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Thread: Can you make a safety argument for the Vario side cases?

  1. #1

    Can you make a safety argument for the Vario side cases?

    Trying to rationalize a $1000+ purchase. Would the side cases keep the bike off your leg or something in a tip over?

    I also remember in Long Way Round, when Ewan and Charlie got to New York, Ewan got hit by a car. I think he said the cases, where he got hit, prevented a major calamity.

    Can't rationalize the spend on myself unless it helps keep me out of trouble.
    Sam Halperin
    Long Beach Island, New Jersey, USA
    sam@samhalperin.com
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  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    I think maybe. For a more definitive guess, the tip-over considerations are situational.

    I have found that when a bike goes over, something always gets banged up. Full crash/protection bars front and rear are the best protection but may look out of place on an F-Twin.

    OM
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  3. #3
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    I think hard side cases are worth the money just for the convenience.
    If BMW cases cost more than you want to spend, there's less expensive options out there like Givi, Shad and Hepco & Becker.
    Lee
    2022 R1250RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2016 R1200RS, 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  4. #4
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    I do not think side cases offer much in the way safety. Many off road riders choose to use soft luggage because a hard case can caused foot, ankle and leg injuries in a tip over. We've run Jesse bags on our bikes for many years and they have prevented damage to the bike in low speed tip overs, but doubt they would offer much protection in a high speed accident or when hit on the side by a cage. If safety is what you are spending money on then spend it on good gear including an air vest, and some good training.
    Kevin Huddy
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  5. #5
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    I find fall-over protection an odd make-or-break reason for buying hard bags, but we all have our priorities. I really like my Givi aluminum cases, and they come at an excellent price point compared to the BMW-branded adventure cases. Compared to the Varios, one feature I wouldn't do without is the ability to load from the top. I always hated how things would want to tumble out when opening the Vario.

  6. #6

    injury due to side cases

    In a low side accident my vario cases caught my foot and caused a severe twisting strain on my knee. It took a long time to recover.

  7. #7
    Last year I had a low speed tip over in the dirt. Ankle trapped under stock GS bags on 2006 F650GS. But still think some benefit from them, maybe some safety but i think packing them is easier.

  8. #8
    Registered User 88bmwjeff's Avatar
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    I think there's some situations which would be worse and others better with side cases. This probably also changes whether you're riding on or off road. I also don't think it's possible to know which situation you'll find yourself in, but hopefully none. That being said, I prefer side cases. They provide storage, which is lacking on a motorcycle. If and when a bike does go down, I think the cases provide protection for the bike, and the cases are less expensive to repair and/or replace than many motorcycle parts.
    Jeff in W.C.
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  9. #9
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88bmwjeff View Post
    I think there's some situations which would be worse and others better with side cases. .
    Here's an example of a hard bag making things worse.

    Lee
    2022 R1250RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2016 R1200RS, 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  10. #10
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Here's an example of a hard bag making things worse.

    Unless it happened twice, I think that was a bike from the press fleet used by BMW to unveil that model to the press.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  11. #11
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Unless it happened twice, I think that was a bike from the press fleet used by BMW to unveil that model to the press.
    I was thinking it was filmed for a press release.
    Not BMW.
    Lee
    2022 R1250RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2016 R1200RS, 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  12. #12
    SURVIVOR akbeemer's Avatar
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    Looks like an FJR to me.
    Kevin Huddy
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  13. #13
    #13338 PGlaves's Avatar
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    Indeed not the same incident. But BMW did have a "journalist" ride a demo bike off a dock - I am thinking it was an 1150 model but it might have been a 1200.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #14
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    "But my GPS said..."

  15. #15
    Definitely an FJR1300.
    Side cases are going to get rashed up in a tip over. Spend money to repair/replace cases or repair/replace bike parts. It's a wash. On the other hand, crash bars can be bent back in place, if needed, and painted to look brand new.
    Anything beyond a low speed tip over, parts are going to be destroyed.

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