Top Box v. Waterproof Duffel - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-07-2016, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Top Box v. Waterproof Duffel

Been looking at putting on a Givi top box, and if I get one of the bigger ones, and a SW Mototech rack, I'll have spent over $500, and that goes up if I put in a light system. Just saw some great 70 liter waterproof duffel's for under $100, and these are more flexible for sizing and packing compared to a hard box. Is it worth the extra $400, as I see that many people end up doing both?

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-07-2016, 11:03 AM
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I had a GiVi top-case (52L?) on my Bandit, but on the '09 I just added a rack (ktmduals) w/ an aluminum panel about 30" x 24" that I attach whenever I'm off on a long adventure, to carry the tent and sleeping bag. Saddlebags constantly on the bike.







I've ordered the Kawi rack for my '15, and I'll make up the aluminum panel when I get back to BC.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-07-2016, 11:50 AM
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It depends on your needs and intended use. Do you plan to keep anything on the bike, in the proposed bag, when the bike is left unattended? If transporting valuables, do you feel like removing the waterproof bag and toting it with you every time you stop and leave the bike (to avoid possible theft)?

For me, it came down to security, ease of use, and waterproof. Those factors pointed to the luggage rack with top box. After getting over the initial thought of the $$ spent, I never regretted it.

Benefits of the box, in my view:
  • waterproof
  • secure
  • portable
  • quick attachment/removal
  • ability to utilize on other/future bikes
  • used boxes (good cond) available at 60-70% of new...see ebay

I'm frugal and it took me years to take the plunge and buy a top box. In all of the the accessories I've owned in nearly 30 years of street riding and 50+ bikes, a top box and good aftermarket seat are 2 of the best investments. When possible, I buy used. If/when you sell, you'll find that total cost was minimal-- meaning money spent isn't a lost cause. The accessories will retain a value and you can sell them later. Your "cost" will only be the difference for what you paid vs. the price of sold item.

I avoid side bags as they add too much width, on a daily basis, and require that much more space for the bike when storing it in the garage. I haven't used a waterproof bag, as security of top box trumps the lower cost bag. If only using the bag to tote lunch/personal items to work, and take it with me when I go in, I might consider a bag for that. But, would not leave a bag on the bike (unattended) if it contained valuables: GPS, phone, laptop, camera, etc...

My .02$.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-07-2016, 08:18 PM
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i like bags for most everything except when I want to leave it on the bike and lock something in it. then a top box is the ticket.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 12:04 AM
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There are several reasons for having a top box:

The big plus of the top box for me is having a nice big waterproof spot to lock up my helmet. No rain, No spiders, and no one can steal it without a lot of trouble.

It's also nice if I want to take my laptop with me or something I don't want people to be able to get access to.

It's also nice for grocery shopping too! My Trekker 42 will take a gallon of milk and a couple bags of groceries so it's practical!

If you are just going to use the cargo space for camping though there is really no reason for a top box.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 01:05 AM
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A question for you, what is your usage? If you only need it now and then and don't do long trips then go the bag. If you will use it daily and do trips I suggest the topbox is the way to go. Especially with the extra security in mind.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-08-2016, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments everyone. Many questioned the primary use, and I should have elaborated in the original question.

I currently commute 1 or 2 days per week when weather is over 40 and not too windy, and go out for an 2 to 4 hours on weekends. I keep my lit up (Admore) Givi V35's on most of the time, and I can lock my mush bucket in there, even though it can be a bit of a struggle sometimes. I also use a tank bag that I take remove if going to be away from the bike for any extended time.

For overnight trips, the V 35's have been sufficient, but I am planning to do some longer trips this summer, and some camping. Thus, I would not plan to be far from the bike, and thought a duffel might be more flexible for packing a tent, sleeping bag, etc. versus a top box. I agree that simply being able to drop the helmet and bags of grocery into the to box is a lot easer than having to do some packing, or trying to fit stuff into the side bags.

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-09-2016, 05:50 AM
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for that purpose of supplementing the side cases for camping etc I'd recommend soft bags
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-10-2016, 08:05 PM
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for that purpose of supplementing the side cases for camping etc I'd recommend soft bags
+1. That's exactly how I use my 40L waterproof duffle and dollar for dollar it is the best luggage I have.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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[quote=fasteddiecopeman;1063345]I had a GiVi top-case (52L?) on my Bandit, but on the '09 I just added a rack (ktmduals) w/ an aluminum panel about 30" x 24" that I attach whenever I'm off on a long adventure, to carry the tent and sleeping bag. Saddlebags constantly on the bike.


I'm envious of those that have access to drill presses and other metal fabbing gear. Having moved from our big house a couple of years ago, I don't even have a vice. I do have vices, but none that hold anything.

Eddie, I need to talk to you about your color coordinations of your bags and paint color. Take care.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-11-2016, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
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...I'm envious of those that have access to drill presses and other metal fabbing gear. Having moved from our big house a couple of years ago, I don't even have a vice. I do have vices, but none that hold anything....
FWIW - I 'used' the aluminum shop's metal fabbing gear to cut and "break" the 30" x 24" bit - I just added the holes.

Quote:
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...Eddie, I need to talk to you about your color coordinations of your bags and paint color. Take care.
I WANT people to SEE me, so, for me, BRIGHT is good, and color-coordination sometimes interferes w/ visibility. BTW - those bags (bought 'em in '03 for my FIRST Alaska ride on the Bandit) finally died a couple of years back....

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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 03:44 AM
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I have an SW-Motech rack which I have adapter plates for different top box manufacturers plus an extension plate. If I am travelling with less that 20liters I will use my Kreiga US 20 bag. Above that I tend to use a top box (either SW-Motech 37 ltre, Hepco & Becker 25 liter or Hepco & Becker 45 litre). If I need more I seriously question why and would use side cases. I have found some difference in handling with the additional weight and am reluctant to go above 37 litre unless I weight what I am taking. The rack extension is useful for any strange items or other soft bags.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Eddie, just giving you a little trouble on the colors. I feel the same way about being seen.

Adam, thanks for the comments on weight consideration.

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 08:02 AM
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Ooh ooh. I'm jumping on the computer to show you what I did.

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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 08:14 AM
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On computer now.

$100 for a bag? $500 for a box? Pfft. I present to you a $5 medium duty tarp and a couple of $3 straps.

It holds my tent, sleeping bag, towel, air mattress and, of course, ground sheet.



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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 08:57 AM
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When I travel, I use a tank bag for cash, ID, sunglasses.

The right saddlebag (safer to access at the side of the road) contains my tools and rain gear.

Left saddlebag contains toiletries, daily change of base layer (undershirt, socks, underwear packed in large ziplock bags - one for each day of the trip, depending on how hygienic I want to be) and footwear (sandals, runners or whatever).

I throw clothing and a sleeping bag in one or two dry sacks that are strapped to the back. In the past, I have strapped a reflective vest overtop just to make myself a bit more noticeable at night.

Walmart has some dry sacks that run around $15CAD. Believe it or not, they actually work very well and are pretty durable for the money...
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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$100 for a bag? $500 for a box? Pfft. I present to you a $5 medium duty tarp and a couple of $3 straps.

It holds my tent, sleeping bag, towel, air mattress and, of course, ground sheet.



Mr. Broken Duko, that's a great setup. If the weather is right, it looks like you can just unroll this without ever setting up the tent and climb in the bag for a good nights sleep.

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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-14-2016, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Great suggestion. I am amazed at the price gouging for some of the name brand bags and such. Like your suggestions on packing priority and locations. thx

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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 07:35 AM
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if you wanted to go a little lighter weight, more tare resistant, and more waterproof than the tarp then try a sheet of tyvek.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:50 AM
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It holds my tent, sleeping bag, towel, air mattress and, of course, ground sheet.


might work fine for paved roads, but dusty/muddy roads would be a problem. i've frequently seen road conditions where all the gear is covered in dust and mud, and while it's one thing to deal with a muddy bag, it's a different level of inconvenience to roll things up in a dusty/muddy tarp.
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