Side Cases for Photo gear - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Side Cases for Photo gear

Everyone,

I am a professional photographer, and I am looking for some side cases for the V that can hold a small amount of gear (1 body, a couple of lenses, etc) in one case. I want what ever is toughest to be able to take a tumble in case something happens (have 1 season under the belt, and already wrecked 1 bike). Suggestions?

Also, if you have suggestions for a tank bag that release pretty quick, I would be interested also.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 02:48 PM
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There is a recent discussion on here about mounting Pelican cases on the V. I think that Pelican makes photo cases also, right? So perhaps you could get the foam inserts for camera stuff in Pelicans mounted on the V.

I'm no pro, but I often travel with my DSLR. I just put my regular camera bag in the top case.

There is a quick-lock style of tankbag mount. Check out something like: http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade...view/1859/652/

-Alan
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm....hadn't seen those Pelican cases before. I was worried that the Givi bags couldn't take a bit of a hit. And the quicklock system is what I was looking for. Plus I can get a video mount for it, which could be fun. Thank you very much!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SZRimaging View Post
Everyone,

I am a professional photographer, and I am looking for some side cases for the V that can hold a small amount of gear (1 body, a couple of lenses, etc) in one case. I want what ever is toughest to be able to take a tumble in case something happens (have 1 season under the belt, and already wrecked 1 bike). Suggestions?

Also, if you have suggestions for a tank bag that release pretty quick, I would be interested also.

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...hlight=pelican
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2009, 04:20 PM
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Pelican cases are great if you never want to use the top case for anything but your camera. The plastic shell protects your equipment from dust and water but isn't what protects your case from impact and vibration. That job is left up to the interior components which is pickable foam for a Pelican case and NOT replaceable if you change your set up or add a video camera.

Like Wordguy said, I recommend using a Givi top case and putting your gear in a LowePro Stealth Reporter type top loading bag.



I've done thousands of miles of high altitude adventure riding including crossing rivers using Chinese made Givi knock off top boxes carrying full DSLR kits and have NEVER had a problem with my camera getting wet or not functioning. And yes, it has been down, several times including one cartwheel at 70kph in the middle of the night. The only damage to the gear was a cracked UV filter and no damage at all to the objective lens.

The most important thing is having a sturdy, easy to use, versatile, waterproof, non-shatterable outer case with a convenient to use, semi waterproof, shock absorbing, convertible, inner case that can be removed for working the field away for the bike.

Although I know pelicans are extremely tough and all the rage, they're less than ideal if someone is planning to actually take pictures when NOT by their bike or will be changing their kit periodically (which any good photographer will do).

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the post. I use lowe pro bags to hold the gear, and probably would pluck the foam to fit around an entire bag. What I was trying to avoid was a top case. Don't know why, just don't like them. So I was going to go with a side case. That said, if I drop the bike, it is going to land on one of the two side cases, so I just want to make sure it can hold up to the fall.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 04:01 PM
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SZR,

I understand the dislike of top cases considering it adds to the drag and top-heavy weight of the bike esp. since a full bag of camera gear can range from 15-30lbs. That said, there are some obvious benefits to a topcase in terms of it's use for photography and photographic equipment.

Consider, for a moment, the trees. Just kidding. One nice feature of a top case is that it's at a natural working level for a standing human body (unless you happen to be 5 feet tall that is). Also, I've found that it helps when changing lenses in dusty/drizzling environments (unless you're one of those super human photographers that only uses 18-300 wonder lenses so you never have to change lenses and think there's nothing wrong with a 2,000 dollar body that only produces soft images).

Then lets not forget that it's easier to balance out other gear (camping, tools repair, clothes, whatever) on the left and right side cases than it is your photo gear. You're not likely going to put your 70-200/2.8 in the left case then second body on the right. Even though a top case puts the weight up high, it is laterally evenly distributed.

Water. You may not plan on crossing water but if you are there's NOTHING like having the case as high as possible which also has other benefits. As long as the top case isn't huge, it's often the last thing to touch the ground in an impact whereas side cases are often the first. Maybe I'm nuts but should I low side in the mountains on a wet road I'd rather have my tent and sleeping bag taking the hit inside the case than several thousand dollars of electronics.

I'm not trying to say a top case is the ONLY way to put cam gear on a bike but really don't understand the attraction to having it in a side case?

Please let me know what I'm overlooking...

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Last edited by CrazyCarl; 03-19-2009 at 04:05 PM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 04:41 PM
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Very good points, but I am not so sure that a top case adds anymore drag than I do. I think that my side cases actually add more drag since they stick out more than the topcase. But I sure like having all of them.

Steve

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 05:30 PM
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I seriously doubt that a top case adds more drag than say a passenger or two fully loaded side cases. All of my bikes I ride with top cases, and I truly don't notice that they're there. Any negligible reduction in performance is triply offset by the bags' convenience.

I use a fairly large Lowepro bag for my camera gear that fits quite nicely in both my Givi V46 and 52 liter top cases. The bag provides sufficient padding for the gear (none of which suffered damage during a low speed tip over on the big BMW -- the side case and jugs were scratched and a small corner of the top case too, but the camera gear was fine). The Lowepro bag has dividers and I can fit a body with lens, and a good assortment of lenses and other supplies in it. It also has a shoulder strap if I need to carry the whole bag. Usually I gear up standing behind the bike (like mentioned above, it's at the perfect working height to pull out and put together what you need), and feel confident locking it behind me.

The only thing I haven't worked out is a good way to carry a decent tripod. Small tripods aren't sturdy enough for me, the monopod is still too long to stash anywhere, and monopods have limited usability. Some photogs actually bolt a attachment point to the top case and then can attach a ballhead to the topcase, using the entire bike as their tripod. Limited uses, but clever.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 07:37 PM
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Let us know if you find a solution to the tripod problem. I have been trying to figure that one out too and I have the same setup as you!

Steve

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharrison56 View Post
Very good points, but I am not so sure that a top case adds anymore drag than I do. I think that my side cases actually add more drag since they stick out more than the topcase. But I sure like having all of them.
Yeah that's true but I"m stretching to find something wrong with top cases. I think they are one of the most useful things you can add to a bike to expand it's daily and general usefulness and practicality.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2009, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darcym View Post
The only thing I haven't worked out is a good way to carry a decent tripod. Small tripods aren't sturdy enough for me, the monopod is still too long to stash anywhere, and monopods have limited usability. Some photogs actually bolt a attachment point to the top case and then can attach a ballhead to the topcase, using the entire bike as their tripod. Limited uses, but clever.
The size of tripods is awkward for a long narrow vehical and are only so many places a strong tripod can fit safely.

I've seen cases of riders who took some pvc pipe and turned it into a tripod quiver like holder which would attach somewhere off the rear of the bike, usually against the rear footpeg in some fashion.

The other solution is to not pack it and simply ride around with it on top of your luggage with it's own set of bungies that won't affect the packing of other stuff on the rear seat and usually right in front of the top case.

Tripods are a little slow to use by the nature of what they are and the good solutions are few and far between even though I 'm sure lots of good people have tried to solve the problem.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Only thing I have against top cases is....I think they look stupid....yeah, vanity over functionality.

That said, if I can find a quick release rack for a top case (like swmotech) it may not be so bad. I'll look into a top case.

As for tripods, good luck on that one. I think someone needs to work with Bogen on designing a motorcycle friendly one.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2009, 11:17 AM
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I agree that they don't add much to the looks of the bike, but they can provide a great place for more brake and turn signals that everyone can see. They are also at a great height for working with camera gear as pointed out previously.

Steve

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Sounds like a challenge to me!

Now I have four!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-31-2009, 10:08 PM
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The question about carrying a tripod is similar to one of mine. I also want to carry a PVC tube on the V, mine holds my longbow. Anyone have an idea how to strap this onto the bike?

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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 12:02 PM
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Bad rap on Pelicans

The gentleman is misinformed about the foam in
Pelican cases. You can readily find complete
replacement foam sets for any Pelican case
on eBay and elsewhere. Or opt for the version
with padded dividers. There are also lid liners
that hold small items. The cases are life-time
guaranteed, waterproof, crashproof, dustproof
and can easily be made tamper resistant/secure.

You just missed the deal of the century as a
fellow sold 50 of the Pelican 1520 cases for
$50 each. (Only lasted five or six days after
listing; some of us got some in the original
shipping boxes in perfect condition). They
can still be found in the $75 t0 $100 range.

Lots of real adventure riders swear by them...
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 02:29 PM
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I think I put links to a couple of sites that sell the foam on another thread about these cases.

I found it. http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...73&postcount=2

Steve

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-01-2009, 04:41 PM
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Do you know the difference between mono and...

Have you tried a monopod? For many low light
situations it is MUCH preferred over the hassle
of setting up and moving a tripod. I have a
friend who does extensive church photography
where he can't use flash. He got a professional
monopod and now his tripods are gathering dust.

OTOH, if you think it LOOKS untrendy, then the
great photos wouldn't matter... (Many people
think the Versys looks ugly but I didn't let that
bother me, ha ha)

Monopods will fit in your luggage quite handily.
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