was successfully added to your cart.


David Darcy Archives - Giant Loop

GL Rider David Darcy Recaps His “Giant Loop Experience” After Multiple International Motorcycle Adventures Since 2012

By | Blog, FAQ, Fitment, Giant Loop Gear, KTM, Reviews, Riders, Royal Enfield, Uncategorized | No Comments

GL Rider David Darcy Recaps His “Giant Loop Experience” After Multiple International Motorcycle Adventures Since 2012

If you’re thinking of doing that big adventure, one of the first decisions you are going to have to make is, are you going to use hard of soft luggage?  When I started adventure riding I initially chose aluminium panniers as I thought they would offer better theft prevention, be laster longing,  and offer protection for gear in the event of a crash.  Within about year all of those preconceptions had been smashed,  literally.  During a ride one of the pannier lids fell off and before I could retrieve it, it had been run over by a truck.  Within a month I had a decent crash and completely destroyed one pannier.  During a crossing of the Simpson Desert I found that the hard panniers would smash the backs of my legs in tough sand going with the potential of me being seriously injured. 
In 2012, when preparing for our London to Sydney motorcycle adventure on KTM 690s my riding partner, Darren Higginson and I, made a decision to go with Giant Loop soft luggage.   We chose the Great Basin Saddle Bag, a Fandango Tank Bag and two dry bags.   We didn’t know it at the time, but this Giant Loop set up was a fantastic balance between luggage capacity and the need to keep luggage weight low.  The Great Basin was also well away from the rear of the foot pegs with little chance of injuring a riders legs if their feet were pushed back from the foot pegs. The GL gear held up for the 18,000 kilometre trip, with nothing breaking.  In fact when I returned to Australia, I gave my Great Basin and Fandango Tank Bag to a friend, who still uses it to this day.  Giant Loop products are made from a tough material that resists chaffing and deformation.  Last year I came off at around 60 kilometres per hour on a slippery muddy dirt road and the gear took the slide without any damage. 
David Darcy KTM 690 London to Sydney

David Darcy KTM 690 London to Sydney

PIC 1: Over looking a valley in Kyrgyzstan with some of the best adventure riding in the world before us. My Giant Loop soft luggage set up for the London to Sydney ride; a Fandango Tank Bag, Great Basin Saddle Bag, and a couple of dry bags.  

When I returned to Australia I took on a number of big adventures including an unassisted west east crossing of the Simpson Desert,  later a south north crossing of the Simpson,  a numerous other adventures that clocked up thousands of kilometres including riding the South Island of New Zealand.  For these trips I changed to a set of Giant Loop Siskiyou Panniers.  I found the Siskiyou Panniers allowed me to lower and centralise weight distribution which greatly assisted riding in desert sand.  They also fitted perfectly with my Rally Raid Pannier Racks.  I upgraded to a Fandango Pro Tank bag as it allowed to more easily charge cameras in the tank bag.  I’ve alternated between a Tillamook and Rogue Dry bag.  The dry bags have been amazingly useful due to them being double ended.  If packed in a thoughtful way the bags allow you to very quickly access those things that are important, like warm layers,  tools, or some well earned food.   I generally keep food and clothes one end and spares and tools the other. 
Earlier this year I rode 17,000 kilometres in Russia from Samara to Magadan via the Road of Bones on a KTM990.   The bike was waiting for me in Russia for this trip and I flew in with my Siskiyou Panniers, a Fandango Pro Tank bag, and the incredibly useful Columbia Dry Bag as I knew they would fit on the bike and give me what I needed in what I knew would be a challenging environment.  The trip was tough, with thick clouds of dust,  hundreds of kilometres of mud and days of riding in constant rain.  When I finally reached Magadan, I jet washed the bags with my gear in them, and not one drop of water, dust or mud had entered the panniers.  During that ride I came off at speed on a concrete bridge covered in slippery clay.  As accidents go it was at the fair to medium end of the spectrum and the bike slid along the concrete bridge for a number of metres.  Apart from one Siskiyou pannier being slightly scuffed there was no damage.
MADTV's David Darcy on KTM 990

MADTV’s David Darcy on KTM 990

PIC 2: My KTM990 having a rest in the deep grass of the Altay Mountains, Siberia, Russia.  Siskiyou panniers, Fandango Pro Tank Bag and Columbia Dry bag were a great combination for this challenging 17,000 kilometres where we rode an average of 900 kilometres per day. 
I’m just back from riding the Himalayan Mountains in Kashmir India.  For this ride my mate, Nugget and I rented bikes and we had to pack really light.  I chose to go with my Columbia Dry Bag and Fandango Pro Tank Bag,  that fitted perfectly on my Bajaj 220 cc Pulsar road bike.   Nugget rode the new Enfield Himalaya and he took a Great Basin saddle bag and Fandango Tank Bag.   As expected the GL soft luggage didn’t let us down,  kept our gear dry and dust free.  It was the ideal soft luggage set up for this ride.  
Giant Loop on Royal Enfield

Giant Loop on Royal Enfield

PIC 3:  My rented Bajaj 220 cc loaded and ready for adventure in the Himalayas, Kashmir, India.  Giant Loop Pro Tank Bag, Columbia Dry Bag.  Proghorn straps reliably fixed my Columbia Tank Bag.  My GL tracker packer housing my SPOT tracker is also in view, a handy reliable holder for a very important piece of equipment. 

Giant Loop in the Himalaya's Highest Motor Pass

Giant Loop in the Himalaya’s Highest Motor Pass

PIC 4: Our bikes on the world’s highest road pass at 18,380 feet.  Nugget’s Enfield Himalaya sporting a Great Basin saddle bag and Fandango Tank Bag and my little Bajaj in the background.  
Now if you want to see Giant Loop products being used in real world adventures, please head to Motorcycle Adventure Dirtbike TV on youtube!
David Darcy is a supported rider for Giant Loop.  

Giant Loop Review: Australian Filmmaker Dave Darcy’s KTM 690 Enduro – Siskiyou Panniers, Fandango Tank Bag, Tillamook Dry Bag, Columbia Dry Bag, Bushwackers Hand Guards

By | Fitment, KTM, Reviews, Riders | No Comments

KTM 690 Enduro with Giant Loop Soft Luggage

Columbia Dry Bag and Siskiyou Panniers on KTM 690 Enduro

GIANT LOOP – GEAR REVIEW – Siskiyou Panniers – Fandango Tank Bag Pro – Columbia Dryg Bag

We first used Giant Loop products to carry our gear from London to Sydney on our KTM 690s in 2012. We had a Great Basin on the back, some dry bags and a Fandango tank bag. This system worked really well. It was rider friendly, light, and could take the odd crash without falling to bits. Despite daily usage for four months, all the buckles and the straps and stitching remained intact with little if any sign of wear. If there were any sharp edges where we were mounting straps we covered them in gaffer tape to prevent chafing. Although I?ve up graded, my friends continue to use my original GL gear that took me on the big trip. It?s very popular with them and some of it will be used on our 2015 trip!

My next trip was an unsupported west east crossing of the Simpson Desert in 2014 and into the Flinders Ranges, a total of around 5,000 ks, of mostly dirt miles. I changed my setup slightly as we needed to carry heavy weights of water and fuel and I turned to the Siskiyou Panniers to keep the weight centralised and low. They fitted perfectly with my Pannier Racks. I upgraded to the Fandango Tank Bag Pro, that had improved access to my cameras and made charging accessories more streamlined. The great double zip mounting improved access to filling the petrol tank. They were topped with a double ended Tillamook Dry Bag. These doubled ended dry bags are excellent. Rather than rummaging around in a duffle bag trying to find what you want, you can quickly open either end. It sits perfectly atop the Siskiyou Panniers.

The only change for our south north crossing of the Simpson Desert this year is the addition of a Columbia Dry Bag. I used this bag last week end and it was brilliant (2nd picture below). It?s a double ended bag similar to the Tillamook with two additional features. A centralised handle so you can carry it like normal luggage and a webbed drying pocket to put those smelly or wet things in. Although not confirmed yet, I reckon in the desert sun this may become my mini drying room, but we?ll wait and see.

The Siskiyou Panniers copped a beating in the the first desert crossing and have now racked up over 10,000 hard kilometres. There are no signs of wear. I use GL water proof pods to make sure everything is kept dry. They are also handy to compartmentalise gear to make it easily accessible.

– Dave

PS: As the desert is cold for this ride in July we are going to try out some Bushwackers Hand Guards, I?ll keep you posted on how well they go.

Here?s a clip of the Simpson Desert Crossing, legitimate adventure riders that use and test adventure gear.