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Author Topic: Evil Topcases  (Read 655 times)
gurock1
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« on: April 03, 2018, 06:12:35 PM »

This has been a very funny spring in Chicago.  There was a mild winter that let me ride in January and February, but then March was cold and I hardly got to ride.  That's not the point of the post.  The point of the post is that I needed a new topcase and just finished shopping for one.  Firstly the reason I needed a new topcase was that my Givi E 52 that I'd had for years was lost to an accident a couple of years ago and when I replaced the FJR with another one it had a Givi E 47 that came with it.  The issue was that the E 47 had only one bent key and it broke leaving me with no key and the box locked on the FJR.

Givi say that it is possible to drill out the lock and replace it, but this is a near impossible job as the mechanisms of the latches break when you do it.  So the topcase is in the trash with no damage removing it from the bike.

The Givi topcases have some advantages.  They are somewhat reliable and strong.  I've slid bikes with one on and saved a lot of damage to the bike.  They are roomy which is critical.  They have a good and easy mount system and they are a standard in M/C luggage.  With that said the tops come down on your hands.  Their light kit sucks at best and they are heavy for what they do.

So I decided to go into my shopping with an open mind as to brands and types.  I looked at the current Givi E 56 and it might be good but it's near $400.00 and it might be a makeover of the E 52 and E 55 which were nothing special.  Then I looked at Saddleman and Shad.  They were only slightly less expensive then Givi maybe 20%, but I really couldn't get wrapped around whether their stuff is reliable and the price difference was small.  Then I looked at Givi Trekker  which has a 58 liter and 42 liter.  The 42 is likley too small for me and the 58 which is big and ugly is made of polished aluminum and would last forever plus it's 58 liters and more square which is highly practical, but it's a little over $500.00 and ugly eve by my standards. Nothing I saw really made me excited to buy it.

Then I started to think like an adventure rider and I thought of looking at Hepco and Becker.  For any that don;'t know them, they make a lot of the hard luggage for adventure riders and have a very good reputation.  They are out of Belgium I think.  Anyway Hepco and Becker started a new line of luggage called Journey luggage.  It's basically made in the style of Give Maxima but of higher quality (double walled and such).  I found a  Hepco and Becker Journey 50 liter topcase for $199.00 shipping included.  This is ideal for a cheap skate like me and I suspect that it's a higher quality then the Givi topcase in the garbage.  For those that are even cheaper then me there is something called a Besteem topbox for under a hundred.  I've played with one of these Besteem (JC Whitney type) specials and I understand the pricing.  It's great if you're going to use it for your soft drinks and lunch, but if you are going to put true valuables such as our gear or my medications and such I would never trust a Besteem.  Also remember that your topcase can act as a set of rear crashbars if you drop or slide the bike.  If I drop my bike and can potentialy wreck a $400.00 Yamaha side case or the plastics of a scooter the bill will be much larger then the price difference.

The link for the place where I bought it is

https://www.motomachines.com/Journey-Top-Case-50-with-Universal-Adapter-Plate_p_174.html?

After I've gotten it I'll write a note as to how it's working out.
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EZMark
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2018, 06:28:24 PM »

We got these Hepco & Becker mounts and bags for Dawn's CTX700. They are pretty good quality.


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jdbrot
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« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2018, 02:37:57 AM »

I am looking at the Hepco and Becker center stand for the CTX700. The Bestem boxes are fine but you need to put a safety bolt through the mount because they can pop off. Otherwise waterproof, cheap and tough.
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Expat47
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2018, 05:31:32 AM »

The topbox on my X10 is a Shad and it's WAY heavier than my old Givi was. No doubt is sturdy and a quality build but the weight doesn't allow for much more to hit max load level.
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« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2018, 02:56:00 PM »




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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gurock1
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« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2018, 06:39:35 PM »

I don't really know how the H & B box will look until I get it on Wednesday or Thursday.  I only know that one of my friends bought a bike with a Beestem box that was already on the back and when I looked at it I thought it looked like it cost as little as it did.  My friend Brian must have thought so too as within 60 days he'd taken it off and disposed of it.  JD you are right about the fact that the Beestem box if the mount is properly secured and installed work in a very utilitarian way.

BTW, weight is a big issue for me.  The substructure of the FJR isn't very strong and the weight that can sit on the top box rack is somewhat limited.  The Givi E 55 weighs close to ten lbs.  The H & B Box weighs in at about 4 lbs.  I think Yamaha only rates that substructure at holding about 22 lbs.  This is why I never considered a luggage rack to tie another bag onto the top of a topcase.
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jdbrot
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2018, 08:52:45 PM »

Well I have 2 Givi boxes and 2 Bestem 2012 boxes and there is little to no difference in them. They all fit the Givi monolock mount but the Bestem's have a little less spring tension which is why a safety bolt is used. All of the boxes use the same type of lock mechanism and closure and none of mine have popped open even when overloaded(or crashed).
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minimac
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 12:31:43 AM »

 While I don't think a top box adds to the looks, you can't deny the functionality. Even Maggie!   If someone wants to get into one(thief), regardless of who makes it, they will. I want the largest capacity one I can get, without looking totally ridiculous. It's to carry stuff-it ain't a bank vault!
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gurock1
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2018, 03:28:17 AM »

I'm with Bruce!!!
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Dan
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2018, 07:00:06 PM »




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

 

We got these Hepco & Becker mounts and bags for Dawn's CTX700. They are pretty good quality.




I really like the looks of these bags.  They look like rigid softbags.  Are they lockable, waterproof??  Would really like to see what they look like on the CTX, especially interested in the width and how close they mount to the bike itself.  Serena has been teasing about getting a bike and they only one that really has her interest besides a Vespa is a CTX 700.
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gurock1
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2018, 08:04:59 PM »

The H & B topcase was delivered to my office by UPS a few minutes ago.  This week has truly sucked for both work and weather, so I've had no time to tend to the bikes since Sunday.  On top of it this weekend in Chicago is going to be cold and a little yucky.  I'm thinking of trying to get out by five or so and putting the topcase on in my garage.  I did open the box and check it out (like a spoiled kid) and I mostly liked what I saw.

The box itself appears to be more then strong enough for my needs.  It has a single key lock system that does the lid and the attachment to the rack just like Givi has.  The lock seems a little more cheap, but I don't care that much.  I like the way the lid locks better then Givi and the hinges are made so the darn lid doesn't want to fall and rap your knuckles while you're working with your hands in the box.  Also while this sounds petty it;s more important then it sounds, it weighs less then half of what the Givi box weighs.  I admit to being a little of a whimp about carrying my luggage around and light weight makes that easier, but more important is that the sub-structure of the FJR can only handle a limited weight and more pounds for the box is less pounds for the content.  I think the load limit of the sub-structure is 22 lbs and the Givi box weighs around 10 lbs, but the H & B case is more like 4 lbs or less.

The way that it mounts to the rack is completely different then Givi and that's why they give you a mounting adapter.  Then when I looked at the mounting adapter I see right away that calling it a mounting adapter is a non-descriptive name.  It's really a mounting plate.  Looking at it I bet that I need to remove the Givi mounting plate and attach the H & B   mounting plate in it's stead.  Looking at the drawings and the plate I think it's just remove the four bolts that hold the Givi plate on the bike and attach the H & B plate in it's stead.  It's hard to be sure until I have it at the bike.
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gurock1
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2018, 06:17:41 PM »

Today is the first beautiful spring day in Chicago, it's close to 70 degrees.  So I got up early went to the garage and worked on mounting the "Evil Topcase".  It was a bigger PITA then it should have been.  The nuts from the old and new mountings are the nylon lock nut variety that require big time elbow grease for many turns with the nut hidden on the bottom where it's very hard to hold while turning the bolt on top.  Then I managed to put the mounting plate on backwards and had to remove and re-do the right way.  But none the less and hour and a half later I managed to finish what should have been a twenty minute job. 

The mounting is a little different then Givi.  It hangs a slight amount more off the back then the Givi did,  I think this is good as it will leave a passenger a little more room.  The box is also shaped a little different then the Givi Box.  It's taller and less wide.  I'm hoping to take the FJR to Kentucky this weekend and if I do I will know better how utilitarian it is for packing my stuff.
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Expat47
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2018, 05:55:29 AM »

Measure twice, cut once. (said the guy who believes in "as I say not as I do" most of the time!

Have a safe trip.
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sirkitrider-2
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2018, 02:12:56 PM »

Nice work gurock1 ... post a pic of the finished product.:-)

I just finished transferring my Givi to my nu2me scoot. It was like a new install. Relatively easy since I'd done b4.   

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I do LOVE a top box.  IMHO, a top box looks great on a bikes.  And it's useful x10.  I love to be able to put my helmet in it while parked ... keeps the helmet off the parking lot.  And it makes a pretty good picnic table:-).  And of course the storage makes a overnighter, weekend or week long trip easier than strapping down duffle/backpack type bags.

Is your top box removeable like the Givi?.

Sirkitrider
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gurock1
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2018, 05:06:25 PM »

Yes the Hepco & Becker boxes come off pretty much the same way as Givi.  The open and close is a little different, as their is no springs involved in the latch.  The top is very stiff in its up and down so it stays in place when open.  They are predicting pouring rain from late afternoon into tomorrow so the trial trip may have to wait.  I’ll know later as the forecasts become most certain.
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