GlobeScout Pannier kit for the Triumph Tiger 800:
Everything was packaged securely and showed up in great shape. The packaging of the GlobeScout panniers was particularly impressive. All parts were present and were manufactured with excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail. Interestingly, if you add up every part (rivets, nuts, bolts, washers, latch parts, etc.) this system consists of over 700 individual parts! The attachment pucks alone have 200 or so individual pieces.
First on the list was mounting the Hepco and Becker Lock It Side Carrier. The directions were well written and clear. I estimate if one studied the directions thoroughly, had the tools and parts set out, and was decent with a wrench, the side carrier system could be installed in 30 minutes or so. In my case, it took more time with picture taking, using Loctite (overkill), etc. I also had a problem with the left passenger footpeg attachment bracket not fitting correctly, so I used a file to lengthen the bracket hole a bit. While I was at it, I chose to add some stainless steel washers to shim the gaps between the foot pegs and footpeg brackets prior to tightening the attachment bolts (again overkill!).
An advantage of the H&B system is that it will not damage or disturb the powdercoating on the footpeg brackets like the Touratech system does (it clamps over the bracket on top of the powdercoating). When it came time to mount the cross brace, the length of the brace and the distance to bridge between the side carrier frames was identical. No stretching or pulling together was required. It was a perfect fit! My only concern is that if the bike was dropped, the bend manufactured into the cross brace sets this part up to buckle. I would have preferred a straight cross brace. Once completely installed, the overall sturdiness of the frame is impressive. The Hepco and Becker Lock It Side Carrier and its black finish seem to be custom-made for the Triumph Tiger 800’s frame (especially the black frame models). The side carrier’s frame lines flow beautifully with the lines of the bike. The ease of 6 quarter turns to remove the entire frame is simply amazing.
As a beta tester, absolutely no directions were supplied to deal with the mounting of the panniers to the side carrier. In the end, I learned a lot about panniers because of this for I measured 100X before I started drilling! I made numerous trips to dealerships in the Denver area and spent a lot of time on the internet researching. The YouTube video you produced helped although as you admit, it is rough! If I were to quickly summarize the Globescout panniers, I would say they are very similar to the standard BMW panniers with an attachment system similar to the Touratech Zega Pros (yet stronger)…not bad company!
I asked for advice from a lot of people including Globescout. They were great. In addition to the time spent fretting about where to mount the pucks, I had to make sure the orientation of the levers on the pucks would work. Putting the bottom two levers straight down (preferred option for ease of mounting/dismounting) was not an option with this side carrier. Because of this and the expense of making a mistake with the drilling, I decided to make a jig (plus I am a perfectionist…I wanted both sides identical!). After the jig was made (with a little bit of vertical clearance built in above the top two pucks…or so I thought), I was able to confirm that the panniers could be removed without adjusting the bottom two levers with a wrench (and leaving the aft lever at a 45 degree angle) and that both left and right sides of the side carrier frame were nearly identical. The same hole pattern would work for both sides. The pannier Gods were smiling. Once I drilled and mounted the pucks, the panniers fit quite snuggly. Where did the clearance go?
This system is perfectly symmetrical off the bike’s centerline and measures 42” across. The pucks are very strong. I am not sure what would fail first if you nailed a pannier while at speed…puck, side carrier, quick release attachment fasteners, who knows? I would have a few quick release fasteners with me on a long trip!
GlobeScout uses a large fender washer for each puck inside the pannier for extra rigidity. Although these eight washers add some more weight, they significantly increase strength. The Zega Pros do not share this philosophy. The Zega Pro bottom pucks are actually some sort of plastic.
When I started pressing-on the plastic covers over the bolt heads inside the panniers, a few cracked (I had four extra). I tossed the remainder in a 170 degree oven for a few minutes to soften them up prior to pressing on, and had no further issues. The levers on the pucks were also a bit sharp on the edges. Globescout’s website pictures show them as having nice softened edges. I spent quite a bit of time with the Dremel Tool softening these edges to match (again…overkill!).
The Globescout pannier is a high quality heavy duty unit. It is a great looking yet rugged pannier that is feature rich and attractively priced. The Hepco and Becker Lock It Side Carrier is elegant in its simplicity and design, yet is sophisticated enough to allow for a strong mount that is easily removed when not needed.
I hope this helps you out,
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This review has been formatted and lightly edited to appear on this site. The content and context remains from the author's initial review. Updated on to remove statement regarding oxidation black marks due to customer concern.