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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 23 Apr 2008
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Question Top box a good idea?

Hi,

I am heading around Europe this (Northern) summer with a mate for our first ever long distance bike trip (4 months), and have bought a 2002 BMW F650GS for the trip, which has a metal mule rack and panniers (38L x 2). Strapping a backpack on the rear seat as well.

Was wondering if people had advice about the pros/cons of adding a top box? And if so, which (economical) rack and top box would you recommend for this bike?

My initial thoughts are this would be great when we pull into a town, ie. to put the helmet, riding jacket and gloves inside and take out the light walking jacket and small pack (with guide book etc); meaning the top box is light when travelling too.

I don't think I will need one for more packing space, but my concerns with not having one are security and weather for the riding gear when parked in town. I guess the other option might be a pacsafe "stuff safe" bag locked onto the back.

Thanks guys. All advice greatly appreciated.

Damien

(I have tried a search of the forums and found only a couple of relevant things, so apologies if I missed something useful there, I am not great with computers!)
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Old 23 Apr 2008
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Top Box/Topbox?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dpdaniel View Post
Was wondering if people had advice about the pros/cons of adding a top box?

(I have tried a search of the forums and found only a couple of relevant things, so apologies if I missed something useful there, I am not great with computers!)
Hi Damien
This is the thread you need: Topbox or not?
With top box spelled as one word you may have missed it in your search.
Regards,
Stephan
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  #3  
Old 24 Apr 2008
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Thanks

Thanks guys. I checked out the earlier post, Stephan, and it did reiterate a lot of what I was thinking - cheers.
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Old 24 Apr 2008
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My 1999 F650 came with a top box for free (BMW clearing out old stock for the model change). I'm 5'8"/1.7m and the thing was right in the space your boot needs to travel through when getting on the bike. A few good hits from a size seven and the top box was loose. IMHO, if you decide you like them, get the shallower city case or the newer equivalent.

Andy
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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Thumbs up good tip

Good tip Andy, I am about the same height - and I was worried about this point. I am going to go without the top box.

Cheers
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  #6  
Old 25 Apr 2008
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As you will see in the thread that was linked in earlier on by another member, some love T-boxes, other hate them and a few in between.

Personally, I think they are a good piece of storage, and I have not experienced problems having one. Those against have cited looks and instability as well as possible strain on the subframe over rough terrain as two main reasons against.

Looks is a personal issue, but my take on this is that I will fit something to my bike for purpose first and consider looks second. If I need it and it fits the bill, I fit it. As for weight and stability, I was on a heavy bike for our last overland trip and we were two up. A packed top-box is less noticeably when you are already carrying another human being on the back.
If it is empty, I doubt you will know it is there, unless you are cruising at a 120mph on the autobahn.

Personally, I say go for it if you feel it would satisfy a purpose on your trip.
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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Make Your Own

I made a top box out of two cut down plastic milk crates lined with thin sheet alloy with a hinged lid and lock.Sprayed black to match my V-Strom, I only paid for some tie downs from a boat yard and a cool bag that fitted just right inside to keep things dry.
My main concern was security not looks and I don't think you can get much cheaper. I went for a ride and tested it up to 160 klms per hr without any wobbles, in fact the only thing I noticed was a whistle after about 100kph but that might go when I get my tent and sleeping roll strapped to the seat.
When I get back home I can undo the four bolts and off it comes (you can only get at them from inside the box) then someone else can have it.
Cheers
Ian
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dessertstrom View Post
I made a top box out of two cut down plastic milk crates lined with thin sheet alloy with a hinged lid and lock.Sprayed black to match my V-Strom, I only paid for some tie downs from a boat yard and a cool bag that fitted just right inside to keep things dry.
My main concern was security not looks and I don't think you can get much cheaper. I went for a ride and tested it up to 160 klms per hr without any wobbles, in fact the only thing I noticed was a whistle after about 100kph but that might go when I get my tent and sleeping roll strapped to the seat.
When I get back home I can undo the four bolts and off it comes (you can only get at them from inside the box) then someone else can have it.
Cheers
Ian
I cut an ancient Russian 10 litre jerry can down the weld and fitted a catch and hinge. Looks like a dogs breakfast but is tough and the right shape. With foam fitted inside it makes a decent cocktail cabinet on shorter trips/rallys!

Andy
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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My mate uses an old top box as a bread bin, ???? I wonder if you can use a bread bin for a top box.
Cheers
Ian
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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I would personally ever have a topbox fitted if I was using hotels as opposed to camping, the pillion seat is for pillions NOT tent and sleeping bag, try putting your tent and 'bag' on the pillion seat then try getting on and off the bike a few times then you will see what I mean.
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Old 26 Apr 2008
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Whats all the problem with trying to get on your bike when a topbox or tail pack is fitted to back seat anyway??

With the bike leaning towards you on the side stand, hold the bars and put your left foot on the footpeg and just climb aboard...easy!

Ive had my bike fully laden and mounting the bike this way never causes me any problems kicking stuff.

Hope this helps
Roy
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Old 26 Apr 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by royzx7r View Post
Whats all the problem with trying to get on your bike when a topbox or tail pack is fitted to back seat anyway??
right,no problem, and a benefit for my back



my xt, fully packed and ready for a trip to india
ps: somewhere on this 17.000km trip,the subframe broke.
i noticed it at first, when i was going to ship back the bike from Delhi.
so maybe it happened,when my bike was sent from Goa to Delhi by train (hundreds of parcels were lying on my bike )
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Old 26 Apr 2008
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Are you serious about this ?
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Old 26 Apr 2008
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So which bag is the kitchen sink in?

baswacky.
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Old 26 Apr 2008
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Question

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Originally Posted by hekoheko View Post



the subframe broke.
)
That seems quite understandable: what did that load weigh?
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