The BMW Vario bags are certainly a good all around option. I have used the Vario bags on both the R12 GS on GSADV bikes. I took delivery of an R1200GS Adventure with the Vario cases and regular GS seat configuration rather than the Adventure seat and cases. The variable capacity is very handy, they don't stick out because they are designed to fit closer to the bike and because of the variable feature. As noted earlier they offer great ground clearance. The side vs top opening thing is a matter of personal preference. I had a set of Jesse bags several years ago and ended up not using them. They were well made but heavy. The opening at the top was smaller than the sides you could not use large internal liner bags. They were to big and I very seldom even came close to filling them. As to the top vs side opening thing I prefer side. Sure things tumble out of the left one if you are on the side stand as opposed to the center stand but I found it more difficult to dig down into and sift through the contents of the top loaders. The only thin I miss about not having a hinged lid top loader is that the lid can make a very handy table when you are camping. I've got a set of Varios in the garage awaiting delivery of a new F8GS.