Passenger seat as storage closet
Anyone else out there notice that in the vast majority of photos in the Owner's News of loaded touring bikes, the passenger seat is being used as a storage closet? A large pile of bags is strapped on, often right up to the riders back. Probably not something BWM would condone. No room for a passenger, either. I was told once that the secret to traveling two up is to pare down your stuff. It would appear then, that most BMW travelers must be going by themselves, and not leaving any creature comfort behind. Maybe BMW should skip the passenger seat, and offer a large box instead. Things wouldn't fall off, it would be easier to pack. For "touring motorcycles", storage space seems to be way too scarce for touring. And not only BMWs. I looked in the side cases of a $36,000 Harley the other day and they looked smaller than my RT. I think you can actually carry more gear on a touring bicycle than on most stock motorcycles meant for touring. BMWs have fifty to one- hundred-and-fifty hp available, more than enough to haul plenty of weight. Doesn't it seem that someone, somewhere, could come up with a good system of hauling all that gear that is safer, and more efficient than the current, "passenger seat closet" method that is so popular? Of course maybe they already have. I believe it's called a $2500 trailer.
No need for all that on the seat.
I have recently accomplished the impossible. All my camping gear, clothes and food fit inside the system cases! No top case! Even a chair, sleeping pad and extra tarp to cover the bike at night (hate to sit on the dew). It can be done for $250 in good compact gear. I'd be good for a week and then laundry and resupply.
That being said it works for one person's camping. For two up it would require a top case and a pillion rider who can get along with the few clothes I would take. I posted my efforts elsewhere and my gear choices too. It is crazy to take the amount of stuff I often see lashed to some bikes. Are we camping or bringing the living room and bedroom with us? I do always use a small tank bag for rain suit and other weather gear and would love a replacement for the rear seat on my R1100R that would be no taller than the current seat and enclose a bit of secure storage, like a Corbin smuggler. No such seat replacement seems to exist. BTW the system case has a max. length for inside storage of 18 inches. Chair and tent poles to fit are available!
Camp light, travel lots.