No top box ?

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

  1. Craneguy

    Craneguy British Hooligan

    Apr 29, 2011
    Riyadh, KSA, Cuernavaca, Mx, Houston, Tx
    Actually all it does is move the combined CG back some. It has little effect compared to the weight of rider and engine. Center of mass is still in front of the back axle or your bike would wheelie while stationary. Unless of course you carry an anvil back there for emergency roadside wrought-iron work :D
  2. McRuss

    McRuss Been here awhile

    Sep 7, 2008
    Texas Hill Country
    I have no idea why I started reading this thread.....just killing time till the bell I guess, but I had to laugh at the early poster about locking his keys in the top box! How the hell do you do that?:rofl

    I've had Givi's and Chinese knock-off Givis for years and the worst thing that happened was losing my top box key. But....I always carry spares of each key including top box so no biggie.
  3. sfeatherstone22

    sfeatherstone22 Young Grasshopper

    Dec 3, 2012
    Fresno, CA
    I have commuted 12,000 miles the past year with a kappa moto topcase. I forget it's even back there most of the time. But it is nice when "lane sharing" I don't have to worry about the extra width of a pannier system. (CA)
  4. p0diabl0

    p0diabl0 Been here awhile

    Feb 25, 2011
    San Diego
    Just came back from 1500 miles around California and I thought my system worked out pretty well - I had a duffel that fits almost perfectly in my topbox (givi E45). For most of my trip I just bungied it to the passenger seat but whenever I needed the security of the topbox it went right in without issue. Also if I was lazy and didn't feel like re-arranging things I could throw something into the top box temporarily until I got to the hotel or whatever. I could still use the topbox to lock my jacket and helmet in which are quite a bit more prized than my duffel full of dirty clothes. :lol3

  5. WimDH

    WimDH Been here awhile

    Feb 21, 2013
    Dendermonde, Belgium
    lightcycle is right..

    No top box for me, besides the fact it look like s**t, i makes the from too light.
    I won't trust my front when taking nice and curvy roads. I might loose the front and crash :evil

    I prefer paniers for the heavy stuff and soft luggage (waterproof) for the rest.
    I tie it on the passenger seat.

  6. Pleinmont

    Pleinmont Island Rider

    Jul 27, 2012
    Guernsey, Channel Islands
    I used a top box as well as soft panniers and a tank bag when I used to tour with my wife on a Kawasaki Zephyr 1100 about 18 years ago. We used to stuff it full of kit and I don't recall noticing any effect on handling.

    I usually keep my Givi 46l topbox on my Pan-European. Generally I don't put much in it - it's more for storing my helmet when I stop - but even fully loaded I don't think it would affect the Pan much.
  7. Slim-Line Tonic

    Slim-Line Tonic Watch time fly...

    Oct 22, 2012
    Rider's Riviera
    Definately an interesting topic because I do like to have a top box, but i find it easier to strap a bag on the top plate instead (It's more flexible if you keep your stuff in there)

    Weight can shift backwards quite a lot if you are riding two up so be careful with the front braking on the wet....
  8. LKLD

    LKLD Been here awhile

    Jul 26, 2012
    I don't think there should be an issue with weight, if used right. Basically the TB should be used for your riding gear. So, while riding it's empty. When stopped, you throw the helmet(s), jacket(s), gloves, GPS, and misc. items in. At least, that is how I would use one.

    I'm using a Nelson Rigg tail bag, but have thought of a Givi, or equivalent, to take for long trips. Price has been a tough reasoning for me.

    Has anyone touched on sub-frame stressing with too much weight loaded in the TB?
  9. Slowphil

    Slowphil REALLY Gnarly Adventurer

    Nov 25, 2004
    home again packing for the next one

    The biggest issue with top box is that the added weight is, most of the time, behind the rear wheel axle, therefore, the added weight is at the worst possible location, far away and lifting the front of your bike. If you travel solo, dry bag placed on passenger seat is the best location to preserve bike handling.

    Both of these, I like my top box to carry my netbook and papers but I try to avoid adding a lot of weight in it because the weight is entirely in the wrong spot
  10. Tim

    Tim Long timer

    Dec 9, 2002
    Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK
    Hi Pleinmont, welcome to the asylum. :wave

    Tim (L'Eree)
  11. Gregg Wannabe

    Gregg Wannabe Just killing time

    Nov 10, 2003
    San Diego
    Just goes to show that everyone has their opinion and no one will be talked out of theirs.:rofl

    Here's mine, and it's not original. Weight does matter especially up high where its effect is magnified. I do use my topbox a great deal and I can definitely tell when it is there, its not just the pendulum effect and the ill placed rearward weight, it also grabs more air in high side winds. I much prefer just using a duffel bag strapped to the seat if I can get away with it. I like to strap the duffel on lengthwise so it is in line with the seat and up close to my back so I can lean into it. Heavy stuff in the side cases, light stuff in the duffel.

    Edit - I carry a cable lock for my jacket and helmet when I stop.
  12. yokel84

    yokel84 Adventurer

    Jun 11, 2013
    Chapel Hill, NC
    My read on the whole luggage/weight distribution issue (since I know y'all were waiting with bated breath): If it were only a matter of how luggage affected the overall weight of the motorcycle/rider combo, it would be much less of an issue. However, where the weight is does have a huge effect on this dynamic system for several reasons, not the least of which being suspensions—Also, whether the weight is in the form of a rider who knows how to shift his or her weight and weight pegs properly—. A modern vehicle's suspension is a very sensitive system, and minor changes in weight and its placement affect all sorts of things up to and including steering geometry pretty dramatically. Think about learning to ride, and how much better you get at it when you learn proper body position. People seem to have varying levels of sensitivity to the effects of these changes; however, and while some of these are just poor pilots, others seem to just intuitively react to these alterations appropriately (Casey Stoner). Also, the effects of added weight aren't entirely predictable. Strangely enough, adding a 100 lb passenger to the back of my zx6r affected handling less negatively than adding 40 pounds worth of panniers to my stock dr650. If you don't believe weight CAN have a dramatic effect on a motorcycle's performance, just look at Pedrosa's experience with adding weight to a motogp bike. It turned an amazingly composed motorcycle into a chattering mess. Having just one passenger in my car makes the driving experience almost foreign for me, it's hard to imagine not noticing this. That being said, it's fun to ride motorcycles... whether they handle well or not.
  13. Nookie

    Nookie Adventurer

    May 28, 2012
    Las Vegas
    I use just the givi e-52 topbox when I go to Ensenada Mexico for 3-4 days. With panniers its harder to split lanes at the San Ysidro border crossing. So I put my shit in the trunk and pile it on the back of the seat.
  14. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

    Oct 18, 2010
    Portland...the newer one on the left side.
    I put a Happy Trails box on the back on my bike just for a test to see how I liked it. That was almost a year ago, haven't run without it yet. Maybe I'd notice it if I took it off, but I don't bother. Probably looks stupid, but I've gotten used to it and like it's function. When I'm riding I don't notice it, when I'm pushing the bike around I do. I put light stuff in it, mainly sleeping bag, pad, pillow, and few other lighter items.

    I did reinforce the back rack first, and mounted the box at about the halfway spot to where the passenger seat would be. The room in front of it, is just large enough for my Polarbear cooler. The set-up works great, and if I noticed it, I'd remove it. I do only run better gravel roads on this set-up and cautious about "heavy hits", if I'm gonna ride on rough roads fast I got different bikes for that.


  15. Swinefahrt

    Swinefahrt RooteR

    Apr 8, 2002
    Trou Du Cul, Tick's Ass
    I've got the Touratech 38L Rapid Trap on my '07 GS. It's a big fucker. In fact it has the same volume of the left side case! But, it will hold a helmet and then some. It's practicality is undenighable and I don't have to look at it when I'm riding. In fact I rarely use the side cases except for touring. Love it.

    CG discussions are really not relevant in actual use. Look at all the shit people pile on the back of their bikes in the camping threads. I doubt these bikes are crashing in cross winds or extreme coriolis forces.
  16. woofer2609

    woofer2609 Less flow, more Gnar

    Sep 7, 2011
    Extreme Pacific SouthWest (of Canada)
    Wow, this is like an oil thread!
    I like a Sealbag of app. 30liters to hold tent, sleeping bag, tent poles and therma rest, leaving some room for clothes to be stuffed in. This is if I am using soft panniers on my sideracks. If I know the terrain will be gnarly, I forego panniers (I cursed a lot when one was ripped off the bike by a tree) and just stuff everything in a 60 liter canvas stuff sack (military issue).
    That being said, panniers look 100 times better. YMMV.
  17. Yankee Dog

    Yankee Dog Long timer

    Jan 31, 2008
    Decatur, AL
    My turn.... :deal

    If you are traveling alone and cant get everything you need into a set of panniers then you bringing too much stuff.

    That said, I would still have a top box, but I would keep it empty. Use it for short term storage of riding gear and carrying groceries from store to the campsite.

    All other opinions are null and void... :freaky
  18. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

    Dec 10, 2005

    Some of the side cases I've seen are huge. Far wider than I'd want a motorcycle. I have no idea the capacity of the BMW-brand cases I saw yesterday on an F800GS, but they made the bike well over a meter wide.

    And if someone wants narrower side cases and a top box . . . well . . . I guess they're wrong.
  19. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

    Oct 11, 2006
    BRC \ NYC
    I don't think I've ever used a top case during a road trip. I do this for a few reasons.

    First, I can't get all my camp gear into a top case, even a big one. (Unless of course I'm using my 75 liter Jesse trunk).

    Anyway, I rather have a large duffel on the back seat but keep my large rack on the rear.

    This way if I pick up a passenger, females only, then the duffel moves back to the rack and she takes the back seat.

    Having the large rack instead of a top case also allows me to pick up stuff like firewood, or to do go getter things like take my buddies cylinder head in to grind back to flat after it overheated.......

    Around town, commuting and local day or weekend trips however my top case never comes off. Hell, I even pulled the tumblers so I don't need a key to open it, I never keep anything in there worth stealing anyway.
  20. rbrhsv

    rbrhsv AR Adventure Rider

    Aug 5, 2013
    Hot Springs Village, AR
    I remove my top box for ADV riding. No matter how hard I try, the top box vibrates and rattles on rough roads..
    Plus, I can get more in the waterproof duffel.[​IMG] This photo is of my V-Strom ready for the eastern TAT.
    I packed my tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and ground cloth in the duffel in anticipation of camping a few nights. As it turned out, i didn't camp at all and maximizing miles during the shorter days of fall. When I stopped for the night in motels, there was NOTHING I needed in the duffel - so it stayed on the bike (under a cover and padlocked to the bike. It is hard to see, but there is a cable that loops over and around the duffel.)
    My qualification would be that a trip on all decent paved roads would reverse some of this reasoning, provided you didn't need extra space.