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Thread: Effects from top box?

  1. #1
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    Effects from top box?

    I'm hoping to try on a new RT later this week and I'm considering accessories. I've never ridden with a top box before but like the idea of the additional storage - how does it affect handling? Do you get blown around more in cross-winds?

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
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    Great question because I am considering adding BMW top case with brake light and electric release lock to my 2016 R1200RTW. Reviews appreciated.

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    John Sherman
    Tacoma WA USA
    2016 R120RT
    ////

  3. #3
    Addicted to curves azgman's Avatar
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    I have never noticed a difference, (top case or not) as far as wind and I have had topcases on K1200LT, R1150RT, R1200RT, Triumph Trophy SE, and R1200GS. If you load up the top case with heavy stuff, you certainly will notice that.
    MOA #107139
    RA #28511

  4. #4
    Registered User RIDERR1150GSADV's Avatar
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    Topcases are great storage for the fluff stuff like rain gear, first aid kit, gloves, cleaning stuff, extra snacks etc. I leave enough room in my Givi to store my tank bag when away from the bike. I never had any issues with a topcase affecting handling. Just keep an eye on what you put in there..YMMV
    MOA # 108516
    Current ride 2018 R1200 GSA Triple Black
    Past rides '04 R1150RT, '05 K1200LT, '06 R1150GSA, 17 R1200RT

  5. #5
    Registered User 56223's Avatar
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    I got the top box when I bought my 2015 RT. I left it on the even though it was empty just about all the time. Then one day I took it off during a hundred mile ride. Fuel mileage went up by 4 mpg during that ride. Now my top box sits in the garage unless I need the space.


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    Pete
    2015 R1200RT

  6. #6
    I've got both the small and large top cases for my RT. My small case stays on the bike virtually all the time and I really don't notice it at all. The large case goes on when my wife wants to go for a ride with me and that does become noticeable, even when I've had it on just by myself. Personally I love the small case and it allows me to not need a tank bag giving the bike a cleaner look.

    ETA, I also rarely ride with the hard side cases either so my bike is rather sleek most of the time.

  7. #7
    BMW MOA co-founder bmwdean's Avatar
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    J have both the small and top cases for my 2015 R1200RT. Mostly I use the small one, except for longer trips.



    http://bmwdean.com/r1200rtw.htm
    Last edited by bmwdean; 08-03-2017 at 11:59 PM.
    Jeff Dean
    Tucson, Arizona, and Madison, Wisconsin
    Co-founder, 1972, of BMW MOA -- http://bmwdean.com/r1200rtw.htm
    2017 R1200RT, 2019 R1250RT, 1967 R60/2

  8. #8
    DigtlArtst
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    I had a small top case on my '01 and '06 RTs -- no effect on handling or rear vision. The large top box that came free on my 2013 RT had little effect on handling except in crosswinds but I didn't like how it obscured my rear vision so I sold it to get a small one for the '13, and I got one again for my '16 RT.

  9. #9
    I prefer a flat rack and a soft bag (aka "seat bag") for the usual fluff items. There is no worse place to put weight on a motorcycle than up high and aft of the rear wheel. Obviously, it will still go down the road, sort of.
    Lee A. Dickinson - Danielsville, GA USA
    Airheads #3480 | Iron Butt Assn. #8914
    1992 R100RS - 1993 K1100RS - 2013 R1200GS

  10. #10
    Registered User alegerlotz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffshoaf View Post
    I'm hoping to try on a new RT later this week and I'm considering accessories. I've never ridden with a top box before but like the idea of the additional storage - how does it affect handling? Do you get blown around more in cross-winds?

    Thanks for any input!
    When I lived in NH (up until Feb of this year) I commuted daily from April through mid November on my 2005 RT with the 49l top case. In the afternoon there were often cross winds and I would notice a difference if the top case was installed vs being left at home. It wasn't a huge difference, but I could feel it. Going past semi trucks I could feel it a bit as well.

    I don't commute now that I live in SoCal (I work from home) and I have a 2016 RT with the same top case on it. I notice the difference less on this new bike, but i think that's because usually have the box off for my rides, which are now more for recreation than the need to commute.

    The extra space far outweighs any extra crosswind unsteadiness. You'll get used it it quickly and then you won't even notice it.
    2016 R1200RT
    2007 KTM 450 XC-W (10/17 - 5/18)
    2005 R1200RT (2/2015 - 12/2016)
    1985 Yamaha XJ 700 Maxim (7/1989 - 9/1991)

  11. #11
    As far as I can tell, the top box makes very little difference in how the bike handles. I pack most of the weight low in the side cases or in a dry bag on the seat. The top case is reserved for my easy to grab items and a place to store my helmet, pants and jacket for when I am off the bike. I like having the extra brake light behind me that sits higher off the ground to catch the eye of the person following me. It sure can't hurt?

    John

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jaflowers View Post
    My small case stays on the bike virtually all the time and I really don't notice it at all. I also rarely ride with the hard side cases either so my bike is rather sleek most of the time.
    This is exactly what I do. I have the 28L which appears ultra aerodynamic, and in it lives my tire compressor and a few small items, and then there is ample room for grocery items or what have you. I keep a bungie cord in it as well and use the hard case mounts to secure stuff that sits on the pillion, like the 100' garden hose I bought at Costco yesterday. For long touring trips for 1-up riding there is ample room in just the 28L trunk and side cases so will never buy the fat large one. I rode fully loaded for a 10K mile trip and thru the entire state of Minnesota w/ 30-45mph x-winds and it wasn't bad at all until you rode over a bridge w/ a significant side wall then it felt pretty wierd! And the side cases stay off unless doing overnight+ trips, and that adds a little more sport to RT both visually and w/ 26lbs of weight reduction.

  13. #13
    I've got a 50L Shad case and rack on my RT, and I can't say that I notice it at all. I've found it to be extremely handy for being able to throw things into, or if you need to lock something up while stopped. The rack comes in handy for carrying a bedroll or lawn chairs. When taking day long rides, I sometimes put a 6 pack cooler of waters in the top case.

    That said, I'd avoid putting anything heavy in the case or on the rack.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jeffshoaf View Post
    I'm hoping to try on a new RT later this week and I'm considering accessories. I've never ridden with a top box before but like the idea of the additional storage - how does it affect handling? Do you get blown around more in cross-winds?

    Thanks for any input!
    I had a top box on both my 04RT and my current 14RT as long as you load them according to manufactures recommendations ( I'm thinking that's around 20 or 30 lbs. max. ) I don't think you'll have any problems . I only have mine installed when I am on the road for more than a week and have never noticed any difference in the way the bike handles.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the responses!

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