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Bag/box in place of pillion seat, show me whatcha got

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Hammerdown77, May 18, 2018.

  1. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    Ok, I've wanted to do this for a while but just can't decide what I want.

    Bike is a 2016 R1200 GS, so it has the open cutout and exposed electronics modules when the seat is removed. Not like the pre-LC bikes.

    I want a small (but not too small) bag in place of the pillion seat for day/local rides. Something big enough to hold a set of rain gear or liners and a few tools, and other small essentials for day trips.

    Way I see it, least expensive option is to just get a bag that fits between the rails of the factory luggage rack and strap it over the open cutout, job done. But I think it would be better to have one of the pillion plates and strap or bolt (in the case of a bag with something like a tanklok ring) the bag to that. This would facilitate easier removal/replacement, as the pillion plates just remove using the key like the seat does (except for the Altrider plate, without taking a cutting wheel to it)

    I've also seen the lockable hard boxes that click in to the pillion seat mounting holes, and those are cool... but I don't think I could get what I wanted into one of those.

    And I'm keeping the factory luggage rack, which has an Altrider plate with Givi hardware on it for attaching my top case.

    So, let me see what solutions you all have come up with!
    #1
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  2. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    And I know the Touratech pillion bag is really exactly what I'm describing however:

    1) I'm having a hard time paying almost $400 for that thing. I'm getting there....but not quite there yet.
    2) The base plate is plastic and really not designed for anything other than holding the bag. So it's not as flexible as having a separate pillion plate with tie down points + bag
    #2
  3. BeachMoto

    BeachMoto Been here awhile Supporter

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    On my '09 GS, I had one of the BestRest Pillion Plates.
    [​IMG]

    It worked great (for about 90,000 miles) until I sold the bike and bought a '17 GSA. He has stopped making these and is clearing out his old inventory (they fit the oil cooled bikes).

    I bought a Touratech PASSENGER SEAT LUGGAGE RACK XL last year. Unlike the BestRest model which bolted to the bike, the TT one attaches the same way that the seat does and you can take it off when you want to put the seat back on.

    [​IMG]

    This month I decided to try something different and bought a Black Dog Cycle Works Pillion Rack which also bolts down in place of the seat.

    [​IMG]

    There is also a BMW factory option that includes a plastic plate to cover the opening under the pillion seat.

    With either rack, I have used the Aerostich Medium Motofizz Camping Seat Bag and a number of various sizes of dry bags.

    If you need just a small bag, take a look at the Held Tenda Tail Bag

    [​IMG]

    Or a Saddlemen Adventure Pillion Bag

    [​IMG]
    #3
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  4. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    Ohh. didn't know Black Dog had a pillion plate, I'll have to look that up.

    Edit: Ah, l have seen that one before. It doesn't use the stock latching mechanism, rather it bolts down. They state that it is more durable than the factory latch mount, which makes sense, but may not be what I'm looking for if all I'll do is put a tank-bag sized bag on top of it.
    #4
  5. BlackDogCycleWorks

    BlackDogCycleWorks Long timer Super Supporter

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    Here is our Pillion Rack for the R1200GS:
    http://blackdogcw.com/bdcw-pillion-rack-bmw-r1200gs-a-lc/

    You are correct regarding the stock mechanism. We intentionally engineered our rack so that it doesn't use the keyed seat release system, which is comprised of primarily plastic components. We found that the stock release doesn't take to the off-road punishment many of our customers give their bikes.

    Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

    - Black Dog Cycle Works
    www.blackdogcw.com

    [​IMG]
    #5
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  6. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer Supporter

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  7. MrGone

    MrGone Been here awhile

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    I bought the altrider one thinking if they went through the trouble to make it work with the factory latching system then it would be easily removable (wanted the option to quickly throw the pillion seat back on) but the way it is designed with the top rack bolting through it makes that a solid no. I ended up cutting the "wings" off it and clearance it so I cold remove it on the GSA.

    [​IMG]

    I also cut a bit of scrap vinyl and covered the hole above the lock hoping maybe it'll buy me a little more time before it gums up. I get why they have to have it there but yeahhh. The Altrider has the option of being bolted down too but again I wanted something removable. As BlackDog mentioned using the factory seat mounting points for retention.... you are relying on two relatively small plastic tabs at the rear and then the locking mechanism to hold the plate down and that's it. It is sturdy enough but if I was doing much beyond a small bag I would go out of my way to attach the straps to the GSA pannier racks instead of to the plate itself. If I bolted it down then I would do whatever.

    To me the removable option was a deal breaker for actually running a plate and I was a bit surprised that it didn't come in a way that was easily removable. Nothing like taking a cut off wheel to a $230 plate. It is nice having a platform there.

    Hammerdown I was thinking about switching to the altrider top plate for my givi box (I made my own mounts), does yours mount using the two straps under it? I know this isn't the point of the thread but would you mind showing a pic of where that puts the givi box in relation to the top rack?
    #7
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  8. Applecrate

    Applecrate Smell It First

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    I had the Touratech. The rack failed, not the lock. The rack's attachment point is on the plastic sheet that essentially covers the under-seat area. That cracked on mine. I wonder if you can get the Black Dog without all the logos?
    #8
  9. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    I like the dog logos!
    #9
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  10. Hammerdown77

    Hammerdown77 Long timer

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    I've got some pictures somewhere showing the Altrider plate and Givi box. I'll post them up later.

    If I were not running Vario cases, what I'd do is remove the factory luggage rack, mount the Altrider plate directly to the top of the rear suframe at the rear (they provide hardware to do this), then buy the Altrider pillion plate and pount it right in front. This creates a uniform, flat surface all the way back, and I'd have the option of mounting a dry bag lengthwise, or put the top box on and mount a bag perpendicular in the pillion position. However, this setup covers the top of the Vario "slots" at the rear so I'd also need to get some other pannier racks and boxes. Which makes the whole setup very expensive.
    #10
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  11. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    Frankly, I'm pretty tired of dealing with my dilemma of what to do with the passenger seat. I don't want a passenger seat. don't need it maybe once a month we use it yet it's always living on my bike wasting space.

    This is a really great option I thin - http://www.advdesigns.com/rurelopiboxf.html

    I'm starting to feel the price is not that crazy when you look at what some pillion plates cost. Let's talk Pillion plates....

    Once you take your seat off and put down a plate, now you just have an extra 2.5" of clearance but it really doesn't make a difference if you keep the GS/GSA grab-handles installed as you'll still need a thing on top of the plate that doesn't over hang those grab handles.

    Then the plates themselves, you can strap things to the sides but you could also do that on the GS grab handles

    If you keep the seat on, it's flush with the handles and your bag larger than the plate / seat fits fine anyway w/o any changes.

    If you replace the seat with a bag (GIVI or like the one linked above) this is nice. but soft bags get dingy, UV damaged, colors fade, they may stat leaking. I'm not a fan of full time soft luggage on the bike mostly because I don't always need luggage sometimes I Just wanna ride w/o any extra crap weighting down the bike.

    I thought well I want Rotopax behind me so I could use up that empty space but rotopax doesn't fit flush in the passenger area. Even the 1 gallon unit won't go flush due to racks being in the way.

    If you don't need a top box, I think the Black Dog Helo is in a class of its own - http://blackdogcw.com/bdcw-helo-pad-bmw-r1200gsa-lc/

    You get all of this great functional space, rotopax support, places to mount straps and a straight runway...you do lose the grab-handles but there are some aftermarket options for that.

    --------

    here is where I've arrived and I really need to do a longer and more organized post on this.

    commuting during the week: http://www.advdesigns.com/rurelopiboxf.html in place of Pillion and no other luggage. This would hold my food for the day, polo shirt, wallet and stuff for my commute to work

    2-Up Mode:
    Pillion Seat (heated Sargent), Jesse Side Luggage, Jesse Top Box w/ Backrest

    1-Up Touring Mode: Pillion Seat, Jesse Side Luggage, BlackDog Luggage Rack on top of GSA Rack w/ RotoPax water afixed, Atacama 40L Duffle mounted long-ways, Backrest from Sargent behind me for comfort

    1-Up Off-Road Camping: Remove GSA Racks and Pillion seat, install Black Dog Helo Pad, two 1-gallon rotopax mounted lengthwise with Atacama on top of those with Mosko BC35 soft luggage on the side.

    I don't have the @BlackDogCycleWorks HELO Yet but I think when I off-road, removing the GSA Rack and putting the HELO on w/o the Pillion seat is going to give me a ton of space.

    I still tool around with this and yes, I over think things but for the 2 of you that don't have me on your ignore list, I think this is a great setup and will lead to the most versatility. It's only 5 minutes of work between each mode at most.
    #11
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  12. johnread

    johnread Adventurer Supporter

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    I have the Touratech expandable seat bag that replaces the pillion. It's fantastic - very handy, expandable, and waterproof. I field tested it last weekend for 500 miles in mild rain and had no leaks at all. I don't have a picture of it on my '18 GSA, but here is the picture from Touratech's website. It snaps in just like the pillion so it is easy to remove if I need to carry a passenger.

    Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 5.55.22 PM.jpg
    #12
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  13. bighairless

    bighairless Been here awhile

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    I did the same thing as someone did above...but mounted a givi tank ring on it so I could use the tank bags. Not cheap but it works damn nice.

    Attached Files:

    #13
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  14. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer Supporter

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    I used the top box in place of the rear seat on my last GS. Had some downsides - you can't swing your leg over and you lose the grab handles...

    [​IMG]

    I'm using an XR top box in the traditional place now. It is very light, and I only use it for light stuff.

    [​IMG]


    If I go on a trip, will use the BMW side cases. Best for my needs.

    No scaffolding and they slip right on.

    The trick is to use the inner bags - after lugging the bastard cases up narrow stairs in UK hotels, let me tell you they are heavy when loaded!
    #14
  15. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    I used this setup for a while. It's really great. Sold the plate, still have the bag.
    #15
  16. Gone Troppo

    Gone Troppo Somewhat bemused observer Supporter

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    The tank bag is brilliant - I have rings on both my bikes.
    #16
  17. eflosd

    eflosd Adventurer

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    @AdamChandler A 1gal rotopax fits on top of my altrider plate between the stock gsa grab handle/ top case rack perfectly. I actually did this based off your video, and Im confused why you got rid of it in favor of the rotopax on top of the blackdog plate behind the pillion seat. its perfect because now I have emergency water in the space previously taken up by the unused pillion seat and it makes a flat surface to strap down my mosko bc40 duffel for camping trips. I also experimented with my bumot top case in place and the bc40 duffel in front of the case. it makes a perfect backrest

    Attached Files:

    #17
  18. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    @eflosd - That looks good. The 1 Gallon in the orientation you're using wouldn't sit flush, cranking down the box, it'd cause the plate to bow in the middle putting pressure on the pillion mounting locations that AR uses. It just didn't give me enough comfort to continue using that setup.

    I spent a few weeks of sleepless nights trying to figure out how I could natively run RotoPax while still having the option of running a top box.

    I'm glad it's working for you. Looks great and certainly is the most seamless looking setup w/ the Mosko bag on top. that is what I initially envisioned but gave up the dream.
    #18
  19. Desert Skies

    Desert Skies One brick shy...

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    Started by welding up a carrier out of aluminum to utilize the pillon mounts on my 05.

    [​IMG]

    Strapped my tail bag to it that carries my essentials making it easy to remove with a turn of a key to take it in the room with me when the days riding comes to a close.

    [​IMG]
    #19
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  20. eflosd

    eflosd Adventurer

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    @AdamChandler I See, Ill keep an eye on my AR plate and pillion seat mounts. I think the issue with your AR plate was it was already drilled for a rotopax mount. Mine did not have any holes when I got it from AR, it actually looked a lot different then yours. I was able to experiment with the 1gal in many different orientations before I drilled my AR plate
    #20
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