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  #1  
Old 16 Nov 2004
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Top Box or Big Bag

Hi folks

I've got my BMW R100 GS stripped down, getting it ready for the next BIG Trip.

I'm thinking of adding a nice big top box to the Tesch panniers I already have. On my last trip I used the 89 Litre Ortleib bag - but I'm warming to the idea of getting a nice secure box to bung all the light stuff in. Overland Ernie has converted my GS to a single seater, so the box would sit quite nicely on the rear rack across the panniers - rather than hang off the back.

Is it worth doing - or should I stick to the bag system that seems so popular (but lacks security). I took a Pacsafe wire net with me last time - but it was a bit of a hassle to wrap it around the bag, so I only used it a few times.

Is the Big top box the way to go... The Zega one is big, but expensive...

All comments appreciated.

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Old 16 Nov 2004
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How about strapping on a big hiking pack? This is what I have and it works really well. Stuff it with all the less-frequently used gear and the hassle of getting past the pacsafe and cover are minimised. Okay, thieves can open the pacsafe in 10 seconds if they know how, but most locals have never seen them and tend to give them more respect than they deserve. A topbox might be more convenient day-to-day, but you can't climb mountains with it

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  #3  
Old 17 Nov 2004
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I think once you use a top box on a long trip, its tough to live without it. The convenience is huge, especially for small items you will be using all the time, every day. I couldn't imagine going into a big duffel constantly to get food, extra clothing layers, rain gear, etc, everytime I needed something. Remember, when you are on the bike everyday, convenience IS important.

I like to travel with my top box nearly empty, that way there is always some room for stashing my helmet or jacket when I stop, or transporting my leftovers or some fresh to camp.

If you need the extra capacity, you can always strap a dry bag on top of each of the side panniers and put the pacsafe over those panniers. But if you can't fit all your stuff in the side cases and one top box, you probably have too much stuff if you are travelling solo.

-Dave

[This message has been edited by davidmc (edited 16 November 2004).]
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  #4  
Old 17 Nov 2004
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Aren't your Tesch boxes top opening? In that case having a top box across them doesn't sound like such a great idea...

I haven't measured it yet, but I think I've found some boxes in German DIY stores which are long and relatively slim, so I intend to fit them lengthwise. That way I can still open the pannier lids. Haven't figured out how to attach them yet, so that they are removable for going off-road.

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Old 17 Nov 2004
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Lift-off lids work best with a top box installed....

-Dave
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Old 17 Nov 2004
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Fuzzy

If you have a tank bag and tank panniers (which work wonders for weight distribution) you've probably got sufficient capacity without anything on the top at the back.

As Dave says, you're probably packing more stuff than you need if it doesn't all fit.

Mick

[This message has been edited by Squidbrain (edited 17 November 2004).]
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  #7  
Old 17 Nov 2004
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Hmmm thanks for the comments guys.

Yes I think I'm prone to take far too much - I do have the tank panniers and tank bag - so plenty of space up front. I like the idea of leaving the box empty and chucking in my jacket, etc for city/town stops. The problem I found before was having gear for all weather. Things are fine when it's cold and wet as I'm wearing it all, but once I hit somewhere warm and sunny I stripped it all off and had to leave it packed in my big bag.

The Tesch lids open upwards, but only need tilting to a small angle (30 degrees) when they can be pushed back and lifted off - so I might have enough space with a box fitted, depending on the gap between box and bag.

I might even bung on a Givi box on the back as they're much cheaper than Zega-type stuff...

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