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Old 25 Nov 2008
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Advice Please - Large Allum Tail Box

I own a mint 1999 XT600E with only 5,000 miles on the clock. I'm prepping it for a solo tour round European Russia next year (I'm 45 years old so times getting on a bit). I'm doing it alone cos I don't have any M/C buddies and the Mrs hates bikes (dangerous etc...). I have been riding for many years but have never done more than Wales, Scotland and day trips to France and Belgium. The furthest I've been on 2 wheels is the Pyranees in 1993. If I don't do it now I never will. I'm planning the BIG one next June 2009. I am very travelled but not on 2 wheels (worked all over the world but mainly Africa).

I wonder if someone can please point me in the right direction for a good large (50 Litre) alluminium tail box?

I want to spend about £150 if I can plus fittings.

The idea I have is to store my personal stuff in the tail box and dispense with panniers completely. I shall carry a large waterproof holdall on the passenger seat behind the top box and perhaps a tent and sleeping bag on top of that.

As my engineering abilities are not great I'd appreciate the details of someone who could fit the stuff too?

Thanking you all very much (in anticipation) for your valued advice here
Triumph Bonneville 800 (2004), Yamaha XT600E (1999), Honda XBR500 (1986).

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Old 25 Nov 2008
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This may not be the sort of response you're looking for....but are you so determined to carry all your weight way up high? I carry a tailbox about two thirds that size as a matter of course, and just loading it up with daytrip stuff (tools, camera, food and water, a few odds and ends) makes me plenty top-heavy. Adding a large duffel loaded with long distance and camping gear would be survivable, but not much fun. It's about enjoying the ride, right? The things you've seen people do on bikes in Africa or Asia they're doing because they've got no choice, not because they're trying to enjoy themselves.

Before getting to the point you're describing, I clip on back panniers, then front panniers, and I load all the heavy stuff as low as possible; I may add some gear behind me on the seat as a last resort, usually stuff that is bulky but light.

Personally, I'd eliminate the top box in favor of panniers if I had to, not the reverse.

Hope that's helpful.

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Old 25 Nov 2008
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I'll add: I think you're looking for this beast http://www.happy-trail.com/ProductIn...B%20TB-2C12-58, but I don't know where you'd find such a thing in the UK. It's about your price range, and I use other Happy Trails products and find them reasonable in concept and execution.

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Old 25 Nov 2008
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I shouldn't worry too much about the weight being up high. I often carry 14 kgs in my Givi Maxia 52 ltr topbox and some more in a roll bag on the back seat. You just get used to it. After a day or so you don't even notice it. Off-roading will be a different game I would think but for hard roads including dirt and gravel it will be fine. I wouldn't rule out side panniers though as they're necessary to carry enough gear for camping. They seem to stick out miles and look cumbersome but the same rule applies. After a few miles you won't notice them and I always find that they're well within the normal "safe" zone I allow around the bike when in traffic. Just go with what you feel is right and it'll work out.
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