Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

K-Drive Universal Sissybar Bag

Discussion in 'Luggage' started by Fragbait, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Product: K-Drive Universal Sissybar Bag
    Manufacturer Product Code: S2
    Dimensions: 26cm x 29cm x 15cm
    Capacity: 16L
    Material: Waterproof Iparex
    Purchase Price: $130
    Direct link: http://www.k-drive.com/universal-sissybarbags.html

    OK, before we get started just to clarify "Waterproof Iparex" is just a fancy way for the manufacturer to say "Vinyl". Just so we're clear that this is not leather.

    I was looking for some occasional carrying capacity for my Cruiser (Suzuki C-50) but I didn't want the expense or trouble of fitting saddlebags and brackets just yet. Given that my bike has a (non-genuine) Sissybar I thought that this bag may suit my purposes and after some consideration I purchased and have now used the bag.

    The bag is attached around your Sissybar by means of two elastic straps that connect together with a very large piece of velcro. This design provides a lot of flexibility in being able to fit onto multiple different models of Sissybars and bikes and it certainly worked on my bike. I will say however that I had to cross over the velcro a fair way to ensure a snug fit as it would appear my Sissybar is on the smaller end of the scale. Still, it fits well and is completely secure.

    There is also a second non-elastic strap and buckle arrangement toward the lower part of the bag. In the manufacturer's pictures this strap is secured around the Sissybar frame apparently to prevent the bag from sliding down lower on the bar. Personally I would have a greater concern about the bag eventually sliding higher and possibly coming off the Sissybar altogether. My bike has a small rack behind the Sissybar though which is perfect. The bag rests comfortably on the rack and I then used the strap to secure the bag to it preventing the bag from sliding up or in the event of failure of the velcro from coming off altogether.

    After learning how to fix it to my bike in the most suitable way it takes less than 30 seconds to either put it on or take it off.

    The bag appears to be reasonably made. The inside of the bag is fitted with PVC to maintain shape and provide reinforcement to the points that wear is likely to occur. One thing I did notice is that on the inside lip of the bag is a thick strip of PVC to reinforce the edge. This strip has quite a sharp edge to it and a careless grope around in the bag could result in a few skinned knuckles. No matter, a few moments with a coarse file fixed that or you could use a soldering iron to melt the edge smooth if you were so inclined. I don't know if this is typical for this part of the bag or whether mine was just a bit less well finished. It's easily fixed though so not worth worrying about.

    The two straps are quick and easy to use and the buckles close securely. There's even a little bit of extra capacity available as the straps have multiple buckle holes punched into them meaning the top of the bag could be pushed a bit higher.

    OK, so what does 16L mean in real world terms? No, you're not going to fit 8 x 2L bottles of Coke in the bag. For my purposes I wanted a bag suitable for an overnight trip and I was pleasantly surprised at just how much you could fit in here. For my first trip I had spare underwear, T-shirt, a polar fleece jumper, toiletries, summer gloves, maps, and a small digital camera with bag. That was pretty much full capacity for the bag however as mentioned earlier I could have jammed a few more items in there and simply adjusted the buckles a bit more.

    You could possibly get away with this bag for you and a pillion on an overnight trip, so long as she doesn't want to bring her hairdryer! You might be starting to stretch the available space though but if you only take the necessities it should see you right. It is certainly ideal for two-up for a day trip somewhere that you won't be needing a change of clothes and toiletries, but you would like the extra space for jumpers, camera, mobile phones, wallet, purse, etc.

    As the bag is vinyl and the main securing method uses elastic I would be concerned about the life of the bag if it was used continuously on a daily basis and left exposed to the sun. Eventually those UV rays will destroy the elastic and the vinyl however I would only expect this to happen if you were riding 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and even then I reckon you'd get a good 3-5 years out of it. For regular weekend use and if the bag is not left on the bike and exposed to the elements it'll probably last you the lifetime of the bike.

    Possible Improvements:
    There's probably only two things the manufacturer could do to improve this bag although neither are truly necessary. First would be a to include a third strap at the bottom of the bag to enable it to be more easily fastened to a rack and ensure it cannot accidentally come loose. The current second strap can be used in this manner however so not a real necessity. The second improvement would be to have a small outer pouch on either the back or the sides of the bag so that you could easily grab your phone or wallet without having to open the main bag and rummage through everything in there. Again, not a major issue anyway and no doubt this would add to the cost of the bag.

    As a relatively inexpensive storage device for a bike that is fitted with a Sissybar this bag is ideal. I would strongly recommend that your bike is also fitted with a rack behind the Sissybar for the bag to rest on and that the second strap is used in a manner to secure the bag firmly to the bike in some way. If possible try a test fit on your bike before purchase to ensure it will fit OK.

    As a cheaper alternative to saddlebags, a more comfortable solution than wearing a backpack, and for reasonable carrying capacity this bag is definitely recommended.