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Discussion Starter #1
So, my first luggage purchase was a top box. I consider it a "must have" piece of equipment. I got the biggest one I could at the time, the Givi Trekker 52.

For my trip to Florida last fall, I got a pair of Givi XS302 Saddle Bags for only $125. Great purchase. Very impressed with the quality.

I just purchased (has not yet shipped) a Givi XS318 tunnel bag, which was $125 - the same price as the saddle bags!

I feel kinda dumb paying so much for one bag when I paid the same for both saddle bags. So that is the cause for this thread.

The first question is - assuming you already have a top box that you want, and you were only going to buy EITHER saddle bags OR a tunnel bag, which would you pick, and why?

The second question is - assuming you want to go on a good sized camping trip (in my case, over 4000 miles), and you didn't want to haul a trailer (or maybe you do, but you can't afford one), is the extra cost of having BOTH a tunnel bag and saddle bags worth the extra storage?

I've made a 15,000 mile trip, with top box and SMALL saddle bags, so I know it is possible to go without a tunnel bag. But even though I camped on that trip, I didn't try bringing camp cook stuff with me, which I intend to do this time around.....hence the purchase of the tunnel bag.
 

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Saddlebags, no hesitation for me.

I have Nelson-rigg touring bags for each of my 650's.

Why:
1) Just as easily fitted/removed as a tunnel bag, so only use them when needed.
2) Greater carrying capacity than a tunnel bag (32ltrs each IIRC)
3) Doesn't interfere with step-through capabilities (even though I normally throw a leg over, if I've got water-proofs on I'll use it)
4) I need occasional access to glove-box (sound system in there, and may want to change the USB stick to different during a long trip), not sure if tunnel bag would affect that.

On the down side:
1) Makes the back end wider. (but since lane-splitting not allowed in most States, this doesn't affect the ride too much.)
2) Have to move one of the bags to refuel. That's a pain, no two-ways about it. If I was going to do a really long trip using the bags, I'd probably rig up a remote fuel access that didn't need the bags removed.

Second question, that's entirely personal..... for me, I'd have the top-box, underseat, saddle-bags, and a bag on the rear seat, before I go for a tunnel bag. But that's just my own choice.If I needed even more storage, I'd consider a tunnel bag too.
But Since I already have saddle-bags, and touring bags for the seat, with water-proof covers for all, I think I have enough storage for my needs.

There's a lot of good luggage available out there. Take your time, do the research, and get what works for you.

Most of all, enjoy the trip.
 

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>>Doesn't interfere with step-through capabilities<<

The last thing I want to do with a scooter is "throw a leg over".
 

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>>Doesn't interfere with step-through capabilities<<

The last thing I want to do with a scooter is "throw a leg over".
(Sticks tongue in cheek, now ready to respond)

It's habit really.........not wanting to switch techniques between rides.

I found that if I adopted the leg-over method, it worked for both the scooters, and the sport-tourer.
When I tried the the step-thru method, the sport-tourer just got kicked over.
So I went for the more successful.

Personally, the last thing I'd want to with a scooter is come off it at speed. But each to their own.
 

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I use both however, my "tunnel bag" is a modified, double-zipper camera bag that just stays in place with a strip of Velcro. It is small enough to allow me to get the glove box open without removing the bag. But, the bag, which I keep my rain gear in, is convenient enough to remove (grab and go) that it essentially goes indoors with me anytime there is a chance of rain.

Oh...as a bonus, I divide the bag into two sections using the moveable, Velcro-attached dividers that come with most camera bags. Using the larger section to store the rain gear I partially close the top, tucking in the part not zipped and, use the remaining open section as a cup holder. Sorry, I can't include a picture at the moment.
 

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I use both however, my "tunnel bag" is a modified, double-zipper camera bag that just stays in place with a strip of Velcro. It is small enough to allow me to get the glove box open without removing the bag. But, the bag, which I keep my rain gear in, is convenient enough to remove (grab and go) that it essentially goes indoors with me anytime there is a chance of rain.

Oh...as a bonus, I divide the bag into two sections using the moveable, Velcro-attached dividers that come with most camera bags. Using the larger section to store the rain gear I partially close the top, tucking in the part not zipped and, use the remaining open section as a cup holder. Sorry, I can't include a picture at the moment.
Well, I just found my prior link about the bag so, you can see more clearly what I am talking about. Note that I have removed the straps I had been using to snap the bag to the bike and use the Velcro only which, is much easier to deal with and holds the bag in place adequately. I use it on both my 400 and 650. However, as a bare bones answer to your question, if given the choice, I would go with side bags d/t the additional storage. I don't need them often but when I do, it would take a helluva tunnel bag to equal the capacity!
 

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I have a tunnel bag .....but it usually sits on the pax seat rather than the tunnel.
I would put another on the tunnel before I put saddle bags on - better for drag, mpg and balance (front/rear).....and filtering :)
On some scooters anything on the tunnel does obscure the petrol filler. So it depends if you find that annoying.

I rarely have to use it but that is the benefit of a B400 burger over a Tmax the storage is massive
 

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On some scooters anything on the tunnel does obscure the petrol filler. So it depends if you find that annoying.
Likewise, on the B650 the left sidecase blocks the fuel filler and at every fuel stop you have to take the case off before you can get the door open. Some might also find that annoying.
 

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I'd go with the saddle bags if I could pick just one. I have both, but I do not have a top box. I keep "need to get at" things such as rain gear in my tunnel bag.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Interesting mix of replies - thanks to all :)

On "stepping over" - I guess I will find out, but my suspicion is that for big road trips (which would be the only time I would use the tunnel bag), I can deal with it.

On glove box access - my TMAX doesn't have a glove box there, so that's not an issue for me.

I think the primary use of the tunnel bag will be for some food & drinks and maybe stuff that I want real quick access to. I may very well find that I don't need it AT ALL.

  • My underseat storage is generally reserved for stuff I hope I don't need. That includes a spare battery, jumper cables, tools, spare ammo, etc. I will probably put hiking books in there, spare jeans, a sweater, and maybe a few other things.
  • My 52L top case holds quite a bit, and with the rack on top of it, it holds even more. I put electronics and valuable stuff in the top case - plus clothes (and in the past, my food, water, snacks). I put spare fuel on top of it.
  • My saddle bags expand to up to 35L each. I've used them for rain gear, clothes, etc. Not valuable stuff really.
  • My "passenger area" has a 80L waterproof duffle. I can stuff my tent, sleeping bag, clothes and pretty much a lot of other stuff in there.
In general, so far, I've not really suffered for lack of storage (and I've carried two tires before!). I just thought I would try out the tunnel bag and see if that provides any convenience of some kind for me. But, like I said, I've not tried carrying camp cooking gear and a cooler of some kind - so that may require some storage adjustments - we'll see how it goes.

Saddlebags, no hesitation for me.
2) Have to move one of the bags to refuel. That's a pain, no two-ways about it. If I was going to do a really long trip using the bags, I'd probably rig up a remote fuel access that didn't need the bags removed.
Oh man, that would get old real fast. Personally, I'd find that unacceptable. I will stash that note away when looking at future scooter purchases. Thanks!

Second question, that's entirely personal..... for me, I'd have the top-box, underseat, saddle-bags, and a bag on the rear seat, before I go for a tunnel bag.
As would I....which is why the tunnel bag is the last luggage bag purchased. I already have those other ones.

But Since I already have saddle-bags, and touring bags for the seat, with water-proof covers for all, I think I have enough storage for my needs.
I've made road trips without a tunnel bag. But I've also never tried to carry camping cook gear either. So, I figured I might want the extra space.

On some scooters anything on the tunnel does obscure the petrol filler. So it depends if you find that annoying.
Yeah, this is a risk. I'm interested to see how this bag I have coming today mates up with the bike. If it interferes with fueling, I will send it back.

I rarely have to use it but that is the benefit of a B400 burger over a Tmax the storage is massive
I think it is about a 20L difference under the seat (one site said it is 2/3rds the size). That's not HUGE difference. Yeah, it would be nice to have that extra storage under there, sure. But I don't :)

Likewise, on the B650 the left sidecase blocks the fuel filler and at every fuel stop you have to take the case off before you can get the door open. Some might also find that annoying.
I would find it completely unacceptable :)
 

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I need the step-thru ease of the scooter, so I would never buy the tunnel bag. However, not to make a case for the tunnel bag, but.... if you are going on a long trip and will have throw over saddle bags, fueling up will be doubly painful if you have items strapped to the rear seat top. This is never an easy choice no matter what the reasoning. Of course, the obvious choice is to get a trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
if you are going on a long trip and will have throw over saddle bags, fueling up will be doubly painful if you have items strapped to the rear seat top.
Not sure I am following you there. Not all bikes have the fuel fill-up on the side or under the seat (neither of mine do). Having saddle bags is not an issue there.

Of course, the obvious choice is to get a trailer.
Now you know I love your trailer. But it is apples and oranges, due to the expense involved. If money were no object, I would get the best motorcycle hitch and trailer possible. As it is, I don't think I'm going to get much of that solution for the cost of a $125 tunnel bag :)
 

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Not sure I am following you there. Not all bikes have the fuel fill-up on the side or under the seat (neither of mine do). Having saddle bags is not an issue there.
It's a Burgman site, so it's easy to forget that not everyone has a Burgman.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well, the tunnel bag is here. Givi XS318. Super short mini review (first impressions):

  • Standard high-quality that one expects from Givi. Materials and quality are nice.
  • The "window" on top of the bag just barely fits my iPhone 5 inside its Lifeproof Nuud case. No WAY will it hold anything bigger, like my future iPhone 6 Plus (or 7, or whatever). I would not use it for GPS functionality though, due to the "eyes off the road" issue
  • A device in the "window compartment" could be powered via a cord to a battery inside the main bag compartment
  • I verified I can operate my iPhone through the plastic window
  • A small portion of the inside volume of the bag is taken up by the rain cover, which is accessed via an external zipped pouch
  • The exterior side-zippered pockets are decently roomy and I can see them having utility to hold toll road money, a small gun, or other such things. You MIGHT be able to put (up to) a one liter bottle of water in there, and leave it unzipped, and use that as a cup-holder of sorts. It will fit - a tall bottle might be unstable (top heavy), but a shorter one would very likely be OK
  • I'm pretty sure I can fit some kind of buckles to my TMAX, to secure the bag
  • I notice the "throw the leg over" issue more than I thought I might - but I think it is probably manageable for touring
  • If I had the bag completely stuffed, I may not be able to access the little "storage cubbies" in my dash, and possibly it would interfere with the fuel opening. However, if it is not completely stuffed, I can "smoosh" the bag enough out of the way to access any of these
  • Overall, I could go either way with the bag. My gut feeling is that at $125, it's an extravagance and probably not necessary if you already have saddle bags and top box. I don't want to pay to return it though, and I will probably get some use out of it. I will know more once I get back from my fall trip :)
 

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I have a Givi topbox for my Burg but I also have a Givi tailbag that I can strap to the rear of the seat if I need extra luggage room (which I usually don't).

I live in California so I don't want the extra width of saddlebags which would affect my ability to split lanes.

But because my physical limitations make it very difficult to throw my I do not use a tunnel bag.

Instead, I use a SafePac bag that hangs down from the handle bars and leaves enough room for me to step through to get on my bike. The bag unclips from the bars but I can also lock it in place with a small padlock. The bag is difficult to cut because of the stainless steel mesh inside of the fabric. The bag was several compartments so I can carry a water bottle, my Fastrak transponder for bridges, gate remote and a lot of other stuff in it.
 

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I don't know if it helps and you probably already thought of it -

When i had a Honda I used the seat fittings to secure one end of my tunnel bag and at the other end, the "curry hook" as we call it over here (fold out hook at knee height for "take-out" or shopping bags"

That meant no drilling or straps to anchor.


I also cut up those non-slip mats to put underneath, helps things stay put but also stops grit getting ground around on paintwork; the foam mesh stuff with a slightly tacky feel.


The only drawback is that if you fill up the step through with a bag - there is a danger of looking like motor bike :-(
:razz:
 

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For touring, I usually fill my topcase, and have a bag strapped on the rack on top of it. I bought a used set of Nelson Rigg expandable saddlebags($50) that I can use on both my Burgman or Majesty.It's not a big deal to lift the bag to get to the fuel filler on the Burger, even if I have something strapped on the pillon.I use a one of those insulated soft beverage cooler(w/zipper top)for a tunnel bag. The strap fits over the handle bars and then adjusts to tighten up. I use that for some wter and small items. It rides in place well and swings out of the way when getting on and off.It's not big enough to present a problem when I use it on the Majesty to access the fuel door, which is on the tunnel.
 
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