Top cases and hard bags...are they worth the cost? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 33 Old 09-08-2006, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 39
Top cases and hard bags...are they worth the cost?

Hi all,

Well I've had my 07DL650 for a few weeks now and have realized the need for storage. Are hard bags the way to go? I found some soft tail bags that look good, such as this one or this one . The only reason that I can think of for hard over soft is security. I worry about leaving a soft bag on my bike when in a store or restaurant or something but the cost of hard cases is so high. Its not just the cases though, you have to buy all the mounting hardware as well. I was looking at some Givi top and side cases and the cheapest combo I can come up with is just over $530. So is it worth the cost?

Thank You,

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post #2 of 33 Old 09-08-2006, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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For an inexpensive hard case w/mounting hardware, try J.C. Whitney. Their largest is not much bigger than halding a full face helmet, and I'm not sure it's what you want for major touring. BUT for everyday use and at $59.99 to $89.99 it'll be hard to beat.
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post #3 of 33 Old 09-08-2006, 12:46 PM
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rideau Ferry, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 593
I have the luxury, for the moment of having both. I started with soft luggage -the Nelson Rigg DSLB500 and RTB500 combo. Worked well, good quality and rain covers actually work. A little small for what I like to carry and because of the high , outboard exhaust, the bags stretch their strap lenghts to about 5 inches. Also, need a support for the left side bag on the 650 ($4 for 1" aluminum bar and some bending at Home Depot. Once tethered however - they work fine but same worries about what you do with them when you leave them.

I wanted something larger and more rigid that was also secure+ locakable. I have Givi E41s with an E52 top case - total storage -136l total storage space whihc is great since I travel with clothes, 4 piece fly rod and Nikon cameras just about everywhere I go. Lockable, easily removable and looks good. (You can do it with the soft bags as well - just leaves a little less space for some things).

I was going to sell the Nelson Riggs but decided to keep them for perhaps and unusual reason.....recently I accidentlally knocked my bike off the side stand with the Givis - popped left bag off and broke the top latch - $35 Cdn later, + 2 weeks wait I had the part to replace on my now not so new hard bag (scuffed up a bit but no real damage except to my pride. Since I do more than a little gravel road day tripping with rod /reel and cameral, I'd rather scuff up a flexible soft bag than the Givi's (when I don't really need all that capacity for the day. That's what I've been doing when I don't need to haul a lot along for a day mostly on gravel - saving my Givis for larger things, longer trips, usualy just keeping the top case on and using the soft side bags.

As far as keeping things waterproof - even with good covers on soft luggage - I still invest in dry bags (from my canoe camping days) to carry stuff and never have had a problem yet.

One nice thing about hard luggage - althgouh it's a small point - ease of getting most hard cases on / off bike. My Givi set are a 30 second operation for all 3 cases and easy to carry into hotel room. Soft bags - a little more but no problem.

For me, this approach, albeit more initial cost, works. Hope there's some useful points for thought.

Safe riding

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but desperation is it's father........... (Bell)

'06 DL650
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post #4 of 33 Old 09-08-2006, 06:36 PM
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Location: Waconia, MN
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I think the topcase is the best item you can buy for your motorcycle. I commute during the warm 6 months of the year, and I use it every day I ride. Nothing is more useful to me.
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post #5 of 33 Old 09-08-2006, 07:05 PM
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Location: Orlando, FL
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My Givi E52 topcase is the single most useful accessory I've put on the bike. I had a Cortech Sport tailbag for the longest time, but since I commute with the bike I wanted something bigger, lockable, and waterproof. It's all those things. Yes, the Cortech tailbag has a rain cover that works, but if a thunderstorm pops up (an almost daily occurence in the summer here in Florida) I don't have to run out to the bike to put the cover on.

- Jet Jaguar

It's not an adventure unless you need a tent, a passport, and a leather glove for your shooting hand.
'05 DL650
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post #6 of 33 Old 09-08-2006, 08:13 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Barrie Ontario
Posts: 636
I use my E460 every time I go riding. I'm very happy with it and can say that it is the most useful thing I have bought for the bike.

I haven't used my tankbag since buying the topcase except for a long multi-day trip where I had to carry the girlfriends curling iron and whatnot. I doubt the tankbag will ever see the Strom again....or until I'm lugging her stuff around next year.


'07 KLX250S - Road
'00 CBR600F4 - Track

"The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page" - St. Augustine
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post #7 of 33 Old 09-08-2006, 08:36 PM
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Location: Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
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I have hada Givi E52 hard Top Case for the last couple of weeks. I had had my V-Strom 650 for a month and a bit and only have 4000 km on it. The E52 is really handy in a lot of diffent ways. Probably the nicest is that it does only take seconds to put on or take off, it is a reasonably secure and I don't worry about leaving the bike with stuff in the case when shopping, etc. I also nicely double as a backrest he odd time I have one of the kids on the back.

I am doing some communting to work with the bike when it is decent weather and that entails a 60 km ride one way. I have to wear a suit and tie to work. One nice thing thing from is that you can just loosely set the suit pants and jacket in the bag and as long as nothing is on top of them they don't get wrinkled at all.

I don't know the best answer for you but the Hard top bag sure works well!


2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-09-2006, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 39
Thanks for all the input and advice. I think that I'll go ahead and get a hard top case at least. Now comes the equally hard part about picking the right size. This is where I go a little nuts, trying to pick between function and fashion. You know, findin' a top case that is big enough to be useable but no so big as it looks like a UFO has landed on the back of the bike.

Again, thanks for all the great input.

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post #9 of 33 Old 09-09-2006, 01:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Calgary
Posts: 40
Hard Cases

I bought 2 GIVI 460s with a top and side mounts.
I use one of the cases on the top mount for commuting and both on the side mounts when touring. If I need to carry more stuff for touring I tie a canoe bag across the passenger seat and the hard cases. Also the hard cases on the side mounts provide some protection if you drop the bike
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post #10 of 33 Old 09-09-2006, 01:29 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 67
I agree that a top case is the the most useful on a daily basis. I went with the Shad SH42 topcase. It will hold my helmet, jacket, gloves and Cortech mini tankbag. Shad is good quality, almost to Givi standards, but cheaper. I'm very pleased with mine. You can check them out at:
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