from: Transalp mailinglist, 1998-2002
(almost, but not quite chronological)
On this . Except for the pictures it is all in German.
That's the problem I had with soft bags. I had a guard made at a welding shop, but it was uglier than anything. Worked well enough, although the back of the bag still got a little hot. I'm much happier with the Givi bags. They're always there when you need them, waterproof, and somewhat more secure than the soft bags.
As far as luggage protectors go I am sure you can get bolt on equipment for the TA in Europe. In North America I know of manufacturers that fabricate such items for more popular (here) dualsport bikes such as the KLR650. If you want to I am sure they could adapt some of there items to work on the TA. The cheap solution is to buy some adhesive heat shielding (aluminum coated foam adhesive) and stick it to the back of your soft luggage where the pipe would touch it. This works very well on the Aerostich.
Vik, Calgary, Alberta
M&P (http://www.mandp.com) in the UK sells Riky Products which should have a TA "Frame Stiffener/Soft bag Protector" for the Transalp. I just received a set for my NX650(Dominator). They are a long lead item though. I ordered in February and they arrived last Friday. I think Riky probably makes them on order. I've not actually fit them up yet, but they appear well made. They should do the trick for my Tourmaster Bags.
I would deffinately suggest using a guard of some sort if you are using soft bags. I've built a small guard over the exhaust pipe using a couple of 5-inch strips of metal mounted to the lower part of the lugage rack. This keeps the bags off of hte exhaust pipe. As for flopping, I've never had a problem with the bags not being stable.
Anthony Carrell,Denver, CO
You need to make a bracket to hold the luggage away from the mufflers. A 1/2" steel rod bent about 3" away from the muffle and attach it to the threaded hole and the reflector bracket hole. There is also a company I heard of on this page that makes just such a bracket maybe Nelsen Riggs or one of the other saddle bag company's. Does anyone else on the list remember who made that bracket?
I made a shield of triplex wood (about 2cm thick) and used velcro to hold it to the bag. There was a hole in the shield of 10 cm after 300km in hot wheather (the velcro wass milted but the bag was undamaged, 10km more and I 'd have cought fire). I think it is do-able if you use hard wood and tin foil or metal as a deflector (at high temperatures the main way of heat transport is radiation. Think before you do and test it is the message.
I use soft bags on my 94 but have a grill over the exhaust to keep the bags from getting too hot. It bolts along the carrier and has proved entirly satisfactory. My latest addition is a second smaller grill on the opposite side to lift the bag away from the plastic side cover and keep them sitting evenly on the bike. Even on long trips, the bags have not got hot. I have also seen a nicely folded aluminium plate over the exhaust but I didnt want to spoil the looks with a piece of flat plate. I also felt that if it got hot, it could transfer the heat to the bags. I am quite happy with saddle bags, I ride with my wife as pillion and we carry our overnight luggage including sleeping bags with the occasional addition of a top bag which doubles as a pack with shoulder straps.
I have some fabric material that I got from JC Whitney ( a US automotive mail order outfit). Aluminum faced with about 1/2 inch of insulating stuff. I 've used it on my Fiero (US GM mid engined car--makes lots of heat under the rear deck) and it seems to hold up to heat pretty well. The fabric is pretty inexpensive, but they sell in in only 4 foot by 4 foot sheets.
Brian Lamberts, Chehalis, Washington