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A little help here, I need to get something for my bride to lean on, most of her riding is local. But we do one trip every summer, I just am looking for a opinion on the most comfortable.So top case or back rest?
 

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Both!

I have a Givi top case and side mountings. Givi sell a contoured spongy rubber back rest as an accessory for their cases. Fits with 2 screws.

Pillion bride means a lot more stuff to carry! Extra Luggage space for her stuff comes top of the list and comfort second. Top case with integral back rest works for us. If you don't need the case on the bike you can unhook it.



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Top case. The BMW large 49 liter top case is big and ugly, but very practical, and it comes with a backrest pad. My bride won't go riding without it. It can hold two helmets, or lots of gear, or whatever your bride buys while you are out. It attaches to your rack without an adapter, and you can easily key it to match your ignition. My local dealer re-keyed mine at no charge. Some dealers may charge a modest fee to rekey it.

I have a used BMW 49 liter top case that I would be willing to sell for $289 plus shipping (vs. $800+ for new, plus sales tax). Send a PM if you are interested. It is painted metallic blue and scratched from an accident, but otherwise in good working condition. You can clean it up and paint it to match your bike. The backrest pad is in perfect condition.
 

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I have been using the BMW 49 liter case for 2 years. I got it partially for carrying capacity and also as a safety mechanism for my now 9 year old daughter when she rides with me.

A few months ago there was a post from a guy in France that had his BMW top case fall off unexpectedly on the highway. I think there were a few other folks that reported similar experiences.

If you are going to rely on the top case as a backrest you may want to reinforce the connection to the bike as a safety measure just in case.
 

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I think a lot depends on how you use the case. My Givi hardly ever comes off the rack because I have it wired inside for rear stop light and for charging toys when I'm parked. Because the locking mechanism is underneath the case, it is important to keep it free of dirt and lubed if you remove the case regularly.

When I do remove it, I am always very careful to make sure the latch is positively locked and I've never had mine come off. In fact, my bike had a tip over in strong wind recently, the case took most of the rear side impact and stayed locked to the rack.

BMW side cases? Yes I've had a lid drop down at night and at high speed which sets the rear handling up to be quite squirmy. Until you stop and realize the early case lids had poor skimpy moldings holding the latch mechanism and they break.



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I guess I'll weigh in on the backrest since I don't own a top case. I have a heated Corbin seat for my K12S and purchased the oval padded backrest. My wife wouldn't ride without it and finds the seat/backrest combo very comfortable. I just added the Tribo non-slip seat cover to keep her from sliding into me. If you don't need the extra storage, I think it's a better looking option.
 

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We have the Givi top case, my wife will not ride without either the case or a back rest.
The bike is so quiet if she is daydreaming, and I pull out to pass it surprises her, even if I have down shifted. Something about wheelies when we were younger.
 

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Back rest for wife

I have owned and ridden bikes since 1974 and one thing I have found is that you buy the bike you need for your intensions. With that, I mean, a cruiser is for cruising, not for cross country tours. A K1200RS is for sport touring and not for riding in the city while going from Mexico to Canada. If you want to tour, buy a K1200LT or other touring bike. If you want to zip in and out of traffic, buy a 600 sport bike. With that said, tell the wife that if you need a back rest or a tour pack that you need to take this "opportunity" to buy a different bike. Buy a tourer for your wife and you and keep the RS for your riding pleasure. Who needs more than one bike? Tell me that is a joke for answering it would make me toss my cookies on my neighbor's lap (who is another bike rider and would not like that!).....
 

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I know what you mean, but the K1200RS was designed to take luggage - side bags and top case, to fulfill its 'touring mode'.

Yes it is not the ultimate tourer because other models can do a better job. However, the K1200RS goes so stressfully fast and can arrive at your ride stops before other tourers and smaller bikes in the group. :) Upside is you get to choose the best room for a stopover, downside is you arrive first to buy the beers. :(

But if wifey only sits on the pillion for long rides a couple of times a year and the rest of the time it is the rider wanting some Sport attitude, then the K1200RS may still be the right bike just needing the top case foam backrest option. Or buy her a car!



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K1200RSVet said:
I have owned and ridden bikes since 1974 and one thing I have found is that you buy the bike you need for your intensions. With that, I mean, a cruiser is for cruising, not for cross country tours. A K1200RS is for sport touring and not for riding in the city while going from Mexico to Canada. If you want to tour, buy a K1200LT or other touring bike. If you want to zip in and out of traffic, buy a 600 sport bike. With that said, tell the wife that if you need a back rest or a tour pack that you need to take this "opportunity" to buy a different bike. Buy a tourer for your wife and you and keep the RS for your riding pleasure. Who needs more than one bike? Tell me that is a joke for answering it would make me toss my cookies on my neighbor's lap (who is another bike rider and would not like that!).....
Good points, but some of us have only enough parking and budget for one bike. One of the many features I appreciate about my K1200GT (and sport tourers in general) is their versatility. I love being able to remove the top case and side cases when they are not needed, and still have them for long multi-day rides. The sport tourer is not optimal for zipping in and out of traffic when compared with a 600 sport bike, but it isn't bad either. The sport tourer isn't as comfortable as a luxury touring motorcycle for long rides, but I have ridden my sport tourer all over the country, and I like it just fine for that, too. I gotta admit that with street tires, the sport tourer doesn't do well in deep dust and mud, but I don't travel on dirt roads very often.

Bottom line: I love the versatility of my sport tourer. When the time comes, I will probably replace it with another one very similar to it (such as a K1600GT or GTL).
 
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