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Discussion Starter #1
Most of us have seen that hard luggage can significantly impact mileage. I have a Givi V46 tailbox and E21 panniers. Most of my rides are day rides and I only need one, not both. I'm wondering which penalizes my fuel economy the most. The E21 panniers get a lot of bugs on the front and the tail box gets none so I am assuming the tail box is catching less wind and thus is causing less aerodynamic drag. Is this correct?

Also, I assume there is a handling penalty with the tailbox vs panniers because the weight is higher up. Correct?
 

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Most of us have seen that hard luggage can significantly impact mileage. I have a Givi V46 tailbox and E21 panniers. Most of my rides are day rides and I only need one, not both. I'm wondering which penalizes my fuel economy the most. The E21 panniers get a lot of bugs on the front and the tail box gets none so I am assuming the tail box is catching less wind and thus is causing less aerodynamic drag. Is this correct?

Also, I assume there is a handling penalty with the tailbox vs panniers because
the weight is higher up. Correct?
What SCraig said:yesnod: You may want to consider the extra protection paniers give in a fall. Just sayin.:argue: You should not have enough weight in the tail box to make any diff. Riding with a passenger hardly affects my 650.
 

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A top box is the worst place to add much weight. It is farther away from the center of mass than any alternative. Tank panniers, a tank bag and low and forward in the side cases are better for weight distribution.
 

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Fuel mileage? On a 650? Even if one or the other cost 5 mpg that's less than a penny a mile. Just ride with whichever you want.
As he said :iagree:

Top box gives a higher centre of gravity when loaded and you may also feel air blowing against your back due to the vortex effect created between your body and the box [this can also create drag which is why trucks have roof spoilers to deflect air upwards to eliminate or reduce the vortex].

Panniers may be wider if lane filtering at traffic lights [but I think the E21's are no wider than the handlebars], also they won't hold your helmet while you are away from the bike.

I put my stuff in a backpack then in my V46 top box for day rides, that way if I need to pick stuff up during the ride or on the way home I can put the pack on my back and fill up the top box for extra capacity if needed.

Personally I don't notice the change in the centre of gravity with the top box loaded but then I don't ride at ten/tenths that often.

Also my Wee fully loaded with top box-panniers and tent/camping gear bag still only weighs in around the same as my previous BMW R1150GS did unladen.

Actually there seems to be very little difference in the handling characteristics whether laden or unladen.
Acceleration and braking are the most noticable differences I have found, the same applies running two up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Fuel mileage? On a 650? Even if one or the other cost 5 mpg that's less than a penny a mile. Just ride with whichever you want.
I'm not worried about the cost :bom_laugh3: I'm worried about the range. One of the reasons I bought the wee was the range, here in the mountains of California it's not hard to go 200 miles between fillups. Hard bags often cut much more than 5 MPG...if you look at the big aluminum panniers, they can cut your mileage by a good 25%.
 

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E21 sidecases totally....best place for mass....low and split side to side. I try to locate as much mass as I can, as low as I can. I've even gone to the extent to wrap and zip-tie my tire levers to the subframe.

While I do have an E52 topcase, IF it gets used, I ride with it empty and use it to stow my riding gear when I arrive. Too much weight up there makes for an unsettling ride.
 

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I'm not worried about the cost :bom_laugh3: I'm worried about the range. One of the reasons I bought the wee was the range, here in the mountains of California it's not hard to go 200 miles between fillups. Hard bags often cut much more than 5 MPG...if you look at the big aluminum panniers, they can cut your mileage by a good 25%.
I agree that the fuel hit can be pretty heavy, but the biggest problem with poor mileage has to do with your right wrist.
 

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I'm not worried about the cost :bom_laugh3: I'm worried about the range. One of the reasons I bought the wee was the range, here in the mountains of California it's not hard to go 200 miles between fillups. Hard bags often cut much more than 5 MPG...if you look at the big aluminum panniers, they can cut your mileage by a good 25%.
The Givi E360's I run on my VFR cut mileage exactly zero the best I can tell. I've never noticed any difference whatsoever with them on or off (unless they are loaded to the stretching point). I've also never noticed any difference on my V-Strom with a tail bag and/or side bags or a DL1000 with tail bag and/or side bags. If those aluminum cans are cutting 25% off the fuel mileage then someone is loading them with concrete blocks.

My advice, if you are that concerned about distances, is to carry a gallon of gas in one of them.
 

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I'm not worried about the cost :bom_laugh3: I'm worried about the range. One of the reasons I bought the wee was the range, here in the mountains of California it's not hard to go 200 miles between fillups. Hard bags often cut much more than 5 MPG...if you look at the big aluminum panniers, they can cut your mileage by a good 25%.
Really? I run Kappa 42 litre side cases and the 48 litre top box all the time on my 650 (mostly because there is rarely spare space in my garage that's not taken up by bicycles and other kids' toys) and rarely fail to get 400kms on a tank (convert to miles at your leisure). I am well aware that the biggest impact on fuel consumption comes from my right wrist. If the cases are loaded with heavy stuff, it is the mass in the cases, not the fact of the cases that will have an impact on fuel consumption.

Motorcycles are not, by nature, particularly aerodynamic. Anything below seat height will become a part of the turbulent airflow created by the wheels, the engine, the lower part of the fairing, your legs, and so on. Anything above seat height is in amongst the turbulent airflow off the fairing, the mirrors, you, and so on.
 

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I almost never run side bags. I've had a Shad S42 for about as long as I've had the bike, and it holds plenty for daily use. When I know I won't need it, I do take the topcase off; if nothing else, I like the look of the bike better that way. I've never noticed any mileage/range difference with or without. I've also never noticed any significant handling difference.

While I do agree that it is the least optimal weight distribution, I don't ever find myself loading that much weight into the topcase. Rarely does it contain more than my rain gear and whatever I've picked up at the store. Twenty-five pounds of groceries doesn't do that much to upset the balance of the bike, IMO, as long as you're not doing 110mph down the road on the way home.

My vote would be for topcase and tank bag. However, if you're going to run panniers, the e21's seem to be the best choice in regard to aerodynamics.
 

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I haven't noticed any mileage drop since I got my Pelicans. As suggested before I would run with my side full, if needed and the topcase empty, to put you gear in when you stop.
 

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Unfortunately I don't have the time right now to look for it, but I recall reading some study recently that running a topcase without a passenger or something blocking the vortex between the top case and rider increases your odds of developing a tank slapper at high speeds. I'm not sure if this is a high enough occurrence to make a difference, but another something to consider.
 

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'09 WEE: I have Shad 42 side cases and a Shad 52 Top Case. They would not have been my first choice, but they were on the bike when I bought it. I do NOT like the way the bike looks with the side cases on, so I only use them for road trips. The top case stays on most of the time so I have a place to store my helmet, gloves, jacket when I stop. Rain suit is stored in the tool tube all the time, so top case is usually almost empty. Tank bag for small stuff.

Wayne
 

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I don't have a lot of miles on my HT denali panniers but so far I haven't noticed any change in MPG.

I think mileage may have improved slightly when I put hard cases on my last bike. They were tucked down right behind my legs though (no room for a passenger) so that may not be relevant.
 

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Well for my 4 day trip this weekend I am rocking the e55 top case and e41 side cases on my wee. Not over packed by any stretch, but ya going with the lower wight is better especially since we are doing blue ridge parkway mountains, so stability in those fun turns is key. tho ya my concern is with the idea of all luggage in back. I am a big guy so I must help move some up front lol but always wondered if i should use the side tank bags idea. also if i add those 2 1L gas cans to the bike it will be more up front. And note this is kind of a dress rehearsal for my 3 week trip to calaforina and back, most time will be spent in the mountains over there :hurray: so I will be more heavily packed for that one including oil for oil changes lol. So paying attention to this thread as its very specific on distributing mass on bike
 
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