49 Liter Topcase on 2008 GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2008, 12:48 pm Thread Starter
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49 Liter Topcase on 2008 GT

Well I finally got my 49Liter topcase from BMW Chicago for my 2008 GT. Took a month but saved 20% and was in no rush. Boy, is it HUGE! I had never seen one, but the wife rode once with me on the GT and said, I don't feel so great sitting way up there with nothing to lean back on while you (me) learn to modulate the sensitive throttle

Installed the lock cylinder and took it down to the bike last night. It pops onto the rear rack with no fuss and locks on securely, making the bike look like a C17 Supertanker. Opened up the case and stared into the void. Dropped two full size, full face helmets in and had toom for some small items, which will come handy when stopping as a place to secure helmets when away from bike. Packing for weekend trips is now a non issue.

Today, with weather clearing I took it all out for a test ride, thinking this big bulge in my bike would have to show up somehow. It doesn't. I didn't even know it was there, and thats with my laptop case and books inside. All that bulk and weight up high was not a problem. And even better, looking at the rear view mirrors you cannot even see the topcase. I took it around town and then on the highway for a run up to 75 and it stayed attached. Wind from 18 wheelers not an issue.

Took a look at the topcase at home and the silver painted top. I have a dark graphite (dark almost black painted parts) and the topcase blends in fairly well as the silver paint matches that used for the frame and rear drive components. I'm not sure I would bother to spend $300-400 to paint it dark graphite.

For the future, I am looking for a way to add some red lights to the back of this thing to keep low flying airplanes from hitting me. Maybe a series of flashing leds from one of the existing vendors.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

1974 Norton Commando 850 Soon to be a restoration project
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2008, 1:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrick
For the future, I am looking for a way to add some red lights to the back of this thing to keep low flying airplanes from hitting me. Maybe a series of flashing leds from one of the existing vendors.
Twist the right hand a little more and you won't have to worry about the planes.

The wife and I love the ol 49er, for all the reasons listed. It doesn't come off at 100 mph either.

Terry


2007 K1200 GT
1998 R1100 RT traded in
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2008, 3:43 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MdTbone
The wife and I love the ol 49er, for all the reasons listed. It doesn't come off at 100 mph either.
Nor at 148, but don't tell BMW, they might void my warranty or something.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2008, 5:48 pm
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I have the BMW 49 Liter top case. Most of the time (e.g., daily commutes), I ride with the top case on, and the side cases off. If you read the instructions that come with the 49 liter top case, BMW recommends that you stay at 112 mph or lower.

Because you bought a new one, be aware of the clear vinyl stickers that protect the black plastic on your rack from abrasion scratches. The stickers are mentioned in the 49 liter top case manual, and apply to the K1200GT only. (Why not the others?) My dealer took the 49 liter top case out of the box and attached it to the GT when I bought it. They tossed the stickers. I only found out about them a few weeks later, after I got around to reading the manual.

Unlike some of the other people who posted on this thread, I very much feel it when the top case is mounted. Because of that, I have a love / hate relationship with the 49 liter top case.

(The following was a post of mine that I cut 'n' pasted from another thread - http://www.k-bikes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14249 post #7):

I like it because:
* It has a huge capacity; it will easily fit 2 helmets, or fit my helmet plus gloves, jacket, pants, and more. It is the only container that can hold the backpack with a 17 inch "laptop" and lots of extras inside, so I use the top case on my daily commute.
* It matches the rack on the K1200GT perfectly. The way it attaches is absolutely solid and firm.
* The handle and lock mechanisms are first class. It operates the same way as the side cases that came with the bike, only better.
* You can have the lock keyed to match the key that fits the bike and side cases, which is very convenient.
* I rarely carry passengers, but the backrest is large and comfortable. It is especially reassuring for those passengers who aren't used to riding.

I hate it because:
* It is big. I don't like the way that it catches the wind.
* It is heavy. Because sits up high and hangs off the back, I don't like what it does to the balance of the bike.
* It destroys the look and lines of the bike. I am a practical person, but even I can see the negative impact that it has on the artistic design of the bike.
* The gray top doesn't match the K1200GT - any color. Someday (soon) I will get it painted to match the bike. It is yet another expense. (I've been told that the silver color was chosen to reflect the heat. If I get it matched to the dark metallic blue of my bike, it'll be much hotter inside.)

Summary:
Even though it is immensely practical, I look forward to the times when I can ride with the top case off. Still, I recommend it highly.

P.S. If you get the 49 Liter Top Case, make sure it comes with the clear plastic protective stickers. Apply them to the rack on the GT to protect the black plastic parts from marring before you attach the top case. They are mentioned in the top case manual (for the K1200GT only) but nowhere else.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2008, 9:40 pm
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You could get a rattle-can (spray paint) of the correct color from Color-Rite for about $34 and a can of clear for $16. A little masking with tape and you should be good to go for maybe $50-$60.

The smallest paint I could get for a color-match at the auto paint place is a pint. They cost between $65 and $75 for DuPont or PPG. A quart of clear was around $33 (quart was the smallest I could get). Then you need a compressor and a good trim gun (Sata Minijet) too - and that can cost a lot!

You can polish out any dust or boo-boo with some 3M polishing compound.

Oh, I really like the bags BMW makes for the cases. Much easier to get into and out of a hotel without dragging the cases and banging them around in the hallways and elevators. They have a nice rubber bottom and I can keep them packed and ready to go in the house. Wait for the BMW April open-house and you might get 20% off them then.

Mack
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2008, 10:34 pm Thread Starter
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Quote: Oh, I really like the bags BMW makes for the cases. Much easier to get into and out of a hotel without dragging the cases and banging them around in the hallways and elevators. They have a nice rubber bottom and I can keep them packed and ready to go in the house. Wait for the BMW April open-house and you might get 20% off them then. End Quote


Yep, I bought the BMW inner bags, They are beautifully made and fit great. Look forward to carrying them into some swanky hotels and sleazy Motel 6's

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

1974 Norton Commando 850 Soon to be a restoration project
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 6th, 2008, 11:25 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMack
Oh, I really like the bags BMW makes for the cases. Much easier to get into and out of a hotel without dragging the cases and banging them around in the hallways and elevators. They have a nice rubber bottom and I can keep them packed and ready to go in the house.
I've been thinking about getting some kind of liner bag for the cases, but I'm still on the fence. I've gotten pretty used to carrying hardcases into a hotel. I usually leave the topcase on the bike and just bring in the side cases.

How much space do the bags themselves take up? Can you stuff as much in the cases with the liner bags as you can by themselves? Do the bags get in the way at all when you try to close the cases?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2008, 12:59 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonafidebob
I've been thinking about getting some kind of liner bag for the cases, but I'm still on the fence. I've gotten pretty used to carrying hardcases into a hotel. I usually leave the topcase on the bike and just bring in the side cases.

Q1: How much space do the bags themselves take up? Q2: Can you stuff as much in the cases with the liner bags as you can by themselves? Q3: Do the bags get in the way at all when you try to close the cases?
Hey Bob,

I have the BMW bags for the side cases, but not for the top case.

A1: The side case bags are a nearly perfect fit for the side cases. They must be very close to the same volume as the side case itself.

A2: In general, I think you can pack more in the bags than the side cases alone. When you toss stuff into the side cases without a bag, it is tricky to keep everything contained. Loose items may shift around and won't stay in place when closing the lid. In contrast, the bags load from the top and you can easily fill them up.

A3: The bags are snug. If you overstuff them slightly so that they bulge out almost imperceptibly, you will notice it when you have trouble closing the side case lids.

Other points:

* Because the bags load from the top, it is harder to get stuff on the bottom of a full bag without unloading top items first. In contrast, the clamshell case makes it easier to find items.

* Because the bags are a near perfect fit, it isn't so easy to get something from them through the top zipper while they are in the side case. They fit too well to "tilt" them out, you must slide them straight out first. (Imagine trying to tilt out a square peg from its hole, rather than pulling it straight out.)

* The side cases make great luggage for an overnight, but I don't use them for day trips. For day trips, I use cheap canvas grocery type bags to keep loose items contained. The canvas bags give easy access without having to take them out of the side cases.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2008, 10:51 am
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The post above is based on the assumption that the side cases stay on the GT. I open and close the side case lids without removing them, as I load and unload items as needed. Mounted on the GT in a vertical position, they are a little tricky to load and unload that way. Because I have the bags, I haven't tried using the side cases as luggage, so I don't know what it is like to pack the side cases while they lay flat on a bed in a hotel room, for example.

I remove the side cases to store them on the shelf in my garage, which is where they sit most of the time. I commute with only the 49 liter top case attached; it is easier for me to split lanes.

P.P.S.
I have seen a thread where someone built a simple form-fitting partition that keeps your stuff from falling out of the side case when it is open on the bike. Clever.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 7th, 2008, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by XMagnaRider
I remove the side cases to store them on the shelf in my garage, which is where they sit most of the time. I commute with only the 49 liter top case attached; it is easier for me to split lanes.
Thanks, that's all good information. I'm like you, the sidecases sit on a shelf in the garage unless I'm doing an overnight trip, topcase (or nothing) for commuting.

Taking the bags into a hotel actually works out pretty well, they open flat if you unhook the safety cord that stops them at 90 degrees when on the bike, so it's really easy to find stuff. Getting them closed when full is kind of a PITA. The only drawback not mentioned above is that the bags can get pretty dirty and will make a mess on your pants as you carry them in or on the floor when you unpack.
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