Thread: Bmw F800gs Q&A
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Old 09-06-2008, 11:29 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easyman05
Thank you very much, RTW!

One more question about the hard cases. Do you beleive the Pelican/Caribou cases are better than BMW OEM Vario for F800GS? Or was it just the price matter? And you still preferred hard cases over soft luggage like ZEGA FLEX from Touratech. Why?
TIA
Quote:
Originally Posted by easyman05
Thank you very much, RTW!

One more question about the hard cases. Do you beleive the Pelican/Caribou cases are better than BMW OEM Vario for F800GS? Or was it just the price matter? And you still preferred hard cases over soft luggage like ZEGA FLEX from Touratech. Why?
TIA
Hey Easyman,

Hmm, of course this is just my opinion so please disregard if it doesn't apply to you but the BMW cases are not really that great if you plan on taking your bike offroad. I think I only saw one set on a world tourer, a guy from Singapore was riding all the way across to Europe and we met him in Syria. Great guy and rider, but the bags were beat to hell and tied on with various stuff.

There are a lot of bags that look great, and function well in the city, but when pushed, they don't stand up well.

I would say as a generalization, that with this bike I would hope that people look for equipment (inlcuding luggage) that fits the personality and style of the bike. In short, it's a bike that can go offroad and do a little bit of everything so you gear should be able to handle this and be equally as flexible.

Maybe there are riders out there who manage to keep their bike upright at all times, but I'm not one of them, so when I look at luggage I wonder how it will stand tip overs, dumps, and outright crashes.

The basic "plastic" bags (eg. Givi, and even the BMW) are made for street use and not really designed for off road. They will actually hold up pretty good on the odd crash and surprise you, but it's a bonus and not something you should plan for.

The Touratech aluminum boxes are ok, but the problem with the moderate strength aluminum boxes is that it doesn't take to much to knock them out of square and once that happens, it is pretty hard to get them back to square and hence they will leak water and let in dust afterwards. We built our own aluminum boxes for Russia and slowly but surely they turned into octogons.

Soft luggage is an underappreciated alternative, some guys were using them and swore by them as they are much less likely to break your leg but the biggest turn off was the reduced safety as you feel ok leaving your hard boxes locked to your bike but less so with soft bags. If they work for your style of riding, then certainly consider them.

That leaves the category of tough gear, and there are two sets that fall into this category, heavy duty aluminum boxes and Pelican style. The heavy duty aluminum boxes are very tough and take a huge knock before they deform. If you do deform them, good luck trying to reshape them but it can be done. An example of these boxes would be Metal Mule. One of the guys would take his off and use it as the center stand when fixing flats. Pretty tough, but very expensive.

And then you have the Pelicans, which due to the material and impact absorbing structure, will withstand a surprising amount of force and still open and close, no problems. One thing to be aware of is any force of a crash gets absorbed by the bag, the attachment system from the bag to the rack, the rack, or the frame of the bike. Most systems are designed the failure point to be the lesser of the evils, usualy the attachment system of the bag to the bike. What works best for you and your style of riding is an individual choice. I was tired of retightening my attachment system so opted for a more strong fix to the rack.

The downside to these bags are that they are slightly smaller and side loading so it's hard to get a lot of stuff in them. That's why the other systems are mostly better for straightforward highway riding, baring price considerations.


So as a random comment, I'll throw out a ranking system for the luggage alternatives and anyone is welcome to toss in a type and where it fits in. A system similar to tire rating systems (on road and off road) may make sense as a broad generalization and if you are going to ride almost all highway, then your tires, bags, windshield, and crash protection should reflect that. If you plan on racing in the Dakar, power to you, but make sure your gear will bounce when it needs to:)


BMW Vario - 90:10 (good for 90% street, 10% off road)

Touratech Zega - 60:40

Pelican/Caribou - 50:50

Soft bags - 40:60
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