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Old April 25th, 2013   #1
Garry in AZ
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Question Value and usefulness of ST top box?

Hi, I'm looking at several used ST's for sale in the Phoenix area. The bike I buy will be set up pretty much exclusively for IBA type rides and multi-day rallying. It will be for a single rider, with the usual LD farkles like a fuel cell, hydration system, multiple GPS units, lights, etc.

A couple of the bikes I'm considering have the optional top box, and their asking prices seem to reflect it. My question to those of you who use one, how do you like it? Is it common or possible to mount a fuel cell under the top box? I'm concerned about raising the CG too much. Is the pillion space more suitable for a fuel cell?

Thanks in advance!

Garry
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Old April 25th, 2013   #2
PeterMoorhouse
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I like my top box - because it's a bit easier to just toss stuff into, I tend to use it for my laptop backpack when I'm commuting, and for extra clothes, etc. It also functions as a backrest, and since I ride with a passenger often, I would need to buy a backrest if it wasn't there.

I've had it pretty close to capacity weight and I didn't find it affected the center of gravity.

All that said, if I was mainly riding solo, and needed the space for something else (like a fuel cell) I could live without. The side bags have a ton of capacity (especially if you don't need to put a helmet in there).
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Old April 25th, 2013   #3
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

Hi Garry,

I use my Hondaline Trunk all the time. It is very useful for rallies. I like to keep my extra gloves, balaclavas, laptop/netbook, plus other things in there.

I use my saddle bags for my clothes, tools, tire repair kit, first aid kit, and for spare parts I like to carry.

Most every ST1300 rally rider puts their Aux Fuel tank up over the passenger seat on a custom rack and taps a line into the lower stock tank.

The only person that I know of who had a "Tail-dragger" aux tank made for the ST1300 is Alan Barbic. However, it was a one-off tank and it was pretty expensive. I do not believe he still has that bike, though.

The person who made my last ST1300 Aux Tank is Roy Fletcher. His number is 206-409-6048.

For my hydration system, I bought some TSR water bladders with drink tubes and bite values and put the bladders inside a couple of passenger panniers from Rider Wearhouse. These then sit on the passenger footpegs and strap up under my seat. I then route the drink tubes (insulated with neoprene tubes) up to my tankbag and clipped there with a couple retractable lanyards.

The TSR water bladders are pretty robust and have a large mouth opening which allows you to put lots of ice in the bladders. The TSR bladders will hold 2 liters each and I use two of them (one on either side) but, I only fill them about halfway.

I hope these ideas help you out.

Here's a couple of pictures of my bike full laden for a rally.
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File Type: jpg Sideviewrallyready.jpg (81.4 KB, 248 views)
File Type: jpg Ontheroad.jpg (41.3 KB, 247 views)
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Old April 25th, 2013   #4
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

Mounting the fuel cell under the top box would require a fairly elaborate mount as the top box mount is effect mounted to plastic and I would be concerned as to the weight. The top box itself will affect handling if run at or near it's load capacity. Mounting 4.5 gallons on fuel and then the box on top of that would certainly be felt.
I think I would stick to the rear seat mounting for the fuel with some consideration as to a design that allows the lid of the top box to fully open.
Water on the passenger pegs.
Dash shelf for GPS, goodies, etc.

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Old April 25th, 2013   #5
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

I commute pretty much daily and would be lost without my topbox. And as others have said, you don't want to get too much more weight up there.

Just for a used topbox, it can run you $500. That's why the prices will reflect it!
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Old April 25th, 2013   #6
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

I do not have the hondaline, I have the givi, but I consider it essential. Note you cannot load it up, you must use it for light stuff only.

I have a fuel cell on my passenger seat, I concur with Paul, fuel in a location further back might be problematic.
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Old April 26th, 2013   #7
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

But... wouldnt a pillion do the same thing ie high weight far back?
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Old April 26th, 2013   #8
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

Quote:
Originally Posted by echo View Post
But... wouldnt a pillion do the same thing ie high weight far back?
No. Totally different.

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Old April 26th, 2013   #9
Garry in AZ
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

Thanks to everyone for your wisdom and insight. You have confirmed two points that I have been suspecting, first the top box is worth paying a little more for, and that the best place for more fuel is in the pillion position. And thanks Joe for the advice on the hydration setup. I have used the setup you mentioned before on one of my other bikes.

I'm sure I'll have quite a few more questions as I decide on the bike and begin the farkeling process. I'll try not to make them stupid questions, but no promises!

Thanks again, everyone!

Garry
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Old April 26th, 2013   #10
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Default Re: Value and usefulness of ST top box?

Just go easy on the purple ink.
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