Honda CB500X

Accessories, Mods, Products, and Clothing => Modifications, Accessories, and Appearance => Topic started by: JaneCitizen on November 20, 2018, 01:15:08 AM

Title: Luggage distribution
Post by: JaneCitizen on November 20, 2018, 01:15:08 AM
Hi all,
We're doing a big trip and will need a fair amount of luggage. We've got 60L saddlebags and looking at what our other luggage will be. You see pictures of ADV bikes loaded up on the back with saddlebags, top boxes and big packs and I just look at them and wonder if the weight is too rear-distributed. I'm just looking for any advice on whether you can get away with having a lot of luggage at the rear, or whether it's best to have tank panniers or something similar to put a bit of weight up the front?

I tried searching for similar subjects in the forum but couldn't find anything, so feel free to just attach a link to a discussion topic if it already answers this.

Thanks a lot, any advice is appreciated
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: 303 on November 20, 2018, 02:24:41 AM
What about doing a test load out and go for a spin, see how it feels. Might seem like a lot of work but would give you a good starting point. And iron out any major issues that you would otherwise have to deal with when you're on the road.

When back packing I found it worth loading up how I thought I should distribute it all. Then going for a walk around my local area. Main thing I learnt from that was my pack suspension was poorly set up for me.

Also that I wanted to take less stuff. It's easier to add useful/forgotten items as you go than discard stuff you paid $ for and then realize you don't want to lug or need.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: JaneCitizen on November 20, 2018, 02:29:16 AM
I'll definitely be taking as little stuff as possible.
You're right - ideally I'd set it up then test it out. But I'm looking at whether I need to buy tank panniers or a pack for the rear, and I don't want to buy both and then test them. I was just looking to see whether anyone here has carried a lot of luggage, how they've done it, how well it's worked and any advice they've got.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: ThirtyOne on November 20, 2018, 02:40:25 AM
You can go 2-up on these bikes, so unless you're carrying more than a human's worth of weight you will probably be ok. When testing, make sure to set your sag fully loaded. It'll make a difference.

Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: EscCtrl on November 20, 2018, 01:41:17 PM
I take three with me when I go, me, myself, and I. I carry about 60lbs spread across both side cases and my trunk. I can go a week without needing a laundry mat unless there are nice areas with clean water that I can use to wash clothes and wash up.

Loaded for a four day 1500 mile trip. That hill behind my bike is steeper than it looks. Also more rutted than it looks with loose gravel.
(https://images.weserv.nl/?url=ssl:farm9.staticflickr.com/8055/29171474671_494b0145bd_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: UKJeeper on November 20, 2018, 03:22:50 PM
I did 11,000 miles around the US, earlier this year. I used a Givi tank bag and an SW Motech 700 dry bag. The thing I liked about the Motech bag (apart from the price!) was the design. It has 'legs' that drop below the main body of the bag, that you fill with all the heavier items, keeping the weight lower than a normal duffel style bag. I had a lot in there, as I was on the road for 6 weeks, but never managed to fill it.


(https://images.weserv.nl/?url=ssl:c2.staticflickr.com/2/1777/44047809531_d5e55b9af2_o.jpg)


Australia stockist ($249Aus) https://www.motorradgarage.com.au/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=2383
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Irishrover on November 20, 2018, 03:31:28 PM
Check out Giant Loop, they have loads of storage bags for the CB500X.

Also check out Juan's YT channel.


Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: UKJeeper on November 20, 2018, 03:36:00 PM
*Originally Posted by Irishrover [+]
Check out Giant Loop, they have loads of storage bags for the CB500X.


Giant Loop has nice kit, like Moto Mosco. But... damn, they're . The Great basin and Coyote bags are twice the price of my Motech bag.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on November 20, 2018, 06:47:26 PM
*Originally Posted by JaneCitizen [+]
I'll definitely be taking as little stuff as possible.
You're right - ideally I'd set it up then test it out. But I'm looking at whether I need to buy tank panniers or a pack for the rear, and I don't want to buy both and then test them. I was just looking to see whether anyone here has carried a lot of luggage, how they've done it, how well it's worked and any advice they've got.

Any additional weight affects the handling and stopping distance, regardless of where you load it, so the first thing is to look at your kit and decide what can be left at home. Once you've pared it down to the minimum, if there's a couple of you going, (camping for example) weigh it all then split it between the bikes (assuming you're both on similarly able machines).

As far as loading, keep the weight as far forward and low down as possible...a long pack on the pillion and rack is better than shorter packs crosswise further back. If you're using side cases or panniers put the heaviest items in the bottom, lightest at the top.

Most standard side cases/pannier racks are designed with a pillion passenger in mind, so the cases are generally far enough back to avoid obstructing the passengers legs....all well and good if you tour two-up, but for solo riders, moving the cases forward would be better.

Top boxes are horrible for affecting the handling. Not because they're badly designed but mainly due to people overloading them as it's more convenient to stuff that extra bit of shopping or souvenir tat in the top box, rather than unpacking your cases and stashing it properly.

You will definitely need to increase the rear preload if you're taking lots of gear and a passenger....if solo, anything over 20 kgs would be worth getting the spanners out.

One thing you'll find after a day or two, you'll get into the habit of packing in a particular way; you needn't be overly anal about it, but it makes life easier after a sh*t night's sleep :001:

Yet to do any big tours on the X but based on previous experience I'd travel as light as humanly possible. I draw the line at titanium spoons, drilled to reduce weight and pico stoves that fold up to oblivion (unless, of course, that floats your boat). The $200 or so you spent on a stove you use five times is as many weeks would equate to some nice meals in a restaurant, a few hot showers on posh campsites or some more tat for the topbox :028: 

At the risk of sounding rather cynical, I've a sneaking suspicion half the luggage you see on these full-on adventure bikes is actually cameras, batteries, spare batteries, laptops and chargers, so the owners can take lots of evocative photos of their bikes (fully loaded) and then blog about it...

Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: ThirtyOne on November 20, 2018, 06:48:11 PM
*Originally Posted by UKJeeper [+]
Giant Loop has nice kit, like Moto Mosco. But... damn, they're . The Great basin and Coyote bags are twice the price of my Motech bag.

I had a Great Basin. It works for other people, but I ended up swapping it for two soft panniers and using a duffle bag on the seat. I didn't care for the one large compartment and it wasn't that easy to dive into quickly. I packed my equipment in a way that I usually only accessed 2 of the 3 bags daily, making it super easy to find things.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on November 20, 2018, 07:08:06 PM
(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/wv-64.jpg)

Good for the pillion....
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: gromflake on November 20, 2018, 07:08:57 PM
*Originally Posted by UKJeeper [+]
Giant Loop has nice kit, like Moto Mosco. But... damn, they're . The Great basin and Coyote bags are twice the price of my Motech bag.

Have you seen the bags made by 21 Brothers?  http://www.21brothers.eu/21brothers.eu/ROGAL_XL.html

Mr Motorcycle Adventures thinks they're great.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on November 20, 2018, 07:38:19 PM
*Originally Posted by UKJeeper [+]
I did 11,000 miles around the US, earlier this year. I used a Givi tank bag and an SW Motech 700 dry bag. The thing I liked about the Motech bag (apart from the price!) was the design. It has 'legs' that drop below the main body of the bag, that you fill with all the heavier items, keeping the weight lower than a normal duffel style bag. I had a lot in there, as I was on the road for 6 weeks, but never managed to fill it.

I had a good look at these for the same reason you mentioned, but I'm holding out for some secondhand Kriegas as you can stick them together in much the same way, but you're not stuck with the one large bag, for lesser travels. Good option for the X though....

Also checking the classifieds for Nanuk cases (like Peli but cheaper and better sizes)...

Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: gregjet on November 20, 2018, 11:54:12 PM
Jonathan pretty much covered it.
Weight ideally should be as close to the middle of the bike , both vertically and horizontally to least effect handling. Of course when loaded touring , you don't tend to be knee scrapeing, so a fair bit of leeway is available.
Couple of things though worth considering. Luggage behind you and a little narrower will have a huge effect on reducing your body wind load ( flow stays attached better so less drag). Bulk in front, such as a tank bag will also reduce the wind pressure on your body AND allow the flow from around the windshield to flow smoother with less shedding. Especially if accompanied by rear fairing ( bags etc). Can make a big difference to tiredness at the end of the ride and after and how you feel next. Think of it as a giant fairing for best results. NOTE: I makes getting on and off a bit of a chore, so careful thought is advisable.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Herman on November 21, 2018, 04:15:29 PM
Yup what they said. I like a tank bag even a small one to lean on and have instant items in like the camera. I have a long waterproof holdall on the back seat and rack and tie it so I can lean back on that , there is also a bungie net over it for fast retrieval/storage of waterproofs, etc. If camping then the tent goes in this bag too to keep the weight centralized. I like a top box on my bigger bike but not the x but I have it almost empty, perfect for the camp shopping or bunging the jacket/helmet away when sightseeing.     
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: JaneCitizen on November 23, 2018, 11:57:41 PM
Thanks guys, that's been a big help. Much appreciated
 :037:
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: ThirtyOne on November 24, 2018, 01:41:59 PM
*Originally Posted by JaneCitizen [+]
Thanks guys, that's been a big help. Much appreciated
 :037:

Have you decided which direction you'll go with?
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: slowrider on November 24, 2018, 02:22:55 PM

I use Giant Loop Luggage.   Siskiyou Panniers at the back, Diablo Tank Bag and Pannier Pockets either side of the tank.  So it allows me to put a bit of weight forward to counter the MASIVE amount of stuff I carry with me.

(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/Side-view-CB500x-Pocket-Panniers.png)

(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/CB500x-rear-loaded.png)
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: ThirtyOne on November 24, 2018, 03:48:51 PM
*Originally Posted by slowrider [+]
I use Giant Loop Luggage.   Siskiyou Panniers at the back, Diablo Tank Bag and Pannier Pockets either side of the tank.  So it allows me to put a bit of weight forward to counter the MASIVE amount of stuff I carry with me.

(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/Side-view-CB500x-Pocket-Panniers.png)

(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/CB500x-rear-loaded.png)

You weren't joking. That's a lot of luggage.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: slowrider on November 24, 2018, 04:47:42 PM

Yes,I know:-(

The 2 yellow bags are basically my camping gear.  The rear one is my Lone Rider Tent and the one at the front my sleeping bag, inflatable mat, cot, chair, table and stuff.  If I was to use a compression sack I could get the sleeping bag smaller.    I am also gluten intolerant, so I tend to take a lot of freeze dried gluten free food packs with me.  They basically fill half of one of the panniers.   However, next year I am taking a cooking pan to go on my jet boil so will try out cooking each day, so I can then buy food as I travel.   So I recon I can probably then getaway with just one of the Yellow bags.

Trip in April is London to the Sahara and back and hoping to do some of the old Dakar route.  This will be my 4th trip down to the Sahara.   Ferry to Northern Spain and ride down to get the ferry to Tangier.   Going to take the long way and will spend about 5 days in Spain on the way down and 14 days in Morocco.   
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: slowrider on November 24, 2018, 04:54:32 PM

Ah, and my riding suit Outer Shell is in the front bag as well.   It's a bit bulky.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on November 24, 2018, 05:26:17 PM
*Originally Posted by slowrider [+]
Yes,I know:-(

The 2 yellow bags are basically my camping gear.  The rear one is my Lone Rider Tent and the one at the front my sleeping bag, inflatable mat, cot, chair, table and stuff.  If I was to use a compression sack I could get the sleeping bag smaller.    I am also gluten intolerant, so I tend to take a lot of freeze dried gluten free food packs with me.  They basically fill half of one of the panniers.   However, next year I am taking a cooking pan to go on my jet boil so will try out cooking each day, so I can then buy food as I travel.   So I recon I can probably then getaway with just one of the Yellow bags.

Trip in April is London to the Sahara and back and hoping to do some of the old Dakar route.  This will be my 4th trip down to the Sahara.   Ferry to Northern Spain and ride down to get the ferry to Tangier.   Going to take the long way and will spend about 5 days in Spain on the way down and 14 days in Morocco.   

Sounds like you'll have fun! I'm thinking of Spain next summer/autumn. I don't fancy the schlepp through France so I reckon the Ferry to Santander or Bilbao...I looked at the prices and thought it was pretty expensive, but when I figured out my fuel and camping bill to get from Calais to the Pyrenees last year, it's money well spent.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: slowrider on November 24, 2018, 06:43:24 PM
*Originally Posted by Jonathan [+]
Sounds like you'll have fun! I'm thinking of Spain next summer/autumn. I don't fancy the schlepp through France so I reckon the Ferry to Santander or Bilbao...I looked at the prices and thought it was pretty expensive, but when I figured out my fuel and camping bill to get from Calais to the Pyrenees last year, it's money well spent.

Yes, it is well worthwhile, make sure you get a cabin.   I have seen bikers that have just roughed it out on the chairs and you would not want to ride a distance after that.   

Two tips for ferry travel, 1) make sure your cabin is not over/under the live entertainment area.  The bass beat of the music vibrates through the cabins so not even earplugs stop the annoyance.  2) pack a small overnight bag so you don't have to carry your luggage up and down flights of stairs.  I also have a lock to secure the helmet to the bike.

 I use Nutt Travel who appear to get discounted rates.   They are really good at also dealing with change requests while you are travelling.

Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on November 24, 2018, 07:13:02 PM
*Originally Posted by slowrider [+]
Yes, it is well worthwhile, make sure you get a cabin.   I have seen bikers that have just roughed it out on the chairs and you would not want to ride a distance after that.   

Two tips for ferry travel, 1) make sure your cabin is not over/under the live entertainment area.  The bass beat of the music vibrates through the cabins so not even earplugs stop the annoyance.  2) pack a small overnight bag so you don't have to carry your luggage up and down flights of stairs.  I also have a lock to secure the helmet to the bike.

 I use Nutt Travel who appear to get discounted rates.   They are really good at also dealing with change requests while you are travelling.

Thanks for the recommendation SR...I'll try Nutt travel, see what they can do. Having worked as a musician on ships in a past life, I can wholeheartedly agree with your suggestion to avoid cabins near the ents lounges...a man can only take so many Chris De burgh covers before the urge to jump overboard becomes too strong
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Bat7 on November 24, 2018, 10:51:17 PM
(https://cdn.img.cb500x.com/20180712005842_IMG_0103.jpg)
Here is mine fully loaded for a 6715 mile trip in July. To improve weight distribution, I used the Wolfman tank panniers for small heavier items like tools and water. Light bulky items went on the topbox. Camping gear was in the 80L dry bag. Camera, phone anything small and difficult to replace went on the tank bag which could be easily carried when off the bike. Clothing went in the saddlebags: gear on right side and other clothing in left.I have to admit getting on and off could present challenges due to a spinal fusion and limited range of motion in right hip. Once on the bike and moving there were no problems, including a 650 day and some road construction in Wyoming where the existing road had been scraped away in preparation for paying down fresh pavement.
Mick
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: EscCtrl on November 25, 2018, 03:00:59 PM
Same  '14 CB500X as Bat7 loaded for a four day weekend and 1500 miles.

(https://images.weserv.nl/?url=ssl:farm9.staticflickr.com/8055/29171474671_494b0145bd_c.jpg)
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: BobbyLee666 on December 03, 2018, 12:51:48 AM
Kind of an old thread, but some use tank panniers for extra storage up front:
https://advrider.com/f/threads/tank-panniers.196530/ (https://advrider.com/f/threads/tank-panniers.196530/)
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on December 03, 2018, 04:43:25 PM
*Originally Posted by BobbyLee666 [+]
Kind of an old thread, but some use tank panniers for extra storage up front:
https://advrider.com/f/threads/tank-panniers.196530/ (https://advrider.com/f/threads/tank-panniers.196530/)

I've yet to see this done on the X, apart from some giant loop ones, which looked a bit on the small side. On traditional dual sport bikes, the tanks tend to be relatively tall and narrow (for better leg clearance when standing up) so tank panniers are a good choice for touring.

I'll be using Givi pannier racks on mine, but I think I'll chop and re-weld them to move the weight further forward. the motech Evo racks look pretty sturdy, and they look like they're modular (same mounting frame, different arms for specific bikes) so this may be another option if I can pick up some decent used ones from another bike
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: slowrider on December 03, 2018, 05:04:13 PM

Hi Johnathan, I am keen to follow your progress here.   I am going to be swapping out my RR pannier racks for Givi or similar next year so I am interested in any mods you make.

I will be keeping the Giant Loop panniers for travelling, but I need something secure and lockable for around London.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on December 03, 2018, 05:23:53 PM
*Originally Posted by slowrider [+]
Hi Johnathan, I am keen to follow your progress here.   I am going to be swapping out my RR pannier racks for Givi or similar next year so I am interested in any mods you make.

I will be keeping the Giant Loop panniers for travelling, but I need something secure and lockable for around London.

I'll keep you posted  :028: One of the things I'm looking at is Nanuk cases (like Peli but cheaper).
I've no complaints with the Givi panniers I've used for ages (E35 and similar) but they are quite wide, so take all the fun out of lane splitting. The Nanuks are basically suitcase proportions so flatter (and taller) which should work well on the X. The Givi pannier racks are as good as anything else I've seen on the market, and I have a set on another bike, but they're designed with pillion clearance in  mind. If you ride mainly solo, an inch or two further forward, and an inch or two further inboard is well worth getting the welder out for :001:
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: ThirtyOne on December 03, 2018, 06:37:09 PM
*Originally Posted by Jonathan [+]
I'll keep you posted  :028: One of the things I'm looking at is Nanuk cases (like Peli but cheaper).
I've no complaints with the Givi panniers I've used for ages (E35 and similar) but they are quite wide, so take all the fun out of lane splitting. The Nanuks are basically suitcase proportions so flatter (and taller) which should work well on the X. The Givi pannier racks are as good as anything else I've seen on the market, and I have a set on another bike, but they're designed with pillion clearance in  mind. If you ride mainly solo, an inch or two further forward, and an inch or two further inboard is well worth getting the welder out for :001:

Fan of the Givi stuff as well. Have had a few of their cases and a few of their racks. They seem to have a good handle on what riders want.
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Herman on December 03, 2018, 06:49:06 PM
Another givi fan here. Have a look at Solent plastics range of cases , I have used them on a few projects and they are a helpful company to deal with. https://www.solentplastics.co.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm7H7yKmE3wIVTLXtCh3quwlTEAAYASAAEgKJIvD_BwE
Title: Re: Luggage distribution
Post by: Jonathan on December 03, 2018, 08:23:31 PM
*Originally Posted by Herman [+]
Another givi fan here. Have a look at Solent plastics range of cases , I have used them on a few projects and they are a helpful company to deal with. https://www.solentplastics.co.uk/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIm7H7yKmE3wIVTLXtCh3quwlTEAAYASAAEgKJIvD_BwE

Thanks for the link...not come across these before...