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Old 12-15-2012, 04:30 PM   #1
Flashdog OP
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Vario Bags for F700

My F700GS came with the option package that included the Vario bag mounts. Last night while at the Seattle Motorcycle Show I received a coupon for 30% off any BMW accessories over $500. So, my question is, are these vario bags any good? I don't/can't go off-road due to a back problem so I'm not too worried about banging around.

I loved the BMW cases on my old R1150R, are these as good?
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:15 AM   #2
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they are good as long as you don't crash : o )
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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We have them on our twin twins. Never had aftermarket so I can't compare but they're fine for the street. We've toured a lot with them. They will leak a bit, wil be hard to close if you over pack and the expanding part needs to be "exercised" or it gets real stiff. My peeve is that when expanded, the bar is on the bottom which interferes with packing. Because they're side opening, your stuff falls out if you don't catch it. They will hold up to drops or low speed stuff but they are just plastic. My advice is to get a used set. You just missed a great deal at the flea market here. We're selling our third set but have a buyer, sorry.
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Old 12-16-2012, 06:40 AM   #4
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They are very good IMO I have had them for 3 years and they still work great.
I went with them for one reason only: The frame mounts for the Vario bags tuck in and look great when the bags are not on. I do a lot of day rides and the frame mounts blend in so nicely you don't even notice them.
The other advantage is that they are cheap to replace compared to other luggage if you do happen to crash.
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Old 12-17-2012, 06:43 PM   #5
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Mine work really well but have not yet had the opportunity to use them much. I dont use them around town or on a daily basis. I have a tank bag and tail bag for daily commute and everyday use.

It was great being able to lock up my helmet and jacket a couple weeks back and not have to carry them around.

I bought a couple cheap, square duffel bags to use as liners to put junk in. I have a couple trips planned and looking forward to stuffing them full.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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Bags

I had them on my 09' F650GS and loved them. I totaled the bike in July when a car turned in front of me and ripped the front wheel off. The bags survived intact and I now use them on my new 13' 800GS. Had the dealer change the locks to my new bike key. I like the way they fit close to the bike and the adjustable width feature. They don't look like all the ugly aluminum bags that stick out 6" from the bike. When they are off the bike, which is most of the time for me, you don't even see the racks.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I'm ordering mine tomorrow.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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I have the top box on my F700. Should have gotten the panniers too.... It's worked great for toting all kinds of stuff around so far. Haven't gone offroad with it yet though...
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #9
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Going off road with a top case is like riding in the back of the bus. Bumps are the most amplified at the back. Just mind the weight and look back now and then to see if it has become a dearly departed.

...and don't put your beer there!

BTW a 1200gs plastic topcase fits the twins optional oem mount. A cheaper option if you can find a used one. They are aluminum clad if that does it for you. Both our twins have one.
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:11 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input. I'm ordering mine tomorrow.
I don't think you'll regret it. Contrary to what some have said here, I have been thrashing and crashing mine offroad for 3 years, and they are still holding up -- powder-dry inside. The ground clearance is a real plus to me, and so are the ultra-compact racks. The side-load is not the best, but the quick-disconnect feature makes up for it. If it is packed full, just take it off the bike to open and close it -- saves time vs. trying to do it on the bike.
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:03 PM   #11
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They don't look like all the ugly aluminum bags that stick out 6" from the bike. When they are off the bike, which is most of the time for me, you don't even see the racks.

I like to mix it up a bit.


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Old 12-26-2012, 10:14 PM   #12
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I picked up my bags today and mounted them. I then put on a lot of black Scotchlite stripes. The bags look normal during the day but really light up when a headlight hits them at night. The bags look like they are even higher quality then my old city cases on my R1150R. I like then mounts too. Now I need to get the Touratech engine guard kit and some hand guards. I wish the R1150GS handguards by BMW would fit. I really liked them on my R.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:59 PM   #13
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So I'm looking at the F700GS. Actually, extremely close to pulling the trigger. I was going to buy the "Touring" package or whatever it is, due to the heated grips, aux power and the pannier rack.

My question, which the dealer still can't answer is what bags will fit on the BMW OEM pannier rack?

Is it ONLY the Vario cases? Or are there other options that will work?

I've got a 4wk tour of Canada and AK and the top opening aluminum cases will likely work much better.

Sorry for the hijack.
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:08 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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My question, which the dealer still can't answer is what bags will fit on the BMW OEM pannier rack?
I'd say your dealer is lazy. Is there another you could buy from?

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