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Offline Mute

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My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« on: July 06, 2016, 12:38:04 AM »
I tried out my BMW top box for the first time tonight and the bloody thing fell off on the dual carriageway  :230: thankfully no one was nearby to get hit by it but it's scuffed to hell after hitting the deck at 30mph and rolling along :019:



It was my first time riding with it so before i set off, i mounted it, locked it and then yanked and tugged at it from all directions and was happy it was secure and going nowhere. I rode around for 30 mins, through some twisty bits and more or less forgot it was there. All quiet on the western front... until i jumped on a dual carriageway.

I was a straight, quiet road so i rolled on from 30mph to 90mph, reasonably quickly but not so quickly that i was pulling a wheelie or anything like that.  As i looked at the speedo readout, i saw it hit 90 and right then i felt something thump gently against my back and stay there.

I rolled off and indicated off to the hard shoulder. I figured the lid must have popped open somehow but i couldn't figure out how it could be against my back - there's space for a passenger between my back and the topbox!

So anyway as i'm pulling over i felt it move slightly and i realised it must be the whole box has come off. As i got down to 30, we parted company and off it went rolling along the hard shoulder.

I'm guessing the wind over me creates a vacuum behind me and that, coupled with maybe some vibration or light bump in the road, sucked the box off it's rack. Seems unbelievable that would be possible but i can't explain how it was fine on the twisty's up to 60mph yet when i get to an indicated 90 in a straight line on a smooth road it suddenly parted company with me and the bike.

The latch mechanism is intact, there's scuffs, mainly all over the painted shell but the catches and locking mechanism are completely fine. I remounted it, shook it, tugged it and so on but it's as solid as it was.

Is this a known thing? I see a similar style of topbox has a few threads on the GS forums complaining about how it can easily fall off. There's a pin can be retrofitted for those to help secure them better.

I don't know that i trust it anymore but i suppose i better fix it up anyway. I can order just the painted outer shell from bmw for £80 http://www.bmw-motorrad-store.co.uk/bmw-small-topcase-2-outer-shell-lid-racing-red.html but i think i'll have a bash at sanding it down and spraying it first - nothing to lose!

Offline RichS1000XR

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2016, 07:07:54 AM »
Sorry to hear that. Have you spoken to the dealer to see what they say? If it stayed on at 60mph, it was obviously on there properly. Design fault maybe?

Offline Jockser

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2016, 10:07:40 AM »
Bugger, that's not good ! But better that it fell off at 30 than 90...
I ride with mine on all the time, better check it before I head off in future.
I'd definitely tell the dealer. And let us know what they say.

Yes, the Vario box on the GS was a bit of a problem - first time mine fell off was while taking off from traffic lights in Italy, nearly lost my son too who was pillion  :156:
Second time was on a bumpy road in eastern Turkey. And I never found it ! Some sheepherder's probably using it as a coffee table. With my brand new laptop on top   :157:

Offline Mute

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2016, 09:31:12 PM »
Cheers guys. Dealer not interested, can't say I blame them. There's no pin mod from BMW so I've been plotting my own fix for extra security when it's mounted.

It's a bit annoying that I still haven't figured out how it came off so I don't exactly know what I'm trying to guard against. I've tried pulling on it from every direction, lifting it up while yanking, pushing it down, vibrating the rack... it seems solid.

Offline philbuck

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2016, 10:18:18 PM »
*Originally Posted by Mute [+]
It's a bit annoying that I still haven't figured out how it came off so I don't exactly know what I'm trying to guard against. I've tried pulling on it from every direction, lifting it up while yanking, pushing it down, vibrating the rack... it seems solid.

That would suggest to me that maybe the locking/sliding mechanism within the box is moving, thus unsecuring itself from the rack. Just a thought !

Offline Mute

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2016, 10:48:06 PM »
Yeah it has to be to do with the little tabs that slide back to lock the box in place. There's 4 hooks which don't move but hook onto the rack. There is no way to defeat them without breaking them, so the box can't slide forward when in the rack, I'm confident of that.

To prevent sliding backwards on the rack, there's only 2 little sliding tabs, connected to the release handle. The whole mechanism is ABS plastic so that can bend a little. If I push the box backwards, even with much more force than 90mph wind, it doesn't move. Somehow those tabs did move though, it's the only way to release the box. The rack is solid with no flex.

Offline Bangkok Rider

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2016, 06:57:37 AM »
Please keep us informed if you  work out what went wrong.  My box is on order and I am using it to ensure my kids don't go off the back of the bike!  Now I'm very worried!!  good luck finding a solution and sorry it came off in the first place
2004 R1 (sold)
2015 S1000RR - track bike
2016 S1000XR - street bike

Offline philbuck

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2016, 09:13:32 AM »
I'm assuming you're using the standard rack that the XR is supplied with, ie the black part that fastens onto the silver part (technical description!).
If so, then all boxes must surely use the same fastening proceedure, IIRC, the rear lugs of the box slide forwards to grip the rack. (I'm using a Vario box and that's not moved an inch in 1000's miles and high speeds.

Offline Mute

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2016, 11:42:23 AM »
Yeah there's two small tabs slide backwards to lock it in place. That entire mechanism appears to be plastic though. From the handle, under the box, to the tabs.

That said I can't get it to fail when I try. It's definitely going to be weaker in the locking tabs direction than in the solid hooks direction so I'm still going with the idea that the tabs somehow moved.

Offline philbuck

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Re: My Top Box Fell Off on the Dual Carriageway!
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2016, 02:22:30 PM »
*Originally Posted by Mute [+]
so I'm still going with the idea that the tabs somehow moved.

Moved as in flexed/bent out of position due to say, wind loading, or moved due to a box internal mechanism allowing them to say, slide?
(Just going out to check my Vario box and give it a knocking about)  :015: