A tail bag is a tail bag or is it more?
While we sat in the office pondering potential ideas to showcase some of our favorite products and products we have been interested in trying, the idea of riding to Daytona Florida for bike week from Dallas Texas came up. What a great idea, sounds great to me I blurted out, and without thinking I said, let’s do it! Um, what did I just commit too? I pondered the idea for a second, this is going to be a 2700 mile trip and oh yeah, I would be riding my Ducati 959 Panigale, while my co-worker Mark who would be making the trip with me, would be riding his Harley Davidson Ultra Classic. Mark was going to have a nice cushy ride and me, well, not so much. This was going to be the most miles I have ever ridden in such a short period of time especially since this was going to be 2700 miles in 6 days.
So began the planning. Since I was going to be lacking in storage space, as in I had zero storage, I began researching luggage. There seems to be an unlimited selection of luggage for motorcycles in the market, but for some reason, I kept coming across this beautiful image of a red Ducati 1299 with Kriega Drypacks sitting perfectly stacked on rear seat ready to tackle anything thrown at it. The thought of sport touring through the countryside and the sensation you get when your lean angle reaches that area of adrenaline and pure giddiness began to run through my mind. With the great reviews that Kriega had received, I decided that I would invest in the Kriega gear. I could have used the Kriega Drpacks as a tank bag with their tank bag converter, but I decided to use a purpose-built tank bag for this trip. I received the Kriega US-20 and Kriega US-10, the Panigale fit kit, the R20 Backpack, and the Kube Harness Pocket. The first thing I noticed when I opened the Kriega box was that the quality was top notch. From the YKK water resistant zippers, the stitching, the material used to make the main body 100% waterproof and the white removable liner. Kriega really did their homework with their product line.
Now that I had the Kriega gear in hand, I began to fill the Drypacks up. The Kriega US-20 fit 6 military rolled bundles of shirts, underwear, and socks along with two pairs of jeans. The Kriega US-10 was perfect for my raingear and a sweatshirt. There was enough room for all the clothes I wanted to carry with the Drypacks, so I began to fill the Kriega R20 backpack. The R20 held a 15” laptop a pair of shoes and all my electronics cords in which I put in the Kube harness pocket. I couldn’t fit my phone into the Kube harness pocket due to my phone being too large.
The last thing I needed to do was to install the fit kit on my bike. The kit was simple to install, and it took about 20 minutes with some minor tweaks to the fit kit loops to keep them out when putting the rear seat back on. I was now ready to get my luggage attached. In my research, I saw a few different configurations of how the Kriega tail packs were configured on the back, but I found that the bags sat more evenly when I had then sitting with the rolled openings towards the rear of the bike. The bags cinched down evenly and were to my pleasant surprise extremely stable. I have seen my share of luggage contraptions, but the Kriega Drypacks were by far the best and most efficient set up I have ever used.
The day finally came to ride and with all my gear loaded, backpack on, I ran into my first snafu. I was left with only a small area to get on my bike. I would have to pick my leg up over the seat sideways to get on. And yes, it made for some interesting if not funny, exits and entries onto the bike. My backpack was too full and wouldn’t allow me to sit up all the way due to the tail bags and my tank bag restricted some of my forward movement. I was lucky to be able to remedy this situation once I met up with Mark. I emptied most of the stuff (15” laptop, extra pair of shoes and a sweatshirt out of my backpack into Marks saddlebags. With the backpack mostly emptied, we began our journey.
At each gas stop, I checked the Kriega packs and they were exactly where they were when we left. About 500 miles into our journey, I decided to ride without the R20 backpack since it didn’t have much in it. This was a mistake, and within the next 15 miles, I was wishing I had the R20 backpack back on. It turns out that the backpack was taking the stress off of my back and shoulders. Needless to say, the R20 backpack never left my back for the rest of the trip.
After 2700 miles in the seat, we encountered, wind, pouring rain, cold temperatures and through it all, the Kreiga US-20/US-10 tailbacks and R20 backpack still looked like they were new. The Kriega packs did everything they were supposed to do and look to keep taking whatever is thrown at them. The Kriega packs performed so well that I will need to add a few more pieces to my Kriega collection.