R1200GS/A LC Side Rack Comparison

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by MotorcycleWriter, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    Hi, all. Hope everyone had a great weekend and is making big plans for cool rides as the weather improves!

    Got a question: Could y'all help me narrow down my side luggage-rack choice? I want to upgrade the stock Vario system on my '14 GSLC. There are a lot of options and I'm sure there are a few that I've not run across. Even then, looking at online information, there are always questions about versatility, robustness, mounting, build quality, etc. I do know the major brands and have looked at pictures of them online, but I much prefer personal testimonials. I'm assuming GS/GSA racks are interchangeable.

    I was just hoping some of you could share some information about the rack you are using, or that you used, or that you replaced, or why you like/hate it, pictures, etc. I'll compile the responses into a useful table for the body of knowledge! Though I am mostly interested in racks that will fit a 2014, feel free to share information from any GS era and I'll put it in the table.

    Stuff I'm particularly thinking about:

    I prefer:
    Simplicity of mounting; fewer mounting points and shorter mounting bar length
    Choice of cases; don't want to be tied to a single model of case
    Low profile; i.e., carrier is close to the body
    Strong enough to use to get the bike out of a mud hole!
    Not to make modifications to frame/plastics/etc.

    I'm on the fence about:
    Quick release mechanisms
    Price (I don't mind paying for quality but...)

    Don't care about:
    Shape (trapezoid vs parallelogram vs rectangle etc...)
    Weight (it's a 500+ lb bike a 3lb delta isn't going to make any difference)
    Color
    Material (just needs to be designed to be strong)

    Cheers!
    #1
  2. grace

    grace Long timer Supporter

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    #2
  3. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud Supporter

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    In keeping with my 2014 GS's minimalist approach, I've used Givi quick disconnect pannier racks since buying the bike new. Six small and unobtrusive mount points remain on the bike, and installing the racks themselves takes about 20 seconds for the couple of times a year I mount hard cases for a cross country road trip or soft bags for camping trips when off-road is involved. The racks are steel and very secure when mounted.

    After riding an '07 GSA for years with its barely used OEM racks always mounted, I much prefer this set-up for practicality and looks (no unnecessary stuff carried around on the bike). After showing them to a friend when he bought his new Triumph 1200 Explorer, he bought and uses the same set-up on that bike.

    SAM_1244.JPG SAM_1245.JPG
    #3
    mikegc and m931a2 like this.
  4. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Vis ad locum

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    Right out of the gate: I'd never heard of Holan and I didn't know that Givi made a QD mount. Thanks gents!

    jdub, do you know if the Givi QDs can be had in a locking variety?
    #4
  5. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud Supporter

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    Easy to do!

    There's a hole on each rack flange and corresponding mount flange by the passenger peg (visible in each pic above). When I'll be staying at hotels and keep the hard cases on the bike (carry stuff inside using case liners), I typically put a bolt through each hole secured with a self-locking nut. Makes the mounts as secure as any other bolted-on pannier rack.

    Never thought of it before you asked, but using a lock through each side's hole would make them even more secure.
    #5