embed the map in an iframe on our site directly. All this is still beta version.

Going with a 250cc

The reasons where :
- we wanted to have the same bike my girlfriend and I. (she is 1.6m tall).
- we don't want to go very fast (stay under the legal limit).
- we normally have rather powerful bikes (I a hornet 600, and vero had a CBR 600), so would anyway have to loose some horsepower, even with a NX650cc, or AT.
- cheaper (so we could even loose the bikes or leave them somewhere)
- very easy to handle.
- very simple engine
- less volume for transportation

Bad points :
- we where really missing some kW when doing passes like the aconcagua with front winds. With the altitude, the engines where less powerfull than usual, and the road was straigth so the buses and even some trucks where faster than us.
- you can`t put as much things than on a bigger bike.
- we had some troubles to find some 16' tires in Argentina. They often only had bigger and smaller size.
- with front winds in south of argentina we could not go very fast.
- In New Zealand, we would have liked to have sport 600cc, but then we would have been over the speed limits. (=fines)

Big or Small ??? :

We also discoverd that this model was not imported in NZ nor Argentina, so we had problems to find a spare part when we needed it. Honda dealers can have any parts, but it may take to 2-3 weeks to come from Japan. (We never needed this anyway).

Posté le : January 24, 2006 - English part (sev) ------- English0 Commentaire(s)

Home made pannier

Pictures are here :
Currently, after than 25 000km, including more than two thousands ks of 'ripio' in South America they are really ok.

Things I have learned are :
- it really takes a lot of time to make them. (I worked on them during one and a half months, during the week-ends and
some evenings after work). I made in total 6 cases (3 for each bike). Imagine that you have to drill around 80 holes for each pannier.
- it really less expensive than to buy a pannier, but it still cost something :
   - the raw material (aluminum). Here in Switzerland costs me arround 450 CHF = 300 Euros. I bougth it at Metallica ( You can find prices on their site
   - the pop rivets (I needed 400 of them to make the 6 boxes).
   - the things to close the box (locks,...)
In total each pannier cost me arround 100 CHF each (65 Euros).
- The rack is a difficult part. It's also the part that was the most fragile
and that broke on the first gravel road in Argentina. It really must be strong. Mine were really ok during 2000km of asphalt but broke after just 20ks of bad gravel road.
- 1.5 mm alu is thick enough. You may like to make stronger (2 sheets of alu) the parts where the boxes are fixed to the bike.
On my boxes I even have some parts make of 1mm alu.
- I am very happy that they are not so wide. I can pass a door without dismounting them. The total width is 78cm
- I left the plastic film on the aluminium, in the inside of the boxes.
- My panniers, are quite long to mount and unmount (5 screws on each pannier). So you need time at the airport...
- A pannier received bad treatments... (click to see full pict)
and here we had to repare it. We put the pannier in a more rectangular form with no special tools (Big stone an iron bar as hammer), and we repared it completely the week after in a bike workshop. Both of us also dropped the bike once or twice while parking them (grass can be dangerous), but with now damage. Vero also felt at low speed because of stupid gravels, but here again, nothing moved. The boxes even prevended the bike to hurt her leg.
Posté le : April 14, 2006 - NFP Home made panniers (sev) ------- English0 Commentaire(s)

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