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Offline 78 Bravo

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Using the topbox
« on: Jan 13, 2018, 08:22 AM »
Hi all,

I use a topbox almost exclusively - it's great for the commute, and I rarely use the panniers as I don't need them. And it houses extra brake lights.

However, I must be missing something, everyone who seems to tour (like AMC etc.) uses just panniers and no topbox.

Why? Is it purely aesthetics, or is there a decent reason (aerodynamics?) that precludes it's use? (Bearing in mind there would be almost no weight in it - glasses,gloves, disc lock, wallet sort of thing as I understand that CoG would be adversely affected if loaded.)

If I tour, should I dump the Dropbox and use a waterproof bag if needed? (I can probably cope with just panniers) but the topbox seems handy and I can't say I've noticed any issues so far. What about if I'm carrying more speed than usual?

A tank bag would get around the need for a top box probably.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

Offline whiskydave

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #1 on: Jan 13, 2018, 10:17 AM »
I leave my panniers on nearly all the time and only use the top box whilst touring. Never liked the look of a top box on a bike. Always use my Givi quick release tank bag though.  :028:

Offline UK_Vstrom650

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #2 on: Jan 13, 2018, 11:55 AM »
It's usually to do with weight being high up and at the rear of the bike which could cause handling issues (especially at high speeds). Putting them in the panniers keeps weight lower down. That said, I only ever use my top box and at the speeds I travel at it's never an issue.
« Last Edit: Jan 13, 2018, 12:02 PM by UK_Vstrom650 »

Online uralrob

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #3 on: Jan 13, 2018, 12:26 PM »

 Panniers only.

 Aesthetics aside I don't want the extra windage of a top box on the highway and it's absence makes me  pack lighter.
+ the c.o.g point already made

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Offline DarrenVS

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #4 on: Jan 13, 2018, 12:31 PM »
Use the top box all the time. Didnít have the panniers on my mark 2 or my first mark 3.
The panniers on my 600 mile new bike stayed on for all of two days, as nice as they are they are just too wide for my commute to work everyday.. the main reason I have a Versys is to allow me to filter easily. The panniers just donít make it easy.
I keep coming across a guy on a GS with the metal cases on and he just gets in the  way as the cases are huge. He doesnít like it when I ask him to move out of the way
2017 GT SE candy lime green/ metallic spark black

Offline jim ballantyne

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #5 on: Jan 13, 2018, 03:43 PM »
I always use a top box as it's easy to leave a helmet in there when you park.Got a small one for local use and a large one for holidays.I also have givi 21 litre panniers as I don't like big one ones.They are the same width as the handlebars so no problem filtering.

Offline Gustavo

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #6 on: Jan 13, 2018, 06:26 PM »
No idea what you're talking about...


Yes, the topbox puts the weight higher and further back, but from an aerodynamic point of view, it's far superior to the side cases sticking out (albeit, the Mk3 cases don't stick out as far as the older V35 Givis do).  My top speed sees no impact when traveling with a topbox (professional rider on closed course, of course...   :whistle:).  The bike might get a bit lighter in the front when taking off quickly from a stop (the Versys more than the V-Strom), but you have to be seriously ham fisted to have that be a problem.  It keeps the bike narrower for lane splitting/filtering. 

My topboxes are 47-50 liters.  Between that and a tank bag I can take all I need for a week or more of traveling.  If I didn't already have all these Givi boxes in the garage, I would have probably gone with a waterproof duffel bag like this Wolfman Expedition:

Always yield to temptation, it may not pass your way again - Ken Morton

Offline 78 Bravo

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #7 on: Jan 13, 2018, 06:35 PM »
Okay well that's more of a variety of answers than I was expecting actually.

I want to avoid over packing in the future, and what with me being a big fella and the windage of all three boxes I find overtakes a bit harder than I'd like. But you're right about the lid fitting in the top box, it does make life a bit easier... Unless of course it's your only box and it's full of other kit.

Online kwacky

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #8 on: Jan 14, 2018, 03:26 PM »
Top box all the time for me.  I like to get through traffic - panniers limit that 

Offline Woody1966!

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Re: Using the topbox
« Reply #9 on: Jan 18, 2018, 07:31 PM »
Being new to the V i`d be quite interested in how much weight people get away with in their top box (Mk3). The standard GT item states something like 5 kg max load which dosent seem much, not that I want to overload the bike to the point of being top heavy. Just interested in what people get away with really as I dont want the plastic carrier plate inderneath breaking on me whilst on tour.
The metal one (sw motech) broke on my super tenere once, that was a right pain. It seems it was a poor design which motech has recently changed & the new version has much more steel in it..... the plastic on the V just makes me a bit wary so might take the panniers & small roll bag option when touring.