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Old 03-24-2015, 04:33 PM   #1
rrg OP
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Vario cases waterproof?

I just got a new-to-me 2011 R1200GS. Before I find out the hard way, how waterproof are the stock Vario cases? Cases on my 1985 K100RS, 1998 K1200RS and GIVI cases on my Triumph were totally sealed. Nary a drop in heavy rain. The salesperson at the dealership said the Vario cases were very "water-resistant" but could not elaborate.
What have your experiences been?
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:48 PM   #2
* SHAG *
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My Varios are still waterproof after 10 yrs and 90k miles.
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Old 03-24-2015, 07:02 PM   #3
Roland44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by * SHAG * View Post
My Varios are still waterproof after 10 yrs and 90k miles.
Mine too, after about 6 years...
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:19 PM   #4
mondrage
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varios

Mine are waterproof... bought them used and they don't leak in
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:23 PM   #5
slowinfastout
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I'm not a Vario fan - had them on my 2006 GS before I went to Touratech Zegas. Some guys love 'em, I'm not one of them. They stay dry, but they have a lot of ABS plastic in the build and WILL crack if you drop the bike off-road. Also, they sag quite a bit on the mounts if fully loaded, they are really not designed to carry a lot of gear. The "Vario" function can and does clog with dust/dirt and can be difficult to operate. Finally, the are side-loaders and that means if you are trying to get something out on the side of the road, everything comes spilling out.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:40 PM   #6
GT-Jim
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I like my Varios but I am not the extreme off road type. The left side does droop when loaded but Cymarc Bike Parts in the UK makes a very nice support for the bags if you are not aware. Takes about 4 - 5 weeks to get it here but a nice simple piece of kit.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:51 PM   #7
ChildlikeWonder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowinfastout View Post
but they have a lot of ABS plastic in the build and WILL crack if you drop the bike off-road..
I have to say, mine has taking more than a few dirt naps with no issue.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:16 PM   #8
IBJim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowinfastout View Post
I'm not a Vario fan - had them on my 2006 GS before I went to Touratech Zegas. Some guys love 'em, I'm not one of them. They stay dry, but they have a lot of ABS plastic in the build and WILL crack if you drop the bike off-road. Also, they sag quite a bit on the mounts if fully loaded, they are really not designed to carry a lot of gear. The "Vario" function can and does clog with dust/dirt and can be difficult to operate. Finally, the are side-loaders and that means if you are trying to get something out on the side of the road, everything comes spilling out.
+1. Same experience here
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:18 PM   #9
Gezerbike
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I'll respond to just the question asked and not answer like I 'm some sort of politician on CNN. My Vario bags have yet to leak a drop.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:19 AM   #10
svtride
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Had the Varios on my 2005 for 8 years. No leaks ever and they had been tested frequently!

I partially opted out of Varios for my 2013 GSW as I did not care for the side load feature. I did (re) purchase the Vario topcase.

svtride screwed with this post 03-27-2015 at 01:27 PM
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:22 AM   #11
Bog1
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Cleaned mine with a pressure washer the other day. I was surpised to find that no water had managed to get inside
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:27 AM   #12
Mr. Canoehead
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A friend of mine has a set and they have been waterproof for many years of hard riding. They are not, however, dustproof - after a ride up the Alaska highway, they got stuck in the open (wide) position and no amount of cleaning/lubricating and swearing will get them to collapse. They still don't leak but are not "vario" anymore.
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:45 AM   #13
mb90535im
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Mine are waterproof plus I have the BMW liners which are also water proof and solve the "everything falls out when you open the side loaders" issue that many complain about.

Main complaint I have about the Varios is how the slide mechanisms get dirty and require frequent disassembly for cleaning to keep them sliding smoothly without binding. This requirement would be lessened if I would remember to remove the panniers before riding all day on dusty FS roads. I also agree with the criticism that the plastic construction would not hold up well in a crash.

What I really like is how easily and quickly the Varios mount and dismount from the bike.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:09 AM   #14
navsnipe
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I went through some heavy rain for a few hours on a trip last spring and no leaks on mine.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:34 AM   #15
rrg OP
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Thanks for all the replies. I now feel comfortable packing my wife's clothes and "things" for our next trip.
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