Please note that this review is in 3 sections:
Part 1 Unboxing & First Impressions
Part 2 On the bike walk around (video)
Part 3 Practical Use (this section will be completed June/July 2023 after a 10 day European overlanding trip)
These bags are £530 here in the UK. Adventure Bike Shop (the main UK importers and distributors of Bumot products) supplied the two panniers at cost price, a circa 30% discount on the RRP. The bags were ordered at 1500 hours on Thursday the 23rd of February and arrived with me the following morning. My thanks to Adventure Bike Shop for their sponsorship, friendly, professional communications and speedy dispatch time.
Specifications From Bumot
– 35L & 31L – 66L + 4L x 2L (two extra pockets on each soft pannier). Total capacity = 74 litres.
– YKK 50mm buckles
– Easily accessible compartments
– 1100 denier Cordura by Dupon sewn over vinyl coated polyester
– 2 x Dry-bags
– High visibility reflective 3M strips improve safety in low light and night time riding conditions
– Attachment directly to the BUMOT frames without extra modifications!
– BUMOT frames have option for integrated tool box.
I’ve travelled extensively on bikes all over the world and previously I’ve just strapped a couple of half decent sports bags/dry bags to the bike and off we go. I’m getting a little older now and thought it about time I invested in some decent panniers for an upcoming long haul trip from the Isle of Wight (UK), down through Europe and into and around Austria. I’d already installed the Bumot rear rack, soft luggage plate and pannier racks 18 months ago, so the Bumot soft panniers were the obvious choice. My initial plan had been to strap my old bags to the Bumot pannier racks. I’ve liked how the racks cover the Akro silencer and potentially protect it from falls, so they serve dual purposes. However, the bullet has now been firmly bitten and two Bumot Xtramada Soft Panniers arrived with me Friday, and over the next few weeks I’ll begin to test them and get the bike ready to head off in June.
The first thing you’ll notice when handling these bags is the weight. They feel very sturdy and well put together but still relatively light. On my scales the right side bag (pictured above) weighed in at 3935 grams. The left side bag came in at 4015 grams, giving a combined weight of 7.95 kilos. Obviously, you’ll also need to calculate the weight of the pannier racks into your equations. All the rivets, studs and bolts seem good quality and the fitting of the back plate to the material seems precise and well executed. These feel like the real deal and at over £500 a set, I’d fully expect them to.
The straps and pull ties are all well sewn with good quality fittings that look like they’ll take the kind of punishment they’ll need to take on the road.
One thing I like, is when they’re not packed with gear, they offer quite a slim side profile. I’d expected to store these off the bike when not in use but their slight profile entices me to just keep them on the bike, as they’re really not obtrusive. A decent size reflective strip runs vertically down both sides of each bag. It’s well sewn and should provide plenty of light reflection for the traffic around you.
I’ve no experience of the locking mechanisms on the V1 versions of these, but on the V2 bags they’re extremely robust. There is zero side movement when operating the mechanism and it requires a decent amount of pressure to open or close, which I like a lot. There’s nothing worse than loose, rattly locking mechanisms, especially on an ADV bike that’s likely to see many surfaces other than smooth tarmac.
The main fastening straps, and their respective YKK buckles, look like they’ll suffer plenty of abuse without too many complaints and, so far, the entire bag’s construction is certainly filling me with the confidence I’d hoped it would.
The top opening consists of a full length velcro closure which then rolls down a la dry bag. The velcro is attached well and I’ve every reason to believe it will stay that way.
Due to the construction and height, it’s very difficult to photograph the inside of this bag but it’s basic, without any pockets or compartments, a design I think works well with this kind of pannier.
Inside each pannier you’ll find a rather cavernous dry-bag/removable liner. The liner looks “OK” but I’m not sure it matches the quality of the rest of the system. I’ll reserve judgement on these until I’ve used them in anger but my gut says I might replace those with better ones at some point, but we’ll see.
I’m pleased with what I’ve received thus far. Both bags are exactly what I expected them to be. They appear to be well designed, well made and I’d expect the materials used to be hard wearing and appropriate for this kind of system. I’m very much looking forward to testing them on the road and seeing exactly what they’re capable of. Part 2 of this review will be “installation”, which will be in video format. Please keep checking back throughout the week.
One thing to note if you’re also considering these and, like me, already have the toolbox: Carl at Adventure Bike Shop, here in the UK, informed me that Bumot had struggled to order in their very reliable locks during the pandemic and were forced to change to a different locking mechanism. That’s not a problem per se and I’m told the new locks are equal to or better than the older ones. Before, however, if you already had the Bumot locking toolbox you could supply your key number when ordering the panniers and they would match the pannier locks for you, meaning a single key would access or lock both panniers and your toolbox. That is no longer possible unless you’re ordering all new V2 items simultaneously, or you send your toolbox back to have a new locking mechanism fitted. Personally, I don’t have a problem with using two keys as the toolbox is not something I access daily, anyways, but it’s worth noting.