If I had written this review within the first few weeks of owning these panniers I would have said they were the best thing since sliced bread. They are a doddle to fit, taking less than 5 mins to get them strapped on and ready to go. They are truly waterproof as a 100 mile motorway ride in driving rain will contest, they also shrug off the snow and ice with the inside remaining free from condensation. Best of all they are HUGE! I found myself packing extra kit just to bulk them out a bit, even though the roll-top navy-style enclosure and pull clips mean you can make your items as snug as a bug in a rug. Shopping? Pah! I did a weekly shop and stuffed it a combination of these panniers and a Oxford First Time 80L saddle bag. Ok it was just for the wife and I but still a weekly shop! A beer run for a selection of my favourite ales? No problem. Simples and that pesky meerkat would say.
All was going very well indeed and I thought I had found the perfect solution to soft-storage needs on a motorcycle. The hi-vis outer layer was perfect for bleak winter conditions and combined with a hi-vis jacket and white helmet caused several motorists to think twice about overtaking me – “is that a copper?” However it all started to come undone (literally) during a baltic 140 mile run; with no obvious cause of wear or rubbing the seams had begun to fray around the bottom. Thinking that I may have over filled them I decided to err on the side of caution when packing in future.
Alas, I may as well have thrown caution to the wind as the frayed edges became a small tear. Determined to find the cause of the rubbing I placed gaffa tape over the tear and went on a merry 100 mile ride. Inspecting the gaffa tape at the end showed no signs of rubbing and made me start to question the build quality and durability of these panniers. Four months after purchase I’ve finally lost faith in the panniers as the outer layer has given way and is only being held together by the waterproof inner layer.
They may not have been designed to be used for daily commuting but I would have expected them to hold out for a bit longer than 4 months and 4200 miles. If you equate that to the average mileage for a motorcycle (at 3500 miles a year) these would last you just over one year of riding. To me that is simply unacceptable. So while I was fully prepared to give the Cameron Barker WP Panniers a glowing 5 star review it just goes to show that sometimes it’s best to hold out to see how they perform on a longer-term test. It’s a shame because if they were more durable they would have quite possibly have been the best value soft luggage solution on the market.
Cost: £55 from GetGeared.co.uk
Ease of Use: 4/5
I’m planning on a charity motorcycle ride from Lands End to John O’Groats for sometime in (late) spring/(early) summer 2014. The reason for getting the ball rolling with more than a year to plan is because I want to plan the prefect route in order to achieve the Iron Butt Association SaddleSore 1000 Award which means I need to ensure the route takes in over 1000 miles and I complete it within 24 hours. Allowing more than a year to plan will also help me get in shape with some shorter (long) rides that will help me get match fit and also hopefully pick up some buddies who fancy doing the trip (even part of it) with me.
At this stage it’s just a very advanced dream but over the next few months I will be getting some plans down on paper and hopefully sections of the route started. I already have a charity in mind for myself but if anyone wishes to tag along we can always combine efforts for your choice of charity too. If anyone would like to get involved in any capacity be it riding along with me, suggesting routes or good runs to take in for preparation then please get in touch!
SaddleSore 1000 Rules: http://www.ironbutt.com/ridecerts/getdocument.cfm?DocID=1
An Ode to National Poetry Writing Month
So my thirty days of poetry is up
Never before have I been so prolific and writing this stuff
I used to think poetry was a pile of shite
Something for nobbers who value modern art and all that tripe
In the past month I’ve brought you so much crap
So I’ll take a bow and give a tip of my hat
Cus’ there’s something I’ve realised during this month
There’s so many poets I’m just the billy-onth
And so many people are better than me
They don’t just write rubbish but at least I’m gutsy
I’ve told it how I see it, not more I can do
Now this is cliche goodbye, yep from me to you
So my thirty days of poetry is up
Never again will I be so prolific and writing this stuff
‘Cus I still think that poetry is pretty shite
I’ll leave it for the nobbers who value modern art and all that tripe
It’s Monday again but we’re almost there
So don’t drown yourself, come up for air
This poetry shite is very nearly done
And I can’t really say that it’s been much fun
I guess that you have to take it for what it is
Something for wankers covered in jizz
But on we plough theres only one more day
And then thank god it can go away!
Tonight is the Dazzle Rebel Sunday Show
Yes TONIGHT is the Dazzle Rebel Sunday Show
But there’s no need to worry, there’s not far to go
Sit down and relax in your favourite seat
And from 7-10 I’m there to greet
With plenty of hard rockin’ music and all
So let down your hair, we’ll all have a ball
Turn On, Tune In and Rock the FOOK Out!
Sod of the neighbours who cares if they shout?
Instead you should invite them around
To join in the party that you have helped found
On TBFM every Sunday night
With me Dazzle Rebel I’ll make it alright
I’ll see you all there, like a spark in the gloom
To the TBFM Internet Chatroom!
Tune in to the show from 7-10pm tonight on www.TBFMonline.co.uk
Saturday and I’m wanting some sun
To relax and drink and have fun
And act like a dick
In front of my chick
Then fall over and do her up the bum