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Discussion Starter #1
I was struck by the flying top case demon today. Had to go to the centerline to avoid a bicycleist and hit some pot holes. I guess that is when the top case came off. Couldn't find it anywhere. What really tics me off is that the GPS was in it, along with the owners manual, oil fill wrench, etc.

Called the dealer and a new Vario top case would be $637 all up and would have to have a different key than the side cases. Their recommendation was that the Vario is "good for commuting" but "not tough enough for touring loads."

So I'm thinking of buying a whole new set of luggage. I need rather large stuff and I would rather it stayed attached to the bike. The dealer is stocking Touratech and saying that this is the GSA BMW stuff w/o the BMW logo and $500 cheaper.

Any other suggestions?

Anybody want to buy a pair of Vario side bags and mounting hardware?

Eric
 

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top case went bye bye....

Geez too bad my freind...Problem is that most aftermarket (non BMW) cases are not able to take the mashing the mount systems can handle...weakest link I suppose...I went with factory GSA mounts and panniers/top case....Never had any issues...Touch wood!
 

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I also have the BMW adventure cases and don't have any complaint at all! Just came back from a big trip and they have served me well!
You buddy at the store is right, Touratech do make the BMW case! There's a little sticker in the boxes to prove it! I like the mounting system on the BMW cases,the cases are easy to mount and dismount! I bought a used side case in excellent condition on ebay for half the price, so that I can make myself a bigger top case!
Good luck with your choices!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe I will go for the BMW/Touratech then

I measured the plate that the BMW Vario top case mounts to and, rather than being flat, it is bowed about 1/4" in 12" of run. That means that the latching tab was compromised. I don't know if the bow crept in as the plastic aged or if the thing had a dimensional tolerace stack up but there you are. One way or the other it's a design flaw.

My recommendation at this point is to avoid the Vario bags. Go for the heavy duty stuff from the get go.
 

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'09 R1200GS + '81 R80 G/S
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If you still intend to retain your Vario panniers, then I suggest that you look at:
The Touratech Zega Pro top box and bracket.
The SW Motech Trax top box.
My Vario top box has also now started cracking around the locking well.
I'm doing far more off-road now than before so I'm going with the
SW Motech Trax setup... :)
 

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Hey Fud,

Will he need a new mount for this topbox, or will it utilize the factory mounts? I'm not overly impressed with the Varios on my GS.
 

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'09 R1200GS + '81 R80 G/S
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The Trax has a mounting plate that attaches to the BMW rack.

The Touratech Zega Pro has a sturdy S/S rack that replaces the BMW one.

 

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I read about the problems with top cases coming off. Before I rode to Alaska a few years ago, I just drilled a couple of holes through the top case and ran a couple of screws through to the rack below. Problem solved. Screws are in the bottom and no problem with leakage.
 

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Same concerns here, so I bought the endure kit from BMW about $30 ouch
Consisted of two screws, two nuts, four washers and two spacers. Remove the two rubber plugs in bottom of vario case, these line up with metal on mounting bracket support arms, remove rubber spacers between mounting plate and bracket arms, mount case and drill through plastic mounting plate so as to align with steel brackets.
$2dollars at marine supply would buy you the required bolts nuts and washers in stainless steel
BMW kinda pricey
Does secure the case though
Still pricey
 

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Flying top box

In February I also lost my top box after hitting a pot hole on unsealed road. I have the 30 year anniversary R1200GS that was supplied with Vario panniers & topbox. BMW Motorad are not warrantying the top box they say for 3 reasons. 1 the topbox was overloaded ( dealer weighed it 2 days after it fell off with different contents). 2. Top box did not have offroad kit ( couple of bolts that mean you cant do an easy removal) 3. Top box mount incorrectly fitted ( this was by purchasing dealer).
The off road kit is a crude attempt to fix a design problem. The Vario top box should be removed from the market it is not up to the standard of the 1200GS:mad::confused:
 

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After donating a few things to the road in my early touring years I learned not to trust anything sold as "quick release" with anything I'd give a hoot about losing. At least not without reinforcing the attachment with some kind of fasteners or straps you could hang the whole bike on. Unfortunately "detachable" per Murphy's Law means exactly that :(

If you need a lot of storage capacity behind you, consider instead a big waterproof duffel positively attached with industrial velcro strapping and a bicycle cable lock (NOT bungees). It will hold a lot more stuff. Forget the illusion that a hard top case protects against theft. Except for certain heavy-duty "ammo can" side panniers built like a strong box, I haven't seen any bike luggage a thief worth his salt couldn't bust open in a few seconds.
 

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fix the top case

Hi to everyone,

I place a piece of a cloth ( a piece of the one that the truck drivers tide the merchandise) around the two points in the back side and push the case very hard to lock it.

I will put some photos in a hour.

Manos
 

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'09 R1200GS + '81 R80 G/S
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I recently had an 'off' on a dirt road up in the mountains of the Eastern Cape near Lesotho. I was trying out riding without panniers, with just a waterproof luggage roll. The passenger footpeg is very exposed without panniers and the LH peg struts impacted the ground, ripping them upwards and damaging the rear frame. That's a seriously expensive part to replace! :(

I now think that it may just be better to accept that the Vario panniers are there as sacrificial protection for the rear footpegs! :confused:
 

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Hi there,
i have never heard of such incdent before, i have had many bike and many different TOP cases and never had such incident.
are you sure the counting was done correctly
i use mainly GIVI nd with their mounting principle they can hardly flow away ...
here is a Vdeo how to mount them , hoe this wil help someoine out there
 

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BMW soft top case. Two sizes, will fit your present tail that takes the Vario top case. 30/35 liter and 50/55 liter. I went with semi rigid Lone Rider panniers and the BMW soft top case. LR L pannier 38L; LR R pannier 45L [ 45L no longer available ].
 
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