In April of 2014 my lovely wife bought me an old but very low mileage BMW F650. The bike was bought mainly to take on some touring duties around Spain and maybe further afield. Coming in completely standard form, with no luggage some additional purchases would be necessary.
Starting with a BMW as a base should be fairly straightforward as many companies make and supply suitable solutions besides BMW themselves. However starting with a 19yr old BMW is a little more difficult as most companies have stopped producing items for this model, maybe this wouldn't be as simple as I thought.
Hard luggage was decided upon as it gives the illusion at least of security and would clear the high level exhaust with no problem. Many options where considered, BMW, Touratech, Givi, Wolfman plus a range of generic aluminium cases, we even looked at self fabrication, the stumbling block to most of the solutions was the mounting hardware rather than the boxes themselves, oh and the price.
Initially, after some searching, it looked like the Givi system would be the one to go for but they don't list fittings for my bike anymore, they do however list fittings for the newer model which has the same frame so should fit. A contact form was filled in twice on the Givi UK website a few days apart and then an email sent to Givi UK and Givi Italy to try to get an answer on whether the kit would fit. After a couple of weeks of no information, i dropped in to Touratech in Alicante to discuss options. Touratech were very helpful if a little expensive: nearly 1200€ for 3 boxes seemed to be a bit much, great quality though and for a more expensive bike a definite option.
Many forums and disappointing answers from suppliers later I finally managed to get an answer to the Givi question on www.F650.com from a Russian guy that had the same bike. A bit more research and we ordered a Givi PL185 mounting kit from a company called AMR along with a pair of Givi E21N panniers and a Kappa K42N top-case including delivery from Italy for 280€, bargain.
Fitting the side frames was a fairly straightforward job, with only the exhaust side giving a little trouble. The instruction sheet, shows where everything should attach and with what parts, however the exhaust side didn't quite line up until the footpeg hanger was loosened as well. As my grandad taught me many years ago loosen everything that you can and then tighten them slowly bit by bit, the old advice is usually the good advice.
Fitting the Kappa top case was simply a job of mounting the universal plate supplied to the standard BMW rack. The included bolts were a little on the short side so stainless replacements were sourced with washers and nyloc nuts to match. A bit of trial and error was used in locating the top case as a certain amount of leeway was available.
After installation of the mountings and then attachment of the boxes a short run out was in order to ensure that nothing fell off, then a quick check of all the bolts, job done.