In this week's show, Todd Heslin talks us through his recent Bucket Racing experience. Also,
Looking for a pack that you can sling over any bike? or even your shoulder?
Kriega's US-20 pack might just be the answer.
Ok, picture this, it's late in the piece, Sunday afternoon, 6 sleeps before we hit the road, 2 blokes, 2 borrowed bikes, and it suddenly dawns on us, we don't have any luggage to fit the Harley-Davidson pan America. If you haven't caught up on this unfolding story, Myself and Todd are aiming to be among the first to travel down the Molesworth Station road, on opening weekend, labor weekend 2021, on a 2020 Suzuki VStrom 1050XT and a 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America. Neither of us fancies the idea of carrying a heavy backpack with tools, clothes, beers, etc all the way town the Molesworth. So we hit Google, and the first thing that comes up in the search results is Motogear.co.nz and the Kriega US-20. "That'll do!"
For the full story and all the drama that unfolded, check out our "Top of the South" written story, Podcast series on Spotify, and 40-minute feature video on Youtube.
Kriega are the swiss army knife of the motorcycle luggage world. I already own a Trail18 backpack and the OS-24 Kit, which is 2x OS12 packs (12 liters each) on a seat-mounted strap-on base known as the OS-Base, essentially making a set of panniers for my Tenere 700. I put the call through to the MotoGear.co.nz team on Monday morning and on my doorstep by lunchtime Tuesday is a Kriega US-20. Now, I thought my OS-Base and 2xOS-12 packs were good, but this really is the bee's knees. What we have is essentially a 20L pack, with a roll-top, double lined, and waterproof, with more loops, straps, and options than you can shake a stick at. Kriega includes a bunch of different straps so you can pretty much mount the pack anywhere on the bike, and mount other luggage to it. For example, to mount my 2xOS-12 packs to my T7, I have to use the OS-Base, but the US-20 pack, can effectively replace the base, and I can attach the OS-12s to it, or I can strap the OS-Base down, and using the included straps with self-locking hooks, tie the US-20 to the OS base.
20L of luggage may not seem like much, but it is actually quite a bit when you start itemizing everything. We wanted each bike to be self-sufficient, so each bike needed to carry essentials like water, a puncture repair kit, basic tools, navigation, charging, spare clothes, toiletries, and anything else we need. I'd be carrying a bit extra gear than Todd, as I had the camera and audio recording equipment. No camera crew with landrover following us on this trip!
I can't overstate how versatile the Kriega US-20 pack is, It comes with more straps than you can shake a stick at. so you can strap it to the grab handles or luggage tie-downs on your bike, or if your bike doesn't come with luggage tie-downs, then some are included for you. the outside of the pack is tough Cordura, with loops everywhere, and the inside is lined with a waterproof internal liner and fastened to the top of the outer shell with velcro. This internal bag is also white. you wouldn't think this would make much difference, but it actually helps in lightening up the inside of the bag when you're looking for something. It's the small things that make a big difference.
The materials the US-20 is made out of are high quality, the clips are strong and the straps are solid. Meaning you can really get some tension on them if you're worried you might lose something on rough terrain. We covered 800km of gravel and tar seal around the top of the south island over 3 days with a Kriega US-20 on each the Pan America and the V-Strom 1050 and didn't have a single issue. neither of the packs moved or came loose. Todd even had such faith in his US-20, is put his iPad in there, something I was too nervous to do. but thankfully the iPad made it to the end of the trip completely unscathed.
Check out Motogear.co.nz for the full Kriega range, or ask for it by name from your local motorbike gear shop. After this recent trip, Kriega is definitely my go-to brand for modular and expandable luggage for any type of riding.