Weight distribution issue after side cases - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Weight distribution issue after side cases

Ok, this winter I installed a set of Caribou side cases. I previously had Givi E21s on it. I took it to Florida with me and got a couple good days of riding in, about 500 miles (I also wanted to test out my new GPS and fuse block, both of which I'm very happy with) but I am a little disturbed by the new handling characteristics. The front end feels really light while riding. It's a real wheelie machine, which I don't see as a good thing and when cornering it seems a little light and squirrelly, especially on loose footing.
The only things I had loaded in the cases were a couple bottles of water and a riding jacket and pants.
I knew the Caribou cases were heavier than the Givis and ride a little further to the rear, but I didn't expect it to be enough to effect handing.
Is this just me or has anyone else noticed this? I'm sure this is something I'll eventually get used to but at this point it feels like the handling is compromised.
My next question is, Do you think installing a lowering kit would help? I've been considering one for awhile anyway because when I sit on the bike now the foot pegs and right where my legs want to be, I'm forever hitting my legs on the pegs.
I guess I could put the Givis back on but I really like the Caribous and I really kind of need the extra storage.

BTW, I feel terrible about a previous thread where a poster asked about side cases effecting the handing and I stated that they don't. If I could find the thread I would apologize.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 07:00 PM
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id try just lowering the front end 1/2 inch -1 inch and see if that helps
or maybe a front fork bag to fill with lead

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Silvie=latin for. Of the forest /woods. Fox= Vulpine (also my middle name)

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 07:12 PM
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It can't be weight. If they are bigger volume size, then it's air flow dynamics. Post a pic of each on your bike if available, or some way to best determine how big they are and how far they stick out on your bike. Givi's may be big, but they have good aerodynamic engineers. It sounds like you have Goodyear blimp side bags. Take them off when you get to where you are going!

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Originally Posted by ray h View Post
Ok, this winter I installed a set of Caribou side cases. I previously had Givi E21s on it. I took it to Florida with me and got a couple good days of riding in, about 500 miles (I also wanted to test out my new GPS and fuse block, both of which I'm very happy with) but I am a little disturbed by the new handling characteristics. The front end feels really light while riding. It's a real wheelie machine, which I don't see as a good thing and when cornering it seems a little light and squirrelly, especially on loose footing.
The only things I had loaded in the cases were a couple bottles of water and a riding jacket and pants.
I knew the Caribou cases were heavier than the Givis and ride a little further to the rear, but I didn't expect it to be enough to effect handing.
Is this just me or has anyone else noticed this? I'm sure this is something I'll eventually get used to but at this point it feels like the handling is compromised.
My next question is, Do you think installing a lowering kit would help? I've been considering one for awhile anyway because when I sit on the bike now the foot pegs and right where my legs want to be, I'm forever hitting my legs on the pegs.
I guess I could put the Givis back on but I really like the Caribous and I really kind of need the extra storage.

BTW, I feel terrible about a previous thread where a poster asked about side cases effecting the handing and I stated that they don't. If I could find the thread I would apologize.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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The Caribous are over twice as heavy as the Givis because they are thicker material and the mounting brackets are metal and not plastic. The bike isn't much wider overall, maybe 3" total.
I think I'll try lowering the bike, hopefully kill two birds.



Last edited by ray h; 03-13-2015 at 08:32 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 08:58 PM
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Can you swap back to the givis? I am guessing its just mental. The few lb. difference cant make a difference.
I feel no difference between my empty cases and each with a gallon of water.

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Givi racks with V35 sides, and V46 Top-case, Garmin Zumo 450 GPS, Powermadd Handguards, Motowerks GPS Mount, Peg Lowering kit, Flat Foot, Arrow Exhaust, Adjustable Levers, GIPro Gear Indicator, Oxford Heated Grips
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Can you swap back to the givis? I am guessing its just mental. The few lb. difference cant make a difference.
I feel no difference between my empty cases and each with a gallon of water.
I've still got the Givis but switching back would be a bit of a pain as I would have to reinstall all the Givi brackets. I can very easily remove the cases all together though. Maybe I'll do that and see how much difference it makes.
I've had some pretty heavy items in my Givis (water, tools, batteries, etc). I've never noticed any handling issues.
Maybe it is mental, but I didn't expect this or even think it would make a difference, I wonder why I would suddenly think it does.

When I had my KLR with the top box loaded heavy I definitely noticed a difference but I've never noticed anything with the Versys and side boxes before.
Maybe I just need to ride it more, that seems to solve most issues (except the torture seat which I'm now thinking needs to be replaced as well.

Last edited by ray h; 03-13-2015 at 09:16 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 10:26 PM
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I haven't had any problems when my bike is loaded down with 2-full Givi V35 side cases, and a full top case. The bike still handles considerably well with all that weight. I've never felt it to be skittish on corners when loaded. Maybe I'm not pushing the bike as hard? I have the SW-motech mounts for the cases, in part because it seems like it brings the top case in and down. The Givi mount looks to ride really high and far back to me.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 10:57 PM
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Ive run the givi bins on side and a givi top box on extended trips, did weigh the side bins as had a lot of the wifes crap in one of them including a electric hair straightener but that's a whole different thread, each side bin was just under 10kgs from memory plus top box and bike handled alright ( about 2500km trip) , I think its not a weight issue but air flow dynamics that has already been stated, those bins of yours are very square so maybe curved panniers are better for stability.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BaileyMan View Post
I haven't had any problems when my bike is loaded down with 2-full Givi V35 side cases, and a full top case. The bike still handles considerably well with all that weight. I've never felt it to be skittish on corners when loaded. Maybe I'm not pushing the bike as hard? I have the SW-motech mounts for the cases, in part because it seems like it brings the top case in and down. The Givi mount looks to ride really high and far back to me.
The mounts are SWMotech, both sides and top. The case was Givi.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 08:38 AM
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Have you tried a bit more pre-load on the rear shock? Does the feeling go away when you remove the cases?

I'm no diplomat

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 02:30 PM
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Just looking at the new bags, they flat and orthoganol (right angle) to the wind. They also look like Seahorse bags which is a concern to me, but I'll probably use whatever Happy Trails uses: which is hopefully light for the smaller Seahorse 720 bags. You've got the interest of everyone it seems. Those are big orthoganol bags though: but the racks do effect a lot and they may not be effective with all bags that they carry. It makes sense that they were made for one brand specifically (which is a bummer since they cost so much.) I think we all want to know the root problem in your case.

Good luck and don't forget to keep us posted on your decisions and outcomes.


THANKS!!

PS You can always put a SW centerstand on it to keep the front wheel down, ha ha.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2015, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by aka Yamadog View Post
Have you tried a bit more pre-load on the rear shock? Does the feeling go away when you remove the cases?
I haven't ridden it with the cases removed since I first put them on. I'll get out and do some experimenting with the rear shock if it stops raining this week.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-20-2015, 06:29 PM
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The boxes are Pelican 1550 I think. I have the smaller 1520 on my KLR and they are some heavy mugs. About 3 time what my Givi 35s are. I can't really say that the weight alone would cause your problem but as was pointed out the weight AND drag along with the bikes CG being further back could all be adding up to make your handling grief.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2015, 09:32 PM
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I Had the caribou cases on my KLR with no issues. Maybe adjust the preload a click or two. The only time I noticed them is when I put a 25lb bag of cat food in one case, with nothing in the other.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-21-2015, 10:19 PM
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The boxes are Pelican 1550 I think. I have the smaller 1520 on my KLR and they are some heavy mugs. About 3 time what my Givi 35s are. I can't really say that the weight alone would cause your problem but as was pointed out the weight AND drag along with the bikes CG being further back could all be adding up to make your handling grief.
Now that you mention CG, my new 2012 oem suspension has been great, except when I push back a few inches past the middle step of the seat (to stretch my legs on expressway when not braking.) Then the front wheel feels a little wobbly. I'll see if I can boost my shock settings, but except for that, it has done great so far.

If it does not do better (I'm 280 to 290 lbs and slimin' down :-), I'll have to go with the Progressive 465-1182 after I confirm the weight range. I'm in the oem weight range, but evidently not scooted back a few inches past the middle hump. Progressive is pretty responsive in inquiries. I'd love a HD spring option like they have on dual rear shock models.

I guess this is the weight balancing issue the OP originally asked about; and after riding today, it seems like a significant if not the most significant factor (leverage on balanced supermoto bike.)
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