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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Luggage for the Ninja

Quality motorcycle luggage is important for multi-day trips.  Soft motorcycle luggage is never quite as "water-proof" or durable as hard luggage, but often time is more economical and convenient.

This spring I was planning out the trip to Florida that my son and I would take.  This would be the first time he would be riding his own motorcycle, a Ninja 250.  I knew he needed some luggage for the trip, but I new there is not a huge selection for the Ninja 250.

While at the Maxim Honda (Allen, TX) Open House I spoke with a representative from Cycle Case who was showing a new line of Hi-Viz luggage.  After checking it out I bought some for my son's bike.
The color of the bags will catch the cagers' attention
Installation was easy.  The adjustable  (hook and loop) seat strap connecting the two saddlebags was easy to customize to the appropriate length for the Ninja.  The trunk fastened to the saddlebags using quick release type fasteners.  We ended up using some bungee cords to secure the truck so we could move the trunk back and not crowd the rider.
Rain cover looks good, wish it was also "Hi-Viz"
The saddle bags are equipped with an attached "waterproof" rain cover conveniently located in a zippable small pocket on the bottom edge closest to the bike.  The convenience is nice, but the covering does not cover the side closest to the bike and does not have a draw string to tighten the cover securely on the saddlebag, instead it has an elastic strap sewn into the opening of the cover.  We found this to be a big problem.  Water eventually soaked through that side during a long period of riding in the rain.  The cover had a tendency to blow off after a period of time.  At one point the left side cover came off and was chewed up by the chain and sprocket.
Rain cover storage on each saddlebag
The attached straps for the trunk are neatly tucked away at each corner on the bottom.  The rain cover for the truck is stored inside the trunk, but does not have a designated storage area.  The trunk's rain cover worked fine.  It was easy to place on the trunk and secured with the elastic band sewn inside, although the cover needed to be pulled tight and tucked under the back side of the trunk.
Truck straps tuck into pockets on each corner, loops for alternative securing are provided
The bags are well made and a good value for the price.  The visibility is top-notched.  The mounting and securing is easy and convenient.  If you don't ride much in the rain these are great economical bags.

The rain covers are a big negative to the bags.  First off, I don't understand why you cover hi-viz bags with black at a time when visibility is even more important - in the rain!  Second, the lack of options to tighten and secure the cover is a great oversight.

I think the company has a good product, but needs to make some changes to make it an above average product.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review on the bags. I like the hi-vis but I agree - why use black rain covers.

    I bought bags for the Gladius a month or so ago and went with Cortech bright blue ones. They go with the bike and should be bright enough to be visible, but they too have crappy black rain covers. Although I haven't had to use them yet.

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  2. Hi Nice blog.This spring I was planning out the trip to Florida that my son and I would take.

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  3. There are good places in Florida and along the way getting to Florida. Let me know if you need any info.

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  4. True, quality is important when buying bike accessories.What is also important especially when buying Motorcycle luggage is your obvious personal preference and also purpose.Like in your case the saddle bag is flexible hence you can fit in a lot of your gear and it also ideal for street bike like your son's Ninja 250.

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