Tag Archives: Luggage/Backpacks

Tips for using Occy straps on your luggage

Have you ever seen a motorcycle with luggage tied down with a mass of Occy straps?

You try not to ride too close behind because you never know when something will fall off right in front of you.

The ubiquitous Occy strap has been used for years.

If you don’t know what an Occy strap is, it’s a stretchy strap or bungee cord with a hook on each end.

There is a wide range of types and they do the job … usually.

However, they can also fail with catastrophic consequences.

I think there are many other alternatives out there that are far better than ancient Occy straps and shopping bags such as this convenient Nelson-Rigg tailbag.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review
Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag

But if you are going to use Occy straps to hold your luggage to your rear rack or pillion seat, there are some simple guidelines you should follow.

Frayed Occy straps

The first is to replace them when they start to look frayed.

You never quite know when a fray will turn into a snap and your luggage spills across the highway.

An Occy strap can easily fray from use and also from rubbing against a sharp object such as a bolt or frame weld.

By hook or by crook

Make sure the hook has a decent bend and hasn’t straightened out from being hooked and unhooked hundreds of times.

If the plastic coating around the hook is cracked, the hook may also be rusted, so replace the strap.

Also, check that the knot inside the hook is secure. This is usually one of the first points of failure on an Occy strap.

Make sure you attach the hook to a solid, unmovable part of the bike where it won’t scratch paintwork or chrome, or interfere with any working parts such as the chain.

Keep straps away from hot engine parts and exhausts.

Try to pass the strap through some sort of loop on the luggage.

Be careful when pulling really tight. If it slips out of your hand it can whack you in the face!

Click here for the official safety standards on Occy straps.straps


Pack heavy items in the bottom of the bag that you are tying on to your bike.

Try to keep bags low and flat. The higher they are the more they will wobble under an Occy strap and become loose.

Make sure packed items are rammed together solidly as a loose pack will mean the straps are no longer tight.

Add one more

Do not skimp on Occy straps. You can always add one more just to be sure!

Place them in a criss-cross fashion so that you are securing the load from moving in all four directions.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Touratech unveils waterproof bags

German motorcycle accessory company Touratceh has released a range of waterproof bags that fit inside their range of luggage.

What surprises me is that Touratech tank, tail and saddle bags aren’t already waterproof.

Ok, I can see the advantage in having gear in an easy-to-remove waterproof bag so you can take it into your accommodation without having to remove your luggage.

But it seems an unnecessary expense. Why not just make the luggage waterproof from the start?

Some luggage such as tank bags come with a spacial waterproof cover, but they are. never quite secure enough.

Touratech bags

Touratech’s inner bags cost $110.48 and are made by Ortlieb who produce quality gear for motorcycles and bicycles.

That’s about the same price as you would pay for waterproof bags from an outdoor store such as Kathmandu.

They say they fit their luggage, but it’s a standard size.

You can actually get different sized bags from outdoor stores.

Like those, these feature a roll top that you clamp with a nylon clip to keep them watertight.

In fact, they are so good, they even hold air and you have to push the air out first before rolling them up!

This can make it difficult to get your bag inside your luggage, so these Touratech bags come with a valve to release the air and squash them down to the smallest size.Touratech waterproof bags

They have a volume of up to 22 litres, depending on how much you want to roll the top down.

The say this allows the bag to fit every tank bag or rucksack they make, “without losing valuable storage space”.

Unlike some motorcycle clothing that loses its waterproof capabilities over time, these will remain 100% watertight for ever.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Kriega launches Max 28 expandable backpack

Motorcycle backpacks are becoming more technical, lightweight and packed with features, but they are also becoming expensive such as this Kriega Max 28 expandable backpack.

Before we get into all the features, here’s the thing — it costs $385!

I reckon you could go to an outdoor, camping, hiking, fishing shop and buy a decent, lightweight backpack with many of the same features for a lot less.

Motorcycle-specific backpacks usually cost more, but this costs a lot more than sopme other hi-tech bags such as the Ashvault at $165, Ogio Dakar ($189.95), Kriega R15 ($199), Dainese D-Exchange ($169.95) and Dainese D-Dakar ($199).

So this “ultimate” Kriega backpack better be good.

Kriega Max 28

They say it is “bombproof and waterproof” with enough storage space to carry a laptop or full-face helmet.

The Max 28 has three sections and an expansion zipper that allows it to grow from 22 litre to 28 litres.

The waterproof section features a roll-top closure where you can secure a 14-inch laptop.

A third section up front folds down to expose an organiser pocket for quick access to small, everyday essentials.  Kriega Max28 backpack

The Max 28 expandable backpack features a light version of Kriega’s proprietary Quadloc harness system as found on all its backpacks.

They say it takes the weight off your back and shoulders and redistributes it to your chest and torso.Kriega Max28 backpack

There’s also a removable waist strap for stability and it has a soft back panel for rider comfort.

It is made of 420D Cordura Lite Plus and Hypalon, features YKK heavy-duty zippers and comes with a 10-year warranty.

The bag weighs 1.85kg, has four internal zip pockets and is compatible with a hydration reservoir.

Backpack warningKriega Max28 backpack

Many riders wear backpacks because their bike doesn’t have luggage.

You could use a tank bag, but they can scratch the paintwork.

A tail bag on the back seat may provide you with a backrest, but it makes it difficult to throw your leg over.

It could also fall off or you could accidentally leave it unzipped allowing it to spill its contents in a trail behind you, all without you knowing!

However, riders should be aware that a backpack can not only be tiring but also promote injuries in a crash from the contents or by rotating your body as you slide down the road.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

MV Agusta has Piquadro in the bag

MV Agusta has collaborated with Italian travelware company Piquadro to introduce a stylish range of branded keyrings, wallets, backpacks and travel bags.

The MV Agusta – Motorcycle Art collection in textile and leather will be available online through the official MV Agusta website in May and there are no prices yet.

We checked out the Piquadro website and found they are not cheap with a backpack costing about €479 (about $A840)!

However, Piquadro products are not only made of high-quality materials, but also have some advanced technology.

For example, the leather backpack (with included rain cover) and keyring in the MV Agusta range feature Piquadro’s Connequ Bluetooth Tracking technology.MV Agusta introduces Piquadro smart luggage

The tech connects to your smartphone via a dedicated app so you always know where they are which is great if they are stolen.

The backpack and both leather wallets also have special rfid-screened technology to avoid credit card cloning.

All the items in the range come in a black/gunmetal colour combination with Piquadro’s signature leather trimmings.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Panniersky keeps your six-pack cold

The Panniersky cooler bag — an esky for your panniers — will keep your food and/or drinks cold until the end of the day’s ride, says Andy White of Andy Strapz.

He’s been making adventure rider luggage and accessories since 1995, so he should know. 

Andy says he developed the prototype on a few trips over the end of last summer and the Andy Strapz crew then “tidied it up” to what is now the $68 Panniersky.

PannierskyAndy Strapz Panniersky

The finished product was then tested by “Scrawny Strapz” who did an Ironbutt run from the lowest point in Australia at Lake Eyre to the highest in Charlotte’s Pass.

“His goal was to keep food fresh,” Andy says. “Crisp apples, cheese that didn’t resemble paste and a couple of coldies to celebrate reaching the goal.”

Although it looks like there were ice-cold G&Ts at the end of the day!

Andy Strapz Panniersky

“It’s a bit hard to rate a cooler like this,” Andy says.

“Doing quasi-scientific measurements of ambient temperature and comparing temperature changes of the contents and a control … spare me!

“On a recent bench test we found that fridge-cold beers were drinkably cool after four hours. Add ice and it’s all day.

“Keep it out of the sun and away from exhausts, of course.

“It helps to tuck it between camping gear for extra insulation if possible. That’s why we included an inner dry bag. It was such an important addition to the concept.”Andy Strapz Panniersky

The Panniersky is a five-litre bag double-insulated with high-density foam (75PE for those who know that sort of stuff) and efficient Dacron insulation wadding, encased in a zippered, 1000 denier nylon bag.

It is made to fit inside soft saddle bags or hard panniers, or can be strapped on top of the rest of your gear.

Most importantly, it will hold a six pack of cans or bottles.Andy Strapz Panniersky

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review

Motorcycle luggage has to be convenient, practical and attractive, and Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag ticks all those boxes for riders on small bikes.

And at just $A119.95*, this expandable commuter tail bag (11.7-15.7 litres) is great value.

Tank versus tail bag

I love a tank bag on a sports bike for carrying an extra pair of gloves, visor cleaner, rag, multitool, tyre repair kit and other incidentals.

It’s also handy to put a map in the top clear-plastic compartment and you know it is secure because you can see it right in front of you.

However, tank bags can get in the way and even scratch your tank if you happen to get a tiny bit of road grit in between the bag and the tank. Nasty!

But this tail bag has all the benefits of a tank bag (except that it doesn’t have a clear top nor sits in front for visual security) without the possibility of damaging your bike.

Simply sit it on your seat or luggage rack and it connects via strong webbing straps with four tough nylon clips that are quick and easy to use.

Even though you can’t see it, you can be confident it is still there as the fasteners are secure.

It didn’t shake loose even on some rough roads where I took my Ducati Scrambler and Triumph Street Scrambler.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review
Tail bag on Triumph Street Scrambler rear rack

You can loop the ties together or use an underseat attachment. Both are secure. There is also a long strap in case it is needed for some bikes where the straps won’t go under the seat. 

Quickly un-click the four clasps and you can carry the bag with the flush-mounted handle or add the long strap that turns it into a backpack.

Mind you, the backpack is a bit naff, fiddly to thread the long strap and not very comfortable, so I just use the handle.

Style and construction

Tank bags looks a bit silly perched high up on a bike and spoil the lines. Tail bags look a bit more stylish.

This is a particularly stylish bag that fits in with the lines of a small bike with a small back seat, especially my Ducati Scrambler.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review
Same size and shape as the Ducati seat

It’s almost as though Nelson-Rigg designed it for this bike as the seat is the same shape and size as the bag.

What makes this bag look extra stylish is the semi-rigid top and sides. It doesn’t look floppy when there’s nothing in it like many other soft bags.

The moulded Fibertech top even has a stylish carbon-fibre-style finish.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review
Carbon-like top

It’s good-quality construction all round with robust zips, reflective piping and premium lining.

The instructions are stitched inside so you never lose them.

There are also two straps to keep your stuff from rocking and rolling around, an under-lid storage area with a mesh zipped cover and two stretch pouches to hold pens, multitool, screwdriver or small torch.Nelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review

It hasn’t rained here for a while, so I haven’t been able to test out its weatherproof qualities.

However, it does keep out the dust!

There is also a waterproof cover that you can store away in the top pouch.

Yes, they even thought about the fact that sometimes you have the tail bag zipped out to the expanded 15.7-litre capacity, so the waterproof cover also has an expansion zip.

WarrantyNelson-Rigg Commuter Lite tail bag review

Nelson-Rigg is an American family-owned company that has been around for more than a quarter of a century.

They make a range of motorcycle and scooter accessories, including covers, soft luggage and rainwear.

They stand by their products with a lifetime warranty.


  • UltraMax® fabric with maximum UV protection
  • Quick-release nylon buckles
  • Moulded EVA lid with Fibertech “carbon-like” accents
  • Internal self-fastening straps to secure contents
  • Lockable reverse coil zippers and hi-density rubber zipper pullers
  • 100% waterproof rain cover
  • Adjustable shoulder strap
  • Protective non slip base material
  • Measures: L28cm x W25m x H16.5cm / L28cm x W25cm x H21.5cm expanded
  • Holds 11.7 Litres / 15.3 Litres expanded

(* Link International says the $119.95 price is for Queensland, NSW and ACT only. Pricing may vary in other states.)


Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Aldi claims safest motorcycle gear yet

Aldi claims this year’s annual motorcycle gear sale will feature their safest gear yet with their $189 leather jacket being the most popular buy.

The sale is usually held in the first couple of Saturdays of August, but has been delayed this year until 31 August 2019, starting at 8.30am.

“Every year we work to improve the range to make it even better than the last,” an Aldi spokesperson says.

“This year is no exception, with considerable time devoted to product development, sourcing and testing to ensure our products are of the highest quality and exceptionally priced.”

In past year, sale items have been selected with the help of Neuroscience Research Australia’s Dr Liz de Rome.

Liz, a rider since 1969, also helped develop MotoCAP, motorcycle clothing ratings system. So far, MotoCAP has not tested any Aldi products.Aldi annual sale - Riders urged to support motorcycle dealers claims

Safety claims

However, Aldi claims they have been “testing relevant motorcycle clothing products to European Standards for several years in order to obtain independent certification”.

“This year, we have worked closely with our supply partners to create products that are both safe and stylish – all without compromising on quality,” their spokesperson says.

“All Torque motorcycle clothing has been certified to the European Personal Protective Equipment Regulation (2016/425).

“We anticipate the leather jacket will be popular among customers as it is exceptional value for money.”

Their 2019 catalogue of motorcycle gear on sale this year will be available on their website next week.

Aldi says the Torque leather jacket features APT-TECH protection technology at the elbows and shoulders, is compliant to Level 2 European Standard EN 13595 and has impact protectors in the back, shoulder and elbow that are compliant to EN 1621.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Leather Jacket – $189

Their Torque motorcycle boots ($99.99) have strengthened heels, hi-vis reflective ankle strips and meet requirements of the Personal Protective Equipment standard EN 13634.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Boots – $99.99

The Torque motorcycle denim jeans ($79.99) have reinforcement lining made of “high-tenacity aramid fibre at critical areas of seat, hips & knees”. They are compliant to EN 17092-4:2019 for “A” classification garments and feature EN 1621 knee protectors.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Denim Jeans – $79.99

They have a choice of two Torque gloves, both costing $34.99.

Their goat leather pair have carbon fibre protectors for the knuckles and fingers, rubber padding in “critical areas” and are EN 13594 level 1 compliant.

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Carbon Knuckle Leather Gloves – $34.99 (2)

However, their padded gloves do not have an EN certification. Instead, they have 3D foam rubber protection at the knuckles, fingers and thumbs with 3M Thinsulate padding

aldi motorcycle gear sale
Padded Leather Gloves – $34.99

As usual, there is also a range of other motorcycle goods for sale including balaclavas, thermals, bike covers and helmets.

Plus, there’s our perennial favourite – $9.99 Aldi motorcycle socks!

New this year are three types of $19.99 locks and chains to secure your bike and/or luggage.

aldi motorcycle sale theft stolen locks
Locks – $19.99

There is also a range of $39.99 tail and tank bags.

Riders urged to support dealers

However, riders have been urged by the Australian Motorcycle Dealers Association to support their local motorcycle dealer who {“deserves rider loyalty in tough times“.

They point out that motorcycle retailers offer a lot more product choice and all-year round availability.

Supporters of the Aldi sale say it promotes the wearing of good quality gear by making it affordable to more riders. 

In our coverage of the annual Aldi sale, as well as MotoCAP’s testing of products, we find readers claim Aldi products are good quality and value.

We have also tested Aldi gear and find it is up to par, including the Bluetooth unit that is still working just fine after three years.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Kobe Smart Case neatly secures your helmet

If you’ve ever had your helmet stolen from your bike or accidentally knocked or blown off your bike, then the stylish rear-rack-mounted Kobe Smart Case could be your solution.

It electronically secures your helmet to your bike when parked and neatly folds away when not in use to be visually discrete and aerodynamic while riding.Kobe Smart Case

The waterproof case not only protects your helmet from the elements, but an electronic alarm and a reinforced steel cable also protect it from thieves.

When not in use, the flexible case folds away to just 6cm to it doesn’t look ugly or cause any air turbulence.

But the Kobe Smart Case does not come cheap at €199 (about $A310, $US225).

It was developed by Infinitum Projects in Barcelona and Kobe founder and CEO Jordi Mercader ays the Kobe Smart Case will not spoil the beautiful lines of your bike.

“The best design is the smallest design,” he says.

“Less, but better because it concentrates the essential aspects and the product and is not loaded with non-essential features.”

Other Kobe products include a light and flat rider’s backpack in nylon for €99 ($A155, $US110) or leather for €129 ($A200, $US145) and a 15-litre tank bag (€149, $A230, $US170) with the same folding system as the helmet case.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com