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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday I returned a set of JC Whitney trunks to their store in LaSalle IL. I strapped both of them, in their shipping boxes, down to the rear seat and luggage rack with one box stacked on the other. The ride from my house to JCW was very scary. I was getting blown all over the road much worse than normal. I sometimes feel like I'm getting blown around with just my Shad 33 case on. On the return trip it was still very windy but the bike didn't wander nearly as much. The boxes were huge so they must have acted like a sail.

Does a normal size tail trunk contribute to the high speed wandering? I remember reading years ago in a review of the original Yamaha FJR in Rider that they didn't include a top case because a top case can cause handling issues. Is this what they meant?
 

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Any flat surface will operate like a sail. Top case, side cases, windshield. Any of these can catch wind and make it harder to operate the bike in winds.
 

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Try putting a rather large ice chest on the back seat and go for a ride in front of a canyon mouth with the Santa Ana winds whipping. Golly shucks, you be a big sail!
Anything that blocks the wind affects handling.
 

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+1 on the fork brace I have a JC Whitney large top case and OEM Adventure cases on my 2013. I had severe cross wind and big truck wash issues before I installed a fork brace from Adventure Tech. WOW! cured instantly!!
 

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I have a Givi MAXIMA 50L tail bag (and two Givi 45L saddlebags). I am sure there is a difference, but I don't feel it.

I would not think a tail bag would possible add more side wind loading than a passenger.
 

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The trunks we put on our motorcycles sit behind the rear axle so anything pushing against them is more influenced than what having a passenger who is sitting over the rear axle would. I have found with my Wee that I had to go to a smaller top box (about the width of my shoulders) to keep my front wheel from getting light when riding the bike about about 80mph.
 

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Aerodynamics and weight high and behind the rear axle both contribute to handling impairment. That's why luggage manufacturers often warn not to exceed 80-85mph with luggage. That's a warning I wish I had taken more seriously.
 

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What Pat said. I was messing around on my commute to work the other afternoon. I had the Glee over 100 mph several times, and it dawned on me that I had a loaded top box full of lunch and extra gear for the chilly morning ride home.

Remembering Pat's nasty tank slapper crash, I backed it down to my normal 75. No more flirting with the "ton" for me. At least not on the Glee loaded up with luggage.
 

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+1 I put Ricks on a few weeks ago and it took care of "most" of my wind issues. Like 90% of them are now gone. Easy to install too.

If you don't have a fork brace, get yourself one, that makes a world of difference! I read the reason on Rick's website but it's still just magic to me.

mikeg
 

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Top and Side Cases

I put top and side cases on my 2005 Wee. As everyone is saying, they do create additional surface area to act as a sail. In addition, since adding the cases, my mileage has gone from a consistent low to mid 50's mpg to right around 47 mpg. Anyone else experience this? It appears the side cases are cutting the mileage 10 to 15 percent.
 

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I regularly ride at highway speeds with a hockey bag strapped sideways across the back of the bike. And a stick strapped vertically. Yeah, you catch a little more wind, but it's no big deal.

If you want to minimize issues, get yourself a forkbrace, which improves handling across the board, and keep your tires properly inflated. Then loosen up on the bike. You'll enjoy your new luggage more.

And yes, if a freak windstorm arises, you will be more unstable than without bags. If it's really windy, like 80+ kph gusts, I'll take my side bags off. I keep the top box on. If it's a hockey day, I just ignore the wind.
 

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Honestly, I cannot tell the difference between riding with an empty case and no case, with the exception of heavy crosswinds. I have the large factory top case on my '05 (which I understand is made by Givi).

I have theorized that the air that is coming into contact with the top case's frontal area is relatively still near the center of the case, then becoming turbulent near the outer edges because of the rider's influence. Furthermore, I believe the shape of the rear of the top case is more important than the frontal area. If the rear surface is too flat, it will create a vacuum behind the box, which also negatively affects aerodynamics. The more rounded teardrop-style cases are far superior aerodynamically than the boxy cases.
 

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What I have noticed is a wobble at around 30 - 35 mph, which is not present when I ride without OEM top case. Haven't experimented, but I don't think the wobble is present when it is empty. Fork brace does not help with this problem.
 

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I have an adventure with the side bags and top case it is top heavy if you over load the top case with more the 30 lbs of equipment I never notice a problem of being pushed by the wind. Just top heavy on the stops if over laoded top case the rack says to put no more than 25 lbs on it.I go over + or - 5 lbs.I put the heavy stuff in the side cases .and I have had no problems on the long hauls.
 
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