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Top box/ back rest


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Hey guys,

I have an 03 r1150rt, it has bmw factory rack and top box with a back pad. My girlfriend complains that the back rest is too far back and she needs to lean back to reach it. I'm not sure what the answer Is do I need to buy a different rack and or case or do I make a bracket. And finally is this a common problem. Thanks

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Welcome to the forum.   


Have you thought about stopping by an upholstery shop to see what they can offer?   A DIY fix may be cheaper, but professional shops have better stuff to modify seats/back rests.  It couldn't hurt to ask.

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I don't know if it's a common problem, but fit is definitely an individualized, and all the BMW top case pads are pretty generic.  I may need to do something for my 5' wife, next spring.


One option is to add an additional backrest.  You may have to buy the custom seats to get the back rest, but call around and check what's available, how adjustable are they, and how they will fit your bike (i.e. attached to custom seats, to your back luggage rach, to your top case, etc..


Check Ebay for "R1100RT"  (R1100/1150 have same frames and seats) for a generic solution.


Here's Sargent's.






Here's Corbin's offering.  






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I’d start by either getting someone to take a pic of the two of you sitting on the bike (from the side) or by putting the bike on the center stand and having her sit where she normally does. That will give you an idea of what needs to change. 

I’d definitely go with changing the back pad over trying to change the top box mount 


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I'm not familiar with the mounting system, but would it be as simple as drilling new holes in the bottom of the box to move it forward on the mount?

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Joe Frickin' Friday
On 12/18/2021 at 4:50 AM, Scott9999 said:

I don't know if it's a common problem,


I'm guessing it is, at least for any backrest that mounts directly to the stock top case.  


I had a Corbin saddle on my '99 R1100RT, and the pilot's backrest was on a steel post that inserted at the rear of the pilot's saddle, similar to your picture.  But way back then, Corbin's passenger backrest for that bike was just an upholstered pad that was designed to bolt directly to the BMW top case, which positioned it way too far back to be useful unless the passenger scooted their ass way off the back of the saddle.  I ended up getting a small aluminum truss welded up to move the backrest forward about 2-3 inches. so it could be useful   


Had to dig for an old photo but here you can kind of see what's what in terms of location:






Can't quite make out the truss; it was pretty thin, 1/4" squarestock aluminum.  But you can see how far forward I moved the backrest.


So...to the OP, if you're up for making some kind of bracket, that's what I'd recommend.  It worked for me.  

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