If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Thursday, 20 May 2010

First Time Ever ...

... I got lucky on eBay. I posted a while ago that I had bought some pannier bags and rails on eBay, just to get the rails, which retail at unobtanium prices from Triumph. I put the bags back on eBay shortly afterwards, hoping to get some of my money back. They eventually sold for £20 more that I paid for them.

So now I have a free set of frame rails and £20 towards some bigger soft luggage. Result.

One problem: this week, at the Triumph Owners' Club meeting, I saw a bike with a set of Hepco and Becker hard luggage. It looked to be just what I need: not too big, tough, waterproof, brilliant build quality, and looked superb on the bike it was fitted to. And there is a set of H&B frames on eBay right now. With a rear rack attached. Custom-fitted for a Bonneville. And, as a separate item from the same seller, two matching 40-litre hard cases - exactly the right combination. If I had just won the lottery, that's exactly the set-up I would be flashing the plastic for. It is almost as if ... no, I don't believe in fate. The whole rig new would cost around the £600 mark, and they are currently under £30 for the lot with two days to go.

Can I resist?

And what will Anna say if I can't?


  1. endemoniada_8821 May 2010 at 00:25

    You know you're going to have to, at that price.

    Even at that price plus a bit.

    It's too good a chance not to have a go, even knowing it'll probably end up fetching much more...there's always the chance nobody else has noticed it's there.

    Sorry if that's being a bad influence an' all!

  2. Thanks for your optimism! Both items have 4/5 bids, so there's competition. I am under no illusion, and I am sure both items will go mental towards the end. They are very desirable, after all. I'll just put an affordable bid in at the last minute and hope for the best, I think.

    You are a bad influence, but no worse than my own lack of self-control.

  3. £30 with two days to go means less than nothing - and they are not going to sell for anywhere near that as they both have reserves set on them.

    The vendor knows what they think they are 'worth' although whether any potential purchasers agree is another matter.

    Looking at completed listings I'd expect they think the panniers are 'worth' around £150 and the reserve will be around that amount.

  4. I understand all that, but allow a chap a bit of daydreaming, won't you?

    My guess is a reserve of £100 on each item, and both will go for around £120-140. The cases are more expensive retail, but are a little damaged, so I reckon that will even things out.

    We shall see.

  5. @£250 for the kit?

    It has to be about right - unless two slightly wealthier Bonneville riders want them for the summer tour!

  6. That's the trouble with auctions: you are dependent on competing bidders at the time, who may be skint as you or Bill Gates in disguise. It's how I got lucky with the Triumph bags, I think. The ususal price seemed to be around £90, but I kept looking and bidding, and sure enough eventually got some for £70 - just a lack of serious bidders on the day, I guess. The 4-5 bidders on the H&B kit may be broke and trying their luck, or they may be planning to drop a bomb in the last minute. Only one way to tell.

    I reckon £250 for the whole kit would be about right, from a s/h value point of view.

  7. £107 for the panniers, £50 for the rack plus a not insignificant £32 for p+p.

    Hope you got them - that still looks to be a damn good price. Rubbish Givi usually sells for more than that on there.

  8. I got the rack, but just missed the panniers. I am now hunting down a set of H&B Junior panniers. The more I see of them, the more I like them. I'm sure some will turn up at the right price if I wait long enough :)

    Do you think Givi is rubbish? I have only had one of theirs (V46 topbox and monorack) in the past, but I thought the quality was good. The box was very robust and the rack fitted perfectly without any 'adjustments' - unique in my experience. Very expensive to buy new, though. I'd get Givi stuff again, except that it all looks very big and plasticky and could overwhelm a smallish bike like the Triumph.

  9. endemoniada_8825 May 2010 at 13:19

    Have to say I've never actually paid for hard luggage, but I've bought several bikes with various combinations of Givi items already fitted.

    In my opinion, it's overpriced and ugly (and there are annoyingly pointless differences between Monokey and Monolock that make them non-interchangeable), with a tendency for the rails to get very secondhand very quickly. On the plus side, the cases tend to be sturdy, stay waterproof, fit well and the kit's never let me down, so it's a cautious recommend overall. Practical, but not charming.

    A lot of bikes (my Versys, for one), come with rebadged Givi as standard. It always seems to be the same set of cases, however, just with a different logo on them. If I was actually paying my own £700+ for that new, I'd certainly be looking for something less universal and more tailored to the aesthetics of the bike. Probably in aluminium or gunmetal finish, for preference.

    Congrats on winning the rails, by the way.

  10. I agree about the apprearance of Givi stuff - gaudy, bulbous, a bit garish, and I have never seen a bike that it looks 'right' on. Compare the old Krausers on the BMWs, which just looked good. The aluminium stuff all looks a bit boxy to me, and self-consciously 'tough' and 'no-nonsense'. I have to say the H&S Junior cases are the best-looking I have seen

    Of course, we haven't got round to leather and tassels yet.


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