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Discussion Starter #61
Cost wise I'd be looking at Kappa luggage then. Motostorm is a great place to buy it online, they are in Italy where Givi/Kappa is located. Shipping took a while on my last order, but that was because I ordered it mid European Covid shutdown.

Curious what $1000 worth of suspension upgrades look like for a Vstrom. Seems like a lot unless you are paying to have it installed.
As a person that isn’t mechanically it inclined, I’ll end having a shop I trust do the work. In the past I considered the upgrades for my VTX, and the expensive upgrade was shelved. In that case I just upgraded the rear shocks a bit.
 

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Does that price include the mounting system?
Yes it does - after using their 20% discount code. Standard black cases with 3P mounting system. I paid a little more to get the white accent color. I really like their 3P system, as it is barely noticeable when the cases have been removed. IMO, other brands’ mounting brackets are pretty ugly...
 

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Cost wise I'd be looking at Kappa luggage then. Motostorm is a great place to buy it online, they are in Italy where Givi/Kappa is located. Shipping took a while on my last order, but that was because I ordered it mid European Covid shutdown.

Curious what $1000 worth of suspension upgrades look like for a Vstrom. Seems like a lot unless you are paying to have it installed.
You can easily approach that with "just" fork & rear shock rebuilds.

I became fed up with the overly soft stock forks when riding 2-up, & blew a fork seal recently. But, I don't want to spend an entire weekend & change sweating my butt off in my garage, dealing with used fork oil, the learning curve of a new-to-me job, etc. So I'm paying a local shop to rebuild the forks for me.

He's using the same parts (Racetech) I would use to do it at home, and not charging any more for parts than if I ordered them from Racetech myself. I'm paying for labor. And I have no problem with that. This is the same shop that fixed my insanity-inducing fuel flow problem. He does good work and charges fair rates. A hair under $500 for the whole deal.

With the rear shock, you're looking at ~$1000 for a new one that is in the same category as the original. You can spend lots more, if you want absolute top-of-the-line.

That's why I purchased a used OEM rear shock from another Stromtrooper, & am sending it off to have it rebuilt, instead. I will do the swap myself, then have my original used shock up on the Classifieds at some point. I'll have around $500 into the rear shock rebuild, including the cost of the used shock, actual rebuild, and all the shipping involved.

There's your $1000.
 

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You can easily approach that with "just" fork & rear shock rebuilds.

I became fed up with the overly soft stock forks when riding 2-up, & blew a fork seal recently. But, I don't want to spend an entire weekend & change sweating my butt off in my garage, dealing with used fork oil, the learning curve of a new-to-me job, etc. So I'm paying a local shop to rebuild the forks for me.

He's using the same parts (Racetech) I would use to do it at home, and not charging any more for parts than if I ordered them from Racetech myself. I'm paying for labor. And I have no problem with that. This is the same shop that fixed my insanity-inducing fuel flow problem. He does good work and charges fair rates. A hair under $500 for the whole deal.

With the rear shock, you're looking at ~$1000 for a new one that is in the same category as the original. You can spend lots more, if you want absolute top-of-the-line.

That's why I purchased a used OEM rear shock from another Stromtrooper, & am sending it off to have it rebuilt, instead. I will do the swap myself, then have my original used shock up on the Classifieds at some point. I'll have around $500 into the rear shock rebuild, including the cost of the used shock, actual rebuild, and all the shipping involved.

There's your $1000.
Wow - I've got half that into my FZ1. R6R rear shock and traxxion dynamics front spring kits. Who would have thought that tractor parts were so expensive ;)
 

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It's the labor that is really costing me. But, I've spent enough time in the garage already this year, want more riding & less wrenching. I simply don't have the expertise & tools to rebuild the rear shock.

I could have saved $115 by shipping off my old rear shock & waiting patiently while it's rebuilt. But, again - that would sacrifice irreplaceable riding time, so $115 seemed like a low price to pay.

I haven't shopped parts for other bikes, but yeah, that rear shock in particular is super spendy if you want all-new.
 

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Does that price include the mounting system?
Something else to consider FWIW...

In my opinion, side cases are probably less affected by crosswinds and gusty truck blast, than a top box. Side case CG is closer to the ground, and distance to the rider (moment arm) is shorter. These 2 benefits aid in side case stability, compared with a top box. Also when loaded with heavy weights, top boxes are less stable for similar reasons.

To be clear, I’m not saying top boxes are unstable. My opinion is that in general, side cases are more stable. Factors such as size, cargo weight, and aerodynamic shape can impact the comparison.

Hope this helps your decision making, as I realize you were originally requesting input related to top boxes only...
 

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Something else to consider FWIW...

In my opinion, side cases are probably less affected by crosswinds and gusty truck blast, than a top box. Side case CG is closer to the ground, and distance to the rider (moment arm) is shorter. These 2 benefits aid in side case stability, compared with a top box. Also when loaded with heavy weights, top boxes are less stable for similar reasons.

To be clear, I’m not saying top boxes are unstable. My opinion is that in general, side cases are more stable. Factors such as size, cargo weight, and aerodynamic shape can impact the comparison.

Hope this helps your decision making, as I realize you were originally requesting input related to top boxes only...
I agree. The only downside is that you need to distribute your weight evenly side to side if you are hauling much. That is why I bought 4 gallons today 😁
272514
 

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Discussion Starter #68
You can easily approach that with "just" fork & rear shock rebuilds.

I became fed up with the overly soft stock forks when riding 2-up, & blew a fork seal recently. But, I don't want to spend an entire weekend & change sweating my butt off in my garage, dealing with used fork oil, the learning curve of a new-to-me job, etc. So I'm paying a local shop to rebuild the forks for me.

He's using the same parts (Racetech) I would use to do it at home, and not charging any more for parts than if I ordered them from Racetech myself. I'm paying for labor. And I have no problem with that. This is the same shop that fixed my insanity-inducing fuel flow problem. He does good work and charges fair rates. A hair under $500 for the whole deal.

With the rear shock, you're looking at ~$1000 for a new one that is in the same category as the original. You can spend lots more, if you want absolute top-of-the-line.

That's why I purchased a used OEM rear shock from another Stromtrooper, & am sending it off to have it rebuilt, instead. I will do the swap myself, then have my original used shock up on the Classifieds at some point. I'll have around $500 into the rear shock rebuild, including the cost of the used shock, actual rebuild, and all the shipping involved.

There's your $1000.
Not sure of the exact specifics but the quote came back for $1487. That is for Race Tech front forks and Ohlins rear shock.
 

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Not sure of the exact specifics but the quote came back for $1487. That is for Race Tech front forks and Ohlins rear shock.
Wow. That is 500 less than I paid for the whole bike. My .02 the vstrom is not a sport bike, it comes with handling tradeoffs. I'd first try messing with fork oil viscosity, level and preloads before I ever considered spending that kind of money on a vstrom suspension.
 

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When you have the rear preload maxed out but are still scraping skid plate on occasion, and constantly when 2-up, it's time to think about a better shock or at least a stiffer spring.

Same deal for the fronts. The stock springs (at least on a 2007, dunno about other years) are simply too soft for a dude my size. No amount of changing fork oil or dialing in preload can change that.

I wouldn't spend the coin for a new Ohlins shock - I think they're egregiously overpriced. A Sasquatch rebuild is as far as I'm willing to go. But to each his own.
 

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When you have the rear preload maxed out but are still scraping skid plate on occasion, and constantly when 2-up, it's time to think about a better shock or at least a stiffer spring.
Jenny Craig is another option :eek:
But in all seriousness, the stock shock is good for a lot of weight. Might be worth checking the o rings and replacing the oil.
 

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I'm trying to decide on how much storage I should purchase in the near future. AS much as I would like to get top and side cases at one time I do not see the need to do so. I am mainly looking at having some storage if I took the bike up to the grocery store for a small amount of stuff or for helmet storage.. Maybe a weekend trip to visit people. I've not yet done that. So I'm thinking for the time being a top case only would suit my purposes for now, and I could get the side cases later.

Using those parameters, what size would you recommend, and any particular brands? My ride is a 2019 650XT.
Like several others I bought my Givi Trekker Outback side cases and 48L top box from Motostorm in Italy, about 25-30% saving over US prices. Also 2 Givi tank bags and some other accessories. And pre-COVID shipping time on one order was 5 days, from order to my door vs up to 10 days on several orders from Revzilla or Twisted Throttle in the US. I do shop at both but not "just because".
Since I tend to over pack the top case, I've now added a Givi 30 L top (won't fit a helmet). Twice on a week long camping trip I dropped the bike while moving off, I believe because I'd packed it top heavy. The side cases kept the bike from going flat on the side and there was no indication the Givi side cases had ever touched the ground.
Also it is fairly easy to "re-key" all the Givi locks to the same key using a Dremel.
 

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Sharing my setup for additional ideas, as it has worked wonders for my needs:

Top Case: Shad SH50 (50l capacity, fits 2 full sized helmets)
Side Cases: Shad SH36 (36l capacity, fits one full sized helmet in each)

I use this bike typically for small day/weekend adventures, including a picnic on the shores of Lake Simcoe with my partner or an overnight stay in Kawartha Lakes area. I appreciate having enough storage for all of our gear to be left behind locked up safely while we go out and explore the area in shorts. This includes storing two full sized helmets, riding jackets and pants (with armour), with plenty of space for tools, water, lunch, etc.

Besides the space benefits of this setup, I also added an LED lighting kit to the top case from AdMore Lighting, which makes me a lot more visible on the road. This top case has a great lens that can be seen from most angles on the road, which played a factor when I picked it over the GIVI options in comparable size. Another benefit of running all Shad is having only 1 key to open/lock all cases.

Does all this impact its handling on the road? No doubt, most anything you add to the bike will. However I value functionality and comfort over anything else on this bike and the way I ride this bike would not see much of a handling/performance issue anyways. I wouldn't run this setup on a supersport bike... ;)

I'm posting a pic of the setup on the road.

272522
 
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Besides the space benefits of this setup, I also added an LED lighting kit to the top case from AdMore Lighting, which makes me a lot more visible on the road. This top case has a great lens that can be seen from most angles on the road, which played a factor when I picked it over the GIVI options in comparable size.
Please show us your lighting setup on the SH50. I recently added LED lighting to my Kappa K48 top case and am always interested in how others have done it. I ended up with a homebrew solution that works pretty well.

The only thing the "proper" factory lighting kit has on the setup I crafted is a clever quick-connnect electrical doohickey, which I wouldn't use much since I always have the case on the bike.

  • It's noteworthy that you can fit helmets in your side cases. Mine (Givi) are the same nominal capacity - 36 liters - but cannot close on a helmet, no matter how oriented. The Shad cases must have different proportions.
 

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On the issue of top cases vs side cases: I had both on my old Yamaha FZ6 Fazer. Givi E52 top case, and Givi E21 side cases. The top case stayed on the bike 99% of the time, side cases I used maybe 50% of the time.

Fuel mileage using top case only: 47-48 mpg.
Fuel mileage using both top & side cases: 42-43 mpg.
Same commute, mileage regularly tracked over a couple years, only difference being side cases on or off. These numbers were very consistent.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
On the issue of top cases vs side cases: I had both on my old Yamaha FZ6 Fazer. Givi E52 top case, and Givi E21 side cases. The top case stayed on the bike 99% of the time, side cases I used maybe 50% of the time.

Fuel mileage using top case only: 47-48 mpg.
Fuel mileage using both top & side cases: 42-43 mpg.
Same commute, mileage regularly tracked over a couple years, only difference being side cases on or off. These numbers were very consistent.
What was your mileage without the bags and top case?
 

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What was your mileage without the bags and top case?
No idea. Like I said, top case was on 99% of the time, probably more. I actually bought the top case rack before I even brought the bike home.

First summer commuting with the top case, I noticed the 47-48. Next summer it was 42-43. It baffled me for a while why it dropped so much. Then I remembered I added the side cases over the winter. Took the side cases off for a few rides, back up to 47. Side cases back on, back down to 42.
 

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I'd get the largest top case available. At least 46 liters. Why? Because top cases suck, they're ugly and can affect handling, so they say. Being the case, he, he, after all that, you don't want a tiny one you can't use because it's too small for anything practical. 46 or above.

When I first got one, I used it only for touring. I'd take it off as soon as I got home. Eventually, I started putting it on for long day trips. In Colorado, you often need different clothing on the same day. Eventually more, I just left it on all the time because the Strom is already ugly and I grew to appreciate the practicality of the box being there. Same with tank bag for me. That never came off.

This is a monster case, but it's cheap and I know they work because I used smaller versions as side luggage. Ugly too, but no more than some pricy rectangular "expedition" cases that are considered cool.


The link doesn't take you to the exact product, but type in the number above in the newark.com search box.
 
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