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Mike

Shad SH50 Topcase and R1200RTW Mounting Kit

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Mike

I bought my 2014 R1200RT this spring and have started down the road of personalizing it. I had transferred my 28-liter BMW topcase to it and, while it’s a perfectly fine case, I was longing for a bit more storage capacity. The lone indignity that my RT had suffered was the loss of its original factory topcase, the 49-liter unit that incorporates the RT’s central locking, lighting, etc. Apparently when the previous owner traded for a K-GT he negotiated to keep the topcase. So, I started my search. As it turns out, the full-featured BMW case costs something in the range of $1,500, an eye-popping number (it is possible to save a bit by buying the basic case, or by locating a used one). I’ve been seeing good reviews of Shad cases here and on other websites, so I did a bit more investigating and found that this Spanish company, which is an OEM supplier to BMW Motorrad (and other motorcycle manufacturers) of topcases, saddles, and other components, gets pretty good reviews of its cases

 

They make a bunch of large capacity cases, including three of roughly equivalent size, the SH48, SH49, and SH50 (the numeric part of the model number equates to the capacity of the bag, in liters). In eyeballing their website (www.shadusa.com), the SH50 appears to be the most rectangular in form. Reasoning that it’s easier to pack stuff in that sort of a case, as opposed to one that is more curvy or odd shaped, I decided to go for the SH50.

 

First lesson: the company’s website isn’t great, but with a little bit of effort you can navigate it and figure out what you need.

 

Second lesson: they sell the SH50 (and other products) on Amazon for quite a bit less than their website. On the Shad website, the SH50 is $365 plus $44 shipping. I found it on Amazon.com for $345 (Shad USA is the seller) and, with my Prime membership, this amounted to $64 in savings.

 

The Shad rep did give me a discount code that is good for a 5% savings on the products on the website: "discount5". So, this would offer some savings to offset the price advantage of buying on Amazon.

 

Now, for my personal experience:

 

Before ordering, I asked a customer service dude at Shad if I needed the RT-specific mounting kit (another $89). He told me that it wasn’t really necessary since a universal mount comes with the topbox, so I put off ordering it. Unboxing day arrived, I pulled out the case (very nice quality, but more on that later), spent a couple of hours diddling around with the universal mount, and got it mounted. But, it wasn’t rock solid. The RT’s luggage rack is a thick affair, so I rigged up a solution with some extra length bolts and a couple of cable ties, but when all was said and done, it just didn’t feel right).

 

Back on the horn to Shad to order the RT mounting kit (the RT-specific mount isn’t sold on Amazon). I pointed out that the shipping charges for the $89 kit were $44, which is wacky, and he adjusted it to their actual cost ($9.80). The kit arrived over this past weekend, and I put it all together on Saturday. So, my first bit of advice: get the RT-specific kit. It took about 50 minutes to mount it (some drilling is required), but it all fits together well and once it’s mounted, the SH50 is rock solid. You may be more clever than I, and can figure out a way to make the universal mount work, but for my money, it’s worth the extra $89 to be assured that the case isn’t going to detach and bounce down the road.

 

The case itself is of really high quality, equivalent to BMW’s factory cases (this makes sense, because Shad manufactures many of those cases). The locking and opening mechanisms are very smooth and easy to operate, and it appears that the case should be completely waterproof (there’s a gasket that runs around the circumference of the lid). While it doesn’t tie into the RT’s central locking system, it’s not that great an effort to lock it, if needed, with the keys that are supplied with the case.

 

As you can see below, the bag can easily fit two Nolan N104 helmets. As I had hoped it would be, it is pretty rectangular in form. I also got an additional lower backrest ($39) from Shad, so the total cost works out to about $482 (not counting the 5% discount, noted above, for the accessories), plus tax. As far as looks are concerned, I think that the colors work pretty well with my Callisto Grey RT. They do provide optional shells that cover the top lid in a variety of colors. If you are focused on these issues, those lids can be painted for an exact match and the blue lid is apparently almost an exact match for Merino Blue.

 

So, the bottom line (for me): It’s an excellent quality case, in my opinion equal in quality to the BMW factory cases, though missing a couple of features (most notably central locking). The mounting system ads a bit of complexity not inherent in the BMW cases (which snap right into the factory rear rack) and it rides probably 1/2" - 1" higher than the factory case for this reason (advantage: BMW Motorrad). However, for roughly one-third the cost of the full-featured RT case, I’m pretty darned happy with it. The quality is the equal of the factory option, but you do pay a (slight) penalty in ease of mounting. The day may come when I’ll feel compelled to buy the factory case, but I’m not so sure I’ll ever be moved to do so. A few pics below . . . .

 

The Shad case seems to integrate pretty well with the design and color of the RT:

 

IMG_3607-M.jpg

 

The front of the case; the upper backrest pad is standard, the lower one is an extra $39:

 

IMG_3603-M.jpg

 

My biggest criticism is that the case is named after a fish, but the addition of a roundel helps ease the pain:

 

IMG_3604-M.jpg

 

Two Nolan N104s fit easily. There's extra room for other stuff, but you get the idea, a fairly rectangular case that has quite bit of capacity.

 

IMG_3605-M.jpg

 

 

 

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Hank R1200RT

What size N104s? My XXXL is a snug fit by itself in the BMW 49-liter case.

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Mike
What size N104s? My XXXL is a snug fit by itself in the BMW 49-liter case.

 

L and M, so both are the smaller shell. Still, seems to have ample room for something larger.

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lkraus

29121880775_1b276eafec.jpg

 

XXL Schuberth (silver) and Medium Kabuto Ibuki (yellow)

 

Last one in needs it's Sena removed to allow the lid to close easily.

 

The silver one is Schuberth's largest shell size, used for XL to XXXL.

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upfisk

We bought the Shad 42 this spring for the same reasons, wanted a little more capacity than the BMW 28 L case. Myrl's bike has a Givi 52 L topcase and Gary wanted something smaller. The Shad 42 went on easy, we did order the mounting kit with the case and installation took maybe 30 minutes. No holes to drill, it just fit right. The Shad looks to be the equal of the Givi in looks and fit. The Shad has an easy close system, when you just shut the lid and don't have to lock it, like the Givi. This really helps when loading or unloading the case. As Myrl's case wears out, a Shad will replace the Givi.

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randy

does the red section light up?

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Mike
does the red section light up?

 

Randy, I'm sorry I didn't reply earlier. Mine does not light up, but a kit is available to do that. I've got quite a bit of lighting and reflective material on the back of my RT already, so I've opted not to add the kit. It's available through SHAD and is sold under the Admore name.

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bwpsg42

I have the lights. Red tail lights that flash then steady brighter when the brakes are applied. They also turn amber as turn signals.

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randy

I have always used the GIVI 52 Maxima case. I am wondering how much I would miss the extra 2 liters of space. I actually fill my GIVI case 100% most days. between computer bag, work out clothes and lunch bag, I use all the available space in side bags and top case. maybe I can find a SHAD case around Atlanta and compare the two side by side. Or catch someone at START and compare there.

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poodad

I've got the Shad SH50 on my RT, and I love it. The mounting kit is overpriced, but it does make the installation a snap.

 

Have you given any thought on putting a luggage rack on top?

 

I've been considering the Givi one (may need spacers to make it work), or a Honda HL-08L42-MCA-100. There are some Harley racks that look like they'd work as well.

 

 

 

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Mike
I've got the Shad SH50 on my RT, and I love it. The mounting kit is overpriced, but it does make the installation a snap.

 

Have you given any thought on putting a luggage rack on top?

 

I've been considering the Givi one (may need spacers to make it work), or a Honda HL-08L42-MCA-100. There are some Harley racks that look like they'd work as well.

 

 

 

I've had the SHAD rack on order for a couple of months and just got a message a few days ago indicating that they're back in stock. Hopefully it will show up soon.

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poodad
I've got the Shad SH50 on my RT, and I love it. The mounting kit is overpriced, but it does make the installation a snap.

 

Have you given any thought on putting a luggage rack on top?

 

I've been considering the Givi one (may need spacers to make it work), or a Honda HL-08L42-MCA-100. There are some Harley racks that look like they'd work as well.

 

 

 

I've had the SHAD rack on order for a couple of months and just got a message a few days ago indicating that they're back in stock. Hopefully it will show up soon.

 

Interesting. I had discounted the idea of the Shad rack because I'd heard that it wasn't available for purchase in the US (despite being on the Shad web site).

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lkraus

I don't want a rack, but curiosity (and Google) led me this: https://www.motardinn.com/motorcycle-equipment/shad-upper-rack-for-top-case-sh50-sh49-sh48-sh45/136127962/p?utm_source=google_products&utm_medium=merchant&id_producte=3473479&country=us&gclid=CjwKEAiA1ITCBRDO-oLA-q_n8xYSJADjBQfGLfKd1SGig8plP1f-_jqD4UaXYazkwrmh9c8bYOGNyxoCcE7w_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

Fits SH50 SH49 SH48 SH45

 

~$77.00, shipped to Ohio via USPS, arriving December 20-26.

 

shad-upper-rack-for-top-case-sh50-sh49-sh48-sh45.jpg

 

Shad has very good products, but their US distribution needs improvement.

Edited by lkraus

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Mike
I've got the Shad SH50 on my RT, and I love it. The mounting kit is overpriced, but it does make the installation a snap.

 

Have you given any thought on putting a luggage rack on top?

 

I've been considering the Givi one (may need spacers to make it work), or a Honda HL-08L42-MCA-100. There are some Harley racks that look like they'd work as well.

 

 

 

I've had the SHAD rack on order for a couple of months and just got a message a few days ago indicating that they're back in stock. Hopefully it will show up soon.

 

Interesting. I had discounted the idea of the Shad rack because I'd heard that it wasn't available for purchase in the US (despite being on the Shad web site).

 

I got word today that mine is being shipped. They were on backorder for some time . . . three months or so.

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Gene#3

It appears that originally the Shad light kits were part of the case lid, but now are part of the mounting bracket... to eliminate wiring issues taking on/off I presume. IS this correct?

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lkraus

Other way around, as I recall. Shad originally offered the D0B50KL led brake light on the mounting plate. The Admore lid mount kit with brake and turn signals has only been available for a couple years. Not sure it makes a difference which came first as long as there is choice.

Edited by lkraus

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Mike
Other way around, as I recall. Shad originally offered the D0B50KL led brake light on the mounting plate. The Admore lid mount kit with brake and turn signals has only been available for a couple years. Not sure it makes a difference which came first as long as there is choice.

 

Not sure of the history, but it appears that both options are currently available on the SHAD website.

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Gene#3

Both are listed, but if you click on the lid style it says no longer available or something to that effect...

Edited by Gene#3

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lkraus

Admore still offers the lid lights, and Google shows other retailers.

 

Though I'm not sure how well it will get along with BMW's unconventional brake lights.

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gordiet

I just finished installing the ADMORE light kit to my Givi top case. Took the power and brake light function from the harness under the back seat on 2016 RT. Works great with no fault code.

 

GT

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bwpsg42

I've installed the ADMORE to my Shad-50, no problems.

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poodad

@Mike, did your Shad rack arrive? What do you think of it?

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Mike
@Mike, did your Shad rack arrive? What do you think of it?

 

I just got an email indicating g it shipped yesterday. While I like my case, I get the feeling that Shad USA has some work to do, to get their act together.

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poodad

@Mike, did the Shad rack ever arrive? What are your thoughts?

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Mike
@Mike, did the Shad rack ever arrive? What are your thoughts?

 

Yes, it arrived. Easy installation. It's not particularly large, though it integrates well with the case's design. It comes with a template specific to the case that permits you to accurately position the holes you must drill. After that, it's essentially washers and screws.

 

It's solid and fits well, but as I mentioned not all that big. I don't see much of an advantage over sourcing a rack elsewhere, except maybe aesthetically. I'll note again that this was ordered months ago. Shad USA doesn't seem to have their retail act together in this country.

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KSB
I've installed the ADMORE to my Shad-50, no problems.

How do the LEDs attach to the case? Are they just stuck on, do they replace the lenses or do they mount from the inside of the case?

I have the SHAD SH50 top case.

 

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bwpsg42

Took only a couple hours and some of that was because I also have dealer installed hyperlights and needed too sort that out. Pretty easy in general.

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Indy Dave

Mike - does the shad top case remove easily from the bike? The factory topcase is not traditionally removable with power locks, IIRC. That is enough to prompt me to seek an alternative. I'm not sure if the factory non-power lock version removes easily.

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Mike
Mike - does the shad top case remove easily from the bike? The factory topcase is not traditionally removable with power locks, IIRC. That is enough to prompt me to seek an alternative. I'm not sure if the factory non-power lock version removes easily.

 

Yep, it's a matter of twisting the key and popping the handle. Pops right off, but is very secure when locked in place.

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poodad

I ordered my Shad SH50 rack over a week ago. The website still says my order is "processing". Sigh...

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TJRL

Can this top box be fitted with a BMW lockset so that you only need one key? Unlike Givi it looks like it might.

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lkraus

Without taking the case apart, I can see that the metal portion containing the keyhole is smaller in diameter than the BMW cylinder, within a rotating plastic surround that is much larger than the BMW cylinder. The keys are very different, with the Shad pins contacting the thin edge of the key, while BMW has the pins to the side. So this would not be a plug-and-play conversion. I won't say it's impossible, but it would probably require designing and machining some custom parts to make it work.

 

The case latches securely shut without locking, reducing the need to use the key, so having two keys is really not a major inconvenience..

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Mike
Without taking the case apart, I can see that the metal portion containing the keyhole is smaller in diameter than the BMW cylinder, within a rotating plastic surround that is much larger than the BMW cylinder. The keys are very different, with the Shad pins contacting the thin edge of the key, while BMW has the pins to the side. So this would not be a plug-and-play conversion. I won't say it's impossible, but it would probably require designing and machining some custom parts to make it work.

 

The case latches securely shut without locking, reducing the need to use the key, so having two keys is really not a major inconvenience..

 

All that sounds about right...the keys are of substantially different design, so I don't think it would be easy. As Larry noted, it does latch very securely. I only lock mine when I"m going to be away from the bike for an extended period of time and it's parked in a public area.

 

I think I mentioned this earlier, but it seems to me that the Shad products are equivalent in quality to BMW's "factory" cases. However, being designed for universal mounting, there are some compromises.

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