We beat the stew out of this motorcycle camping gear...
...for well over a year and it's slated to go on our next adventure tour. When I say 'year' I mean a straight consecutive year LIVING in a state of 'optional homelessness' on our dual sport motorcycles using this soft luggage as our primary dressers, closets, briefcases, junk drawers and pantry. It all passed the test with flying colors.
If you are reading this you likely know that camping on a motorcycle is challenging. It's an awesome challenge but challenging no less. LIVING on one is also awesome but it is also EXTREMELY challenging. It was a risk throwing the dice on these bags but we didn't have a ton of options. We had a few bikes to outfit and mod along with many other expenses and money was extremely tight. I took the recommendation of another experienced rider on the tank bag and found the panniers myself through extensive ( desperate ) research. LOL.
As for the tail bag I have always served that purpose by the type of tail bag featured in this lil' trifecta coming up. It becomes of more than one use on the road which, as you also know, is ideal on the road.
I'd go so far even as to call the multi purpose-ability of motorcycle camping gear a 'necessity'. There's just a lot of stuff and very few places and spaces to stuff it.
And about those places and spaces, here's the roughly 85 liters of it we recommend at around 2 bucks a liter...
THE TANK BAG
FASTRAX XTREME by Dowco...
This little gem is produced in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. About it I'll say only this: If you find someone who doesn't agree with our take on this tank bag you will also discover that they have either never heard of it, ( let alone used it) OR they just paid 2 to 4 times as much for a different one and... and well... it's just too soon.
Water-resistant material and zippers
Bungee web on lid
Hi-Viz dividers for easy organization
Quick-release mounting straps
6 Liter Capacity
Two-year limited warranty
13 x 7.5 x 8.5
This is a video review we did on the Fastrax last year...
Based out of California, VUZ Moto is an up and coming contender in the motorcycle camping gear world. They've developed several products including these deliciously wonderful and fair priced soft panniers. Another is the VUZ MOTO TENT-- a 12 foot integrated motorcycle garage / tent along the lines of the, adventure riding legend in the making, Redverz. To which it is a very affordable option. Be sure to look for our report on that and ALL the tents competing for the throne in that style.
100% WATERPROOF with high-frequency welded seams.
High-frequency welded seams
DURABLE CONSTRUCTION, waterproof PVC tarpaulin
Neoprene heat shields
Pressure Relief Valve
4 compression straps
Multiple Attachment Straps-Adjustable and flexible to adapt to various mounting points across Adventure Motorcycles and Street Motorcycles
Reflective HI-Vis on rear facing sides
24 liters each side
15 x 12 x 4.5 inches (roll top adjusts up to 19”)
THE TAIL BAG
VITCHELLO DRY BAG...
Vitchelo is based out of Texas and has produced one hell of a dry bag here. With carrying straps, tie points and a bonus touch-friendly waterproof smart phone case it really is a MORE than fair asking price for it’s 30 liters AND DEFINITELY works as a tail bag for camping on a motorcycle.
Ripstop vinyl tarpaulin construction
Rigid roll top
High-frequency welded seams
Elasticated front webbing
Reinforced one-handed strap
Comes with a smartphone waterproof/touch-friendly dry bag
60-days money back guarantee & LIFETIME limited WARRANTY
26.8 x 12.6 x 7.1
Well there's 84 Liters of dry motorcycle camping luggage weighing in at a whopping 7.8Lbs. for just under $190 total. Considering the least expensive hard panniers I know of run around $400 and weigh as much as a Buick I'd say that this trifecta is worth a sporting go if you are in the market. Using other dry bag alternatives you can double the capacity of the tail bag quite easily for not much more dough. I recommend trimming down the amount of gear over shooting for more space but at the same time I don't have a clue what you are doing or what your needs are so I should mind my own binnis'. Haha.
If in the event you DO want to up that size here are a couple dry bags I've been keeping my eye on. You'll understand why real quick...
Oren Bravo 25 - 60 Liters Waterproof Bag:
If you care to make the jump to 60 liters...
The only reason the Oren Bravo dry bag is not in place of the Vitchelo is because I could not verify that they were a United States Company. That said.... CHECK THIS DRY BAG OUT! The price is phenomenal.
Piscifun Waterproof Dry Bag 5 - 40 Liters
If only slightly more space is required this is a great 40L product.
Picsifun claims to be founded in and operating out of the U.S. but a little further research turned up that this is not true. Which is a bummer. We love the bag. And I'm not necessarily against products from over seas by any means. Every thing is made every where these days. BUT... why you gotta go be lyin'? That genuinely got me because I do love their products. That's all up to you though. I didn't do enough research to throw them completely under the bus so I'm leaving them in the mix out of fairness.
I hope this helps get you out into the thick of it with more money in your pocket and less worry on your mind. If you have any specific questions feel free to hit us up anytime. I've not been too very 'reach-outy' lately as I re-injured my back. And YAH fun it has been but I do believe I'm on the mend.
As ‘lip-servicy’ as the next statement can be in many applications, I know most of you know that it is truth when I say that Bonnie and I --and the Story Moto ADV family-- are very grateful for all of you— and on so many levels that it kinda gets me a lil …
well …. sometimes I just get a little dust in my eyes…. That’s all. Lol.
Stay Safe Out There. Story Moto Out.
Billy J is co-founder of Story Moto ADV, a dual sport / adventure riding brand with strategic initiatives serving the health of the adventure touring community in order to develop a unified voice for speaking resolution into motorcycle land closures in the U.S. due to overcrowding and other public land use conflicts. He has been a rider for 45 years, an extreme adventurer for 31, and an avid dual sport adventure rider for 20. His first time living on a motorcycle for more than a year was in 1988 and most recently for 16 months living and riding full time with his wife Bonnie J and their kids on a tour that wrapped up in the summer of 2019. The are plugging away at the Story Moto ADV compound for another round set to commence in the Summer of 2020.
CONTACT BILLY J: STORYMOTOADV@GMAIL.COM
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