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Silly question about your bags


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One of the main reasons I finally purchased the R1200RT is because the majority of my riding does not require me to actually have the black bags installed on the bike. I pull them and leave them in the garage until a "real" trip comes up and they get popped back on and away I go.


The question is: "Do most of you leave the bags on or pull them for daily driving?"


Most of the photos I see of your bikes is "with" the bags but every now and then I see a few with them off.



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I have the R1200ST but the same bags and leave them on most of the time. Never know when I want to bring something home or store my helmet when I go into a shop.

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When I first got my RT, I preferred the naked look and rarely kept the bags on. But once I started using it for daily commuting, I found myself in situations where I needed the bags (stop by the grocery store on the way home from work, etc...). I finally got to the point where I just kept them on. On my GS, the jury is still out. I like the functionality of the BMW Varios, but compared to the RT, the Varios are butt ugly.

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I added the Corbin smuggler's trunk (see attachment)which allows me to store enough stuff to not need the bags except for trips. I too would like to get some city lids if available.


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As an example, the attachment shows what I currently carry in the trunk. It is deceptively large and can carry quite a bit. My tool roll is very large and it easily fits on the side of the trunk. Not sure it's really worth $700 but I do like it now that I have it.


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John, whats it like getting your leg over, and it is a serious question grin.gif Might get one of these, looks good on your bike and mines exactly the same.


Steve Carter

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I always have my bags on the bike. I commute with it every day. The left bag has anything one may need to ride to include rain gear, spare cloves, socks, bungee straps, and 2 water bottles, first aid kit, flairs.

The right one is always empty when I leave home.(stores jacket at work) The top case carries lunch box.( stores helmet when parked at work)


When I have to pick up things, I always have space, and I never find myself saying” gosh I wish I would have brought the Truck…..


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No problem for me getting my leg over. I normally use the center stand and step up on the left side peg before swinging my leg over but even on the side stand, I have not had any problems.

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My configuration for day-to-day riding is is to have just the small topcase on the bike - not the side cases. It gives me a place to put my helmet and space for odds and ends that I may pick-up while doing errands.



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I leave the side cases at home otherwise I wouldn't fit through London traffic on the way to work. I use the large top case which fits the helmet and everything I need to carry plus a small amount of shopping.


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I am a weekend rider. I take my bags off when the bike is in the garage for space reasons but put them on when riding. One of the nicest features of the bags is the ease with which they come on and off. When I first got the RT I left them off a few times and ended up regretting it because I picked something up I wanted to bring home or wanted some accessory I typically leave in the bags. I can use the exercise lifting my leg and the bags haven't limited my riding ability (I don't think it will ever be the bike limiting my riding ability). I agree on the sporty look without bags but will take function over form.

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  • 6 months later...

Riding around town and to/from work: I leave my side bags off and my top case on.

Trips: I leave my top case on and put on my side bags.


I don't use a tank bag... maybe someday I'll get one.



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I too purchased the RT because I thought it is the best all around bike you can buy. Most of the time I ride the bike with the bags off. When I want to use the bags as you know it only takes a few seconds.


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The R12RT looks sporty without the bags. Looks like a touring bike with'em. Two bikes in one. Smart choice that RT. I only use the bags when I need'em. A tank bag is a pretty good option.

I vote for the clean sporty look.

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I commute a lot on my bike and find it better to keep the bags on. If the wife calls and asks me to pick a few things from the store (on the way home from work) I usually can put it in the side bags with out a hitch.

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No new RT (yet...) but the older K-bike I ride usually has the bags on. Bags keep all the "junk" I might want or decide to pick up, plus the bags have nice reflective stuff on them which gives a slightly wider profile in traffic (Not that I really think it will keep a cage from hitting me, but I can hope).


Occasionally they come off for a nice sunny day run for lunch or such, but general communting they stay on. I suspect whenever the wife lets me get a new RT it will be the same way. thumbsup.gif

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During the spring and summer months, I like to vary my use of the bags. Sometimes I like to carry my clear shield, rain gear and some cleaner. Now that the days are shorter I leave the bags on all the time because it is dark when I leave work and I need the clear shield.

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Always on. That way, I ALWAYS have my rain suit with me. I also always have room for picking up groceries, etc. when I'm so moved while out riding. The bags also have also save me the bike from damage in parking lot tip-overs (twice so far) the the bag protectors. See the attached photo.


I also keep the large top-case on all the time. It holds my helmet locked up when I'm off the bike. Finally, I have the rear reflection tape on all three so my rearward visibility suffers when they are off.


I am not concerned with the looks or functionality with them on. It still goes as fast as I want and handles just fine for me. I just have to be a bit more carefully when squeezing between the vehicles parked in my driveway, etc. smile.gif


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On for me but possibly not all the bags or even the same bag in the same postion. I have Givi luggage on my Blackbird and will mount a Wingrack on my VFR when it goes back on the road this month. I have 2 40 liter side cases and a 46 liter trunk with a rack on the top. Depending on what I am doing at the time, I may mount the trunk, or one of the smaller cases in the trunk position, two side bags and no trunk or all 3 plus a Kathy's duffle across the pillion. I am seldom without one bag or another. For a light trip, I just stuff my rainsuit into the tank bag along with a travel kit and a 1 gallon ziploc bag with a fresh set of linen. That covers me for an overnight stay somewhere. Weeks gone at a time with a load of business casual plus riding gear calls for the full compliment.

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Like Riderbob I have to keep my sidecases off in order to filter through city traffic - and I like the naked look better than the "cased look". A BMW top-box (the smaller one) carries all my needs to the office and a cargo net covers any unexpected shopping/laptop etc (I do not recommend putting a laptop in the top-box - shook a disc drive to bits!)Incidentally the BMW liner bag is a must - you'd be amazed at what you can squeeze in and the great thing is that if you can get it into the bag it will definitely fit in the box - you don't want to be packing/unpacking out in the rain.


Here's an angle to this no-one has mentioned:


I found with a totally naked bike that I collected mud/cr*p and everything else down the back of my legs. Seems the aerodynamics just suck it all in and deposits it there. The top box stopped that - can't explain why but it did.

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