Vintage luggage for a modern age

We are making the more popular top boxes, panniers, racks and fittings and hope to eventually have most of the Craven range in stock. We are able to supply individual parts to repair or complete old sets of luggage and carriers. We have a large range of spares including old style locks and hinges to spare lids and handles. 

We also will be producing Phil Primmer's own panniers and rack that were designed principally for Vincents and we hope to finish off the moulds he was making in order to produce Rodark Panniers. Please order what ever luggage and we will make the more obscure piece as soon as we can.

  • Features

    Structure - All of our luggage is manufactured in house to the highest of standard. The luggage is made out of glass reinforced plastic to ensure that they can withstand all that the open road can throw at them. 

    Fixtures - Where possible we have used non ferrous materials, from the stainless rivets to the stainless hinges we want the luggage to look as good in 10 years time as it does today. 

    Security - We use the best locks to secure not only your belongings but also the luggage to the bike

    Style - Reproducing not only the styles from the 50s & 60s but also introducing new styles.

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  • Hinkley Triumph T100

    Our kit for the Hinkley Triumph T100 is one of our most popular kits. This kits fits any standard Triumph T00 model (not Thruxton or Scambler) from 2000 onwards. There are two options for this bike. A rack mounting kit and an optional pannier brace kit.

    The pannier brace kit is optional and is designed to hold the panniers. Our rack kit is very discrete and very strong, mounting off the main frame mounts. The pannier brace kit mounts to the pillion footrest and gives support for the panniers and also the rack should you be going on long holidays and your tent is particularly heavy!

     

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About us and our luggage

Our Luggage

We try to sell all pieces of luggage and all parts seperatly. So if you only want 1 pannier or 1 lock then this isn't a problem. All of our luggage will fit our kits and so you can choose any piece. The luggage is manufactured and assembled in house. We are able to monitor the quality throughout the entire process, all of our luggage is available in either black or white.

All luggage is handmade, in house, and subsequently there can be some imperfections in them. Were these imperfections are noticeable we mark these products as ‘B‘ grade (15% discount); these 'B' grade products might have the odd scratch, scuff or bubble in the mould. There are no major defects however we feel that they do not meet the grade. 

We can manufacture pieces in any RAL colour for you, these would be to order only and obviously would take extra time for us to produce so please order as soon as possible so we can book this into our manufactuing schedule. 

The luggage isn't painted but have a thick gel coat so should there be a scratch then you will be able to polish your luggage so no body need see your little mishap. 

All of our panniers have hinges mounted to the front of the pannier. Should you wish to change the lid to a complete lift off lid then this can be fitted at any time. So should you wish to fit a top box at a later date then you can change the mounting setup without any drilling requried. It is a straight swap between hinge and lift of lid. 

Please contact us for any of your requirements.

About Us

Craven...the luggage equipment for British, European and Japanese motorcycles 1950-1980...and beyond

Ken and Mollie Craven were inveterate motorcycle tourers who used to take like minded souls on "Parti-tours" to Spain and other European destinations. At that time there was little, if any, luggage equipment available for motorcycles other than ex-WD panniers. Ken, an engineer, realized that there was a demand and came up with luggage equipment to do the job.

The first panniers were made from a compressed fibre board and had square corners with metal strapping or banding round them, a feature that remains to this day. The early efforts of most companies tend to disappear as the volumes sold do not tend to be great and as the product improves with time, early versions are disposed of to be replaced with 'new and improved' ones. It is a testament to the quality of the design and manufacture that there are many of these really early panniers still around.

A manufacturing company called Craven Equipment was formed in 1952 based in Eden Grove, London and was to dominate the motorcycle luggage market for nigh on 30 years. Ken retired from the business and sold it to Stadium Ltd, known for their helmets and other motorcycle accessories and in the 1980's they in turn sold it on to a firm based in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. This company was in the business of refurbishing petrol station forecourts and making various things from glass fibre. Not long before this company ceased trading (due to the death of the owner) the Craven part of the business was sold to Phil Primmer's company, West Country Sidecars, but after a few years he himself was to retire, hopefully to ride his Vincent to the furthest reaches of Europe and beyond.

In 2007 Draganfly Motorcycles bought the Craven Equipment company from Phil and after 3 years of not managing to make much progress have in the 2011, re-furbished the machine tools, jigs and moulds. A lot of the equipment was in poor condition, although most of the moulds are pretty good. There was virtually no stock but there was a lot of drawings, however the part numbers on them did not match the samples that they acquired and further did not match the numbers on the instruction sheets! As the Craven system is made up of 5 standard racks and about 20 styles of panniers all held together by a unique set of brackets for each motorcycle, without a list of which bit is for which bike, providing fitting kits will be difficult.

In 2016 after several unproductive years working with outside companies to manufacture our fibreglass luggage  and us to assemble in house we brought the entire process in house. Being let down by companies out of our control the descion was taken. A large area was cleared with several bikes being moved for the first time in nearly 20 years and production started. Harry was the first person to manufacture for us with Graham following shortly after. Not only did this enable us to control the entire process but also allow us time to develop new pieces. A very exiting time after too long in the slow lane. 

With production of the Snowdon,  Concorde and also the Comet pieces being the priority we are also starting production of the rest of the range.  Some pieces are much hard to produce than others.  For example the Rodark pannier was originally made in metal from Triumph mudguard and the Silver Arrow panniers were made from what only could be described has hardboard and pieces of wooden battening. Our team not only looked into the best methods to manufacture these but also the best finish that can be achieved.  

History about the parts

Silver Arrows :- The Silver Arrow panniers are one of the earliest style of panniers that we know of.  They are very popular for the Vincent motorcycle.  With their rudimentary design they are quite different from modern luggage however still very popular.  With a side opening all luggage is easily accessible.  Two hook mounts support the top and enable to luggage to be easily removed. The only variation from the originals has been the material we have constructed them out of and also the new superior lock that we use.  

Snowdon :-  The Snowdon was renamed when Craven Equipment was purchased by Roger Gwynn and Iain Gwynn.  The Snowdon was 4 different sizes of one style, they were renamed due to the confusing nature of the previous names,  they were: Sportsman (small), Spaceman (medium) and Superman (large) and Fairlie for the low wide version.  We felt that having one name and 3 sizes would be far more sensible.  The small is the easiest to spot since it have no styling for the Craven sticker to be placed. 

Dolomite :- The Dolomite was originally just one style and size of pannier.  There was however it's smaller sister, Safari. We have renamed this into Dolomite small (see what we did there). These pieces have a lift off lid which is not hinged or attached to the main box of the luggage.  With a solid aluminium strap running the full length of the back of the luggage. 

Rodark :- These panniers were originally made from Triumph mudguards and converted into panniers.  The mudguards were cut and a lock added to form a lid for them. They have been one of the hardest pieces of luggage to manufacture since fibreglass works best with shallow curves and plenty of room. With the tight detail of the lids and also the manner in which the original moulds were constructed presented a challenge for our team.  

Golden Arrows :-  These have not changed a great deal from when they were first introduced. The one main change we have made has been that we are now using our modern locks rather than the original ones.  The original locks are available (afraid only as a pair) and since they are quite expensive we are rather pleased to change them over.