No top box ?

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by DonVulpes, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. bkg123

    bkg123 Been here awhile

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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.
    #21
  2. ParaMud

    ParaMud Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
    I dont put heavy things it it. Maybe a sweatshirt and some hiking shoes.
    #22
  3. Rollin'

    Rollin' does it come in black?

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    16 day 11,000 mile trip. Secure, dry storage is nice to have.

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    #23
  4. pkbinder

    pkbinder Kissing Moose

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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
    #24
  5. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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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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    #25
  6. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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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.
    #26
  7. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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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.
    #27
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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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.


    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.
    #28
  9. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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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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    #29
  10. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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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.
    #30
  11. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    Usually use an Ortlieb when riding long trips as more flexible:

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    and a top box for work kit (suit, shoes, shirts etc.) if riding via a work assignment to keep everything safe and uncrumpled:

    [​IMG]

    Gets a bit much when doing both:

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    #31
  12. WooHoo

    WooHoo Adventurer

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    I've been rear-ended a couple of times sitting at red lights/intersections. Both times I ended up sitting on the car bonnet with the bike shot out from under me.... And no more damage then a bit of twinkly nerves. I have no scientific evidence, nor have I heard it mentioned before, but I do not think a top box being rammed into my spine on its way out from under me would have helped.

    Tankbags seem a better option all-round to me.
    #32
  13. Two Wheeled 'Tard

    Two Wheeled 'Tard Banned

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    I just don't need it. I find it's easier to have some soft stuff (like the tent) bungeed to the luggage rack, rather than messing with a top box.

    Sleeping bag and food in one saddlebag, tools, stove, cookware and camera in the other, clothes and laptop in the seat bag, tent on the luggage rack. Or if I'm going for very long distances, spare fuel cans strapped to the luggage rack as well.
    #33
  14. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    I have a set of Micatech on my GSA, with a large pack rack, and their huge top box, I ride to commute and we ride two up on trips.

    To commute I use the top box only, no side panniers, its ideal to lock stuff when at work and for grocery shopping, etc...

    When we go on a trip that will involve camping in one or two spots, we tend to bring more stuff (light tarp, xlite chairs, mess kit, pan, stove, small grill, small soft cooler, food, etc). The top box is perfect for that, because many of these items are small, and we use it as a locker.

    On longer trips or when we know we will be doing only 1 or 2 consecutive nights of camping at a time, and might do other-than-paved roads, we carry a SeaLine Widemouth 80 lt, and put all the camping gear in there (Tent-Pilows-Mats-Sleeping bags, and if warm both heated vest) the bag works as a back rest, and is wrapped with a Pacsafe mesh, and locked to the bike. Meaning that if we are not camping the gear stays securely locked and strapped on the bike. On these types of trips we just carry a spork each. Nothing else related to food or prep.

    If I do solo trips, I have the same set up, but use a SeaLIne 25lt dry compression stuff sack (with stove and mess kit).

    What I really like is the large pack rack from Micatech because I carry a fishing rod tube, and it is perfect to tie it securely to the bike.

    Packing for two up is fun :rofl
    #34
  15. SteelB12

    SteelB12 Long timer

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    People that say top cases are bad are idiots

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    :beer:hide
    #35
  16. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    For the win!!!
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  17. Standup Rider

    Standup Rider Deacon

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    The facts are : no matter what's in any bag / box that's mounted behind the rear axle ALL of that weight is on the rear wheel-by definition that's that's not balanced; it takes weight off the front wheel.
    As above: any weight placed high on the bike makes it harder to lift, IF you ever drop the bike, and technically slower to respond to leaning inputs (changes the polar moment of inertia).

    Conclusion: If one must carry stuff it's better for the physics of the M/C to have the extra weigh lower and closer to the middle of the bike. If you're a touring or multi day Adv rider you/me WILL be adding weight so it becomes YOUR choice where to place it. Nobody here is telling you to violate your established esthetics's, principles, history(I've always done it that way).
    Just don't say it doesn't matter.
    #37
  18. pingvin

    pingvin Been here awhile

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    I feel the CoG thing is a bit exaggerated...unless you keep really heavy stuff there. I fill up my 48L top box, mostly casual clothes but also some tools, big disc lock and 1L of oil. Will think weight is 6-7kg, my bike weighs 130kg and I'm close to 100kg with gear. So say 230kg in total where top box is maybe 2.5% of this...and your bike is probably 100kg heavier.

    Yes, I do notice front is slightly lighter so should be considered but I'm riding fast and got no issues. Personally I hate the thought of side cases increasing width and risk of getting leg trapped under in a crash. Just my opinion anyway, we all have different priorities and preferences :D

    Oh, and yes, I know it looks like shit :D But practical, especially with inner bag.

    EDIT: BTW, not having a tank bag gives me more room to lean my upper body forward and get more weight on front going into turns.

    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. Mr_Gone

    Mr_Gone The Lejund!

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    I did the math on my bike, and my topcase only adds 2.5% to the total weight of my bike + me. That's not much at all. I don't notice any difference in the bike's handling whatsoever.
    #39
  20. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

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    Neither do I.

    The important calculation is how far back a loaded top box moved the combined center of gravity of the rider and bike.

    It's probably only a few inches back and up , and therefore shouldn't have much effect on the front wheel loading.

    Add side full side cases and a passenger and you'll see a far more dramatic weight shift away from the front end.

    It's a fairly easy calc. I might run up a spreadsheet for you guys to play with.
    #40