Since part of the reason behind choosing the V-Strom was to do some touring, one of the first priorities was to set it up with some luggage. I spent some time researching what was available and got a very rude shock. There are some great quality options available, but man are they expensive!

After some consideration, I realised that I neither want nor need hard luggage on the bike permanently. I want the bike as slim and light as possible for commuting so anything I buy has to be easily removable. I think some soft ‘throw over’ panniers will be ideal for now and more than adequate for our first, short camping trips. If we end up doing lots of serious touring my position may change but I doubt that will happen for some time. So I’m hoping to pull the trigger on a set of Nelson-Rigg CL-850′s very soon.

But first the bike needs to be ready to accept them. Since the DL-650 only has an exhaust on one side, there’s nothing to support panniers on the left. That’s where Dan Vesel came to the rescue. As the 2012 was yet to be released in the US at the time, we exchanged a number of emails with many measurements so Dan could build a prototype. I’m pleased to say that it bolted straight on and I think it looks a million bucks. I opted for the Agri Tube Luggage Guard since the tube is fairly unobtrusive and affords extra storage options.

The rear end of the rack slips under the plastics on the duck tail and fits over a steel boss that’s part of the sub frame (no it doesn’t mount to anything plastic). This flexes the plastics slightly but does not put the rear out of alignment or interfere with the seat lock at all. The front end has two holes and simply bolts in-between the passenger footpeg bracket and the frame.

Dan makes a number of accessories to suit Suzuki’s V-Stroms including

  • Luggage guards of varying styles
  • Radiator & Oil cooler guards
  • Oil Filter guard
  • Wind Deflectors
  • Switchplate for the cockpit
  • Backrests

And the list goes on. His page is well worth a look if you own a V-Strom (any year/model), I cannot recommend him highly enough.

This solution is lightweight compared to full side frames and racks, I don’t feel it detracts from the bike’s looks and best of all, it’s ready to throw a set of bags over the back at any time.