To topcase or not to topcase?

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scootingteacher
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To topcase or not to topcase?

Post by scootingteacher »

I'm new-ish to riding a scooter and kind of hesitant because I've already been in an accident. (Side note - minus a broken wrist and rattled nerves, I'm fine!) I commute, go shopping, etc. on my Buddy 50, but I hate carrying my full-face helmet inside with me. I'm looking for storage options that would hold my helmet. What would you recommend? Will the weight of a big topcase make my scooter ride differently?

Thanks for your help!
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DeeDee
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Post by DeeDee »

I don't think you'll even notice the top case on there. I have one just big enough to hold a full face helmet. I like Givi, Kappa or Shad with the monolock system. Very well built, and you can remove the case with a click of the button. Kappa seems to cost a bit less than the others. I've seen a number of broken rear racks and failed rack mounting points on the scooter itself. Seems to be the weak spot on an otherwise stellar machine.
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Christophers
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Re: To topcase or not to topcase?

Post by Christophers »

scootingteacher wrote:I'm new-ish to riding a scooter and kind of hesitant because I've already been in an accident. (Side note - minus a broken wrist and rattled nerves, I'm fine!) I commute, go shopping, etc. on my Buddy 50, but I hate carrying my full-face helmet inside with me. I'm looking for storage options that would hold my helmet. What would you recommend? Will the weight of a big topcase make my scooter ride differently?

Thanks for your help!
It's always interesting to hear the diversity of experiences with full face helmets fitting in the pet carrier. My original full face helmet (Neex XRIR) fit perfectly in the pet carrier of my Buddy 125 , but my replacement helmet (Shoei RF1200) was a tight fit - even though it was clearly a smaller helmet. Girlfriend's AGV fit totally fine in the pet carrier.

Depending on your area, you might be fine using one of the helmet "hooks" - the two posts/pegs on either side under the front of the seat. Just put the D ring of the buckle over the peg and close the seat.

With a top case your scooter will definitely balance differently. This is more of an issue when maneuvering slowing or moving the bike by hand than it is when riding - but even then the change in balance is noticeable. This is particularly true of a Buddy 50 vs a larger 125/170i.

I personally don't like topcases on my bikes. If you're not stopping several places, you might find that between the two helmet hooks, the pet carrier, the front hook and the flat floor boards, you can carry quite a lot without a topcase and still maintain a low center a gravity. I used to do some major grocery shopping on my Buddy before plastic shopping bags were outlawed here. (The paper bags don't hang so easily from the various hooks.) I could hang 7 fully loaded plastic shopping bags from the attachment points and put bulky items on the floorboards. I'm sure it was kind of goofy-looking, but it was fun, nevertheless (and very convenient!)!
Last edited by Christophers on Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Clydeo
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Top case

Post by Clydeo »

Get one. Don't overload it, and you will never know it's there! Lockable water proof storage is great! But I would get a cheap one at JC Whitney for your first one. They tend to break if you dump your bike. Might as well break a cheap one until you get a bit more experience. They only cost about $50. And really don't overload it: the rack and supports can (and have) been messed up by overloaded top cases.
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FuRociousFuR
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Post by FuRociousFuR »

Way to stay with the scoot even after a spill.

I'd say go for the topcase, then when you put the helmet back
on you have more room for groceries. I've got topcases on both
scoots I have and don't think they ride that different without them.

...
cummingsjc
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Post by cummingsjc »

Top case. Go with a quality brand like Givi's monolock series with their universal mounting plate or a color-matched K-Max top case from your local Genuine dealer. Get one that can easily be removed with the key so you can take inside with you when needed. I always ride with a top case and you never know it's there while riding combined empty weight of the mountain and case couldn't be more than 10 lbs). After you have had it installed for a while, you will wonder how you ever got by without it.
RickyDragon
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Post by RickyDragon »

The buddy scooters have 2 helmet hooks built in under the seat. There are two black plastic tabs near the front when you open the seat. Put the D ring of the helmet over the hook and close the seat.
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Dooglas
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Post by Dooglas »

We have topcases on all 3 of our scooters and find them very useful. If you have some uncertainty, go for one of the removable topcases (monolock or similar). Best of both worlds.
dckick
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Post by dckick »

I hated the way the top case looked on my kick (still do) but it's beyond useful to have extra secured space.
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harmony101017
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Post by harmony101017 »

I keep forgetting to look what model of top case I have but my helmet fits in it perfectly. It's nice not having to carry it. Plus I can fit more groceries in the top case than I can under the seat so that's very handy. I'm a brand new rider and I don't know what it's like without the top case, but with it empty or full my scooter rides the same, I don't think it makes a difference for me with riding.
Argee
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get a lock

Post by Argee »

I have never had a problem with just locking my helmet to my mirror.
Clydeo
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Top case

Post by Clydeo »

I occasionally put my helmet in the top case, but I generally use it to store my sling pack with my IPad and office stuff in it when I pop into a store or something. When camping, it is nice that have lockable storage for things that make gut otherwise "walk off". It is also convenient for when you go shopping for groceries: I put my eggs and bread in there so the won't get squished. BTW, with my top case, soft side cases, and the the bag holders up front, I can easily carry a week or two's worth of groceries on my Buddy.
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k1dude
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Post by k1dude »

Keep in mind a top case will make your rear tire wear faster.
cummingsjc
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Post by cummingsjc »

k1dude wrote:Keep in mind a top case will make your rear tire wear faster.
Because of a bit of extra weight or some other reason? Any extra weight from cargo is going to cause the scooter to work harder and put a bit of additional stress on the rear wheel. However, I would think that the 10 or so extra pounds of weight is so small versus the total weight of the scooter and rider that the effect would be negligible (assuming that anything in the top case would have been carried somewhere else on the bike like under the seat, in a backpack, in side bags, etc.). For me any fractional hit to my MPG or rear tire life because of the top case is dramatically offset by the utility of having lockable storage space. However, everyone has to make there own priority list on what is most important to them.
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k1dude
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Post by k1dude »

cummingsjc wrote:
k1dude wrote:Keep in mind a top case will make your rear tire wear faster.
Because of a bit of extra weight or some other reason? Any extra weight from cargo is going to cause the scooter to work harder and put a bit of additional stress on the rear wheel. However, I would think that the 10 or so extra pounds of weight is so small versus the total weight of the scooter and rider that the effect would be negligible (assuming that anything in the top case would have been carried somewhere else on the bike like under the seat, in a backpack, in side bags, etc.). For me any fractional hit to my MPG or rear tire life because of the top case is dramatically offset by the utility of having lockable storage space. However, everyone has to make there own priority list on what is most important to them.
Due to weight, weight distribution, and aerodynamic forces. People with top cases generally find their rear tire doesn't last as long versus without a top case. The evidence may be mostly anecdotal, but I've even experienced it.
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Dooglas
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Post by Dooglas »

k1dude wrote:Due to weight, weight distribution, and aerodynamic forces. People with top cases generally find their rear tire doesn't last as long versus without a top case. The evidence may be mostly anecdotal, but I've even experienced it.
We have owned many scooters over the years, some with top cases and some without. Our experience has not been that scooters with top cases wear the rear tire noticeably faster. I would accept that an additional load causes more tire wear, but that implies that the weight of the rider is probably the biggest factor of them all.
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