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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and I rented an ST1300 to ride in the Smoky Mountains a few months ago, and it worked just fine. It didn't have a top box, but it handled very well. We rode it down The Dragon with no instability issues, but then again, there's not a lot of straight line riding in the Smokies. Just make sure you adjust the rear shock preload when carrying a passenger and luggage and you should be fine.



Besides, all the ST1300's for sale at my local Honda dealer already have the top box installed, so it must be safe to ride, because a dealer would never sell someone a motorcycle that is innappropriate for their skills and riding style (unless you're a squid with a learner's permit buying a new ZX-10R or ZX-14 for your first bike).
 

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I have a 53 liter Givi box on back of my Kaw Concours. Officially it has something like a twelve pound load limit. It does add some sail effect in stiff crosswinds - and we do have those in Nebraska. But the degradation in handling is minor. I see lots of the other bikes you mention with large top cases and many miles on the odo, so it would seem most people can cope with the extra challenge. And if you are as really frugal you might even consider buying a left over new '06 ZG-1000 Concours for something less than the $8,495 list price. It's a 1985 design, but a good 'un.

 

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Your dealer's talking out his a$$.



I've ridden my Ducati ST4 (much smaller than an FJR or ST) with a passenger, side bags, and a Ventura rack on the back and had no instablility problems.



Remember your braking distances will be longer and the bike doesn't transition side to side as quickly but that would be the case whether you're on a Sport Tourer or a Luxo Barge.



I'd get the Yamaha.
 

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sounds like they really want to sell you a Gold Wing. that's ridiculous i'm pretty sure Yamaha sells a top box for FJR1300 and they are just a little on the cautious side when it comes to Liability.
 

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Agreed. Do you think that when Honda or Yamaha design these things they aren't already thinking that people will add to the carry capacity of the rig? If I were wrong Givi would suffer greatly. Don't see them declaring bankruptcy- do you? Buy what you want.
 

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I added a 100 litre Kwang Yang Motor Co. top box to my 2006 GSX-R1000. My 250lb wife and I regularly tour on it-- cross country and sport tour. I haven't noticed any instiability aside the difficulty I have performing balance point wheelies at more than 125mph when fully loaded with passenger.
 

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You are being misled. Pay attention to the GVWR of the bike, and don't overload the luggage. The handling and braking won't be what it is when you're solo, but you and your passenger and all your luggage will be fine on any of these bikes.
 

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As usual, those sales guys are idiots. I've ridden a Honda CBR600F4i, Kawasaki ZX9R and now a BMW R1150R loaded with 150lb passenger and about 30lbs of gear, and my BMW had side cases and the big Givi 46 liter top case with a combined about 50 lbs of gear. I still run with hte preload and dampening fairly low on all my bikes for a smoother ride, you just have to be smoothe in the turns.



I've even ridden my KLX250S (250cc dual sport) with my fiancee on the back plus a 15lb on the luggage rack. The bike actually feels more stable expecially on dirt roads and the freeway. I can cruise easily at 55 or 60 on hardpacked dirts roads and 40-45 on loose gravel.



I've never ridden a bike that felt unstable. Most o the time a passenger will cause the rear to sag, which makes the steering slower (raises the front). Thsi actually adds stability.



On older goldwings, the concours and old bikes wiht flexible steel cradle frames, more weight can have a "wet noodle effect" and make those bikes less stable in medium and high speed turns.



the only think that is unstable is at speeds under 10mph, when your passenger isn't holding on tight. That is the same on almost any bike.
 

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I have no issues with my Concours and 46 litre Givi with a passenger at any speeds. I made a flying trip at 100+ across South Dakota and it was stable as ever. :)



Honda sells a top box and radio for the ST1300 in Europe/Asia.
 

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Japanese manufacturers have become kinda spooked by American consumers and their habits. They're probably worried about some 5'9" 270 lb guy and his 5'5" 190 lb wife wallowing down the road with the bike loaded like the Beverly Hillbillys.



There was an event few years ago that got a lot of publicity with Japanese manufacturers where Honda had to do a safety recall on seat belt locks that were not fastening securely...



Honda fought it insisting the design was safe until investigation showed the seat belt mechanisms weren't functioning properly because they were being plugged up with food debris from people eating while driving.



The Japanese engineers just couldn't get their minds to grasp what was happening, to them that sort of piggish eating was simply too disgusting to be believable.
 

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I rented an FJR with a full sized Givi topbox in Seattle with well over 50k miles and rode it another 2k while I was in the area and it was perfectly stable. Even when I performed a pass around semi on a deserted highway sweeper in Oregon at ~110 mph.



Subsequently I bought my own FJR and a Yamaha Top Box. The Yamaha box snapped off its carrier with ~3k miles on the bike. I've since replaced it with a Givi topbox and am once again a happy camper.



When I insisted on repayment for the couple month old top box, the Yamaha rep gave me similar BS that they don't recommend using a topbox and side bags simultaneously. What I recommend is buying a Givi.
 

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The dealers were just covering their collective asses -- liability and all with all those tourers how overweight their bikes.



As with any bike, but especially a touring rig, you'll have to experiment a bit to see how you like the feel and handling as you add luggage, but unless you're racing at Assen or riding from the arctic circle to Rio on the backroads, it'll should be fine.



Like building a tall ice cream cone... add luggage options from the bottom up, one scoop at a time. ;-)
 

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I think you got it right, either at excessive speeds or by overloading the bags, you're going to affect handling. For even a semi competent rider it's not gonna be a problem, they'll just adapt. But the manufacturers have to protect themselves from the coffee spilling, I'm gonna sue wacko's that don't have a clue how to ride.



Jodie's BMW F650GS has stickers in the hard side cases not to exceed 80MPH and they were right. get it up to 75-80 and it felt like you were riding on loose gravel with the bike hunting back and forth as the wind hit each big square side case. Problem was obviously aggravated when we expanded the bags. To me it wasn't an issue, because I still ride dirt bikes so you get used to a bike wandering around beneath you, but Jodie's never ridden dirt and she likes to feel planted.



There's something to the bags affecting handling though because I think every new sport touring bike review that I have read mentions NEW streamlined side cases etc. The new Concours14 being the last example.



And don't forget about poor Eric Buell who looped one of his own Ulysses at a press intro because no one told him there was a case of beer in the top box that shifted as he wheelied the Uly. :)
 

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FWIW, the sticker inside the cases on my '90 K75s says max speed with bags is 85 MPH....I've been up around 95-100 with no stability issues. My cases and mounts are undoubtedly different than the f650 but what I'm getting at is that the max speed listed I'm sure is significantly lower than the true maximum.



JQ
 
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