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Thread: Passenger seat as storage closet

  1. #1
    JohnWC
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    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.

  2. #2
    Retired User
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    I don't know how people traveling two-up can also camp. That pile on MY passenger seat is a tent/sleeping bag/mattress/kermit chair. Where else ya gonna put that stuff? No camping - no pile. Plenty of space in the saddlebags. I look like a BMW ad.
    Bill Mayer
    MOA #98888
    R1200RT

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    U-bags, and/or strapping on top of side cases does a great job of providing additional storage space without impacting either rider or passenger. I toured 2-up on my '78 RS for years, nothing more formal than saddlebags as a container.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  4. #4
    2UP RIDER snookers's Avatar
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    Travelling two up and camping can be an ordeal thats for sure, but, with the right planning and gear it can be accomplished. My bride and I use the ultralight backpacking philosiphy. We don't use sleeping bags, we use blankets, we use a small backpackers stove which uses gas containers and we take the minimum amount of clothing with us. Our tent,sleeping pads,change of footwear was packed in dry bags and lashed to the tops of the sidebags. The only drawback I had doing this was the lack of security for your belongings when off the bike.
    However........we have recently in the last few years purchased a Bushtec trailer.....which allow us security and extra creature comforts like pillows and camp chairs ........the added room the trailer provides also lets you pick up incidentals on long road trips.
    If you are travelling solo.....you should be able to fit all your gear in the side bags and the top box if you have one.

    IMG_1242.jpg
    2000 R1100RT
    Niagara BMW Riders #298

    BMWMCO #45

  5. #5
    RD'nNH&AZ rdhudson's Avatar
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    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.
    Ralph
    2002 F650GS, 1998 R1100R 75th anniversary edition, 1983 R80RT (just sold), 1959 R60 (in restoration), Honda CT90
    If you must make a mistake, make a new one each time.

  6. #6
    No longer a member here
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    I am a motorcycle enthusiast, I have been riding since I was twelve and the love for motorcycles had a lot to do with the choice I made for a profession and a "career". I am only saying that to better illustrate the role the motorcycle still plays in my life as a "hobby" and a form of recreation. I could not do this without the involvement of my wife. Fortunately for me, she shares most of that obsession.
    As a result, 98% of my rides are two-up.
    I have observed a strange trend in the motorcycle community of builders and manufacturers showing single seater models. Just about anything that gets raving reviews regarding styling is a solo bike.
    I, of course, have a hard time with that.
    Travelling as a couple, we have to adjust. This is one of several reasons why we do not camp.
    Also, one of the reasons we occasionally trailer bikes to our destination.
    I admit, we had trips where we exceeded the total weight limit of the bike by quite a bit. We had no choice.

  7. #7
    Registered User Olsensan's Avatar
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    Not a bad idea but when you think about the need to leave some padding in the seat, not much room is left over for tools etc.

  8. #8
    Registered User
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    A closet and a back rest

    I always ride one up. My partner rides her own bike. I pack things on the pillion seat because I can and also because it provides a great back rest on the long rides.
    Mary
    2007 R1200RT, gone
    2009 R1200RT

  9. #9
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    3 up

    We travel 3 up. Me, wife and dog, with all our gear on the RT. The very large tent is strapped to the right bag, the sleeping bag on top of the topcase. Everything else fits into the luggage that came with the bike.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Jerry Dockery
    309 N. 3rd. Ave.
    Kure Beach, NC 28449
    1996 R1100RT main bike & 1985 K100RS...too fast to believe.

  10. #10
    Retired User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elgin Mary View Post
    I always ride one up. My partner rides her own bike. I pack things on the pillion seat because I can and also because it provides a great back rest on the long rides.
    I couldn't agree more, Mary.
    Bill Mayer
    MOA #98888
    R1200RT

  11. #11
    Registered User tourer1150's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    XXL-Luggage Rack

    The easiest way to 'modify' the Beemer pillion seat is with the flatbed rack. The product is available for different RT models. Here shown on http://www.bmrproducts.com/proddetai...=005_RTFlatbed
    Bob reviewed this product on his 1200RT http://www.bmwra.org/otl/rcurack/. He went so far using a XXL Golf case on it.

    r12.jpg

    I wanted to replace the top hard case with a bigger dry bag. After endless searches

    http://www.aerostich.com/review/prod...8/category/94/
    http://www.twistedthrottle.com/sw-mo...g-soft-luggage
    http://www.bestrestproducts.com/p-19...cargorest.aspx
    www.cariboucases.com/Rear-Cargo-Plates
    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...r-luggage-rack

    I found a luggage rack on http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=646599 and I'm using it with a GIVI platform on my R1150RT. The pictures show the plate itself and on the bike with a dry bag. The bag is big enough to hold tent, pad, tarp, chair, sleeping bag and other items plus space on the backseat for more. The next longer trip will show it's full function. In the garage it already worked great as a tool work bench : ) https://plus.google.com/photos/10062...14248197278273

  12. #12
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Our closet seat.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  13. #13
    Registered User
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    Back rest

    Here is a picture of my old bike loaded for the trip to the RA Rally in Colorado last year. I use a round bag from Biker's Pal or Biker's Friend, can't remember name, which has a cushion and vented back rest that attaches to the bag with velcro strips. I put the tent and bed pad in that bag and the rest of my stuff in the regular bags. I always have room for the stuff that catches my eye along the way.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Mary
    2007 R1200RT, gone
    2009 R1200RT

  14. #14
    RK Ryder
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    Although I pack light, and have the expanded lids on my R1100RT, it has always surprised me that BMW, the bike for the long distance rider, does not incorporate decent luggage capacities for its clients.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  15. #15
    JohnWC
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    Akron, Ohio
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    Some interesting solutions. Having your spouse ride her own bike pretty much solves the problem. BMWs have plenty of storage space for one person camping, and of course you can always use the passenger seat "closet". The problem comes in when she would rather sit behind you on trips, which often makes sense. Less motorcycles to buy, less storage in garage, less insurance, less maintenance, less gas, etc. But that is a different topic to be debated. Trailers, also, work very well. But the large racks that are shown here, which incidentally, are an education for me, seem like just what I was thinking of. I didn't know they existed. They look like you could carry a lot of bulky, but somewhat light stuff on them, easily lash it down, and not arrive at camp and realize your tent slipped off somewhere along the way. Just what most of us need. Does anyone know if any of them can be fitted with a backrest for the passenger? Like the old Reynolds racks often seen on airheads. That would seem to make them perfect.
    Strapping stuff to the top of the side cases seems workable. The only problem I see is that they are somewhat curved on top, made of very slippery material, and there are no places to tie into. I would love to see BMW mold some hooks or rings into the sides/bottoms of the cases to allow you to easily tie stuff to them. I can't bring myself to drill holes into the cases and put in "eye" bolts.

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