Tag Archive: stahlkoffer


The Panniers

StahlKoffer make their panniers in a number of sizes, most of which are far too big for the V7 and would just swamp the bike, so we had decided on their smaller City Koffer range with a pair of 210mm wide panniers. However in conversations with Bernie I became aware that he could make panniers to any dimensions but that there were cost considerations in the amount of aluminium used and the time to program and set up the machinery for cutting, folding and welding the panniers and lids.

Ideally I wanted a slimmer pannier, so as to make filtering and getting through narrow gaps and tracks easier, but which regained the lost capacity by being longer and deeper. I had the idea of having the pannier mountings offset towards the rear of the box so that the pannier would extend over the rear passenger footrest and keep the weight forward. However if the need arose to carry a pillion then the left and right panniers could be swapped over so that they would now extend rearwards and leaving room for the pillion to put their feet comfortably on the footrests.

Deciding on the pannier width

Bernie agreed that it was perfectly do-able but that he would need the exact dimensions and measurements for the positioning of the rear mountings which attach the panniers to the loops on the bikes. The problem was that the one off fabrication would take time which was the one thing that we were rapidly running out of. Another factor was that StahlKoffer also make tailor made inserts for their panniers (Full or two thirds / one third) which make organising the pannier contents and actually getting to the stuff much easier. We had already decided that this was a good idea, so having bespoke ones made to suit our unique panniers was also going to take more time.

In the end we decided to go with his standard 210mm City Koffer panniers so that we would definitely have them in time…..a decision that we may or may not come to regret.

The Pannier Frames

We decided when we were first talking about the trip that we wanted to go with metal panniers as they are sturdy, weather resistant, and secure. StahlKoffer were considerably cheaper than the alternatives without any noticeable loss of quality, plus are close to home and have a very helpful owner, which always makes things easier.

StahlKoffer panniers do not make a fitting kit to attach their panniers to the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. Actually very few people make any accessories specifically for them so we are having to adapt a lot of things from other bikes or get things made specially. Bernie from StahlKoffer explained that he could develop a fitting kit for us but that we could probably get it done much cheaper by going to a small engineering business. He provided us with 2 pairs of his pannier loops, unpainted in plain steel, so that we could get brackets made and welded on.

We approached a good friend, Tich, whose main business is wiring vehicles (and motorcycle wiring especially) but who is also a dab hand at fabrication. Tich agreed to do the job for us and so we rode the bikes down to Swindon. After much head scratching and consideration (not to mention plying with alcohol!), he designed and fabricated a fitting system to put the panniers exactly where we wanted them on the bikes. Not as easy as it might seem as the bikes are physically quite small and, whilst we wanted to keep the weight as far forwards as possible, we wanted to retain the ability to carry a passenger should it prove necessary.

I am impressed with the result, each pannier loop has three fitting points on the bike. Tich created the upper two by welding brackets onto the brand new Moto Guzzi racks that we had had fitted. I must say that Tich’s face as he took a grinder to remove the chrome from the beautiful Guzzi racks so that he could weld on the brackets was a picture!

He has created four mounting points on each of the pannier loops as the lower bracket is triangulated. They are not only functional and are strong enough to use to pick up the back end of the bike, but look nice too, which is important to me as the V7 is a very pretty bike.

We returned the now modified pannier loops to Bernie at StahlKoffer so that he could get them plastic coated in his usual way. In the meantime we needed to get what was left of the chrome plate stripped off the Moto Guzzi racks and get them shotblasted and powder coated. Redditch Shotblasting were recommended to us by one of the guys at Speedaway motorcycles. The guys at Redditch Shotblasting are bikers and so understood our requirements. They recommended a black satin finish for the racks as it is just as durable but does not show marks as readily as gloss and so looks better for longer. Two days later I was amazed to get a telephone call to say that the racks were ready for collection. We were very pleased as they have done an excellent job for a good price.

With the racks fitted it was time to sort out going back to see Bernie at StahlKoffer in order to fit the now plastic coated pannier frames and sort out the panniers themselves…

Sorting out the Panniers Part OneStahlKoffer panniers do not make a fitting kit to attach their panniers to the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. Actually very few people make any accessories specifically for them so we are having to adapt a lot of things from other bikes or get things made specially. Bernie from StahlKoffer explained that he could develop one for us but that we could probably get it done much cheaper by going to a small engineering business. He provided us with 2 pairs of his pannier loops, unpainted in plain steel, so that we could get brackets made and welded on.
We approached a good friend Tich, whose real business is vehicle wireing (TWS) but who is also a dab hand at fabrication. Tich agreed to do the job for us and so we rode the bikes down to Swindon. After much head scratching and consideration, not to mention plying with alcohol, he designed and fabricated a fitting system to put the panniers exactly where we wanted them on the bikes. Not as easy as it might seem as the bikes are physically quite small and, whilst we want to keep the weight as far forwards as possible, we want to retain the ability to carry a passenger should it prove necessary.
I have to say that I am impressed with the result, each pannier loop has three fitting points on the bike. Tich created the upper two by welding brackets onto the brand new Moto Guzzi racks that we had had fitted. I must say that Tich’s face as he took a grinder to remove the chrome from the beautiful Guzzi racks so that he could weld on the brackets was a picture.
He has created four mounting points on each of the pannier loops as the lower bracket is triangulated. They are not only functional and are strong enough to use to pick up the back end of the bike, but look nice too, which is important to me as the V7 is a very pretty bike.
We returned the now modified pannier loops to Bernie at StahlKoffer so that he could get them plastic coated in his usual way. In the meantime we needed to get what was left of the chrome plate stripped off the Moto Guzzi racks and get them shotblasted and powder coated. Redditch shotblasters were recommended to us by one of the guys at Speedaway motorcycles. The guys at Redditch Shotblasters are bikers and so understood our requirements. They recommended a black satin finish for the racks as it is just a durable but does not show marks as readily as gloss and so looks better for longer.
Two days later I was amazed to get a telephone call to say that the racks were ready for collection. I must say that they have done an excellent job for a good price. So with the racks fitted it was time to sort out going back to see Bernie at StahlKoffer in order to fit the now plastic coated pannier frames and sort out the panniers themselves.

I’m a very happy man. We have just put a deposit down on two new V7 Moto Guzzi’s. Speedaway Motorcycles in Blackheath have done us a good deal, so buying two bikes does have its benefits even if it is quite scary. They are coming with the optional main stand, crash bars and rear luggage rack. Speedaway are going to fit the hand protectors from a KTM, which are available in black as well as orange, together with heated grips. They are also going to see if they can source a re-usable air filter to replace the standard paper one. One less thing to carry.

We have also decided on our luggage. After some discussion we are going with hard panniers made by Stahlkoffer who are based in Stourbridge, West Midlands. The guy behind Stahlkoffer is called Bernie and a nicer, more helpful bloke you couldn’t hope to meet. He drove over to Speedaway to meet us and to show us his very well made aluminium panniers and mounting system. He looked over the V7 and we discussed fitting them to the little Guzzi, which shouldn’t be too difficult.

So all in all a great day and major steps taken forwards, and only a month to wait for them to arrive from Italy!