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ADV PreppingQuick Tips: How To Fix Damaged Panniers To Get You Home

Quick Tips: How To Fix Damaged Panniers To Get You Home

Touratech’s Iain Glynn goes over some tips and techniques.

Published on 04.06.2018

Motorcycle luggage comes in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of fortitude, yet even the burliest panniers can fall victim to terra firma. We asked Touratech’s Iain Glynn, their technical support guy, if he had any tips for getting home or continuing your trip with luggage issues.

Focus On Priorities

Adventure Motorcycle

Aesthetically, damaged aluminum panniers will never look the same. Focus on functionality.


“The two top priorities should always be making the box fit the pannier rack if possible and making the lid close securely. After those two priorities are satisfied, you can start working on re-shaping the pannier to regain capacity.”

Carry Straps

“If you are running a pannier system with a less robust box or mounting system carrying a tie down strap or two is a great idea. The best way to strap a pannier on depends how the mounts have broken but usually a simply vertical strap around the center of the pannier and over the pannier rack on the inside is sufficient.”

Wedge Before Hammering

Trying to hammer a dent out from the inside within the small confines of the pannier is very difficult. Rather, try wedging a stick or large rock inside the pannier against the dented in portion and another side. That way you might be able to push out the dent.

Adventure Motorcycle

“My preferred method of hammering on panniers is to wedge dents up with a stick or rock and then use an MX boot or rock to hammer around the edges of the dent that I just popped out with my wedge tool.”

Dealing With Cracks

If a seam is busted or the aluminum cracked from the dent, the quick and dirty way to seal it up is duct tape on the inside and outside. But Iain offers…

“If you have a bunch of time on your hands you can even swing by a hardware store and go crazy with a tube of quick set silicone to try and make a ruined pannier waterproof again.”

Losing Nuts and Bolts

We carry extra bolts and fasteners for our specific bike because we know those can work their way loose. The same thing applies to your luggage system.

“Lastly it’s a GREAT idea to identify what type of hardware your pannier racks use and carry a few spare nuts and bolts. Something as simple as a bolt vibrating loose and falling out can make a simple trip much more complicated and it can be difficult or impossible to replace a bolt with zip-ties and duct tape.”

Author: Sean Klinger

With his sights set on doing what he loved for a living, Sean left college with a BA in Journalism and dirt bike in his truck. After five years at a dirt-only motorcycle magazine shooting, testing, writing, editing, and a little off-road racing, he has switched gears to bigger bikes and longer adventures. He’ll probably get lost a few times but he’ll always have fun doing it. Two wheels and adventure is all he needs. 

Author: Sean Klinger

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