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Old 02-24-2013, 07:45 AM   #16
Boondox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post

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...
That there's just funny!

I suppose if you had no self control at all you might be tempted to put all sorts of heavy stuff in a topcase. The reality is you use common sense just like when you load your panniers. Heavy stuff goes down and forward, which means nothing heavy goes in the topcase.

Security? If my helmet is locked in a topcase, and the helmet on the bike next to me is sitting on the saddle, which would a thief go after first? Out of sight, out of mind works pretty well at Christmas time. If a thief sees packages on the front seat of a car the odds of a break-in are greater than if they are locked in the trunk. Same goes for stuff on a bike.

Ugly? Seriously, this is a concern? If that bothers you add some function so your buddies don't think less of you. Topcases make a great place to mount a cupholder for your Starbucks Tall Skinny Decaf Mocciatto. You and I both ride the GS, which is probably the ugliest bike ever created. Nothing you could possibly do to a GS could make it any uglier: mud, gouges, bent crashbars, broken mirrors, topcase, etc.

Don't forget the increase in sail area argument. Wind might catch the topcase and blow you into the next county!

Love your sense of humor!
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:32 AM   #17
Dan-M
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I go with the waterproof duffle across the back seat. The weight is in a better place, it makes a good back rest and seems to catch less wind than a top case. The only downside is security.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:02 AM   #18
madeouttaglass
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I use the one on the Goldwing, have a factory one for my FJR that I use when the saddlebags aren't enough, and also have made an adaptor to use the FJR box on the rack on my Ulysses when the big Givis aren't enough. No box on the Gear Up but I've loaded the shit out of the rear rack for thousands of miles without issue. I certainly felt my stuff was more secure out of sight in a box than bungeed to the Ural rack. You can't tell me that a bungee net is as secure as a top box either physically or security wise. That's a nice little plus when you want to park to take some pictures, eat lunch, go in a public bathroom, or take a hike.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:41 AM   #19
Grinnin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan-M View Post
I go with the waterproof duffle across the back seat. . . The only downside is security
I still use a waterproof duffel at times. I usually use a roll-top duffel but occasionally a roll-end duffel.

One additional downside is access time. I can open the topbox, toss in gloves and gps, and relock it in less time than it takes to open a waterproof duffel, let alone put items in and reclose it.

For the ones I have the topbox wins convenience and protecting contents (for example buying a loaf of bread late in the day). Roll-top is next in both categories. Roll-end last.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:54 AM   #20
PirateJohn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVulpes View Post
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 ?
I've got one of the last REALLY big Jesse top boxes. When I commuted to work with a briefcase or rode into Mexico for three weeks it was handy (getting laundry done can be a PITA so I carried a lot of clothing).

Now, however, laptops and camera equipment are smaller, and I don't carry a briefcase. For a lot of trips I just carry an iPhone and and iPad for both camera and computer.

Like someone said in another thread locking your camera equipment in a top box is good and you have quick access to it, but now a lot of times I just have my phone in the tank bag and the iPad in a thin case in a side box.


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Old 02-24-2013, 12:10 PM   #21
bkg123
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I keep a Givi 33 on pretty much all the time. Hauls my lunchbox to work, hauls a 6 pack home. On road trips it holds essentials, snacks, toilet paper, camera etc. light stuff. Last summer I locked my keys in it, and a long screwdriver under the plastic hinges snaps those baby's right off. Steel hinges on it now.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:24 PM   #22
ParaMud
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I dont put heavy things it it. Maybe a sweatshirt and some hiking shoes.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:58 PM   #23
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16 day 11,000 mile trip. Secure, dry storage is nice to have.

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Old 02-24-2013, 03:20 PM   #24
pkbinder
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Does anyone have an opinion as to whether or no the top box makes you more unstable in high wind? I really like my "trunk" but if I thought I was going out on the Nebraska highways in 60mph winds, I might leave it home. But I probably won't. pk
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Old 02-24-2013, 03:40 PM   #25
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I don't think the winds make that much difference but you need to be careful not to get too much weight up too high. Also, if you get that weight too high and back you can get some dangerously weird handling.

Think that I mentioned earlier that I have one of Jesse's extra large top boxes. He stopped selling them because too many people were mounting them too far back (they are supposed to go over the passenger position) and with a passenger and the case loaded things got weird.

I actually got three paragraphs in the Miami newspaper for riding out of Key West in high winds and driving rain when the authorities evacuated the Lower Keys because of a hurricane scare. I know that I had a top box that day but I suspect that it was the factory GS top case and not the Jesse case.

Long story short those are probably higher winds than most people are ever going to see on a bike and I didn't think the case made much difference.

Just for trivia when I took long trips, like my Mexican trips, I'd carry a water resistant duffle back on top of the case. Plenty of frontal area but if you put the lighter stuff on top the bike handles well.

Likewise there is a guy that I have met when he was in the USA that has toured the USA, Africa, and God knows where else with a custom built fiberglass assembly that covers the back seat and rear of his bike. It's as tall as he is when he is on the bike, and I remember that when I met him in Daytona he had left Indianapolis in a snow storm and rode to Daytona Beach in a day or two. I can't imagine that he would have kept that setup if it was too hard to handle in crosswinds.


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Old 02-24-2013, 04:22 PM   #26
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It has been my experience with a heavy top box along with riding really hard off road or on bad washboard gravel roads for thousands of miles a loaded up top box acts like a giant lever and will easily end up breaking mounting bolts and/or the rear sub frame over time. I used to ride with one but not anymore unless I'm taking it on an easy trip.

If you must have a topbox use the smallest box you can and only load the lightest amount of weight in it and try to stick to the nice paved roads and you should be fine.

Personally I only like carrying my computer in a pelican case in that position only because I can lock it to my top box rack and when not carrying the computer I like the drybag across the back when I'm traveling.
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:37 PM   #27
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Top boxes work very well for commuting and limited trips.
IMO, nothing beats a good duffle pack for long rides. It's flexible for packing needs and easy to r/r.

We all learn what we like to use as we pile up the miles....
Usually, you want the weight as low as possible. No top box does that.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:10 AM   #28
High Country Herb
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I leave my Givi top box home when carrying my tent. The fiberglass poles are too long to fit in the top box, so I wrap my sleeping bag and tent around them inside a duffel bag. I strap that down across the rack and saddlebags.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pkbinder View Post
Does anyone have an opinion as to whether or no the top box makes you more unstable in high wind? I really like my "trunk" but if I thought I was going out on the Nebraska highways in 60mph winds, I might leave it home. But I probably won't. pk
Strangely, my Givi top box and Easylock Saddlebags actually stabilize the Aprilia Dorsoduro in windy conditions. The only thing I can think of is that they are acting like feathers on an arrow. I noticed the effect in gusty cross winds, and have confirmed that it works in all windy conditions I have encountered. They do drop fuel mileage, though. I recommend trying it out close to home, if you can find a windy place to experiment.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:36 AM   #29
Craneguy
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This is how I roll for a few days. If I need more the side cases go on.

I have never noticed the top case weight (E55 Givi) (even offroad) until a couple of days ago when I took it shopping at costco. The thing must have weighed 60 lbs and I really noticed it. I generally put my clothes in it on trips, and the rest on the seat. It can't be worse than a passenger, can it?

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Old 03-03-2013, 12:15 PM   #30
acejones
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I carry some of my maps, rain gear, first aid kit, toilet paper, and usually some paper towels in the top box. That usually leaves room for my helmet if I get off for a while.
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