Caribou Camera Top Case Set Up

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by kmroxo, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. kmroxo

    kmroxo Reno Rider

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Chesapeake, VA
    My father has been wanting a DSLR for years, but refused to spend the money on it because of the extra camera farkles - more lenses, filters, etc - gets the costs going pretty high. His thought was of getting a nice camera and packing in a top case on his 1200 GS for day or weekend rides. Back when he was looking at panniers I thought that the Caribou Cases would be perfect for a camera top case - waterproof, foam inserts, lockable, easily removable.

    A few weeks ago I bought my dad a Nikon D5100 with two lenses to get him started. Time to figure out a top case set up for him. His current set up is to run a Tail Gunner from GSessories all the time and Jesse Odyssey II panniers for trips. I wanted to find something that would work with them.

    I went back to look at Caribou Cases, but they were now using the quarter turn quick fasteners which require you to completely remove the contents of the top case in order to remove the top case itself. I think that is an excellent solution that Caribou has come up with to keep the mounting weight low, but I didn't think that fit this application very well since constantly loading and unloading the camera gear might lead to more opportunities to drop expensive camera equipment.

    The next option I looked at was Twisted Throttle's Pelican case set up. Theirs required the use of the SW-MOTECH steel top rack plate, but it didn't look like it would work with the existing Tail Gunner because some of it seemed to creep close to the back of the rear seat area which would limit the opening of the Tail Gunner.

    I found a very nice top rack from AltRider that worked with the Tail Gunner and also worked with Givi Monokey bags. Remembering that Caribou Cases can work with Givi Monokey racks I started emailing Roger to see how this might work. Roger said that his side bag set up wouldn't work with Givi top rack plates, but it turns out that is because all of the Givi top racks are made of plastic and their locking attachment thing can't be removed whereas their pannier mounts they can leaving two holes to add the Caribou adaptor lock mechanism. Since the top rack I was going with from AltRider wasn't plastic from Givi and was only adaptable for Givi Monokey I thought it might work. Roger agreed that it sounded possible, but couldn't guarantee it not having tried it himself.

    I ended up ordering the AltRider rear luggage rack and one half of a Caribou Case 36 liter (iM2600 case) side luggage pannier set for Givi Monokey. Roger was great about doing this custom order for me since it isn't available as a standard item. I had them install the lock, but not the lid stays that normally come with the side panniers. We discussed if they should pre-drill the holes for the mounting plate and Roger suggested that they not do it in order to allow me the flexibility on how far fore and aft I wanted to mount the case for maximum clearance of the other gear.

    In the end it worked perfectly! I highly recommend Roger and Caribou Cases for his helpful communication, flexibility, and product quality. Also, this proves that you can still get a quickly detachable Caribou Case top case without having to empty out the contents if you are willing to use this same set up. Perhaps the Twisted Throttle one would have worked as well, but I went based on the pictures of the racks comparing AltRider and SW-MOTECH. Cost difference would have been negligible.

    Here are some photos:
    This is his normal touring set up.
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    AltRider rear luggage rack showing the clearance for the Tail Gunner with Caribou Givi hardware adaptors.

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    Newly mounted Caribou Camera Top Case.

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    As you can see, I mounted the Caribou Case as far back as possible to keep the clearance for the Tail Gunner.

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    Amazingly, there was still enough room to open the Jesse bags on both sides! This was another reason I wanted a quick release type top case because I, nor Roger, though the Jesse bags would still be able to swing open. This picture is with the lid partially open and at the closest point of contact. These Odyssey bags were set to just about their most rearward position.

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    For those that may be curious, there is some rubbing of the bolts that hold the fork type things on the Caribou Case with the AltRider rear luggage rack. So just from testing install I did scratch up the rear luggage rack a bit. I don't think there is any way around that other than to maybe put some tape over the bolt ends or on the rack, but things like that don't tend to bother me or my dad much. I just wanted to mention it for those that would care.
    #1
  2. pixelcodex

    pixelcodex Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    South Florida
    That’s a cool setup you came up with for your dad! Seems to me that Pelican cases are the preferred case for photographers anyway, so it makes sense. I had looked into the Caribou cases when I was looking for a top case, but I ended up going with a more conventional but roomier Krauser K5, which fits 2 helmets. By the way, I also have the same TailGunner from Gsessories (painted to match my bike, so it looks stock). I was one of their early adopters. I wanted something that would not be too big, but at the same time would provide secure storage for when I ride my bike to work and don’t want to take all the luggage to be stealth in traffic. It fits the bill for me on all counts, as I have my iPad, sunglass case and all kinds of other stuff (they are shockingly roomy). Even though I bought the TailGunner after I got the top case, I was gladly surprised it fit like a glove and I did not have any clearance issues with the existing top case, Russsel saddle or the panniers.

    Anyway, looking good. I wanted to share my experience too, and speak to a slightly different setup. Ahhh, the joys of farkling! :evil
    #2