This is a collection of photos and information from BMW riders and
collectors. I include photos of similar perspective in case one
shows some aspect that another does not. Please feel free to add
information and photos. Go here to see an
original sales brochure. Thanks to Doug Jacobs for some photos and
My first BMW was a R67/3 and I added Craven Bags to it.
The hardware was made for the plunger frame models too.
A /5, or later engine in a /2 frame with a huge Heinrich tank and double
disc brakes. At the rear is a set of Craven Golden Arrow panniers
and top box. According to a Craven brochure, the aluminum bands
should be vertical, not horizontal. Thanks Chris Walstow for the ID.
A R75/5 with Craven Safari bags, rare in the USA and sort of short Dolomite bags.
The lid has only three sides and is latched by three clasps, one of them
A R75/5 with the slightly less expensive Craven Comet bags. They are
top loading bags. Some hinge forward and some lift off. They
came in black or white.
This one may be Safari bags.
Silver Arrows. These are the Grand Dame of the Craven line and they are
really wonderful vintage bags. Beautifully made (for the period) they were
the absolute best thing you could put on your bike. Typically seen on
Vincents, Borough's, etc. They didn't lock, but had two knurled knobs that
screwed into a threaded receiver inside the case. You do see some Silver
Arrows fitted with foldover latches that you can put a small padlock on.
They have flat sides that are glued together.
These are the 1950 Style Silver Arrows and were provided for about 8
years, or so.
This broken latch is the type used on the early bags. Just reach in
behind the bags and twist two of these and lift the bags off.
Photos of Golden Arrow luggage by Bob Fee, thanks
Craven ads from 1973 Road Rider magazine
Craven "War" stories and interesting tidbits
I looked at the Craven pictures on your site, because
their factory is only 200 yards from my mothers house, & I have called in
there many times over the years for a coffee & a chat.
Ref the Heinrich tanked /2 - I would say those are Golden Arrow panniers
EXCEPT, & I am looking at one of their brochures as I write this - the
bands in the set pictured in the brochure go the "wrong way" - in the
brochure they go vertically.
I agree re the Dolomite panniers & the Comets - I had a set of those on my
The unidentified set I would say are the 1950 style "Silver Arrow"
All the above were still made in the 1990's, at which time
the owner, the
late Graham Lockwood kept the m'cycle side going out of sentimentality.
company actually earned their bread & butter making water header tanks for
internal building plumbing systems & also fire proof internal building
As a sideline they made internal "liners" to fit inside Police dog
van's - K9 Units I believe they are called in the US. These protected the
inside of the van from the ravages of excited doggy feet, improving the
residual values when they were sold off, & also dampened the sound of the
Research showed that when the dogs get excited, & they do know when they
on their way to a "job", their barking exceeded safe decibel levels, but
handlers didn't notice it.
In much the same way that people who live near an airport or a railway
grow oblivious to the noise, their minds blanked it out, but real damage
being caused the handlers long term hearing.
I always found Craven an old-fashioned, & that's a compliment not a
complaint, sort of company to deal with.
For years, right up until the K1100 Series, our Police machines were
with the Concorde top-opening panniers panniers, & very robust & practical
they proved to be. The earlier sets were a bulkier pannier called County,
it was felt that we country officers - "out in the Counties" - had to
more equipment as we had to be more self reliant until 4-wheeled back-up
I have not seen a a set of these panniers in 20 years say, & they are not
the brochure I have in front of me, although the rather similar "Safari"
I hope the above has been of interest,
P.c. 520 Martyn HILLIER,
Hepco makes a very good replica of the 'classic' Krauser pannier.
Some comments on Craven panniers;
When I traveled from Australia to Europe, then from the US to Bolivia
and then around Australia, I used 3 bikes (75/6, 80/7 and 90/6) and a
single set of Craven panniers. Craven Comets top loading in white.
why? They were cheaper than Krauser, fibreglass panniers are easier
to mend in the 'field' than plastic, fibre glass is a better insulator and
taken off the bike the panniers make good seats! Downside is that
fibre glass smells for a bit!
The racks and fittings were very robust, much more so than the Krauser,
even so the rack needed fixing in South America. Craven were a very
English firm, the fittings came in a plastic bag and you were rather left
to sort out what was what, goodness help you if they had sent the wrong
bits, best way to fit would be to put it all together loosely, then as you
tightened it up it all came together.
If you line the top and bottom of the pannier with camping mat foam, it
really helps to keep everything from rattling around too much, use
tupperware boxes for small parts, always keep your camera in the tank bag.
Craven, at the end, were making Krauser type panniers, but I
don't think that they were that popular.
I hope this helps, It is a pity that I don't have access to various
photos of craven panniers in action!
Charles Newall *7966
More information and photos can be seen on Jeff Dean's