Jump to content
  • Who's Online   0 Members, 0 Anonymous, 65 Guests (See full list)

    • There are no registered users currently online

Top case vs side case


Top Case vs Side Cases  

12 members have voted

  1. 1. Top ase or side cases ?

    • Top Case
      5
    • Side Case
      7


Recommended Posts

Sorry if this topic was already discussed...

I need some advice on luggage!

I use a Kriega US-30 tail bag which is pretty good for commuting, very light and can accommodate everything I need for a day at the office (laptop, shoes, hoodie, etc), it can also be removed anytime.

I'm thinking about getting more robust and secure luggage on my bike... 

It would be either side cases or top case...

What are pros and cons of both ?

Would you recommend the aluminum boxes? or other types?

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my experience definitely top case. I have it on my bike all the time. Much more useful and convenient. In my case 46-47l is enough. I’ve been using side cases only for long weekends and multi day trips. Aluminum side cases? It can break you leg pretty easy if you go down.

Edited by Rick123
  • Thumbsup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No option vote for both top and side cases? For long touring I use both top and sides. But on commutes and short day trips, just the top. Depending on season, sometimes just the side over the top case. Again depends on what I'm bringing for layers or other items like tools, etc.

If you go aluminum, might add just a little bit of weight. More advantageous with adding more stuff in Al cases since these are rectangular or box form. Downside would be a bit higher cost.

  • Thumbsup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I vote for both.  You can't beat the utility of having lockable cases on the bike for any purpose, long trip or just commuting.  Also you can lock your helmet in either case and jacket which I find is useful when commuting.  When touring I will add a 12L tank bag and a 30 L Motocentric tail bag to carry my shoes and Depends.

 

I have the SHAD SH45 top case and stock Yamaha side cases.

  • Thumbsup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are not top case kind of bikes, just makes the already light front end even lighter and doesn't look right on these bikes......my opinion. I always run a tail bag on the passenger seat, and will mount the bags on a trip.

  • Thumbsup 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, robzilla said:

No option vote for both top and side cases? For long touring I use both top and sides. But on commutes and short day trips, just the top. Depending on season, sometimes just the side over the top case. Again depends on what I'm bringing for layers or other items like tools, etc.

If you go aluminum, might add just a little bit of weight. More advantageous with adding more stuff in Al cases since these are rectangular or box form. Downside would be a bit higher cost.

 

2 hours ago, OldBikers said:

I vote for both.  You can't beat the utility of having lockable cases on the bike for any purpose, long trip or just commuting.  Also you can lock your helmet in either case and jacket which I find is useful when commuting.  When touring I will add a 12L tank bag and a 30 L Motocentric tail bag to carry my shoes and Depends.

 

I have the SHAD SH45 top case and stock Yamaha side cases.

Well, the question is more if you can get just the top case or just the side cases.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have top cases on all my bikes. On the FJ-09, I also have Givi Monokey mounts and E21 side bags. The plan was to add the side bags when needed, but they also pretty much live there even though they're empty much of the time. Handy for grocery/hardware store trips and suchlike, and they don't bother me at all while riding. They do bother me if I'm just looking at the bike, which is extra motivation to get on and ride. After all, that's what motorcycles are for, really...

Anyway, yes, top cases look awful but they are the most useful thing you can attach to your bike. You can't see them from the saddle anyway. Lockable, water-resistant storage is a must-have for travel and commuting. I use my bikes as vehicles, so looks must be sacrificed for some function. 

My top case is the smallest Givi monokey case I could find, the V40 -- honestly, I'd buy a 29 or 30 liter case if I could, but these are only available in monolock, which makes it impossible to re-key all the bags the same.

I have experimented with putting my heavy tool kit stuff in the two side bags with the weight evenly split, and curiously, I found that having the weight on the sides affects handling far more than keeping it in the top case. I can feel it sort of torqueing back there when I go over bumps, and there's an odd extra roll inertia I can feel in vigorous cornering.

Having this weight up high and back is not ideal in other ways, but keeping that mass central is definitely better for handling than out to the sides; there are no odd twisting reactions or inertia in side-to-side transitions.

Opinions and tastes vary, of course... there are no completely wrong answers here.

Edited by bwringer
  • Thumbsup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, bwringer said:

I have top cases on all my bikes. On the FJ-09, I also have Givi Monokey mounts and E21 side bags. The plan was to add the side bags when needed, but they also pretty much live there even though they're empty much of the time. Handy for grocery/hardware store trips and suchlike, and they don't bother me at all while riding. They do bother me if I'm just looking at the bike, which is extra motivation to get on and ride. After all, that's what motorcycles are for, really...

Anyway, yes, top cases look awful but they are the most useful thing you can attach to your bike. You can't see them from the saddle anyway. Lockable, water-resistant storage is a must-have for travel and commuting. I use my bikes as vehicles, so looks must be sacrificed for some function. 

My top case is the smallest Givi monokey case I could find, the V40 -- honestly, I'd buy a 29 or 30 liter case if I could, but these are only available in monolock, which makes it impossible to re-key all the bags the same.

I have experimented with putting my heavy tool kit stuff in the two side bags with the weight evenly split, and curiously, I found that having the weight on the sides affects handling far more than keeping it in the top case. I can feel it sort of torqueing back there when I go over bumps, and there's an odd extra roll inertia I can feel in vigorous cornering.

Having this weight up high and back is not ideal in other ways, but keeping that mass central is definitely better for handling than out to the sides; there are no odd twisting reactions or inertia in side-to-side transitions.

Opinions and tastes vary, of course... there are no completely wrong answers here.

Givi makes the Dolomiti monokey case in a 30 liter. I too prefer the smaller cases on top. I'd have a 20 liter, if they made one.

Screenshot_20230519_135037_Photos.jpg

  • Thumbsup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, kingfisher said:

Givi makes the Dolomiti monokey case in a 30 liter. I too prefer the smaller cases on top. I'd have a 20 liter, if they made one.

Screenshot_20230519_135037_Photos.jpg

I'm actually looking for the Givi Outback 42L in terms of top case, I like the idea of putting my helmet there!

  • Thumbsup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member

I like having options. Any of these come off and go on in seconds. Naked one day, commuter the next and long hauler on occasion. I really don't think that top case looks that bad on it.

20221008_095114.jpg

  • Thumbsup 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought my bike with both top and side cases. The original owner purchased the Shad product's top case SH48 and the side cases SH36. The side cases came with liners, so you can pack what you need and take them with you and leave the hard cases on the bike.  The hard cases are waterproof.

I had soft cases, and tail bags on my FZ1.  A drawback is that the rain covers can blow off and you don't know it.

20221124_143850.jpg

Edited by Brentinpdx
added photo
  • Thumbsup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just be aware that the OEM top case mounting plate and both large + small cases are rated at a "maximum 5kg load". Insurance companies could potentially choose to make a big deal out of it in a claim if they wanted to be d*cks about it.

Somewhat discussed at this thread here

There's also a discussion on an FJR forum about Yamaha taking issue with "overloading" for a warranty claim when an owner's top case mount cracked.

Edit: Yamaha also say for some (if not all) models that you can either run their panniers or a top box, but not both at the same time. Sometimes in the accessories advisory, sometimes in the manual, and sometimes not at all.

I use a top box in the city (filtering easier, and I just chuck my laptop bag in it) and panniers + seat bag for touring (e.g. your Kriega) for better load capacity & distribution.

Edited by someguy
large & small OEM cases
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, kingfisher said:

Givi makes the Dolomiti monokey case in a 30 liter. I too prefer the smaller cases on top. I'd have a 20 liter, if they made one.

Screenshot_20230519_135037_Photos.jpg

Ooh, that's-a-nice. But $366.07 just for that case at TourandRide.com...? I mean, yikes and damn.

Love the blurple, though. 

 

 

13 hours ago, Brentinpdx said:

...I had soft cases, and tail bags on my FZ1.  A drawback is that the rain covers can blow off and you don't know it.

If it's more than a sprinkle, rain covers on soft luggage only serve to retain the water and ensure that your undies and socks are most thoroughly soaked with dirty road water, and your bags end up weighing 100 pounds each. Seen it many, many times. And yes, I've seen more than one cover blow off.

I either use waterproof soft luggage (the thick reinforced vinyl dry bag roll-top style) or line them with garbage bags. I've never seen an exterior cover that actually serves to keep water out. I did have a tail bag once that had an attached fluorescent yellow cover you could pop out, so I used that for better visibility. But the contents of the bag were inside plastic bags to protect them from water.

 

 

8 hours ago, someguy said:

Just be aware that the OEM top case mounting plate and both large + small cases are rated at a "maximum 5kg load". Insurance companies could potentially choose to make a big deal out of it in a claim if they wanted to be d*cks about it.

Somewhat discussed at this thread here

There's also a discussion on an FJR forum about Yamaha taking issue with "overloading" for a warranty claim when an owner's top case mount cracked.

Edit: Yamaha also say for some (if not all) models that you can either run their panniers or a top box, but not both at the same time. Sometimes in the accessories advisory, sometimes in the manual, and sometimes not at all.

I use a top box in the city (filtering easier, and I just chuck my laptop bag in it) and panniers + seat bag for touring (e.g. your Kriega) for better load capacity & distribution.

The "insurance doing a CSI-type investigation" belief comes up a lot, but during a rather long thread over on ADVrider, the world's largest motorcycle community, no one could actually come up with a firsthand account of a US insurance company denying or questioning a claim based on overloading, aftermarket accessories, mechanical incompetence, incorrect tires, etc. and so on. No one even had an account of an insurance company doing the slightest sort of investigation into the causes of even very serious accidents. (The police do sometimes do a reconstruction in fatal accidents, but US insurance companies do not, and no one has reported a US insurance company using this info against the rider.)

To put this another way, your insurance still covers you even if you indulge in all sorts of stupid behavior in operating your bike, and covering you for stupid decisions in loading or maintenance is the same thing. You don't instantly lose your coverage at 56mph.

Maybe you're not in the US, and/or maybe insurance or regulators in other parts of the world do this sort of thing; I don't know. But the only coverage exceptions in US policies are for things like acts of war and using your bike to commit a felony. If you're speeding, overloaded, underinflated, unskilled, just plain stupid, etc. you're covered. If you're deliberately murdering or robbing banks with your FJ or Tracer, or if it gets hit by enemy artillery, you're on your own. 

 

Anyway, as to the frame cracking, that does seem to be a real potential problem. My Givi top case hardware came with a couple of beefy reinforcement plates, and strict instructions to use them OR ELSE.

 

  • Thumbsup 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

I have both top case and side cases on my Tracer. The top case is much easier to get into and store things I will need frequently. The side cases are very handy for things I don't need very often, but need them when I need them. (Think tool roll, rain gear, clothes if taking a longer trip, etc.)

I use my top case much, much more often than my side cases. It is just much easier to open the top case and find what I need. Side cases are great for luggage on overnight trips, tool rolls, and things you may not need very often, but you can't get by without them when you do need them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×