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Hepco & Becker Xceed Panniers With Quick-Removal Rack System

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Hepco & Becker created a high bar to clear with their original plastic Gobi panniers. In their new Xceed aluminum pannier system, they may have either cleared that bar or reset where it is entirely. An industry first, H & B offers two different rack mounting systems for the Xceed Panniers. One could be considered “traditional” – racks bolted to either side of the bike, the right side being further out to clear the pipe. The other is a unique “symmetrical” system, which positions the boxes above the pipe, allowing them to rest at equal distances from each side of the bike.

While symmetry may be a godsend for anyone suffering from OCD, it’s an even larger benefit for those living in lane splitting legal states to always know you have the same amount of clearance available on both sides of the bike. Increasing box h by roughly five inches also means anyone riding pillion now has armrests with this system too.

Hepco & Becker Xceed Panniers for KTM 1090 Adventure

The H&B Xceed Panniers come with handy cargo nets attached under the lids and convenient carrying handles on top.

How They Performed

Electing to test Hepco & Becker’s symmetrical arrangement, the installation of the racks was quite simple with only a handful of bolts required to mount them. The only snag encountered during the install was some difficulty getting a few bolts threaded in. Running the bolts through from the opposite end helped clean out some extra powder coating that had gotten on the threads and the racks went on smoothly after that.


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The first thing one notices once the Xceed Panniers are mounted with the Symmetric Racks is the high kicks now required to get on and off the bike. Your inner ninja needs to swing that leg about five inches higher for dismounts. While Jean-Claude Van Damme will feel right at home with this system, a significant swath of the remaining riding population will likely elect to mount and dismount as if a top case was present.

Hepco & Becker Xceed side cases for KTM 1090 Adventure

Hepco & Becker Panniers for KTM 1090 Adventure

Two large 1/4-turn Lock-It bolts in the center and two outer (optional) safety bolts hold the pannier racks in place. The racks can be removed quickly with the rear cross-bar attached.

During the first test on a multi-day camping trip, the slight increase in box altitude offered an unforeseen benefit in that the storage spaces were now “workbench h”. Loading and unloading was possibly the most effortless of any system I’ve tried.

Aesthetically, the symmetrical system is a welcome arrangement which harkens back to the days of Gobi panniers mounted on KTM 950 Adventure bikes. That bike was symmetrical however with its dual pipes, so the pannier design inherently was as well, but I wax nostalgic. Functionally, these boxes are lighter than the Gobi panniers by nearly three pounds each, and two pounds lighter than Touratech Zega Pro panniers of the same volume.

Hepco & Becker Panniers for KTM 1090 Adventure

Shedding that weight means the Xceed panniers lack the water storage reservoir of the Gobis, as well as the horizontal “groove” shaped into box, allowing for a safety strap to be used if need be. Gained is anodized aluminum/impact-resistant plastic hybrid construction, front/rear opening access, greater internal storage volume, and all while still sporting the familiar key latch system, which is repairable should the need arise.

Dual front and rear lid latches are a joy to work, requiring no fussing around with alignment to the box or opening/closing of the latch. A welcome feature, each lid features an included interior cargo net to take advantage of the space available above the rim of the pannier itself. This proved very useful on multi-day adventure rides, as it quickly became the preferred location to store items such as snacks, toiletries, and light rain layers.

Hepco & Becker hard cases for KTM 1090 Adventure

Large handles on both ends of the lids, just above the latches, make for easy removal and mounting of the boxes, as well as carrying around at campsites. Another unique twist to the Xceed pannier setup is the “Lock-It” system employed by the racks, which gives you the option to quickly remove the mounting racks. With the release of four large quarter-turn bolts, two on each side, the entire pannier rack system can be removed from the bike in a matter of seconds.

Weight Comparison (Measured)

 Pannier Make & Model Capacity Weight
 Hepco & Becker Xceed 38 Liter 10 pounds, 6 ounces
 Hepco & Becker Gobi 37 Liter 13 pounds, 3 ounces
 Touratech Zega Pro 38 Liter 12 pounds, 3 ounces

Sharing the same quick-release bolt arrangement, both symmetrical and asymmetrical Rack mounting systems are virtually identical, other than where they leave the boxes placed. As tested on a KTM 1090 Adventure R, the rack systems rely on the four quarter-turn bolts, a rear crossbar connecting the racks in front of the license plate, and the stock rubber pannier inserts towards the front of the boxes to keep everything in place. For light adventure touring, the system proved more than adequate. When the going got rough, the single horizontal mounting axis of the quick-release bolts means the rack system has some inherent flex under the weight of (often overloaded) boxes. Conventional threaded “safety bolts” can be installed adjacent to the quick-release bolts, and are recommended for off-road travel.

Hepco & Becker Panniers for KTM 1090 Adventure

The symmetric racks give the KTM 1090 Adventure a slimmer profile and balanced look, but do raise the center of gravity. Asymmetric racks are also available.

Who Are They For

With solid yet lightweight construction, the Xceed panniers are a good fit for both sport touring as well as adventure travel. Which rack system to use likely comes down to the individual rider’s intended use. For those who often ride two up, spend a good deal of time commuting in traffic, or who’s primary focus is “light adventure”, the symmetrical arrangement could very well be a good fit. For solo travel, the asymmetrical system could offer a handling advantage by keeping the weight of the entire system lower. The quick-disconnect nature of either choice in less-than-brutal conditions, means one could do without the additional safety bolts, and best take advantage of the removable nature of the racks. Those who use their adventure bikes for both urban and “big bike enduro” style riding can now quickly switch between lockable panniers or “rackless” soft luggage options in less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee.

Our Verdict

Hepco & Becker Xceed Motorcycle Panniers

High build quality, light weight, and the only pannier system offering a choice of two different ways to mount the boxes make Hepco Becker’s Xceed pannier system worth checking out. While robust enough for general adventure touring, the quick release mounting systems could be subject to excessive flex in more extreme off-road conditions. Rather than a disadvantage, this is perhaps exactly the point. Choosing between hard luggage, soft luggage, or no luggage is a source of debate when it comes to adventure motorcycles that inherently fit a wide variety of contexts. Hepco Becker’s introduction of a quick-release pannier system now means riders don’t necessarily have to choose between one type of luggage or the other.

What We Liked

  • Light weight for their size.
  • Refined build quality with solid latches.
  • Easy to open/close latches and Convenient handles.
  • Cool look slimmer profile with asymmetric design.

What Could Be Improved

  • Inclusion of conventional “non quick release” rack option.
  • Addition of tie down points on sides of lids.

Xceed Panniers & Racks Specs

COLOR: Black or Titan Boxes with Black Racks
SIZE: 38 Liters each side
CONSTRUCTION: Cases: Anodized aluminum / impact-resistant plastic; Racks: Powder coated 5/8″ (16mm) round steel tubing racks
PRICE: $440.50 – $485.50 per case; $370.85 – 381.74 for racks

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Author: Jon Beck

Jon Beck is fulfilling a dream of never figuring out what to be when he grows up. Racing mountain bikes, competitive surfing, and touring as a musician are somehow part of what led Jon to travel through over 40 countries so far as an adventure motorcycle photographer, journalist, and guide. From precision riding for cameras in Hollywood, to refilling a fountain pen for travel stories, Jon brings a rare blend of experience to the table. While he seems happiest when lost in a desert someplace, deadlines are met most of the time.

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