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I just purchased my new R1200R on Sunday and rode it back from Scottsdale AZ to Alamogordo NM. Awesome ride no issues except my fuel guage did not register any fuel. So my ride is going into shop for warranty work already. Does anyone have any suggestions on saddle bags or top cases?
 

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Sorry to hear about the fuel strip issue. Lots of those have occurred.
The big advantage to the BMW OEM saddle bags and top case is that one key fits the ignition and all the bags on your motorcycle. Bags/Top case fit & finish and mounts are excellent. The big dis-advantage is that they are also expensive.
If you ride a lot on curvy roads and prefer carving canyons, the weight is lower down with the saddle bags. The top case raises the center of gravity up higher. If you're solely concerned about handling, the lower center of gravity is better.
Therefore, a HEAVILY loaded top case will negatively affect handling. An empty top case should have hardly any effect at all. I weighed my 32L pannier cases; they're about 12 pounds each, although the left one with the stainless steel exhaust heat shield is a few ounces heavier. The empty 28L top case alone is lighter, (unverified post 10 pounds?) but this is NOT taking into account the extra mounting hardware. Taking all this off the bike just to weigh it would be a PITA.
Little help please from you guys with a top case, scales, and wrenches, and absolutely nothing to do.
A top case can induce a high speed wobble, particularly if riding fast solo. I witnessed this recently. Passenger's body filling the gap reduces the tendancy, I am told. If you drive <55, you need not worry. It's a high speed issue.
It is easier to filter traffic with only the top case attached, as the pannier cases stick out on the sides. BMW designed the sidecases to be only slightly less width than the bar ends, levers and mirror tips. Look at fleuger99 New VStream Z2443 Installed Yesterday post. It's very close on both sides, but it WILL clear. http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781223 Rider skill, confidence, and fear of lawsuits/citations will vary.
If you are lane sharing/lane splitting so slowly that your bike is weaving and teeter-toddling, the side cases can hit the vehicle beside you. I speak from experience. When you're moving fast enough to travel in a straight line, if the bar ends clear, you're generally OK. As traffic jams flow, then suddenly stop, the transition here is awkard and unpredictable. When leaned over, I have skuffed the TOP of my pannier case, not the side, on lane divider posts in a curve, so this should be considered. IMO Panniers alone look OK. Panniers with top case looks complete. Top case only without panniers is practical, but ugly ! Fugly? http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=363361
Panniers will help keep the bike off your legs, and your passenger's legs, in a tip over. In effect, rear crash bars. Reduce damage to expensive final drive housing and turn signals. Could be easier to get away from the bike in event of a slide/crash.
The 28Ltop case requires the large rear luggage mounts, luggage rack, luggage grid, and a different plastic trim piece. http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=0490&mospid=53242&btnr=77_0152&hg=77&fg=42
Optional scuff guard and passenger back rest cushion are offered. All add cost and weight. To it's credit, it fits a lot of gear or a full-sized helmet. It's easy to access. Lane splitting feels easier and is less stressful. Passenger feels more comfortable with the backrest. A additional $180 BMW 50L softbag or waterproof 45L Ortlieb bag is less likely to be lost off the back. Reflector strips and LEDs can be mounted higher. It's always nice to have another LOCKING waterproof case when camping, or leaving the bike on foot. Downside? $800 total cost? Top case may block your rear escape off the bike if/when you crash/slide. Top case can't protect your legs, or final drive housing in a tip over.
Finally, although NOT TESTED, if the low fuel warning light is ON, both tires fully inflated, and panniers and top case are all 3 attached and locked, the motorcycle should sink more slowly when driven off a bridge into the bay.
Verification volunteers requested.
GIVI and other case makers have unique features like built-in reflectors, aluminum construction, a light inside the top case which comes on/goes off automatically, and various sizes. Do you want a mirror inside the lid? More running lights for safety? Surely there is a case system to suit your riding style and budget.
 

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I would definately recommend the oem side panniers over the oem top case. The top case is expensive for the room you get and there is a good amount of space in the sides. About a stuffed back pack and I have fit my helmet in there. I like only having one key and like how easy they are too manipulate. I rode 3 days out of a backpack last season so really it all depends on how much stuff you want to take with you.
 

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Welcome JC

I just purchased my new R1200R on Sunday and rode it back from Scottsdale AZ to Alamogordo NM. Awesome ride no issues except my fuel guage did not register any fuel. So my ride is going into shop for warranty work already. Does anyone have any suggestions on saddle bags or top cases?
Welcome JC

I too traded my airhead in for a new 12 R12 R (classic) in May
I have 4000 mi on my new R. On the way home from the MOA rally in MO I ran the gas tank down to 4.6 gallons to fill the 4.8 gal tank. The sensors in the tank got a little goofy and the miles-to-empty was wacky for a few days then straightened up. Give your bike a few more tanks to settle down.

For my luggage I got some SW Motech mounts with the Givi mounting kit for the Givi bags I already had on hand. The Motech mounts come off leaving only some mounting tabs. Gives the look of a stock bike again which is alright with me. I prefer just a soft pack as my top case.

Mainjet in Colo
 

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Welcome Jcarhead,
Check this thread: http://www.r1200rforum.com/forum/bmw-r1200r-general-discussions-7/fuel-gauge-issue-2011-bike-352/

I'm worry mine is going to fail at any point, it makes me angry that many many people has have the same problem and BMW does not have a fix and recall.

As far as saddlebags, I'll recommend the original ones, they look good, no ugly mounts if you have them off the bike, one key for the bike and both cases, they fit a full face helmet (without Bluetooth), really easy to take off and put on, they actually work as the actual luggage since you can bring them with you to your hotel room (tested), tent, home, etc.
Here is a picture the day I got mine installed.


And one of a trip I took to the North Fork, Used them as luggage and brought them with me in to the hotel's room.


And one at a vineyard, don't worry I didn't taste, trusted my wife and got few bottles on those cases plus the clothes, rode home and enjoyed. :D

 

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Welcome Jcarhead,
Check this thread: http://www.r1200rforum.com/forum/bmw-r1200r-general-discussions-7/fuel-gauge-issue-2011-bike-352/

I'm worry mine is going to fail at any point, it makes me angry that many many people has have the same problem and BMW does not have a fix and recall.

As far as saddlebags, I'll recommend the original ones, they look good, no ugly mounts if you have them off the bike, one key for the bike and both cases, they fit a full face helmet (without Bluetooth), really easy to take off and put on, they actually work as the actual luggage since you can bring them with you to your hotel room (tested), tent, home, etc.
Here is a picture the day I got mine installed.


And one of a trip I took to the North Fork, Used them as luggage and brought them with me in to the hotel's room.


And one at a vineyard, don't worry I didn't taste, trusted my wife and got few bottles on those cases plus the clothes, rode home and enjoyed. :D


Very stylish!:) Do you have to take them off if you have a passenger?

How much did the cost? Do you have the part#'s of everything you needed to install them?
 

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Congrats on the new bike. I purchased mine in March and I've got 5860 miles on mine. Each mile that passes the bike becomes more and more enjoyable.

A friend and I got back two weeks ago from a 2200 miles trip to Toronto Canada and up through various parts of Ontario over a 6 day trip. Bike was flawless. I have the OEM side cases and highly recommend them for all the reason's people have claimed above. They also hold a ton. I have a gym bag in one of mine carrying my work clothes when I commute to work. Coming home wife asked me to stop and get dog food. I was able to fit into the side case (in addition to gym bag with work clothes) an 11lb bag of kibble.

I've not had any issues with my fuel gauge but I don't rely on it. I know my bike comfortably gets 185 miles on a tank so each fill up I reset my trip odometer and that is safer than a gauge.

Enjoy the bike and happy riding.

Here are a few pics from the trip.

Breakfast Time


Waiting For The Ferry At Tobermory
 

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Very stylish!:) Do you have to take them off if you have a passenger?

How much did the cost? Do you have the part#'s of everything you needed to install them?
You can keep them with a passenger, that wine tasting was done few hours from home, my wife came along on her first ride with the bags on, and her only complain was that it was harder to get on and off the bike, once seating she didn't even noticed them.

Go to BMW Motorrad USA
Click on Gear & Parts, the click on catalog under motorcycle accessories, then go to page 57

Capacity is 32 litters or 1.13 Cubic Feet per case
Part number: Left- 71 60 7 720 287. Left- (2011+) 77 41 7 727 089
Part number: Right- 71 60 7 720 288


I don't really remember the exact price but considering the great quality, the fact that they have to make the locks match your ignition key, capacity, and the perfect fit, it was worth it big time.
 

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welcome new member! just finished a 3500 mi. run from anacortes down to grass valley ca. then west on hwy.50 nevada then north through idaho, part of montana then west hwy.12 lolo pass back to n.w. wa. stock side cases on my 2010 R1200R , tank. 14 liter cortech tank bag, (perfect fit). also a soft case SF rear seat bag built in bungee cords, attach forward on frame, rear fender for aft mount. great setup for long distance runs.

hairball
 

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I have both the top case and the oem panniers. The panniers hold way more than I need except if I'm going touring for a few weeks or doing some heavy duty shopping. They are lower down than the top case center of gravity wise; but weigh so so much that the benefit of lower c of g than the top case is cancelled out IMHO. I commute every day and love the convenience of the top case. It holds enough; only 4 liters less than a pannier. I rarely need more; and if I do, I take a backpack- sometimes, I carry it in my top case, just in case. Generally, my top case is loaded with a rain suit- extra pair of gloves, tp gauge, hairbrush, visor cleaner and cloth, cables for charging scala rider and iPhone, extra ear plugs. I still have room for a laptop or ipad, a file or two and more. All this said, the most significant factor for me in the top case side bags debate is that it's much easier to white line in stop and go or stopped dead NYC commuter traffic with the top case
 

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Classic Paint Scheme



Very nice, but I'm too short. If those were my Classic pannier cases, they would have black boot skuff marks all over the white stripes. Down the back of the cases, or on the inside half of the case would be safe from getting skuffed. The top case looks great, too. Really nice custom idea.
 

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the most significant factor for me in the top case side bags debate is that it's much easier to white line in stop and go or stopped dead NYC commuter traffic with the top case
Completely agree with that ^ it makes a huge difference, I bring the side cases only for long trips or going grocery shopping, all the rain gear, cables for iphone, scala, waterproof gloves and neck warmer I keep on the tail bag.

 
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