Ride Well... And Well Equipped.
Many scooter riders, especially those who tour on their bikes, purchase additional luggage. GIVI has a line of top boxes that are becoming more and more popular within the community. Though the instructions that come with their products are typically less-than-informative, installation of their mounting brackets really isn't that difficult.
When purchasing a GIVI top box, many folks consider purchasing a backrest for their co-rider. GIVI makes two styles, one is designed to be attached to the top box and one is designed to be "freestanding". Note that both styles aren't available for every bike - the "freestanding" unit, so far as I can tell, is only available for the Honda Silver Wing (GIVI model TB19), Suzuki Burgman 400 K7 (GIVI model TB531) and Suzuki Burgman 650 (GIVI model TB529). The "attached" models are top box specific, not bike-specific, and are therefore more widely available (GIVI models E61, E68, E79, E83, and E84). If you like the aesthetics of the models designed to attach to your top case, or if you don't have one of the bike models listed above, those might work well for you.
However, if you have a bike capable of accepting a "freestanding" backrest, it does offer a few advantages over the "attached" models in my opinion.
For folks that really go the distance and need something in addition to a top box, or for folks who would rather not drill into their bike to install a top-box mounting bracket, cloth saddlebags are another option. We carry the GIVI T-411 saddlebags and find them to be quite useful. Another model that has become popular is the Oxford Sport saddlebag. Like other cloth saddlebags, these bags have two hook-and-loop (we used to be able to say Velcro) straps that were originally designed to be placed over the seat of a sport bike, connecting the two bags together.
Since the seats of our scooters typically lift up to reveal storage space, it seems that a more logical way to use these straps is to run them under the seat. This works out well, though on some bikes closing the seat becomes a little more challenging with the straps in place.
One drawback to this system for our purposes is that since our scooters are significantly wider than the sports bikes for which these bags were designed, the hook-and-loop straps are not long enough to reach across the seat. to remedy this, create a pair of your own hook-and-loop "extender" straps. Purchase wide hook-and-loop straps with a self adhesive backing from your local fabric store. Adhere a "hook" side to a "loop" side and you've got yourself an extender.
There are many, many internet groups and websites out there with loads of information about large-displacement scooters and touring on them. I couldn't possibly even come close to listing them all. In no particular order, I list a few that I visit regularly. If there are other websites or groups that you find useful, please feel free to let me know about them. I'm always happy to look at something new to see if it should be listed here!
Accessory Manufacturers and other Accessory Retailers
The number of accessory manufacturers for large-displacement scooters continues to grow. Many of the accessories designed to work on standard motorcycles will also work on large-displacement scooters. As above, I couldn't possibly hope to list them all. However, this is a list of some of the more predominate accessory manufacturers. As above, if you know of another, please let me know
Major Manufacturers of Large-Displacement Scooters
Great Rider-Friendly Restaurants/Business
These are a few great "haunts" within riding distance of the Twin Cities. If you have any you'd like to add here, please let us know!
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