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R1200RT Side Case Latch Assembly

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I had posted about my issues with a broken latch handle earlier in this thread but I noticed that the links I have for repair info and a picture of the broken latch peg are not working, I moved the files in some drive cleanup which broke the links.

I was lucky that mine broke with it already open so it would not latch shut. Wondering that it may be possible to somehow reach in and operate the latch mechanism with the handle up, but not sure.

Here are the links:




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Rob Browning

Thanks Tech1, I can see what I need to move to unlock the case at least. Looks like I'm gonna need to drill.

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So..this is a great thread with some awesome pictures for the RT models. I HAVE AN 04 R1200CL with a different style handel. My handel moves fine but does not have the throw it use to. Makes it difficult to open. I think something came loose. My liner appears to be rivit on so I can't see the mechanism. I have the bag removed (it's the right side w/radio) and before I start drilling rivets does anyone have experience with this type bag?

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Pics, do you still have the pics for this ?

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Not quite the same topic, but this post has pictures that were very helpful in dis-assembling my side cases.


My latches were very stiff, to the point that I feared breaking the latch when opening them. Using that post as a guide, I took the inner case out and found that the area containing the mechanism is not sealed from water or dirt. I found lots of dust and sand stuck to the grease lubricating the mechanism. After cleaning and re-lubing the first pannier, I was having a little trouble getting this Rube Goldberg design to work. Solution: cautiously take apart the second pannier to see how everything fit. Worked great, and now my latches work smoothly with very little effort from a single finger.


If you have reached the point where you need to drill to open the case, take apart the other side. Take measurements to find the exact point to drill the stuck case.

Edited by lkraus

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On 9/21/2011 at 8:04 PM, ADulay said:



OK, as promised, here's some photos for you guys who haven't taken your bags apart yet. Rest assured, you will, it's just a matter of time! My bike is a 2006 R1200RT so plan accordingly.


To start off, take the bag off the bike, find a nice place to sit down (like the dining room table) and convince the wife that this is normal. It's not like I'm cleaning guns or anything in the house. Deal with it!


Anyway, undo the little strap that stops the case from opening fully and hitting the ground and unscrew the four screws at the bottom of the case holding the halves together.


Grab your T-20 screwdriver and go to town on those screws. MARK THEM and where they go. There are seven different screws in that shell. Take the time to make sure you know where they go when it's time to button it back up.


The inner shell of the case will now just pop out of the side case and you'll be looking at this!




Notice the long piece of wire running across the case. This goes from the key mechanism to the actual latch on the other side (your right as you view this). The spring on the right is what brings your key back to center when you turn it.


Here's a closeup of the key assembly. It's plastic and has a spring in it so a little lube here is called for. I used bicycle teflon lube for the springs and plates. You can easily take it off of the wire but be aware there's a second shorter wire underneath that controls the actual bag realease so look for it and you'll be OK.




Here's the other side of the assembly that actually does the work of opening the bag latch on the outside. Yes, it calls for lube for sure although there was still a decent amount on it when I looked originally.




This would be on the opposite (bottom) side of the bag and it's the mechanism that locks the bags on to the frame. If you decide to move the bag up and around for some reason, secure this to the bag with duct tape or something or it WILL flop off and it's a bit messy to put back into place due to the lithium type grease on it. You won't need to do anything with this part anyway unless you get it to release and then wind up just putting it back in the slot track it runs in.




This would be a shot of the 'finished product' so to speak. Notice the difference in the control rod running across the bag. I elected to put a small kink in it to basically take up some of the slack that had built up in the entire mechanism. It's probably less than 2mm in slack, but made a huge difference in the throw of the push button to make the latch pop open. You can see where I put the teflon lube on various points.




Once I was convinced it was working correctly, it's then on to dropping the liner back in and putting the SEVEN DIFFERENT SCREWS back into the case.




As mentioned in an earlier message, getting the first two screws back into the key assembly was probably the hardest part but using your key in the slot to slightly align the key/lock assembly makes it pretty simple. After that the rest of the screws all return quite nicely.


It is so nice to be able to open this bag with a simple push of the button now instead of killing my thumbs and then using the back of a tool of some sort to force it to open!


Hopefully some of these pictures will help somebody out there when they decide to "fix that damn latch" on the bags. I appreciate the guidance you all gave me when I came in looking for help with this.


AD (man I hope these pictures make it OK)

Sorry but I see no pictures


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Indy Dave

Do these help?



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3 minutes ago, Danie said:

Sorry but I see no pictures



Morning Danie


You are looking at a post  that was posted WAY BACK on  September 21, 2011. Some picture servers have changed since then, some pictures have been deleted, some never were permanent. 


You will probably find a lot of old posted pictures are gone due to  changes in remote picture hosting servers.

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Shane J.

Of course I found this topic AFTER locking my helmet in the right bag and then not being able ti open it without great difficulty. I was able to disassemble, lubricate, and reassemble, resulting in perfect function. But WOW, what a Rube Goldberg assembly.

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Cliff Summers

I found this thread due to a broken paddle lever on the right pannier (seems like a theme here :grin:)  I got the lever out with some help from the docs from Tech1 (thanks mate :beer:).  And after recovering the broken pieces I can repro MarkC's picture almost exactly.  While I work on that though,  I lost one of the captive nuts in the outer shell (note: remove the hinge from the inner case not the outer).  It's inside there, I just can't get it out and replace it. 


All I can find says the skin is either glued, epoxied, or double sided taped to the inner liner.  I don't want to break the skin to get to the nut as I'm already $100 into parts  (unless my "repair" of the lever works)


Any advice is appreciated.

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Big thanks to those who went before, and showed the way on how to work on these cases.


Very helpful.

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