Metal Mule UTE Panniers
2 x Hard Luggage Panniers:
1 x 31 Litre Powder Coated
1 x 38 Litre Powder Coated
1 x Stainless Steel Pannier Frame
1 x Rear Rack
Secure (can remain on the bike)
Water tight (not let in a drop yet!)
Hard core and strong (takes a beating and does not warp!)
Slim Line design
Easy to load
Pannier Frame reinforces the rear subframe (weak spot for the KTM 690 Enduro R 2012)
Heavier than soft luggage
Can be bulky to carry
On my bike we have mounted the famously superb Metal Mule UTE Panniers – a quality hard luggage system. We had originally thought to take soft luggage only but after reviewing the delicate and expensive kit we are having to take and the areas we were going to be travelling through we decided that we ideally needed to have something that could take a bit of a beating and remain locked, secure and waterproof. Sam has previously had hard luggage panniers (the zegas) which were, as he put it, made of chocolate! After an off his zegas were completely warped out of shape and then for the rest of the trip were leaking. So with this in mind we were unsure as to what to really look for until we discovered Metal Mules. They are just far far superior in quality, feel and strength.
The panniers themselves are cleverly designed by Metal Mule. Taking into consideration the slightly extra girth and weightiness of the exhaust side of the bike, one pannier holds up to 31litres and the other 38litres to help establish an even balance and width to your bike. If you prefer you can have two of the same sizes but we opted for this system.
They are beautifully fitted onto a stainless steel frame specifically designed for the KTM 690 Enduro R 2012. Metal Mule also provide framing for various other motorbikes varying from BMW to Yamaha – check it out on their webby! The actual workmanship of both the panniers and framing is top quality. The panniers are powder coated to a stunning finish which to date remains in perfect condition despite some heavy usage. The actual welding and composition is smooth and sleek. The width when mounted on the bike is just a smidgen wider than the handlebars making it very slim and easy to judge when weaving through traffic or tight spots! Having been through Alexandria, Egypt in rush hour at night with them fully loaded on my KTM 690 Enduro R 2012 I can vouch 110% that they are easy to ride with and certainly not bulky at all!
To mount them to the bike, the panniers have sturdy metal holders on one side which then hook over the framing and are secured by two bolts from the interior. It literally takes a few seconds to remove them which is pretty mega! The inside lids are rimmed by a form of rubber so when they are closed it provides a perfectly water tight seal. We have ridden through weeks of torrential rains and have thrown the bikes heavily onto the panniers and yet still they have remained water tight! It’s phenomenal and just shines with absolutely awesome quality. Strength wise, as said above they have taken a bit of a beating and remain completely solid. Check out this youtube clip to see how hardcore they are:
On top there is a twist shut and key lock – again very simple and smooth to do. On many occasions we have left the panniers secured on the bikes overnight without concern for their security.
The panniers we have opted for is the standard set. You are able to purchase additional features (top boxes, handles etc) but for us these were not a necessity as they are rarely carried and we tend to keep them remained locked on the bike! What’s kind of awesome about these panniers are if you do decide to unmount them they make awesome seats to dine on around a camp stove!
We carry all our electronics, including laptop, spares and camera equipment in them and for us the peace of mind that they remain secure and safe from being nabbed or taking a bash (I do have a habit of hugging trees with the bike when offroading) it’s just magnificent. Being a girl and slightly less muscular than the boys I was initially nervous they would be weighty but they’re actually fairly easy to carry if you are required to and I find they only a positive impact on the handling of the bikes!
A great investment. Overall, the Metal Mule Utes are a fantastic and most awesome quality hard luggage system and we are so glad we have them for our Chasing Horizons round the world motorcycle trip. Take a peek at the Metal Mule website for more information. If you need to find out more details or have any specific requirements, drop Metal Mule an email or give them a call, they are stupendous there!