Tom's BMW R850R - Installing an R1150 Rack
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BMW R850R In order to put have a top case and side cases, I had to install R1150 side case racks (BMW), a Givi luggage rack for the 1150, and a Givi Monokey adaptor for the luggage rack. It is an expensive solution to what I originally hoped was a simple problem. Fitting the R1150 racks also required minor modifications. I don't recommend this installation to beginners, unless you are confident enough to gently carve a little plastic off an expensive item. Still, the 1150 racks look nice, have nice passenger handles (for those of you who carry passengers), and allow you to install a Givi luggage rack.

The R850R was only imported into the U.S. for two years, and even in Europe there's no top rack compatible with BMW side cases. I've bought a rack from SW Motech (via Twisted Throttle). The SW Motech rack prevented the left case from mounting. Too bad because the SW Motech rack is half the price of the BMW/Givi solution.

In this photo you see the completed project. Also note the modified muffler (See the Muffler 2 page).

BMW R850R Here is a close up of the modified muffler. The new outlet pipe fixes a rusted out pipe on the muffler. Also, the new pipe is longer and angles downward to direct exhaust away from the bottom of the hard case.
BMW R850R All three cases from the rear. I already had an extra (flashing) LED stop light. I just mounted it to the top of the Givi case with 3M Duolock fasteners.

BMW R850R The R1150 side case mounts are very nice items. The handles are integral, unlike the original mounts for the R850.

BMW R850R The Givi luggage rack is an interesting item. One bar goes down under the turn signal, and mount behind the side case mount. The top section of the luggage rack bolts to the two upper holes in the R1150 case mounts.

Every thing is very well engineered, and a beautiful work of art as well.
BMW R850R My (crude) LED brake light, on top of the Givi top case.
BMW R850R Givi doesn't explain how the E52N latch works. Turn the key. Press where it says "Press". The release is also the carry handle. Pressing the release pops out a big latch.

BMW R850R Here we see the Givi E52N Maxia latch in the open position. It's a strong latch system. The key must be in the lock, and the case unlocked to open or close the latch. The BMW cases can be left unlocked.
BMW R850R Latching the Givi E52N Maxia. Push the top of the latch inwards, then push the whole latch down. In has a satisfying "click" as it closes.

BMW R850R The closed latch on the Givi E52N Maxia top case. By the way, the case has a rubber seal, a little inner top compartment for papers, and a thong to keep the case lid from flipping open too far.

BMW R850R The "Press" is also a handle. Turn the key full clockwise, and the handle gently pops up. The case can be removed from the rack in this position. The Givi E52N Maxia case is well designed, and well finished.

Givi says it holds two full face helmets, and I agree. However, my summer riding jacket has a full back proctor built in. that jacket and one full face helmet just barely fit into the case.

For most commuting, the 52 liter case alone is enough. 52 liters is a fair amount of groceries. It is almost two full (American) paper bags in volume.

BMW R850R My older side cases didn't fit the R1150 racks quite right. I had to file and trim the racks. I didn't do this until I was sure everything fit because I'm sure the dealer won't take them back after this.

The fit to the motorcycle frame was very tight. I had to install the rear two bolts first. Also, I had to remove the grommet from the rear of the body work, and use two washers as spacers on the bottom rear bolt. The front bolt of the rack was very difficult to install. I had to force the rack foward (it flexes a little) and carefully force the bolt into it's hole. The rack is very well made, and has metal bushings in the bolt holes. Since it has bushings, there is no way to just enlarge (with a drill) the mounting holes on the rack.

Another problem was that the R1150 racks interfere with the R850 turn signals. This forced me to trim about 1/4 inch (5 mm) off the end of the rack. The problem is the pointy end of the rack. The trimmed off part is only a little triangle of plastic 1/4 inch thick, and about 1/4 inch wide. The trimming is a little scary since these racks are $50 each.

BMW R850R The rear of the case mounting point needed some trimming as well. This is where the BMW side case mounts to the rack. My cases were tight, and didn't seat here. As a result, the cam locks on the cases would have been under extreme force. Not only does that make the case hard to open, but I thought something was likely to break.