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Top box or soft case?

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by Azeal, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. Hello everyone

    I have a yamaha FZ6S with a ventura rack. I was wondering what acts as a better storage compartment for your luggage? A top box or a soft gear bag. I am trying to find out the pros and cons of both add on storage compartments. As I like to have that comfort of bringing things with me and my girlfriend if we were to stay somewhere overnight.
    Thank you : )

  2. Honda NT700 - top box is great since it locks and holds two helmets and works very well: downside, from some angles it makes the bike look, errr, scooterish which is not so good.
    In short it's functional but lousy aesthetics.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. #3 Greydog, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
    Depends on how secure it needs to be. Top boxes are lockable and generally more weatherproof too. I use both, but I find in the wet that the soft bag gets wet from underneath (tyre spray), despite having a cover

    Edited to add.... The soft bag is more flexible insofar that I can clip or tie stuff to it as it has several D rings on it. I prefer to take it on trips bc I can clip another bag to it. The top box is used on the commuter bike for security.

    Be careful if you adapt your Ventura rack to fit a top box. I did that, and the metal couldn't handle the stresses and broke. The commuter bike that normally has the top box on it has a custom made rack that is a lot stronger..
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Top box:
    - more secure (although remember anything can be broken into or stolen)
    - more of a permanent fitting (not to many people take these off although you can)
    - sturdier and slightly more aerodynamic

    Tail Bag:
    - it's like a bag ( most cases you can expand it a bit)
    - easy to carry (most can be used as a backpack)
    - if it is mounted with a rack, usually racks can be used with or without the bag as well

    Depends what fits your lifestyle better, both a good choice
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Just bought a FZ6s (fantastic choice btw) which came with a Givi topbox. Previously I've always just cargo strapped a backpack to the pillion but it is very handy. Can just fit my helmet and jacket in which is great for commuting to work.
  6. Considering your comment about your gf, the Honda top back is padded so it works as a back rest for my pillion.

    That's an advantage I neglected to mention - it's best to keep the pillion feeling comfortable and the top box does bring that as well.
  7. My top box is an old milk crate strapped to my rack with bungees. Cheep, carries plenty of shopping, and easily removed when I don't want it there. Only draw back is it is not lockable.
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. Wow thank you all for the helpful responses everyone. It seems like the top box will be the more preferred choice. As it will act as back support for my lady and that its more aerodynamic and sturdier. The last question is how many L would suit a 600 for carrying things? I have found a GIVI top box that can hold 37L worth. Is that a good size for a 600? Going on ebay for $215.00 I just need to also to get the specific GIVI fitting set.
  9. Caution! Not every top box is rated for back-support/sissy pad for the pillion, most actually don't! Givis are good top boxes. But I'd get at least a 45L one. You might struggle to fit a helmet into a 37L or if you do there will be not much space left. Also, figure out how the box mounts. I think there is a few ways a Givi box can be mounted.
  10. I bought one of these ten years ago, second-hand, and I've had it on my two bikes. Amazingly, it's still water-proof....
    • Winner Winner x 1
  11. Givi do look like the leading brand in top boxes for motorbikes. 45L sounds a lot like it will be able to fit more with the extra 8L capacity. And it should provide more back rest support. Thanks Stillspeedy. Godspeed
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I don't know whether this thread is too old or not, but maybe consider the Ventura Mistral system. Best of both worlds - semi hard so it holds the shape and holds a whole heap of stuff (bigger than the soft Ventura bags), more waterproof too.

    Only disadvantages: not lockable unless u out a lock on the Zips. And the pillion won't be able to rest on it. I ended getting this one for long term touring since it also has the back straps to convert it to a backpack. Handy when unloading the bike and easy to take everything to your accom if you have to leave the bike a while away :)
  13. That is the best looking one I've seen so far to be honest. Looks like it's meant to be there. Was it difficult to mount on the different bikes?

    Oh yeah....and what brand is it? Cheers,
  14. It's a Ventura, it's called the Sportpack III
    Sportpack III - 10l bag - Ventura
    Ventura have no pricing on their site but I think it's about $90, and, of course, it fits to a standard Ventura rack.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. I recommend a ventura rack and the rjays poptop bag.
    Looks ugly and very unaerodynamic however big enough to fit a small asian family in.

    I'm yet to have anything stolen out of the bag, more chance of the bike getting stolen.*
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. No matter what you end up with, be carefully on how much you load, I've got one of the biggest Givi sets (55lt top box and 2x35lt panniers) and the max recommended all up is only 30kg).

    Most Givi setups have 6 point anchoring (they have extention arms to the rear pillion mounts), whereas the Ventura and other brands use only the grab handle mounts. With some of the expandable soft bags it's very easy to overload the grab handle, with constant bounce the stress can fracture the mount:

    • Like Like x 1
  17. Big Fan of the Givi boxes for all the reasons above. As barry_mckibarry_mcki says, it's a pretty solid system but shouldn't be overloaded and that restriction usually applies not only to the luggage set up but also to the bikes subframe as well.

    There is another upside to the Ventura bags too though. You can mount them on the support bars on the front too so that they sit on the pillion seat. That can improve weight distribution as the bike is designed to carry weight there and also means that you can load it up a bit more as you're loading the seat more than the luggage system. It also allows you to carry two bags one on the pillion seat and one on the rack with the one pack frame.

    The other bags I'm very impressed with are the Kriega tail packs that are very robust and very waterproof. They're also modular and you can fit them together to tailor the storage to your specific needs but being pillion seat mounted they do rather limit your passenger with luggage options.

    [Edit] While I think of it Shad also do good gear and their mounting system is actually rather more elegant and streamlined than Givi's.
    • Dislike Dislike x 1
  18. I left work in a hurry one afternoon and didn't clip the kriega us10 to the pillion seat correctly, needless to say it fell off as I accelerated up a hill from stop (ie did not fall off at speed) and one or two bounces wore through the black outer. I (think) the white waterproof liner is still waterproof but haven't tested it yet. So the kriega isn't as robust as I thought. Still, none of the plastic clips broke and it just looks a little more loved than it used to. Still the best system I've used, as it is completely invisible when you're not using it. I'm a huge fan of that.
  19. I have a SHAD top box and panniers on my bike and I love them - really well built. Just googled SHAD FZ6 and the images look like there is a nice tidy system for it too!