Vario Cases Modifications

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by genka, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. genka

    genka SUV hater

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,697
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I want to see how you modified Vario cases. Straps to prevent stuff from falling out? External loops? Reinforcements? Lights? Something else?
    #1
  2. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,829
    Location:
    Barrow Alaska
    I am doing mine now. I put footman loops on the doors. And ROK 12"s in them. I use the stock mouting points under the seat for the other halves. The drawback is you need to unclip the straps to open the doors. But I only put my tent and small duffy on them. So its no big deal.
    For inside I bought liners from Feebay. $65 and no worries. Just pull the bag out and dig around in it. Then put in back in.
    #2
  3. genka

    genka SUV hater

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,697
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Only a single reply! I guess everyone like their Varios the way they are...
    #3
  4. mb90535im

    mb90535im '05 R1200 GS

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,928
    Location:
    NW GA
    I use my Varios all the time and when traveling backing forth between home and weekend cabin typically add the BMW Vario liner bags. Haven't felt the urge to farkle them any further at this point.

    I do disassemble and clean them a time or two a year depending on how much dust they see.
    #4
  5. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,829
    Location:
    Barrow Alaska
    I think most are afraid to try anything with them. Mechanically its real easy to screw them up. Even what I am doing might not be strong enough to strap things down tightly.
    My first idea was to sell my bags and buy something else that is meant for what I have planned. But I am one of those poor BMW owners. To spent 1500-2000 on luggage is insane in my finacial situation would be selfish and careless. I would have to give myself a huge kick in my own ass if I spent that money like that. For what? A few more liters of storage? Vario 37-45 liters is not bad. The Tourtech stuff is only a liter more. I know they are stronger. And I would like them. But I already have these. SO I will use them until they are beat to crap. Hopefully the Footman thing works out. It would be a shame if it just ripped the cover off the door. I assume if i just strap things down tight enough it should be ok.
    #5
  6. Lensgrinder

    Lensgrinder Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,400
    Location:
    San Marcos, California
    I added a 12v power supply to my top case so I could recharge my laptop and cell phone while I was riding. It worked great on my trip to Alaska and back. It plugged in under the passenger seat in the socket provided.
    #6
  7. Z50Pilot

    Z50Pilot Sparky

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    Columbia, MD
    +1 I have an SAE connector under the seat and can disconnect it when I remove the top case (which is almost never).

    I also carry a couple of straps in the top case, in case something breaks and I need to strap a bag on/closed.
    #7
  8. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,829
    Location:
    Barrow Alaska
    I got one bag this morning. But my ROK straps are not here. But here is the way it looks.

    [​IMG]

    I know its not rocket science. But those blank spots looked like they were waiting for Footman loops.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I put fender washers on the inside. As long as you don't try to animal the straps down with anything heavy, they should be ok. I only plan to put a tent, duffel or small gas can there. It should be ok.
    #8
  9. JethroDog

    JethroDog dogs bark

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    214
    Location:
    Mainz, Germany
    I think the mod that the Vario side cases really need are an additional brace for stability. These cases essentially attach at the top and side and allow too much "wobble". I've thought about attaching a brace between the two cases at the bottom rear corners to reduce the sag and take the wobble out. There is a big difference between the way the bags hang on the bike empty and then loaded/extended. I've not ridden with the Varios off road, but I think the plastic side attachment point would eventaully fatigue and fail.
    #9
  10. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,829
    Location:
    Barrow Alaska
    Mine Offroad did surprisingly well. But I agree. They will not last forever. I give mine 3 years tops.
    #10
  11. Juvat

    Juvat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    Wasilla, Alaska
    I consider my Varios to be a commute only option for hauling my stuff. I really like the expandability feature but I realize it's plastic and would probably not hold up consistently to a more serious ride. You have spurred me into thinking about some kind of netting install to keep the junk in place when I open the cases. :1drink
    #11
  12. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,482
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I've drilled both the latch and the corresponding 'square piece' that sticks out from the case with a small 1/8" hole and inserted a "R-clip". While normally these latches will not open...taking a spill or extremely rough roads might (and does) unlatch them and the cases can go flying if the mushroom bolt is not properly adjusted.

    Also...not pictured...I've drilled a hole through the back of the case (nearest the center of the bike) and continue through the vario mounting bracket. Then, I inserted a 1/4" diameter x 1 1/2" ? length clevis pin (the ones with variable hole lengths) with another R-clip. Put washers on both the outside of the vario mount and the inside of the case. This setup positively keeps the cases from falling off if the 'mushroom' bolt is not, or becomes improperly adjusted.

    <a href="http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/?action=view&amp;current=DSC00376.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/DSC00376.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Most importantly...keep the 'mushroom' bolt properly adjusted. Seems important enough for BMW to have issued the bulletin below.

    <a href="http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/?action=view&amp;current=MushroomBoltTolerance27mm.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/MushroomBoltTolerance27mm.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    BTW...this stuff is GREAT for keeping the cases looking NEW! It's CLEAR acrylic that remains CLEAR! Clean first and apply with sponge or soft cloth.:clap

    <a href="http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/?action=view&amp;current=DSC00382.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i635.photobucket.com/albums/uu73/RMWBMW/DSC00382.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Also..do yourself a favor and before each ride or at a gas stop...try to LIFT upwards on the cases to insure that they're properly secured.
    Takes only a moment and can save you $466.95, per MAX BMW!
    #12
  13. genka

    genka SUV hater

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,697
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    DenniSMC, nice loops! I think they will hold. Plastic cases are not that bad. This summer I had a spill on my Moto Guzzi, the affected case ended up with some serious rash and loose hardware, but wasn't affected functionally. And those Aprilia sourced cases look much flimsier than Varios.
    [​IMG]

    Since we are talking about caring for the cases, I found a thread about cleaning the expansion mechanism: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7282851#post7282851
    #13
  14. DangerMoney

    DangerMoney Loud Helmets Save Lives

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,507
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ, USA, Earth, Milky Way, Local Group
    I added Bungee Buddies. I positioned them so the cases can be expanded/contracted without interference. Makes it easy to carry and lash something across the pillion.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,829
    Location:
    Barrow Alaska
    How do they attach?
    #15
  16. Mr.Efficiency

    Mr.Efficiency Adventure Wuss

    Joined:
    May 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    539
    Location:
    Cleveland
    I sold mine and bought some aluminum panniers...

    Now with the jokes out of the way, I did keep the top case. I drilled a hole in the bottom and added one of those tank bag wiring kits to the bottom. I sealed it with silicone and then snaked a power cable under the passenger seat mount to my toolbox area fusebox I mounted.

    Without taking much from the bike at all I can charge all my electro gidgies and even run the bluetooth stuff for the GPS and intercom and all that stuff. The rest of the space I use to stuff in bulky lightweight clothes or rain gear or whatnot.
    #16
  17. Lat

    Lat Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    114
    Location:
    The Great Republic of Texas
    Here are two very high tech mods I would like to share...

    Figuring it probably gets hotter in the left box due to the exhaust heat, I choose to use that more narrow left case for tool storage. I went vertical with my tool storage in bank bags, held upright by zip ties. It would likely work well with tool rolls too, I bet.

    The rubber bands, imported from Germany, keep the lid support cords from pinching in the seals no matter what the angle of the dangle. The rubber bands pictured here are two size number 16, 2 1/2' x 1/16" or 63 x 1.6mm looped together. Works equally well on all three lids, and puts a smile on the faces of observant onlookers. ~Jeff

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. StarFleet

    StarFleet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Oddometer:
    185
    Location:
    West Coast / East Coast
    The rubber band idea is so simple and fixes my biggest complaint about the cases. Might go about performing this hack tonight.
    #18
  19. genka

    genka SUV hater

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,697
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    This is excellent. Easy to do, effective and reversible.
    #19
  20. NachoRoto

    NachoRoto Meet you there. OK?

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,829
    Location:
    Barrow Alaska
    Agreed. I might experiment on a bunji net tonight.
    #20