Flying with sidecases in a suitcase

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by RRVT, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. RRVT

    RRVT Wild and Crazy Guy

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    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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  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Um.

    Why bring the suitcase at all?

    Jamie
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  3. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    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.

    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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  4. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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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
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  5. RRVT

    RRVT Wild and Crazy Guy

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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.
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  6. RRVT

    RRVT Wild and Crazy Guy

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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...
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  7. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

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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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  8. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    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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  9. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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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!!! :baldy
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  10. RRVT

    RRVT Wild and Crazy Guy

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    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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  11. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley On my way

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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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  12. glitch_oz

    glitch_oz ...

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    :clap:clap 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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  13. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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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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  14. RRVT

    RRVT Wild and Crazy Guy

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    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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  15. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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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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  16. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

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    I'd do without the suitcase and just box up my panniers.

    Then I'd get one of these to haul the box to the airport and to the bike rental place.


    I'd do that stuff because I recently did something very simular without a problem.

    PS United lets you have a box with an overall total of 62" and 50lbs for $50
    Bigger and the price goes up.

    I.e. 30" x 17" x 15" = 62"

    Then again I was only going one way so I didn't want to have to account for (or throw away) a suitcase.
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  17. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    I guess I don't need to add much more to the info you have already seen here on ADV.
    Don't stress too much about bringing in luggage, plenty of bikes here with luggage already on them.
    You can set up an alert system on done deal to let you know when the bike you want turns up for sale.
    If your a GS rider, you may like the Honda Varadero.

    Example
    http://www.donedeal.ie/motorbikes-for-sale/honda-varadero-1000cc/5417911
    #17
  18. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    If you are planning to keep the bike over there and return why not use the side cases for luggage and then leave them there on the bike. Maybe even buy a set when you get there.
    I live in Canada but keep a bike in various different southern states for winter riding. I leave luggage, camping gear,boots, helmet ect with the bike. (that also gives me an excuse to buy new gear for up here.:evil ) When the urge hits I and usually the wife just go to the airport with a tank bag and wearing riding jackets,pants and pair of sandels. No luggage to check at all. No muss no fuss.
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  19. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    Hey Wheatwhacker. Glad to see you are still doing your thing living over there. Never got to meet you in California. Could happen yet! :1drink
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  20. wheatwhacker

    wheatwhacker It's raining here

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    Anything is possible.
    An inmate from OZ found me here on ADV and, 3 weeks later he was sipping beer in my local before his Euro trip on his "own" motorcycle.
    Canada is a lot closer than Australia :)
    #20