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Old 02-23-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
DonVulpes OP
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No top box ?

Hi All

I've been doing a lot of reading up, before setting off on my trip round Europe and I've noticed that a lot of people don't take a top box, just panniers. I will be going solo, so the weight concerns aren't as rigid as they would be for a couple.

Just wondering why a lot of people forgo the top box, when they're touring ?
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:02 PM   #2
jiggliemon
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For the same reason that I forgo wearing a fannie pack: I'm too vain.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:19 PM   #3
DonVulpes OP
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I wouldn't wear a fanny pack either, but a top box makes a lot of sense to me.
Horses for courses I suppose.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:36 PM   #4
NoVa Rider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVulpes View Post
Hi All
Just wondering why a lot of people forgo the top box, when they're touring ?
Keep the weight low?
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:00 PM   #5
Cal
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I would not be without my Givi 52 liter top box. It safely stores stuff while I am at border crossings, resturants etc.....
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #6
JustKip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal View Post
I would not be without my Givi 52 liter top box. It safely stores stuff while I am at border crossings, resturants etc.....
Same here. It's where I put my helmet and jacket when going in stores and resturants
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:14 PM   #7
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I'm running a 55L Givi topcase and I'm not convinced the pros outweigh the cons

Pros:

- It stores a ton of stuff and it's waterproof

Cons:

- All the weight is *behind* the rear wheel, which greatly throws off the balance of the bike. Front end is too light, which is not good when the road gets twisty - no confidence in front wheel grip when accelerating.
- All the weight is high, which feels like balancing a bowling ball on top of broomstick. If you're doing a lot of off-road, balance is harder to maintain.
- Because it's large, you end up putting more stuff in it, which makes it more heavier. Even if you put light stuff inside, the case itself is pretty heavy
- Illusion of security - I can probably open it with a long screwdriver if I ever locked myself out
- Ugly-looking

If you absolutely needed a topcase, I'd opt for a smaller, lighter case that doesn't sit too far behind the rear wheel. That way you're not tempted to overload it. Maybe mount it on the passenger seat instead of the rear rack. Also something more secure, like a Pelican Case. Best option is run one of those Ortlieb or Wolfman dry-bags instead. The kind you put over the rear seat and hangs over your panniers. Better weight distribution (basically a passenger) and looks a lot cooler than a topcase...
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:15 PM   #8
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If you need the room, there's no real reason not to take it. Of course, if you can get by without it, then it's just extra weight.

That being said, I take my Givi E55 everywhere for the same reasons stated above: keeps my helmet, gloves, jacket, stuff save when I leave the bike.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
going south
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I really like this set-up, holds more than an top box, lower center of gravity, one pad lock and the whole thing comes with,
if your not packing much it rolls up small or goes flat, water proof,
(if you look close its in an Pac-safe wire mesh bag, which is really tough stuff)
you can run the pac-safe cable through your jacket arm, pant leg, lock it up and your good to go for a walk-about...

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Old 02-23-2013, 09:59 PM   #10
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Lightcycle, that's funny.

Cons: - Ugly-looking

You obviously ride a pretty bike. Me and the wife ride ugly bikes, so top boxes are the only way to go.
www.flickr.com/photos/rickandchris/6970675867/in/photostream
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:34 AM   #11
DonVulpes OP
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Hadn't considered the CoG issue and that makes a helluva a lot of sense.
It won't be anywhere near as important for my tour, but it's certainly something to bear in mind for future ( wilder ) trips.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:23 AM   #12
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My side cases carry the heavy stuff. Top box gets the sleeping pad, tent poles, and gloves, plus clothes that I shed as the day warms.

Since it IS high, I don't put heavy items in it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:30 AM   #13
Paul_Rochdale
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fannie pack (US) = bum bag (GB)

I've had top boxes on my BMW R100/7 and Pan for the last twenty years and will also be putting one on my R100GS-PD too. I wouldn't be without one.

"All the weight is *behind* the rear wheel, which greatly throws off the balance of the bike. Front end is too light, which is not good when the road gets twisty - no confidence in front wheel grip when accelerating.
- All the weight is high, which feels like balancing a bowling ball on top of broomstick. If you're doing a lot of off-road, balance is harder to maintain.
- Because it's large, you end up putting more stuff in it, which makes it more heavier. Even if you put light stuff inside, the case itself is pretty heavy
- Illusion of security - I can probably open it with a long screwdriver if I ever locked myself out
- Ugly-looking"

I've never experienced balance problems because there aren't any. I don't go off road. The top boxes are GRP so aren't heavy. Illusion of security? How many people wander around with long screwdrivers? Ugly looking? Don't look at it.
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:39 AM   #14
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Tires
Oil
Topboxes

nothing good can come from this.
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:05 AM   #15
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The worst sight on the road is a bike with a top box and nothing else. If you have to use one, make sure it's combined with side bags and loaded with light weight gear.
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