2022 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.

K75, K100 & K1100 Luggage - Side Cases

   

Nomenclature:

People use all sorts of names for the side cases used on K bikes:

Hard cases  (generic term)

Side cases (generic term)

Side luggage (generic term)

Side bags  (generic term)

Saddlebags  (generic term)

Panniers (generic bike/motorcycle term)

System cases (generic BMW term)

Integral cases (BMW parts catalog)

No matter what them you call them they all refer to the same thing.

Generations:

Over the lifespan of K75s, K100s and K1100s there were three generations (versions) of cases available from BMW for the following approximate dates:

Gen 1 1983-1987
Gen 2 1988-1990
Gen 3 1991-on

Compatibility:

Since all three case generations use the same left and right side mounting racks (also known as "Z" racks due to their shape) any generation case will fit on all years and models of K75s, K100s and K1100s.

The same cases were also used on many BMW R65, R80, R100 and F650 models of the era.

Generation Differences

Introduction:

The Gen 1 & 2 cases are the same with the only difference being the locks used. Gen 3 cases were a significant redesign with many feature improvements.

Locks:

All three generation cases have three locks on each bag: one at the lower front with a hook that holds the case to the Z rack and two (top and rear) that hold the case halves closed.

GEN 1: "Square" (a.k.a. flat) locks that use a Samsonite luggage type key. These locks tend to get loosey-goosey over time and are a bit awkward to lock and unlock since you have to lift the little flap up to use the key.

Square locks have a three digit key code stamped on the inside of them that can be seen if you open the lock:

The Key number is also stamped on the key:

GEN 2 & 3: These cases have "round" locks. This is a big improvement over the square locks because they operate more easily and hold up to wear better. They also use the same type key as all of the other locks on the bike (ignition, gas cap and seat lock) so they can be keyed to work with your ignition key.

GEN 2: The round locks face inward.

GEN 3: The round locks face outward which makes them easier to use.

Finish:

GEN 1 & 2: These had an unpainted black matte finish. (With the exception of the white/blue K100RS-SE cases which were painted white.)

GEN 3: These had a somewhat smoother unpainted black matte finish. Many K1100 Gen 3 cases came with color-matched paint.

Scuff pads:

GEN 3: You'll notice in the above pictures that when BMW went from Gen 2 to Gen 3 they moved the roundel and reflector as well as adding rubber scuff pads to the leading and lower edges.

Handle:

GEN 1  & 2: The carrying handle is a flexible padded strap that extends when pulled up and works pretty well.

GEN 3: The carrying handle is a rigid handle that folds down flat for riding and rotates up to vertical for carrying.

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Interior Retainer Straps:

GEN 1  & 2: The straps used are somewhat flimsy elastic straps that wear out rather quickly with somewhat awkward metal connectors.

GEN 3: The straps used are a little better than the earlier straps but they still wear out.  The plastic "U" hook is much easier to use than the prior metal pieces.

Fortunately, it's very easy to replace the factory straps with 3/8" bungee cord which is sturdier and lasts.

Full Face Helmet:

GEN 1 & 2: In general, these cases are not large enough to hold a full face helmet.

GEN 3: The space of the GEN 3 cases was designed to accommodate a full face helmet. (Though probably not a modular/flip-up helmet.)

Waterproofness:

The Gen 1 & 2 cases are "fairly" waterproof while the Gen 3 cases have a rubber gasket around the rim to help seal them and keep water out.

Plastic Hinges:

All three generations use the same plastic hinges. (2 per case - BMW part 46542300039)

 

Summary Table:

For a variety of reasons, the Gen 3 cases are by far the best. The table below summarizes the differences:

Feature

Gen 1

Gen 2

Gen 3

Lock

Square

Round

Facing in

Round

Facing out

Finish

Matte

Matte

Smooth or color matched paint

Handle

Strap

Strap

Folding rigid handle

Interior straps

Flimsy with metal loops

Flimsy with metal loops

A bit better straps with plastic "U" hooks

(Easy to upgrade to 3/8" bungee cord)

Hold full face helmet

No

No

Yes

Waterproofness

So-so

So-so

Good

Rubber scuff pads

No

No

Yes

Hinges

Same for all generations - 2 per case.

Mounting K Bike Side Cases:

When you first get a K bike the mounting and unmounting them may seem awkward. However, once you know the proper technique it's a lot easier.

 

UNMOUNTING:

1. Make sure the passenger peg is deployed

2. Open the latch the holds the case to the "Z" rack.

3. Rotate the bottom of the case slightly outward.

4. Slide the case to the rear along the "Z" rack.

5. Lift it off.

 

MOUNTING:

1. Make sure the passenger peg is deployed

2. Set the case on the top of the "Z" rack as far back as possible and make sure that the mounting rail on the back of case is well-seated along the "Z" rack.

3. Rotate the bottom of the case slightly outward.

4. Slide the case forward as far as it will go.

5. Rotate the bottom of the case inward and secure the latch that holds it to the "Z" rail.

 

City Cases:

BMW also made smaller, narrower 22 liter "city cases" that fit K75s, K100s and K1100s. Since they are narrow they are good for lane splitting. They are also top-loading with one lock on the top which makes them convenient for running errands.

 

2022 Drake Smith - Please do not use or reproduce this elsewhere.  Feel free to link to it though.