Commuting luggage?

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Woodsparrow, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Been here awhile

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    I'm riding a 2013 Vstrom 650 as a highway commute bike, around 35 miles each way, all straight line highway (US75 in DFW from downtown to Plano).

    Right now I'm just using a roc-strap to tie my regular satchel down, but I think I'm going to upgrade to a traditional pannier setup at some point, because I'm getting real frustrated with the feeling that I can't stop and get groceries or such right now. Wasn't a problem at the previous house because the house was on the way to the grocery store - easy to stop, drop gear, run to store, return in about 5 minutes. Now it's a 15 minute drive, so stopping saves me 30+.

    Anyone have suggestions? I was thinking that the soft bags from Kriega or a competitor might be my best bet, as it would let me keep the weight lower and the profile more narrow. I don't lane split aside from occasionally bypassing a congested intersection, but I'd like to keep it as an option, and soft bags seem the way to do that?

    So far I've priced out an SW-motech frame, 2 Kriega OS bags, and the 2 mount panels, all for around 1000$ from Revzilla.

    Since it's such a high amount of money, I wanted to see if anyone had suggestions to lower the price but keep similar quality - whether that's a different setup or product or maker, or just obvious things I haven't considered because I'm dumb.
    #1
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  2. Dao1

    Dao1 Long timer

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    i have the sw motech frames & sw panniers & soft bags. on the street and daily commutes, i prefer panniers over soft bags. But if bags were my only option, those kriega bags do look nice, and they're narrower than most soft bags I've seen, which i think is a benefit on the wide ass vstrom. If you get the sw motech frames that remove quickly, then I would just bolt up a thin cutting board onto the racks, and then permanently secure the kriega bags to the board. to remove the bags, remove the sw racks since they use 1/4 turn fastnrs.
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  3. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Been here awhile

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    That's not a bad idea. All the images make it look like mounting the Kriega bags is as simple as passing the buckle through the plate, which is why I was interested. Sure, 100$ per plate is more than 1$ per cutting board.

    I wasn't sure on soft vs. hard bags. I don't normally leave much stuff on my bike, so the locked hard bags isn't a huge sell, and the bulk is a real turn off (as you said, bike's got a huge ass already).

    I'm not set on the soft bags, they just seemed like the best solution to my problems.
    #3
  4. Sundude901

    Sundude901 Adventurer

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    I like Bumot. That is what I'm planning on going with on my new bike. The frames have the option of allowing you to use soft bags that lock into them with a key or use hard luggage. Price would be similar. I'm leaning towards hard luggage for the security in the city, but heard good things about their soft bags.
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  5. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Been here awhile

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    I see mostly EU links, do you know if they have a US specific vendor?
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  6. Sundude901

    Sundude901 Adventurer

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  7. Woodsparrow

    Woodsparrow Been here awhile

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    OK, that's the one I was seeing, the link made me think it was primarily BMW luggage.
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  8. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior Supporter

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    My Vstrom came with Givi sidecases and a top box. The top box is very handy for running to the store, and especially in the winter when I have extra layers of clothes to cary home with me in the afternoon. I don't like riding that bike much, but it is useful, so it will probably stay around awhile. I had Givi side cases on my 650 Ninja for years, but don't like the width, so I haven't used them ones that came with the Vstrom yet.
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  9. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    Big ugly givi trekker outback topcase. One latch, holds everything.
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  10. Dao1

    Dao1 Long timer

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    +1 on big f'uggly outback topcase
    [​IMG]
    ... around town, that's how I roll nowadays
    #10
  11. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    +2 on the topcase. It's convenient and doesn't make the bike any wider. It could screw up the handling a little if you overload it with groceries and what-not. Wouldn't recommend an overloaded topcase for taking on the twisties, but for in town commuting, the convenience makes up for the potentially light front end.

    [​IMG]


    There are a lot of Givi (and Givi clone) options to fit basically any budget. Also, Kappa (Givi sub brand) cases are as well built as their Givi counterparts, fit the same plates and are a little cheaper to buy (usually not as fancy finishes/options, but it's a good trade off).

    Gustavo
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  12. transalper

    transalper Been here awhile

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    +3 on Topcase. Comes in handy for work commuting and grocery shopping. Get one that fits a helmet. And ladies like the "security" of a topcase behind them.
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  13. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    Used Givi bags are one of he best deals out there.

    Unfortunately, the V-strom is a WIDE load once bags are mounted. That makes the top case the better way to go if your groceries will fit.
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  14. Andysrage

    Andysrage Been here awhile

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    +4 on a Topcase. I commute 42 miles each way with 60% Interstate at least twice a week and, having the choice on my bike of all three pieces of hard luggage, the only one I use for my daily run is a Givi B33 Monokey top box. Topcase is stupid ease to load and doesn't affect the wind drag of the bike the way side cases do. It keeps the bike narrow for ease of parking, maneuvering or lane filtering. Even a small topcase like mine (33L) fits office shoes, lunch cooler bag and a Nelson Rigg bike cover with ease and still has space for spare gloves or jacket liner. On weekend rides, it still fits a peaked ADV helmet and gloves. I've found concerns of top case "weight up high" are mostly unfounded on a bike the size of your VStrom when talking in the context of commuting since one seldom loads up for a trip to work like one would for a roadtrip. Europeans have been doing the moto commuting thing forever and there is a reason nearly every bike or scooter there has a topcase: Nothing works as well for the task. On this side of the pond, I agree and wouldn't have a bike without one.
    #14
  15. Riteris

    Riteris Dessert Runner

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    I think you would be #5 on the top case suggestion but I was never great at math.
    #15
  16. CycleKnut

    CycleKnut Adventurer

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    I'll be #6 on the top case. I hate having the bike wider than the handlebars, and unfortunately that's the case with panniers on a V. I put up with a single pannier (for my boots) but put my riding clothes in in the top case while at work. It's great having "secure" luggage options for running errands. I have a cheap Givi knock-off, that's holding up great, but it looks like it's not around anymore so can't provide a link.
    #16
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  17. rockitcity

    rockitcity Been here awhile

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    Top case is great for commuting. If you don't need the "Adventure" look you could go with something like the Givi V46 or V47 top case and supplement with some E22 side cases. The E22's are top opening and fairly narrow, although that may not matter as much as I hear lane-splitting can be hazardous to your health in Texas :-). Or, if you want to save some cash, there are cheap Givi styled cases from Bestem that work pretty well. I had one on my 07 VStrom and it was pretty solid.

    I had some soft saddlebags for awhile, but I definitely prefer the security of hard cases.

    I have the Triumph cases for my Explorer but rarely use them because they are too wide for comfortable lane splitting on SoCal freeways. They're heavy too!
    #17
  18. Xchemie

    Xchemie Adventurer

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    I use a Givi top case, which is great for grocery/beer stops on the way home. I also use it to keep my gloves, helmet, and light jacket. In addition, I have the SW Motech Blaze soft saddlebags, but these are rather small and I mostly use to carry tools & accessories.

    Attached Files:

    #18
  19. neanderthal

    neanderthal globeriding wannabe

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    I commute on an Africa Twin with panniers. If your bars can fit, you can most likely fit. Lanesplitting is not a problem. Just requires a little more care.
    #19
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  20. Smittyrunner

    Smittyrunner Been here awhile

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    20190608_191117.jpg

    I have found that the mosko tank bag and pelican are the perfect mix for me. And carry extra rok straps, you know for getting lotta beer home.
    #20