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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been looking at luggage setups lately and I'm leaning towards a rather niche solution for a part of it. So once again this may not be of interest to many of you but it just might be of use to somebody who happens to be in a similar spot sometime. Writing this post was a great distraction from my desk job this afternoon - hopefully it's more than just a long ramble.

We all have different luggage needs so it'll help to outline my own angle here for the sake of clarity. What I was looking for is a solution for some storage space on the KVS for everyday riding essentials such as rain gear, a bike cover, security locks, small emergency kits, bungies and straps, space for gloves etc. Around 10 litres should be plenty. It would have to be pretty secure, ideally something I'd feel okay leaving on the bike day and night (more on this later). The thing is though, I'd prefer not to use tank bags, tail bags, top cases or ordinary panniers for this purpose when I'm not packing a lot of stuff on the bike, both because (1) I'd want to keep the rear fender clear for loading a backpack/duffle, and (2) in my opinion the usual options tend to mess with the lines on a pretty bike like the KVS.

In light of all that, my conclusion was that I'd need a small hard side case. Or maybe two. You could probably get away with a single load of a few kilos but I'd like to carry some heavy duty locks including a quality d-lock and a heavy chain (the latter weighing over 5kg). This would mean a single load on one side of around 10kg all in, which I don't suppose would be safe to ride with at all. So it depends what you're packing. But the following applies either way.

Now unless you can find a suitable mounting point on the frame (crash bars might work) you'd probably have to mount the case(s) to a side rack. SW Motech's Sysbag 10 fits onto the SLC rack and ticks most of my boxes (if I were to go with a single-case setup at least). However, I'd want the option of occasionally using full-size panniers as well which means I'd probably go with Shad's system instead (larger capacity, more secure and less pricey). Shad doesn't currently make any small cases so what I came up with is something you can use with any side rack (not a novel idea btw). Basically, take a small utility case (e.g. Pelican case), drill a few holes and bolt a mounting panel on the back, then mount it securely to the side rack. Sounds simple enough but the devil's always in the detail with these things, so here's my plan of action step by step (you might find ways to modify it to better suit your own purposes):

1) Find the right utility case. If there's any difficulty here it's finding a case with the right dimensions. The brands that caught my eye were Pelican, SKB, Nanuk and Condition1 but reviews and youtube vids abound online whatever you choose. I generally didn't find much variation in quality and price although the weight can vary a fair bit between similar sized cases, which might be a consideration especially for a single-sided setup. Most come with foam which is a useful bonus. I think something this size would work well in a double-sided setup:

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2) Find a means of mounting to the rack. The challenge (especially with Shad's 3P system) is getting a heavy case to stay firmly in place as the bike bumps around and leans either side. The most useful thing I found was this:

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With this you're good to go with a strong 1/8" (3.2mm) thick aluminium piece with smooth cutouts, fastening hardware and even assembly instructions! It's the perfect size too I think. Just be sure to take extra care to get the location of the drill holes right so that that panel fits on the case properly, so that the case fits on the bike in the right position. Otherwise you could end up with more holes in your case than you'd like.

3) Secure the case to the rack. This could be tricky depending on how secure (or detachable) you want it. I'd be prepared to conduct a little experiment. I'd prefer not to have to move the case onto and off from the bike every day I ride so I thought I'd try to make it secure enough so that a thief would have to bring power tools to get to my stuff. Professional thieves often do but I wouldn't think they'd take that sort of trouble just to get through some storage - their goal is always to make off with a pricey bike. If a determined thief does ever prove me wrong it would be a painful loss for sure and I wouldn't repeat my mistake. But if not then I'd enjoy the added convenience every time I ride.

With that in mind, I'd probably first cinch the case to the side rack using some strong slimline straps. These look like just the ticket:

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The idea is to get a real tight and secure fitting before going any further; a failure could be catastrophic on the road so make sure you get the mounting done right.

4) Deter the thieves. This could be as easy as using one of these:

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If you can manage to thread the strap around the case, through the panel and around the side rack or frame without leaving any of it exposed for a bolt cutter to make light work of it, then I think that oughta do it.

5) As an optional step you could try tying some elastic cords around the lock hasps to prevent the contents from spilling out when you open the case (which is bound to happen sometime otherwise). Finding the right balance between strength and elasticity might prove difficult however.

The only other real downside I can see with this solution is that unless you can find cheaper products for the job, the total price would be quite high - around £150 per case using the products shown here (although it might work out cheaper for US buyers). For comparison, the larger capacity Sysbag 10 setup for one side would cost me £200. The advantages are that it's much more secure and durable and not bike or rack-specific. Plus it should look great on the KVS.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh and if you're wondering whether such security measures are necessary, they certainly are in the City of London. If only I could chuckle about it. Such a shame...
 

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I am also looking for luggage/case solutions for my Vulcan S. I have narrowed it down to either the OEM saddlebags with quik release system or the shad paniers. https://www.shadusa.com/collections/vulcan

I am heavily leaning towards the shad SH36 cases, but i am concerned they will look to "big" on the bike. The SH23 are smaller and may be more suited for the Vulcan S. The reason I want the SH 36 is so i can safely secure my helmet when I arrive at my destination. I have all winter to decide. I was hoping someone on this forum had picks of the sh23 and the sh36 mounted on a Vulcan S could post some pics.
 

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I don't have the SH36s, yet, but I do have lots of pictures of the SH23s installed. If you click my name and select "Media" you'll see quite a few, let me know if you want more.

The 23s definitely will not fit a helmet, however mine usually sits on the right side case when not on my head. I'm sure you could find a caribeaner style lock that you could loop through the Shad mounting system and the double D rings on your helmet to lock it in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I found these. The first one's a nice comparison, the rest are both 36s (there's also the 35L option if anybody's interested - dunno why shad split it like that):
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Obviously the 36s are a lot bigger and I can't help thinking they're prone to scraping on a tight bend but maybe it's just the wide angle lens. Personally I'd second the idea of going with the 23s and locking the helmet to the bike, circumstances permitting.
 

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Thanks a lot @HighwayNine these are the comparison picks I have been looking for. Those SH36 look good from side profile but perhaps look a little large when viewing from the rear. As for the SH23 they look ok but there not blowing me away. The OEM saddlebags look the best but imo way to pricey and it gets even more expensive if you want quik release and you would think for $500.00 they could add a lock on them. Not to mention they are tiny in comparison to the Shad. Decisions decisions decisions.......
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Glad I could help. Just FYI, I had a quick look at Givi's offerings and it looks like there are plenty of options there too (may be able to fit their entire range of Monokey side cases). There should be some good info and pics around here on some of those.
 

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I have a 45 liter top box (Bestem) and Viking bags installed on my KVS. Lots of storage and all lockable. I do a lot of multi mile tours and having light weight bags that lock and are weather proof is perfect. Plus, I carry tools, tire repair, rain gear, heated gear, etc. with me and don't have to load and unload for every ride. Only problem I experience is that with a windshield (Madstad) and the bags causing drag, the bike is pretty much limited to 105 MPH, which is plenty fast.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
@gzsound
How where you able to install a top case. I would prefer just a top case installed instead of saddlebags or panniers. Some pics and links would be appreciated 👍
For starters I think Hepco and Becker do a small solo rack both with and without a driver backrest, and that Givi do one with a sissy bar.
 

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@gzsound
How where you able to install a top case. I would prefer just a top case installed instead of saddlebags or panniers. Some pics and links would be appreciated 👍
Sorry this took so long to reply, busy holiday. Anyway, I didn't want to buy the Kawasaki back rest and rear rack because the trunk I use (Bestem) has a built in back rest. So I took measurements and spent some time cruising rear racks on Amazon. I found a rear rack that "nearly" fit for $75. It took a little time with a giant channel lock pliers and a drill to get it to mount, but it worked out perfectly. I mounted the top trunk and it has been working great for 12,000 miles so far.
Vulcan S 2019.jpg
 

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