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Old 07-29-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
RRVT OP
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Flying with sidecases in a suitcase

Is it allowed and has anybody done that? I am looking to buy a bike in Europe and many don't come with sidecases or they have those small plastic ones I don't like. One thought I had was to bring my Happy Trail cases with me, they are light and they fit in a big suitcase. Just not sure how it works with X-rays and security.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:49 AM   #2
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Um.

Why bring the suitcase at all?

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Old 07-30-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
Um.

Why bring the suitcase at all?

Jamie
They will be counted as separate pieces of luggage (meaning additional checked in baggage charge).

That said, check the dimensions on the big suitcase, which are also restricted, in addition to weight. And to answer the OP's original question--your bike cases wouldn't be a problem if they are in a big suitcase. Remember--don't carry anything flammable (as in chain lube, etc.)
in your big suitcase.

My advise--if you are thinking of lugging big alum side boxes, don't bother, way too heavy. A pair of soft saddlebags or something like the Givi Monokey cases (super light) will do great.

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Just not sure how it works with X-rays and security.
Everything will get opened and looked at anyway. Just let the TSA guy know before you put your suitcase on the belt.
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by sasho View Post
They will be counted as separate pieces of luggage (meaning additional checked in baggage charge).
Ah... as in both cases inside a single suitcase so that it's one piece instead of two.

Got it.

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Old 07-30-2013, 01:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sasho View Post
They will be counted as separate pieces of luggage (meaning additional checked in baggage charge).

That said, check the dimensions on the big suitcase, which are also restricted, in addition to weight. And to answer the OP's original question--your bike cases wouldn't be a problem if they are in a big suitcase. Remember--don't carry anything flammable (as in chain lube, etc.)
in your big suitcase.

My advise--if you are thinking of lugging big alum side boxes, don't bother, way too heavy. A pair of soft saddlebags or something like the Givi Monokey cases (super light) will do great.
Yeah, that was one of the reasons, don't want to pay for two pieces of luggage. The other issues are - they would need handles of some kind, they might get beat up, they might be handled as special luggage.

There are two reasons why I want solid cases - they are more spacious than the ones that come with these bikes, and also harder to steal from. I will be spending a lot of time in Eastern Europe and I talked to people there recently about theft (aside from growing up there). Theft in those areas is really high and you need to have your stuff so it's not a quick thing to steal. I could break the factory cases off my R1100GS with bare hands in a second. Soft luggage can be taken off quickly with scissors. At least these Happy Trail cases are harder to break into or take them off the bike. I was advised to actually move sidecases and topcase inside, and not leave it outside overnight. I know in the end nothing might happen, or nothing will stop a determined thief, but at least we can make it harder for these small time crooks.
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:08 PM   #6
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Ah... as in both cases inside a single suitcase so that it's one piece instead of two.

Got it.

Jamie
Yeah, these airlines in Europe, that's how they make money. The charges for additional bags or extra weight are wicked steep. They will even charge you $60 for re-printing the boarding pass...
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
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What do you do with the suitcase when you get there? Fill up the side cases and check them, it's all your going to carry on the bike anyway...
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:03 PM   #8
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Yeah, that was one of the reasons, don't want to pay for two pieces of luggage. The other issues are - they would need handles of some kind, they might get beat up, they might be handled as special luggage.

There are two reasons why I want solid cases - they are more spacious than the ones that come with these bikes, and also harder to steal from. I will be spending a lot of time in Eastern Europe and I talked to people there recently about theft (aside from growing up there). Theft in those areas is really high and you need to have your stuff so it's not a quick thing to steal. I could break the factory cases off my R1100GS with bare hands in a second. Soft luggage can be taken off quickly with scissors. At least these Happy Trail cases are harder to break into or take them off the bike. I was advised to actually move sidecases and topcase inside, and not leave it outside overnight. I know in the end nothing might happen, or nothing will stop a determined thief, but at least we can make it harder for these small time crooks.
I agree with those concerns regarding Eastern Europe. I travel there frequently and while I have not had a problem so far with luggage on the bike, I wouldn't chance it. I especially agree with the point about leaving bags on the bike overnight somewhere on the street. Parked somewhere inside a hotel's yard or the like is not a problem usually.

My bike in Eastern Europe already had a set of these Givi Monokey side cases, which I like.
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Old 07-30-2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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Yeah, these airlines in Europe, that's how they make money. The charges for additional bags or extra weight are wicked steep. They will even charge you $60 for re-printing the boarding pass...
That said, in the big scheme of things another $50 probably won't make much difference. Especially if the ticket already cost $2k!!!
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Old 07-30-2013, 07:24 PM   #10
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That said, in the big scheme of things another $50 probably won't make much difference. Especially if the ticket already cost $2k!!!
Certainly an option, I would just need to find out somehow whether airlines would consider that a suitable container for transport. The other thing is that if each trip ends up costing extra $200 in luggage charges, I may as well just leave them with the bike after the first trip.
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Old 07-30-2013, 11:35 PM   #11
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I have just flown back to the UK from Azerbaijan with a pair of BMW panniers as my checked luggage. I strapped them together and had them wrapped with clingfilm at the airport, this service seems to be offered at a most airports now for a few dollars, and with them weighing in just below my allowance there was no problem at all.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:45 AM   #12
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I have just flown back to the UK from Azerbaijan with a pair of BMW panniers as my checked luggage. I strapped them together and had them wrapped with clingfilm at the airport, this service seems to be offered at a most airports now for a few dollars, and with them weighing in just below my allowance there was no problem at all.
Done the same with our cases strapped and wrapped going from AUS to EU and AUS to US and back.
No probs.
Added between $20-26 for each return flight.
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Old 07-31-2013, 07:46 AM   #13
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I have had many people arrive here with pelican cases as their luggage.
Arrive, attach to the bike and ride.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:22 AM   #14
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I have had many people arrive here with pelican cases as their luggage.
Arrive, attach to the bike and ride.
Martin,

funny coincidence that you responded because after I saw your posts, I have been researching the option of buying a bike through you and storing it there some of the time. My trip will likely take place late April, so I will start looking at bikes and talking to you in January. I was gonna ship my R1100GS at a $2,000 cost but from what I saw, I can get a better bike in Ireland for maybe 4K.

But yeah, most of adv bikes in Ireland seem to come with factory cases as opposed to third party boxes.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:17 PM   #15
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I really don't see what the problem is. The airlines don't care what's in luggage as long as it meets their guidelines. If you don't know the guidelines, ask the airlines. It really depends on what you think you need to haul and how much you are willing to spend in dollars or effort. You could also consider DHL or any other shipper.
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