Only one side bag?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by abnslr, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    A couple of weeks ago I was out for a wander around the city and noticed a bike go by with one hard sidecase. I didn't think anything of it, assuming the rider had damaged the other one or just left it someplace. Over the rest of the day, though, I noticed several other motorcycles driving around the city with only one side case. It struck me as a bit odd (surely they hadn't ALL had offs that damaged one side) and I started looking specifically for that. I found that in Naples I see just as many bikes riding around with one side case as with two, possibly more. "Ok," I thought, "maybe this is just another oddity of Naples like the huge dog turds on the sidewalks and the ubiquitous intersection squeegee men." Then last week I went to Rome for the first time and saw -- not giant dog turds on the sidewalks -- motorcyclists driving about and parked bikes with just one side case. At that point I was really curious. I'd think it would mess up weight and balance (though plainly not much) so they must have a reason for it. A bit of (not at all exhaustive) Google searching yielded nothing. Do y'all know what's up with the one side case crew? Is it an Italian thing? A southern-Italian thing? Something I'm completely imagining now that I'm looking for it? (Well, probably not entirely that last since I annoyed the hell out of Girlfriend by pointing it out to her every time I saw it for a week.)

    Maybe to make the setup narrower to fit between cars?

    ... :ear
    #1
  2. hugemoth

    hugemoth Long timer

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    They're all used to riding Vespas which have the engine and therefore most of the weight on one side.
    #2
  3. randyo

    randyo Long timer

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    I have 2 sidecases , but one always is loaded with 50lbsĀ± of kit, and the other is usually empty. no issues with lopsidedness
    #3
  4. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Confirmed Curmudgeon

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    Can you even buy sidecases one at a time? My guess is that people have had mishaps ("laid 'er down") and have destroyed one sidecase. I can't imagine using only one sidecase, that is so.... unsymmetrical. :eek1
    #4
  5. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    Guilty as charged.

    I do this when I've taken a loaded case into the house and forgot to bring it back out empty. One time, I was out riding with a friend, and he had one case and I had the other. We looked kind of silly, but we could park really tight.

    Are they all on the same side? If so, it's probably for parking.
    #5
  6. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    That would make sense, as parking IS really tight here. I'll start taking note of which side it is.

    something else to annoy Girlfriend with...
    #6
  7. bikerfish

    bikerfish flyfishandride

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    original 1981 bmw R80G/S was available with only one pannier, mounted on the side opposite exhaust.
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  8. IheartmyNx

    IheartmyNx Ihave2draft

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    I'm thinking about doing this.. I think it looks better than a top case.

    Don't get me wrong I like the functionality of a top case, but it's like how my bike looks with or without mirrors. Better without, but damn those mirrors help.
    #8
  9. MotoMind

    MotoMind Long timer

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    Lanesplitting. See it in CA sometimes.
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  10. Woland

    Woland Wannabe adventurer

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    I do this all the time, don't like to ride around with unnecessary weight so if I only need one side case I only bring one.
    #10
  11. Rinty

    Rinty Been here awhile

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    Bingo.
    #11
  12. abnslr

    abnslr rides a motorcycle

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    Well if you decide to go this route you'll apparently be in good company -- with lots of Neapolitan riders. I've seen several with both a top box and one side case around here too, making me think there's something to the lane splitting and parking ideas.
    #12
  13. wingnut11

    wingnut11 generally strange

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    Well it happens in america too. A few years back at a hospital I used to work at a guy would come in every few weeks. He usually had just the left side case on. Once or twice he came with the right one on but more often than not it was just the left one. He told me he did it for weight reasons. What I never got was if he was so concerned about weight why wasn't he using soft bags instead of a big metal box?
    #13
  14. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    You can get a bike through an apartment doorway with one case, but not two.
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  15. AlanCT

    AlanCT The Byronic Man

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    I recall seeing that in Italy a lot. I assumed it was to keep the bike narrower.
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  16. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Can you imagine the horror of riding a motorcycle with an exhaust on only one side? How unsymmetrical! And with SOME of those bikes, the OEM side cases are different sizes on each side (though there ARE two).

    Unless you're carrying a sack of cement in there, it's not like using only one is going to be of any significance balance-wise.
    #16
  17. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Just gotta remember which side you have it on!
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  18. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    So which side is better for when you "take the racing line"????
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  19. p0diabl0

    p0diabl0 Been here awhile

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    Makes sense for most bikes that have the exhaust in the way of having symmetrical cases like a DL650, etc. That's specifically why I chose the Ninja 650r as my commuter - two sidecases hug the bike very close without an exhaust in the way.
    #19
  20. johns

    johns Been here awhile

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    If I need only one case to take stuff with me, why should I put on two? You should ask why some riders put on two or three cases on their bike when they don't need them?
    #20