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What's Your "Extra" Luggage?


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I'm in the planning stages of this year's 2 up 7-10 day tour. We did go to Maine last year but since we spent the week in one location packing wasn't such a big deal. This will be our first real 2 up tour on the BMW and I'm looking for ideas for additional luggage.


I have an 06 R1200RT with 49L top case and the BMW tank bag. I'd really like to come up with something I could strap to the top of the top case but, thus far, I haven't found a supplier for an add on luggage rack for the lid. I know some use the bungee buddy system but that seems like I'd have a pretty scratched up lid by the time all was said and done. I'm wondering if anyone in the group here has any clever ideas on packing a little more in. I'm thinking it would be handy to have a bag about the size of the tank bag (pretty large in the RT's case) to add to the top of the top case. All ideas welcome. Thanks in advance.

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Take less!

Use Coolmax-type underwear and T-shirts. On reaching your destination at the end of a hot day, shower and wash what you have just worn. It will be dry by the morning. Take one just one set of casual clothes.

When walking, tie your helmets to the bike using the cables provided in the toolkit - you can use the top-box for awkward-to-manage shoes or WHY.

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I am certainly no expert in such matters, however I would suggest you use caution in applying additional weight to the top of the top box, if that is what you are considering as a solution.


I cannot speak specifically to your BMW top boxes, but several other m/c manufacturers machines will not safely handle much more wieght on the tail piece.

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My buddy and his wife strap a bag (probably 6" dia x 18" long) on top of each side case. In addition to extra pack space, it gives her some armrests.


If you want something on the top box (or anywhere else for that matter) and want to avoid scratches, there are clear films available for that. Alternatively, for a temporary solution, you could put painter's tape (the blue masking tape) on to protect it.

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I agree John. I'll have to give you my wife's email so you can convince her personally. grin.gif






I'm not sure that this is a viable option with the RT's sidecases, but on my old R1100RT, I installed four Bungee Buddies on each of the sidecases to provide attachment points for soft cases. I've considered doing the same on my ST (which has the same sidecases as your RT), but I'm not sure if it's possible, given their double-wall construction.


It appears from your post as though some people have done this with their topcases. If you're concerned about scratching the topcase, Just buy a sheet of 3M paint protection film and put it over the section that's prone to scratching--it's nearly invisible and does a great job of protecting painted surfaces.

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paint saver


this includes a mesh material that does a good job

Found similar material in local grocery as shelf liner

The advice on fabrics is good.

We've done multi-week trips w/everything in 2 saddlebags (extra large lids) and a GIVI 52L topcase.

Wash and wear, dry overnight.

There are frame loops available, or make your own, that give points to hook on to. (Helen 2 wheels, rider warehouse, among othres).

Also, bungie buddies and solid strap mounts designed for 1- 1/2" adjustable straps are available from riderwarehouse.

Helen 2 wheels, RevPak, Ortlieb, Sealine, etc... sell bags that can be mounted on top of saddles.

Agree with above, adding a big load to topcase is marginal.

Beth can pack clothes for 2 or more weeks in 1/2 a saddle bag.

Best wishes.

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Thanks to all. Mark, that's exactly what I'm looking for. I'm not looking for a heavy tie down spot but somewhere to bungee rain pants or a small bag. I'll look into that. thumbsup.gif

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Helen Two Wheels makes a great bag, duffel style, that can easily be strapped to the rack on top of your top case. If you don't have a rack, Givi makes a really nice one that can fit.


Another simple idea is to only pack half of what you need and UPS the other half to some intermediate point in your trip. Pick up the new stuff, pack the old stuff back in the box and UPS it home. Fedex Ground will get stuff just about anywhere in the country in about 3 days and it is dirt cheap. About $13 for 30 lbs.

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Hey Al


This is the best pic I can find of my RT all packed up. Helen Two Wheels strapped to the RT saddle bags.


If you call her, she'll sell ya just what you need, including the straps.



Whip and Britton...Louise liked having a place to rest her arms.


Glacier Parkway...Alberta

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Another option is to replace the 49L top case with a larger capacity bag from Helen-2-Wheels or one of the other after market bag people. I haven't done this two up but I think Helen's straps would hold it secure enough that your wife would still have a secure back support.

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I second Alberts philosophy of taking less. The Lovely Flame and I are veteran two up RT riders who quite often carry camping gear as well as the kit necessary for both of us.


Once you have your gear assembled and laid out on the bedroom floor, step back. Then go back to it and put back 25% of it, 'cause you don't need it....


Step back again, go out to dinner and come back and look at the pile again. Now, take another 25% and discard it. Now you are looking at what you really need! Sounds silly, but this is about right. YOu don't want to be half in your ride and find you are shipping stuff back, or doing laundry every couple of days, which is what will happen if you bring too many clothes. grin.gif


Next, invest in "technical" clothing that is warm in the winter and cool in the summer. This clothing is made from man-made fibers that dry quickly and wick moisture away from the body. This stuff is great because you can wear it a day, wash it in the motel sink at night, and it'll be dry the next morning! When J and I travel, we pack one to wear and one for the next day. grin.gif


Think also about double-duty for gear. For example nylon hiking shorts that can be swim trunks. Be creative and use your imagination.


Have fun,

Steve in So Cal grin.gif

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While I do enjoy the dry, lockable convenience of the topcase, I leave it home when 2-up camping. You can pack more/easier on the rear of the bike with good/waterproof duffels. I get all I want including 2 thermarests, 2 Kermit chairs and more and have never needed to pack anything on top of the side cases. I have a custom made rack that I attach for more secure loading.


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I don't have them yet , but, larger lids for the system cases. You can carry more stuff and it will be lower to the ground than carrying high in the rear trunk. Also, a Uni-Go trailer is what I like the best, I use it even when I am traveling by myself. I like comfort.

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I cannot take credit for this, but it's an excellent suggestion: Place all the items you want to take with you on the floor. Place the money you intend to take on the table. Cut the pile on the floor in half and double the pile on the table.


Alright, it might not be that bad but you get the idea. I've done this a time or 6 and the point is to pack light. There's a lot of very good suggestions right here. I've always been able to get everything the two of us need into the existing available luggage. I'll bet you can too!



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It may not be exactly waht you want, it has worked very well for my wife and I on long trips. The Chase Harper Tail Trunk comes in two sizes, the small one is shown here.




It folds down to the size of two VCR tapes. I have 4 Bungy Buddies on the top of the top case, and use a small bungie net to hold the "Trunk" in place when being used. (the bungie cords that come with it are long gone, I found them awkward) We use the Tail Trunk mostly for dirty laundry. The wife has also used it for the new shoes that she always seems to find. I also use the BMW "Fat Bag" lids. They add alot of extra space.

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Take it from me ditch the top case and get a 65L water proof bag. Another tip is you only require two tools,wd40 and gaffer tape. If it will not move and it should wd40, If it moves and it shouldnt gaffer tape. dopeslap.gif

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My wife and I go camping on the bike for three weeks at a time in Europe. We carry all our gear in the panniers, 28l topbox and tank bag, with the tent strapped on top of one pannier.


If we take more than that then the bike is incredibly difficult to handle at slow speed, particularly on steep, slippery ferry ramps.


+1 what Steves1150 said - get out what you want to take, and then put at least 50% of it back in the cupboard, you won't need it.



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If your wife is like mine she won't ride without that big trunk against her back. She just feels better knowing it's there. I tried some backrest, but she never felt secure without the trunk.


You can also get a rack for the top of the trunk and put another bag up there.



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The trick is to NOT overpack! lmao.gif









And that is just for an overnighter! Think what could be done if you were going to be gone for 3 days. lmao.gif

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Thank you to everyone!! Great responses as usual around here. I think I'll be able to put something together given all the responses here. thumbsup.gif

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