After riding for 40+ years with about a dozen different types of soft and hard panniers, the Acmemoto2 panniers have proved to be the best for my type of riding. Most of my riding with panniers mounted is one to two-week camping trips on pavement, gravel + two-track & single track trails. While I’m 65 years old & much slower, as a former A class enduro rider & hare scrambler I still ride on some relatively rough trails at a pretty good speed. To date, I’ve ridden a single cylinder dual sport with panniers in all of the states & provinces between Georgia & Newfoundland (including 3 times across the Trans Labrador Highway) + northern California, Nevada, Utah & Colorado.
This type of riding has smashed & cracked hard panniers in Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky & Nova Scotia + ripped a mount out of a pannier on Taylor Pass in Colorado. A soft pannier fell off when a strap broke on a two-track trail in West Va. When I turned around to look for it – it was gone along with my camping gear. I’ve melted soft panniers & some of my gear when I broke or dislodged heat shields. I’ve made numerous trail side repairs after ripping several brands of soft panniers. To date, the toughness of the Acmemoto2’s far exceeds any other pannier system that I’ve tried or seen.
Prior to purchasing, I looked long & hard at the Acmoemoto2 website, so there weren’t many surprises once I mounted the panniers. So far, all of the surprises have been good:
- The seal between the bottom & top is more water tight than anticipated. The seal is so tight that you can hear & feel a rush of air when opening or closing the pannier top.
- The pannier top seal has a “knife-edge” that interlocks with a u-gap in the pannier bottom. When the pannier is closed, this interlock stiffens the entire pannier more than I expected.
- While the solid aluminum bars on the tops of the panniers serve as convenient handles & tie-down spots as expected, they also provide an unexpected level of rigidity to the pannier top. This is a big deal to me because I’ve cracked the tops of other brands of panniers. Twice, this has resulted in lost gear when the top of other brands of top-loading panniers popped open unexpectedly.
- The Acmemoto2’s aluminum mounting plates have proven to be more useful than anticipated. The adjustments have allowed me to easily raise the height of the panniers when I expect to be riding trails with big rocks. Over the years, I’ve found that my small dual sport handles much, much better when the panniers mounted as far forward as possible. However, too far forward & panniers interfere with the back of my legs. The Acmemoto2 mounts have allowed me to fine tune the fore-aft location of the panniers for the best compromise between handling & comfort.
- The exhaust side aluminum mounting plate has served as a surprisingly effective heat shield. I used to be very careful about packing heat sensitive gear in my exhaust side pannier. The Acmemoto2 aluminum mounting plate dissipates enough heat that I no longer worry about heat affecting my gear.