An inmate on ADV asked about the luggage setup I have on my KTM 690 Enduro R. He was looking into either the Touratech or Rally Raid luggage racks and The Adventure Spec Magadan panniers. I have the Magadans on Rally Raid Soft Luggage Racks and have ridden roughly 8000 km with them. I have no experience of the Touratech Pannier Rack which is apparently also sold as the KTM suitcase carrier system, so I can only speculate. Which of course I quite happily will. Just take it with a grain of salt.
The RR racks are stronger than the TT racks. The RR racks have a design with a single tube running from the foot peg to the top rack. The top tube is welded into the single bottom tube with reinforcements and a mounting plate. The TT rack is a hoop welded onto the top and bottom supports, resulting in more weld seams that may give to stress fatigue.
The mounting plates on the RR racks are physically larger than the TT hoops. This provides a better support for the Magadan bags. The RR racks were designed mainly for the Coyote, Wolfman and Kriega soft luggage, but will also support the Magadans without problems. The racks are a good fit for the bag, even when it’s full. It’s probably harder to get the Magadans to fit snugly on the TT racks, as they are smaller than the bag. A smaller mounting hoop would allow for the bags shifting and rocking more, thus potentially enabling stress fatigue to creep into the welds of the rack. The TT racks are basically hoops, which provide no slots for securing the straps to the hoop itself. To be fair, the Touratech rack was probably designed with hard luggage use in mind primarily.
The TT racks have a tail strut, which makes the construction stronger if you can connect it to something solid. The RR does not have the tail strut. Personally I don’t miss the tail strut as I’ve modified the tail of the 690 for enduro and the strut would have nowhere to connect anyway.
I think the biggest issue for me is the actual mounting position of the bags. The TT rack has the hoop a lot higher and further back which has a very negative effect on the center of gravity of the bike and of course handling. I think the TT racks are designed the way they are, to enable the use of passenger foot pegs and to leave room for the passenger. You can add passenger foot peg mounts to the RR rack but the mounting plates for the bags are lower and more forward. Personally, this is where I want them. I ride enduro and never carry a passenger so for me the low center of gravity is the most critical thing. I don’t want to have my luggage far back and high up.
So my vote’s on Rally Raid all the way.