Project image
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€4,663
pledged of €40,000pledged of €40,000 goal
16
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, June 27 2016 8:00 PM UTC +00:00
€4,663
pledged of €40,000pledged of €40,000 goal
16
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, June 27 2016 8:00 PM UTC +00:00

About

STORY

I came to flexible panniers idea when I bought myself a KTM 950 Superenduro back in 2008. It was (and still is!) a great bike, but without good luggage options for longer expeditions. I didn't like aluminium panniers because they are heavy and all soft pannier options were either too small or too uncomfortable to use. So I started to make my own panniers.

I soon realized that ideally a good pannier should combine strengths from both types of luggage, be tough, reliable, light and waterproof. After several years of experimenting I am ready to present my innovative pannier solution.

TARK flexible panniers. 

Tark means "smart" or "clever" in estonian language. Core of the concept is flexibility - panniers, that will not deform like aluminium panniers or break like plastic panniers when you hit something or crash, but flex and absorb the impact force, saving your legs and your bike. And survive to continue your Adventure. To provide you convenience and easy usability of hard panniers and be as tough, light and unbreakable as soft panniers. A smart solution.

TARK ADVANTAGES

Flexible panniers have many advantages over traditional panniers.

TARK vs aluminum panniers.

Aluminum panniers are heavy. One pannier weighs usually 5-6kg or even more. TARK panniers weigh only half of that. It means you can pack lighter or take additional items with you. Remember, panniers are mounted far back on bike and influence seriously bike's handling especially when fully loaded!

Aluminum panniers will bend and break. Have you seen travelers videos where they beat aluminium panniers back to shape after hitting rocks or crashing or experienced it even yourself? Because aluminium is very stiff, every crash will create enormous dynamic forces and overload pannier construction, bending them out of shape and destroying rivets thus making them not waterproof or even not usable or, even worse, bend your bike subframe or frame itself. TARK panniers deform very easily and function like airbags for your bike, absorbing crash energy and not carrying it over to bike's frame. And while they deform easily, it's also simple to push them back to shape after crash. And because they are designed to flex, they remain waterproof also after many crashes.

Aluminum panniers will break your legs. What happens, when you crash with your bike and your leg will be pinned between ground and hard edge of aluminium pannier? Your bone is probably the weakest point in this scenario no matter how good boots you have. TARK panniers are flexible, it means they don't concentrate all the weight to one single point but spread it over wider area thus saving your legs and your trip.

TARK vs plastic panniers.

All plastic panniers are not the same. For most people, plastic is plastic and they distinguish it only by color. That's not true. There are many different materials with very different properties. Most common material for motorcycle panniers is currently ABS. It's cheap, rigid and easy to manufacture - that's why they use it! TARK panniers are made from HDPE. Most important difference between these two materials is elongation at break. When ABS will break at 5-25% elongation, HDPE will usually withstand over 300% (3 times!) elongation without breaking. It means that pannier made from ABS will shatter to pieces after relatively minor deformation while HDPE will withstand even total collapse - you can actually ride with truck over them and they remain functional!

Standard plastic panniers are not repairable. If you crash and break those little tabs holding pannier to your bike, there is usually no other option than to buy new set of panniers. TARK panniers have 100% bolted and replaceable hardware which makes them easy and cheap to repair should you manage to break them.

TARK vs soft textile panniers

Soft panniers are not lockable. Even if you use cable locks or other similar solutions, they will attract thieves. And using these measures requires always a lot of time. TARK panniers are conveniently lockable to protect your gear by simple push of a button.

Soft panniers require additional raincovers or inner bags to be waterproof. This means additional time and complexity. Would you like to mess with dirty straps every time you need your raincoat or jacket? TARK panniers provide easy access to your gear by efficient and waterproof top loader design.

Reasonably sized soft panniers require pannier racks too. Otherwise you risk with melting them against hot exhaust, tearing to pieces with rear wheel, scraping your bikes shiny plastics or influencing dangerously your bike handling with heavy bags moving around. TARK panniers have universal mounting adapters which can be fixed to most pannier racks available in the market. Mounting panniers to racks is fast and secure.

TARK FEATURES

DESIGN

Looking nice is always important. But there's more in design than you can see from first look. Lower outside corner has a cutout to increase your bikes possible lean angle so you don't have to slow down when you have most fun. That also helps to increase pannier volume and lower center of gravity. 

Pannier is made narrower in bottom than at opening. This makes inserting fully loaded inner bags much easier and gives more legroom for passenger. 

Lid opening handle is hidden under inside edge of lid. Because this is most convenient and natural way to open it. Additionally has this position best protection from dirt and water so you have least chances to make your hands dirty when opening a pannier. And finally, such hidden location for handle also provides great protection from thieves.

Pannier lid opens 180 degrees and provides place to store those things in a way when you are searching for something inside your pannier. Lid is also easily removable and serves as a convenient place to store bolts, tools and spare parts if you are repairing your bike roadside. 

And all those edges are serving one purpose - to provide sufficient rigidity to be convenient to use and enough flexibility to protect your bike and yourself during crash.

CONSTRUCTION

Pannier shell is made of vacuum-formed and welded HDPE. This is unbreakable material which also has exceptional abrasion resistance. Same material is also used for making skidplates and engine protectors for motorcycles, ATV-s and cars. We have tested panniers loaded to 30kg (66lbs) by throwing them out of 100km/h moving car, after 10 tests they were still fully functional. And it stays so also after years of use, because HDPE is also UV- and fuelproof.

LIGHTWEIGHT

HDPE is tough, but it's lighter than water. That allows us to make pannier that weigh only 2,4kg (5lbs), thats only half of common aluminium pannier weight and even lighter than some soft panniers. Set of two panniers means 5kg less weight!

SECURE

Panniers have built-in plunger locks to protect your gear against thieves. Built-in plunger locks eliminate need for separate padlocks so common on aluminium panniers and are lockable in a second, only by push of the button. 

WATERPROOF

No need to worry about your gear getting wet and no need for special waterproof innerbags or raincovers, so common with textile panniers. Special collar design and proper seals keep water away. It also means that you don't need to take special care when cleaning your bike, wash your panniers with pressure washer if you like. 

CONVENIENT

Have you arrived your bike, helmet in one hand, your gear bag in another and you need to put them somewhere, because you need both hands to open your pannier? No worries. Special design allows you to open pannier lid with only one hand.

EASY TO PACK

Always struggling with packing your soft panniers? Tired of loosening and re-tightening several straps every time you need something? Forget it. Just open and close the lid. Flexible panniers are just as easy to use as aluminium panniers with toploader design, plus they don't stain your gear with aluminium oxide.

EASY TO MOUNT

Need to mount and remove panniers often? No problem, because with simple locking system only thing you need to do is push down or pull up locking hooks. No screwing inside panniers or fiddling with additional locks like with other pannier systems. And obviously removing panniers is only possible when pannier lids are unlocked. 

*NB* White plastic pannier hardware is only used for prototypes! Serial pannier hardware will be black!

EASY TO REPAIR

Although our panniers are made to survive even hard crashes, things can break. Therefore are all components made easily removable and field replaceable. All parts are bolted and designed symmetrical when possible so you can reverse or swap them roadside if needed. Should you dent you pannier, it's very easy to push all dents out from inside.

*NB* White plastic pannier hardware is only used for prototypes! Serial pannier hardware will be black!

ILLUMINATED

Too late to camping place? Forgot where you put your light? TARK panniers have incorporated headlamp mounts inside pannier lids so you can switch on the light as soon as you open the lid to make finding essential gear easier. Additionally is headlamp easily removable from mounts so you can use it also for making up your camp. Headlamp is not included, use your own favorite model!

SIZE OPTIONS

Not every traveller has same requirements for panniers capacity. Therefore you can choose between two models - Medium and Large. Medium is 180mm (7") wide and has a capacity of 37 liters, while Large is 230mm (9") wide with capacity of 48 liters. 

Choice is yours, pick Medium or Large or combine two if your bike has asymmetrical pannier racks because of single sided exhaust. I ask for size in Backers Survey.

MOUNTING PLATFORM

Mounting platform is an indestructible platform made from 10mm HDPE. It is needed to fix TARK panniers to pannier racks, but you can use it also as a convenient platform for mounting your own soft luggage, Rotopax canisters and much more. 1 set of mounting adapters are included with panniers, but if you want a freedom to use panniers with several bikes you own, you can purchase another set. Or if you need a platform to support your existing luggage. Mounting hardware is included.

INNER BAGS

Inner bags are convenient if you want to take your gear with you to hotel or tent after long offroad ride when panniers are covered with dirt. 

Bags are made from waterproof fabric to give additional protection and size matched exactly to panniers to make loading your bike as easy as possible and use all available capacity. 

Full length zipper provides easy access to your gear. Front pocket provides convenient place for documents. Bottom pocket is handy for storing tools and spare parts.

Serial inner bags will be made from light colored fabric to make finding your stuff inside bags easier.

COMPATIBILITY

Will these panniers fit my bike? What else is needed to mount TARK panniers?

Only requirement for your bike is that it should have a tubular pannier rack with flat mounting area for panniers. If you have racks with curved mounting area like BMW R1200GSA OEM racks, you need additional mounting adapter to fit TARK panniers. Only in Kickstarter free of charge!

I have tested several racks like Touratech, SW Motech, Hepco & Becker and Givi. but every bike is a bit different. If you're in doubt, just ask and I will check it out! If they still don't fit, I will refund your purchase!

PROJECT SCHEDULE

I made my first prototype in 2009. Extensive prototype testing was carried out during 2013-2015. 

Serial product design was started in December 2015 and completed in February 15, 2016.

In March 2016 all quotes from suppliers were received and all necessary prototype parts ordered for final testing. Testing was completed in May 2016.

KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN May - June

After Kickstarter campaign end we will immediately place mold order to supplier. Molds will be completed for July 30th. After that first production batch will be moulded. All pannier shells should be ready and arrived for final assembly for August 15th.

All additional components will be ordered for July 15th and supplied to us for August 15th latest. In August we will start with final assembly and expect first batch of panniers will be shipped for August 30th. 

Depending from amount of orders all panniers and other rewards will be shipped in September 15th latest. 

Depending from shipping destinations, regular shipping time ranges from 5 to 15 days.

PROJECT COSTS BREAKDOWN

Our 40 000€ financing goal includes following costs:

Biggest expenses are thermoforming moulds for panniers with estimated cost of 14 000€. 

Thermoformed parts will cost 8 000€ and other components 9 000€. 

Panniers assembly will cost 2 500€, transportation costs are 250€. 

Shipping all rewards to backers is expected to be 3 000€. 

Kickstarter fee is 2 000€ and payment fees 1 250€.

REWARDS

TARK MULTITOOL

Pledge €20

Compact tool includes essential tools for traveling: keyring, bottle and can opener, flathead screwdriver, 1/4" hex bit holder and 7,8,10mm, 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" wrench. Made from stainless steel.

MOUNTING PLATFORM

Pledge €95

1 mounting platform CNC machined from 10mm indestructible HDPE sheet. Perfect platform for soft luggage or additional fuel canisters. Mounting hardware is included.

MOUNTING PLATFORMS SET

Pledge €170

Set of 2 mounting platforms CNC machined from 10mm indestructible HDPE sheet. Perfect platform for soft luggage or additional fuel canisters. Mounting hardware is included.

TARK PANNIERS

Limited reward, 10 backers

Pledge €490

Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l + 48l) size panniers and mounting platforms.

TARK PANNIERS

Pledge €550

Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l+48l) size panniers and mounting platforms.

TARK PANNIERS + INNER BAGS + MULTITOOL

Limited reward, 10 backers

Pledge €590

Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l+48l) size panniers, mounting platforms, matching waterproof inner bags and multitool.

TARK PANNIERS + INNER BAGS + MULTITOOL

Pledge €650

Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l+48l) size panniers, mounting platforms, matching waterproof inner bags and multitool.

HISTORY

Here I would like to share a bit of the history of my project.

Tark panniers have not came from nothing. Before starting with motorcycle luggage, I already designed and built backpacks and bicycle panniers.

Early spring trip in 2007 which turned into winter trip. My first bicycle saddlebag design.

 First motorcycle panniers made in 2009. Nylon/PVC combo. These panniers are still in use and have covered more than 30000km for now in Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tadzhikistan and more. Overall a success, but not totally waterproof because unsealed seams. These panniers teached me also that zippers are not an option for gravel and offroad - dust and mud will soon block zippers and make using them a real problem! Picture form trip to Armenia in 2013.

For 2010 season, I replaced PVC with HDPE. I found out, that saddlebag construction is not convenient to use, because center of gravity is much higher than with side panniers and they also block access to underseat tray.

During this 5000km trip to Murmansk, HDPE was confirmed as a suitable material for future designs. My travel story in Adventure Rider

2011 I returned to side panniers concept. Great results, I got confirmation my concept is feasible - when hitting rocks with panniers you don't even notice it, and no problems with deformed panniers afterwards like with those made from aluminium. But construction needed improvement, covering panniers with fabric seemed unnecessary - it made panniers more difficult to clean and it also made them much more expensive. So I started to investigate different methods to make satisfactory design. Tested during 8000km trip to Georgia. My travel story in Adventure Rider.

2013 I made first vacuum formed and welded pannier prototype from HDPE. This concept was almost everything I needed, very light, tough, waterproof and convenient to use. During 3 years I have improved my concept and different prototypes have been used for more than 40000km. Some destinations: 2013 - Armenia, 9000km, 2014 - Arkhangelsk, 6000km, 2015 - Kazakstan and Tadzhikistan, 15000km. Picture from Tadzhikistan trip.

And now, after several years of hard testing, I am sure TARK panniers are ready and I would like to use your help to make this awesome product available for everybody!

Risks and challenges

Every project has many risks and challenges. I have tried to foresee and avoid as many risks as possible, but not every step is under my control.

QUALITY PRODUCT. I have been developing this concept since 2009 and built several prototypes, which have been used together for more than 100000km in tough conditions of Northern and Eastern Russia and Asia to gain valuable experience. I have diploma in material science and several years of work experience as a product manager and project manager in automotive industry. I love to travel with motorcycles in tough conditions. I will use all my knowledge to provide you quality product and foresee any possible problems.

DELIVERY TIME. It is possible, that our agreed suppliers are not able to deliver necessary components on time. We have prepared us with choosing only experienced suppliers with good reputation and enough production capability and we have additionally back-up suppliers for every component we need in case our chosen suppliers fail.

MUCH HIGHER DEMAND. Should demand for our product be much higher than expected, we might face a problem to produce and ship items accordingly to our time schedule. To be prepared for that, all our suppliers are companies, who can easily produce much higher volumes than initially calculated, we have chosen production methods suitable also for bigger quantities and finally, our support team is willing to help us with final assembly, packaging and shipping should it be necessary.

In any case, I will keep my backers updated during production progress. Thank you very much for helping make TARK panniers a reality!

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    Pledge €1 or more About US$ 1.12

    THANK YOU!

    Every little bit helps. You will also receive all product updates. We sincerely appreciate your support!

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    TARK MULTITOOL

    Compact tool includes essential tools for traveling: keyring, bottle and can opener, flathead screwdriver, 1/4" hex bit holder and 7,8,10mm, 1/4", 5/16" and 3/8" wrench. Made from stainless steel.

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    MOUNTING PLATFORM

    1 mounting platform CNC machined from 10mm indestructible HDPE sheet. Perfect platform for soft luggage or additional fuel canisters. Mounting hardware is included.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €170 or more About US$ 191

    MOUNTING PLATFORMS SET

    Set of 2 mounting platforms CNC machined from 10mm indestructible HDPE sheet. Perfect platform for soft luggage or additional fuel canisters. Mounting hardware is included.

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    TARK PANNIERS

    EARLY BIRD!

    Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l + 48l) size panniers and mounting platforms.

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    Pledge €550 or more About US$ 618

    TARK PANNIERS

    Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l+48l) size panniers and mounting platforms.

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    Pledge €590 or more About US$ 663

    TARK PANNIERS + INNER BAGS + MULTITOOL

    EARLY BIRD!

    Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l+48l) size panniers, mounting platforms, matching waterproof inner bags and multitool.

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    Pledge €650 or more About US$ 730

    TARK PANNIERS + INNER BAGS + MULTITOOL

    Set of two Medium (37l+37l), Large (48l+48l) or combined M/L (37l+48l) size panniers, mounting platforms, matching waterproof inner bags and multitool.

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Funding period

- (29 days)