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Thread: DIY Topcase Idea

  1. #1
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    DIY Topcase Idea

    I've got this idea for a DIY topcase and I wanted to see if I'm nuts for even considering it.

    The GIVI's look like nothing more than a plastic tote container, so...

    I had this idea of mounting a Rubbermaid Action Packer Storage Box to the back of my R100RS. It is lockable, should be reasonably waterproof, and a lot cheaper than the competition.

    The tough part would be designing a mount to hold it as my existing rear luggage rack is only held on by two bolts into the plastic tail piece. But, my idea is to sandwhich the bottom of the tote between two pieces of steel/aluminum/plywood. The bottom piece would be somehow securely attached to the bike. The top piece would be inside the tote, bolted through the tote to the bottom piece to keep it the tote from flexing. As long as nothing too heavy (the GIVI is only rated at 22#) is in there it should work fine, right?

    I know the rack/mount will be the difficult part, but is it insurmountable? Does anyone currently make a rear rack for the R100RS/RT that is secured to the frame?
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

  2. #2
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    You may find a rack at a reasonable price at Hepco-Becker. They seem to have reasonable prices for racks. My last bike had a topcase I bought from JC Whitney for 59.00. it wasnt too different from the Givi case, and served me well for a long time. Hope this helps. Nothing wrong with fabbing a topcase for your bike. I have used milk crates in the past, not very attractive, but functional.
    Gale Smith
    2009 Versys
    1999 R1100RT

  3. #3
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    I was looking at doing that sort of thing using a Pelican case last year, but I found I could pack all that I needed with out doing so. The crucial item that posed the biggest problem was my laptop computer. Damn electronic age and all the associated gadgets; can't go cross country touring for a month and not have a life support system for them. In the end, I was able to fit the laptop into the right case. The Pelican cases are really tough and are 100% waterproof. They are reasonably priced too for what you get. Cheaper than a GIVI, and waaay cheaper than the BMW top case. Your RubberMaid idea will be even cheaper though. I'm not familiar with the case you are refering to, but I would question its weather resistant qualities as a motorcycle top case. Should be fine as long as you are carefull about what goes in it. Electronics and clothing would be a bad choice without additional moisture protection.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  4. #4
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    You're not the Ed Miller who's famous in Celtic music circles, are you?
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  5. #5
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Sorry, the only musical instument I play is the radio. There's a lot of music in me though, cause none of it's ever got out.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  6. #6
    R1100R "Traveler" DesertRider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MCMXCIV-RS
    I was looking at doing that sort of thing using a Pelican case
    I've mounted Pelican 1300 and 1400 cases as small top cases on several bikes and they worked very well. At first I was concerned that exposure to our extreme summer heat and sun would warp the cases, but that has never happened. Here's a photo of the one on my wife's Yamaha dual-sport:



    If you're going to mount Pelican case much larger than the 1400 I think you'd need to reinforce the bottom to be more rigid, perhaps with a 1/8" aluminum plate or similar. An ActionPacker case (at least the one I have) is much larger and has an even thinner bottom, so would probably need even more reinforcement to keep it from flexing (assuming it's fastened on the bottom).
    DesertRider in sunny Arizona, USA


  7. #7
    MT State of mind
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    Here's another option (leon's bike from the Iron Butt Rally):


  8. #8
    mleir
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    Originally posted by Montana
    Here's another option (leon's bike from the Iron Butt Rally):

    Leon aint right......

  9. #9
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    Well, I dun did it. I'll try and take some pic's of it - I think it came out pretty darn good.

    I was able to FINALLY find a Reynolds rack for my bike (after years of looking) that wasn't outrageously priced, so this was my impetus to go through with the project. I used the Rubbermaid Action Packer 8 gallon (like th one in my original message, only black with a gray lid). It's like Leon's, only smaller.

    I bolted it down to the rack using four 8mm button-head bolts and nyloc nuts, with a piece of steel (20 gauge?) on the inside bottom of the container. I originally was going to use plywood, but I needed something MUCH thinner for my full face helmet to fit (which it does!). Two small keyed alike Master locks hold the lid down for casual theft prevention. The neat thing is that the lid can be opened some if only one side is locked. Most of the time, I just lock one side, with the second lock locked to the first. Then, I don't lose the locks but I don't have to lock and unlock it if I don't have to.

    I haven't tested the waterproofness of it, but I don't see it having problems in typical rainstorms. It stayed dry in a very light rainstorm the other day, but it really hasn't been tested.

    Not including the rack, I spent about $20 total for this: $10 for the box, plus about $5 in bolts, washers, etc and another $5 (?) or so for the locks.
    Last edited by R100RS; 03-26-2004 at 11:19 PM.
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

  10. #10
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Pennytech RAWKS!
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  11. #11
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    DIY top case

    Excuse me, but what does DIY stand for?
    Sorry for the hassle....

  12. #12
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    Do It Yourself.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  13. #13
    Club President
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    The Pelican case topcase idea didn't work and worked for me. I bolted one to the platform used to hold the soft topbag BMW makes for the K12RS.

    What didn't work was the attachment to the bike. The Pelican case was flexible enuf so that when I used only the claw mechanism and not the stock platform, the claws let loose and the case made a break for freedom.

    What did work was that the case and contents were undamaged despite jumping off at just short of the ton. Those cases are TOUGH.

    Now I have another hard topcase on the K12RS using the same attachment mechanism - but this case has a rigid bottom. All seems good so far.

    No, I have no explanation for giving up on the Pelican - bad memories maybe??
    Allen Clarkson
    CitiBeemers, NYC
    K12RS '02 IBM

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