I first came across an early prototype of the AcmeMoto2 panniers back in 2015 while working on a story about Cogent Dynamics suspension in North Carolina. My immediate impression was that the concept of using Impact
Polypropylene Copolymer boxes was brilliant—likely far more durable and waterproof than aluminum or sheet metal, and capable of handling a low-speed crash or tip-over without slowing me down.
Then I happened to meet the company’s “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” Scott Olofson at Overland Expo East last year. He was kind enough to send us a set for review. Scott’s company, AcmeMoto2, is located in Fairview, North Carolina. The AcmeMoto2 panniers are simply a well-thought out
solution for the ADVer. You’ll need existing racks to attach them to as well as Scott’s universal mounting plates and hardware (which also allow for a little forward or backward positioning on the racks of your bike). The process takes all of about 10 minutes and you’re good to go. I mounted them on our ADVMoto project DR650, where the components allow for a relatively easy swap between the AcmeMoto2 panniers and the Wolfman soft pannier system. The point is that sometimes hard bags are preferable, while other times it’s soft—swapping only takes about 15 minutes. The AcmeMoto2 panniers are 33 liters each, a practical size that keeps the bike at a reasonable overall width. Both are identical—there’s no “right” or “left” side. If any part should become damaged, Scott sells replacements, and
that’s yet another benefit. Most manufacturers don’t think this through and getting replacement parts from them is, at best, a hassle.
The lid seals to the base with a silicon-rubber gasket that screams “waterproof”! And each pannier has a double key lock for extra security. If that’s not enough, there’s a passthrough from the lid to the base that could be used for an additional padlock or lockable cable should you need to
fasten the panniers to an object off the bike. Yet another unique feature of the panniers are the latching handles. I’ve only seen them elsewhere on high-end Yeti coolers— they’re big rubber grips that are easy to grab with riding gloves and provide a solid seal when closing the lids. And,
all metal components are stainless steel, so rust or corrosion won’t be an issue. Removing the panniers is as simple as loosening a bolt with a large-grip plastic head. Getting the panniers on or off requires about 15 seconds. Two large aluminum tube handles (or tie-downs for lashing gear on top of
the cases) make carrying the panniers effortless. And I couldn’t help noticing the lack of leg bruises thanks to the rounded corners and the relative softness of the panniers’ composition material.
Our review set also came with waxed canvas luggage, one of which attaches to the inner side of the lid, and the other a removable satchel (the “Traveler”) made specifically for an optimized fit. The luggage is optional, but don’t overlook it. They’re top quality products and I ended up putting the “Traveler” into daily use even when I’m off the bike. After several months of use, about the only possible issue I have is the single bolt that fastens the panniers to plates. The mechanism is robust and is not likely to allow the panniers to fall off in case of bolt failure, but I’d prefer two
bolts for added insurance. AcmeMoto2 is a solid alternative to aluminum or metal panniers, as well as a hybrid alternative for those who might otherwise side with soft luggage. It’s great to see American innovation like this; if you’re in the market for panniers, take a hard look at this option. Considering all the various products that have passed through me for review over the years, the AcmeMoto2 panniers are definitely keepers.
MSRP: Panniers—$833 | Mounting plates and
hardware—$109 | Optional Medium Waxed Canvas Traveler