Top Cases: Underrated Awesome

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on my suggestions for things I was thinking about for modifying a new motorcycle. One of them was to add a top case which in my opinion is the best thing you can do to a motorcycle.  I was extremely surprised to hear that some people thought that they weren’t worth it and made the bike ugly.

I park next to this bike all the time and was insanely jealous when he added this case to his bike.

I’m here to respectfully disagree. Well at least on the first part, (that they aren’t worth it) I’m unwilling to argue aesthetics since it’s too subjective.

Of course my first question to anyone who doesn’t think a top case is amazing is “Have you ever had one?” Because I have to say they are life changing. Very similar to getting a Roadcrafter riding suit, a top case makes it easier to ride a motorcycle more often. Since riding a motorcycle is one of the best things you can do in your life this is a “good thing”!

How does it allow you to ride more? So many ways.

A top case allows you to pick up groceries from the store on the way home, or even run errands on your motorcycle. In combination with a decent backpack I’ve been hard pressed to not have enough room for anything but the largest shopping trips.

It also allows me to ride to places and not have to worry about my helmet and suit as much. Both fit in the top case with a little squeezing. This is great since now that I have the Sena attached to my helmet I’m loathe to just leave it locked to my bike for extended periods or in neighborhoods I don’t know well.

Now if you live in any part of the USA that isn’t California you might be forgiven for thinking that saddle bags are just as good or better since they aren’t as “ugly”. However since I do live in the only state in the Union with the intelligence to legalize Lane-sharing, a top-case is infinitely superior since it is no wider than my handlebars and I can still fit through gaps easily.

The Top Case that started it all. This is was the BMW when it tried to kill me. Case survived pretty well considering how banged I was.

Maybe I’m just old, and don’t feel the need to impress people with the aesthetics of my bike.

Although maybe not, one of the criteria of my new motorcycle was so that it wouldn’t look stupid with a top case.


About MotoCynic

I started riding motorcycles in 2006, and there is no going back. I've ridden more than 100,000 miles, most of it on a Ducati Monster, and despite setbacks and murderous BMW's I'm loving every mile.
This entry was posted in Gear, Motocycling, Riding and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Top Cases: Underrated Awesome

  1. I’ll admit I hate the look of top cades. But I love that when we did our 7 week vacation it allowed us so much flexibility with out luggage.

    I’m a recent convert. I doubt I could do without one on any future bikes I own

    Great post.

  2. MotoADVR says:

    There are very few things as convenient as a top case on a bike. They typically wider, have more space, and are generally at eye level versus panniers. They’re still bloody hideous. However I have in fact been doing some homework on what may fit the Scrambler… high pipes makes panniers challenging.

  3. Ry Austin says:

    Ugly-schmugly… Motorcycles are joy machines, and–as you indicated–anything that makes a bike more useful makes it more rideable, increasing the joy it can bring to one’s life. The math is simple.

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