Sep 28, 2010

Moto Gear: Jesse Bags and Xplorermoto

Explorermoto is the USA's exclusive distributor for the famed Jesse Luggage Systems.  I recently helped a friend acquire a set of the Jesse Odyssey II bags for his BMW  650 GS.  Initially, he thought the bags were too wide for his uses although he liked the design (they have up to 5" of adjustment capable, moving them forward and back).  His major concern was the bags limiting his ability to weave in and out of traffic and other obstacles.  The hardcases have a width of about 39" where some soft bags come in at a width of 10 inches less.  However, what you gain in width you also gain in carrying capacity.  The Jesse Odyssey II bags have a total of  90 litres capacity, compared to about 50 litres or less of a softbag.

Recently a soft bag convert, the friend had everything loaded up on his BMW to head to Canada and on to Alaska when he realized the soft bag just wouldn't work for this trip.  Hours before his visa was set to expire he installed the Jesse bags (it only take about an hour and a half to do so, mounts and all!) and headed for the border.

After in Canada for a spell said friend took off to Alaska, traveling through mud and grime, side trekking though creeks and trails and riding the bike like there was no tomorrow and meeting chicks, ever impressed by his travels and new bags.  Through it all the Jesse bags remained waterproof and secure.   A few spills on the bike minorly dented one side of a bag but the mounting held without an issue.

According to the website for Xplorermoto ( the bags are made of 2mm thick stainless steel, hand welded parts.  The bags are well made and will fit a wide range of bikes including BMW, Suzuki, KTM and Kawasaki.  The bags come in black, silver and charcoal and have optional lid loops you can purchase for only $15 for 4.  The Jesse bags can be purchased through Xplorermoto for roughly $995 to $1500 depending on the bike and the price includes mounting hardware and instructions.  Xplorermoto also sells other items including liners for the Jesse bags, Rok Straps, compact tool kits for a variety of bikes, lighting systems and Wolfman soft luggage bags.  Rick at Xplorermoto is a great guy who was very helpful through all my questions.  If you are going with hardcases, go with the best.  You won't find a better box anywhere.

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