Got my new Micatech’s!

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by rideLD, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    Got my new Micatech’s!

    Some of you may remember that I am a big fan of the BMW Vario system cases for R1200GS. I still am. IMO they are still the best option for most R1200GS riders. I have had 22,000 trouble free miles on my system cases and at least 1000 of those miles have been off the pavement. IMO, they are by far the best looking of all the options for the R12GS. They mount closer to the bike than any of the other options. When expanded they hold 85 liters which as much as most anyone will ever need to carry. They are the lightest weight option available if you combine the weight of the mounts and the cases. They come off the bike with a quick flip of 2 levers and when removed you would not have even known they were there, no ugly mounts left behind. When not expanded they are the narrowest of all the options at only 32" wide. Mine are waterproof and have never leaked a drop. IMO side loading cases are much easier to pack and un-pack. The expansion feature of these cases as slick as can be. The right case will hold a full face helmet. They are the only option that allows you to use your ignition key to lock and unlock.

    But they have one fatal downside, and that is crash ability. I have seen too many pictures of snapped mounts on these system cases and that is what prompted me to check out the Micatech’s. After a fairly long deliberation I decided to order some Micatech’s and try them out. I decided to go with the grey cases with silver doors.

    My ordering experience with Sue at Micatech was very pleasant. She sent me tons of pictures and answered all of my questions quickly and honestly. Paying for them was a little painful. They are very expensive at $1200 plus shipping which was about $50.00. They took a while to get because Sue said that Bob was working on the new single latch design and she recommended that I wait until that was developed and tested. :thumb

    I received the packaged bags Tuesday night. My first thought was, this box / package is fricking huge! :eek1 Then I realized there were two packages! :nod Each one was very large. They were boxes, but made of very thick cardboard put together with staples and very sturdy almost like crates. Inside was a ton of packing material and inside of that was the Micatech side case wrapped in several layers of paper then wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap. Inside each case was the mounting hardware which was also wrapped in several layers of paper and several layers of bubble wrap. I finally unwrapped it all and laid everything out on my work bench. Everything was beautiful, not one dent, nick or scratch anywhere. The mounting hardware was all pieces of machining artwork. I have never seen stainless steel machined and powder coated so beautifully.

    I think it took me longer to unpack the cases and hardware than it did to mount them on the bike. I had already prepped the bike and removed the rear rack in anticipation of getting the cases, last weekend. It took me about one hour to mount the bags using the detailed instructions that were printed out for me in color in a nice envelope with my name on it. Also in the envelope was a Micatech T-shirt, a sales receipt, a copy of the warranty, several stickers and Bobs business card with a hand written “thank you and please call me if you have any questions”. There was another envelope with not 2 but 4 keys for the cases. Both cases are keyed the same.

    My first thought when I stepped back and admired the cases on the bike was “man, those things are fricking huge!” I am very impressed with the fit and finish of the cases. The mounting system is pure engineering genius. To remove the cases you open the case and loosen 3 knobs in side the case. Slide out the rear bar and slide the case off of the bullets that they sit on. With the cases off the bike the mounts are all but invisible and if anything they make the bike look better. There are no ugly welds staring at you just machining artwork. With the bags mounted on the bike they are rock solid and have no movement at all. On the exhaust side there is at least a full inch of clearance from the exhaust. Where the indentation is made to accommodate the exhaust there are some of the most beautiful aluminum welds I have ever seen. The latch system is very slick and opens and closes very quickly and easily without using a key. The doors are very sturdy and the hinge looks very heavy duty. I really like the fact that they are side loading. Inside the cases they are beyond huge. In the exhaust side I was able to fit my Aerostich, my boots and my gloves. In the right side my helmet almost disappears. The only stopping me from putting two helmets in there is the door opening. I tried putting the expanded liner for the system case in the right case and it took up less than half of the case. I was also able to fit my Aerostich and my helmet at the same time in the right case. The only negative I have found so far the accesses to the seat lock is blocked and you have to slide back the left case to be able to get a key in seat lock and remove the seat. I have decided that I will not store anything under the seat any longer. It’s not like I don’t have room for those items in the side cases.:D

    Here are some pictures.
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    #1
  2. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks for the info....I look forward to hearing your impressions when you get to use them some more. From the pics they look no wider than the cylinder heads...is that the case?
    #2
  3. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    Yes they are 38" at their widest point which is the same as the system cases when expanded. That is narrower than the bars and the cyclinder heads. Measured accross the top they are only about 33" wide but the taper out as you go down.
    #3
  4. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks, I have been thinking about getting a set myself. I have the same thoughts as you do about the system cases. I dont really need the room, I was able to pack for 3 weeks using system cases and a wet bag, but It would be nice to get rid of the wet bag and be able to fit everything in the cases. When the doors open is it a flat surface or does the door go down further? Also It looks like there is just a strap holding/controlling the door correct? Sorry about all the questions.
    #4
  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Looks pretty good to me.

    Only two drawbacks I can see:

    I can see that you would need some liners to use them for trips. You wouldn't be able to pop them off for taking them into a hotel without unloading them since the locking knobs are fairly low in the cases.

    I would prefer not to have to remove the case to get under the seat. Not a big issue normally, but in my case I have the Blue Seas fuse block and relays under the seat, and would prefer access.

    Minor issues, and nice quality cases makes up for that!

    Jim :brow
    #5
  6. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    Yes with the door open it is flat because it is held up by a strap. The strap un-snaps, much like the system cases, and allows the door to open all the way down if you want it to.
    #6
  7. mackharrell

    mackharrell MackBeemer

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    Thanks for the wealth of information, and fine pics.

    Waht's Micatech's URL?

    Thanks.

    Two Shot
    #7
  8. ghostryder

    ghostryder Long timer Supporter

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    Thanks......:thumb
    #8
  9. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    Yep I agree on all counts. The biggest deal to me is the seat key issue. I used to keep a ton of tools under there. Luckily I have some extra helmet locks on the side of the bike or it would be an even bigger deal because it would make using the helmet hooks almost impossible. I sure in time it will be a non issue to me but right now it is.:D
    #9
  10. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    http://www.micatech.net
    #10
  11. Against the Wind

    Against the Wind I'm older now but still runnin'

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    I've always used liners in all my bags, it's a lot less weight than carrying the entire case in, which serves no purpose. On the Micatech cases, I use 3 Helen 2 Wheels liners that I used on my previous bags.

    I have removed the cases while full, because you simply reach in and loosen the thumbscrews without unloading them. No problem at all, but like I said, I only did it to see if I can.

    Your cases looks really good RC, I like the color combo. Maybe you can show others who are used to seeing a bunch of metal rails all over the back end of the bike what your bike looks like with the cases removed?
    #11
  12. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Karl,
    It all looks good and it sounds like customer service is top notch, like everything else they do.

    I'm going to get a set in that combination too, but I'm considering getting the 12GS exhaust lowering kit, so I can get 2 full size panniers.

    Are you saying the mounts that remain on the bike are powder coated? I was under the impression that they were going to have anodized bullets and mounts. :ear
    #12
  13. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    The bullets are definately anodized the other hardware sure seems powdercoated to me but it has a "texture" to it. Now that you question it, I am not so sure. :confused I will take some pictures of the mounts later and post them.

    Tell me about the R12GS exhaust lowering kit. Do you have a link? The micatechs hang pretty low, the exhaust would have to be below the rear axel height to clear the case.
    #13
  14. Bubblehead

    Bubblehead Been here awhile

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    Lookin good Karl. I can hardly wait till tomorrow. USP Tracking shows them in Indy. Thanks again.
    :freaky :D
    #14
  15. charleshmosesii

    charleshmosesii No skills no worries

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    Many are loving these, they are tied for first place in my mind for when I'm gonna go to alum panniers. And yes, the BMW expandable ones are great with the one weakness...crashworthiness. So...one test remains, the only one that will cause system case owners to switch...some offroad and crash testing to see how they reallly hold up. Any takers?! :zilla
    #15
  16. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Been there, done that.. don't want to do it again... :eek1 Posted pics of a 20 to 25 mph get off in my Review of Micatech thread... scratches to the contact points.. no structural damage, to mounts, case or bike.
    #16
  17. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Karl,
    By the looks of this picture, compared to the micatech cases, there's enough room to permit installing the lowering kit, which I'm getting from Happy Trail. I think Bob at Micatech might be working on a lowering kit. I actually like the looks of the pipe in its stock position, but function trumps form, and if I can have full size cases, not that I need THAT much space, I might go that route..

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Ron Melton

    Ron Melton RIDE, EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT.

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    Have you decided if yer sellin & how much you want for yer stock bags yet?
    #18
  19. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    Decided? I had no choice. :D Once the wife found out how much the micatechs cost she helped me with my priorities. :bash Sorry I did not offer them up publicly but the did go to a fellow Advrider. I believe Bubblehead will take delivery of them tomorrow. He got a fair deal and I am sure he will put them to good use.:D
    #19
  20. rideLD

    rideLD The further the better!

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    Yep looks to me like it would work. With a full size left case you could probably pack a small family to take with you on rides.:D
    #20