Side cases (AKA panniers, a term that was used with donkeys, mules & horses) provide extra storage space.
They are located to the side of the motorcycle and mounted on specially designed luggage mounting racks.
Side cases have a lower center of gravity and are more streamlined with the motorcycle, compared to a top case, but add width which can make the V-Strom harder to handle through narrows passages/traffic and can reduce ground clearance when cornering.
By and large, side cases are much more costlier to install than a top case, because they require a costly mounting rack and there are also 2 side cases instead of one.

Suzuki OEM

Shown with the Suzuki OEM top case:
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After Market

Givi E21

Shown with Givi V46 top case.
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Givi E36

Shown with Givi E45 top case.
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Pelican 1550

Shown with SW-Motech Quick-Lock side carrier
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Caribou 36L (iM2600)

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Hepco Becker Gobi

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Happy Trail

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Comparison between different models




Micatech V2

Shown with 8in Black V2:
external image i7UKAHssiW1qd.jpg

SW-Motech Trax

Shown with Givi E460 top case:
external image j09qmjnK0A2DQ.jpg

Touratech Zega Pro


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1. http://adv.strom.free.fr/bagajri_e.html