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Introduction

Whenever I post photos of my bike I often get asked about the bag so I thought I'd post my review.

I have both the sidebag and rear tail bag so I will post a review of the tail bug at a later point



This bag is the brown version of the side bags and is referred to as the "leather edition", I assume in reference to the leather handle and closing straps. It's important to note that the black and brown bags have slightly different designs so bare this in mind when considering this. You can see the two options here:


Purchasing

I purchased mine through BMW Australia and my bike arrived with it fitted. It's important to note the side bags and tail bag can't be used at the same time but can be used independently. Please note, this doesn't mean you can't fit both set of attachment points so it's simply a case of selecting the best bag for your purposes if you have both. Pricing will vary by country. I originally purchased the Luggage Pack which came with the two side bags, tank bag and tail bag but I got a call from BMW to say they couldn't fit the second side bag due to the high exhaust on the scrambler and the pricing was reduced accordingly. I also removed the tank bag as it was never my intention to use it. If you have a scrambler and need dual side bags, take note as you may have to consider other manufacturers.



Fitting and Mount

Mine was fitted by BMW which I would recommend, not due to difficulty but rather due to the requirement to use a torque wrench which I suspect most people won't have.

Difficulty is about a 2/10 but access to tools is the hard part. The mount itself is very good. It connects via 3 adapters that keep it very secure and I have no reason to believe that this would fall off.



The mount is small and inconspicuous although they made the obscure decision to use a silver screw for one of the mounts that stands out. It's one of those decisions that you have to ask "what the **** were they thinking?)




Construction and features

Construction of the bag is very good with the exception of one small item...the strap. Put anything heavier than a mobile phone and the strap connector bends open making it possible for it to disconnect. There is also no padding on the strap. For a bag of this price, it's pretty disgraceful and I would recommend replacing it ASAP. You can pick up something more secure on eBay for about $10.



Aside from this issue, the bag is actually very well constructed, and could pass for a laptop bag if you walked into the office. I say "could" because you obviously have large attachment points for the bag mount on the back of the bag that will be unnoticeable to most people. A simple flap would solve this, but I don't think they would have designed this as an everyday work bag.



Inside the bag, they have included a waterproof removable liner which is both good from a waterproof and cleaning perspective. If you put in groceries and the milk leaks, you can easily remove the liner and clean it. I'll cover the waterproofing as a separate topic.

The straps are the buckle style straps similar to a belt buckle. It is a more time consuming method of opening and closing but also very secure.



I would have liked to see a small pocket of sorts for a mobile phone or wallet, preferably on the outside of the bag similar to the tail bag. It's a small item but helpful if you stop at a gas station and want to get your wallet out without opening your entire bag and spending 5 minutes finding your wallet.

Waterproofing

From a waterproofing perspective, I think the roll up interior liner design with clip is guaranteed to keep your goods dry in a torrential downpour for days, so unless you make a habit of parking your bike in a swimming pool, I wouldn't be concerned.



Security

This is security (theft) as opposed to security (likelihood of falling off).

This is probably my major concern with this, but maybe my fears are unfounded. There are two concerns I have:

1. Security of the goods inside if you leave the bag on the bike
2. Security of the bag itself if you leave it on the bike

I think these can be addressed via other means, but it's an annoyance that could have been rectified through bag design. I think BMW should have included a locking mechanism for attaching the bag to the bike and I also think they should have included a locking mechanism to keep the bag locked if you leave it on the bike. I often leave my wet weather gear in the bike so having to take the bag with me is an unnecessary annoyance I would rather avoid.



The problem with not having either of these mechanisms in place is it means that you have to take the bag with you if you are in an area where theft would be a concern. It would have been nice to lock the helmet and bag to the bikes so I could leave everything behind.

Pillions

Unfortunately, this bag is not pillion compatible. It was never my intention to ride with a pillion but this may be important for some people so it's worth noting.

In summary

The good

  • Easy to get on and off
  • Mount isn't obvious when bag not on the bike
  • Waterproofing is great
  • Looks good, even on the scrambler with one bag
  • Strap attachment makes it possible to double as laptop bag
The Bad

  • Terrible standard strap
  • No locking mechanism to attach bag to bike
  • No locking mechanism for contents of bag
  • Can't be used at the same time as tailbag
  • Can't be used with a pillion

The follow photo shows both mounts concurrently along with the obscure choice of using a silver screw for the one mounting point​

Conclusion

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the bag. The annoyance about security is one I can live with and the strap is one I can rectify but they are two issues that could easily have been resolved by the design team.
 

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Nice looking bag! I don’t think it was mentioned in your post that your mounting bracket (with the silver bolt) and the quick release attacment on the bag are by SW Motech, not BMW.

Cheers! Neil
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice looking bag! I don’t think it was mentioned in your post that your mounting bracket (with the silver bolt) and the quick release attacment on the bag are by SW Motech, not BMW.

Cheers! Neil
Thanks. I've heard they are compatible but I wasn't aware they were actually manufactured by SW-Motech. There are no logos on the mount or bracket that indicate this.
 

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Thanks for posting this, now I see how the tail bag and the seat mate. One note my dealer actually told me the tail and side bags were compatible and I kept looking at it and it didn't add up in my head. Low and behold they are not. In my case the side bag is great for my daily and the tail bag is more than enough for a road trip.
 

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Introduction





Pillions


Unfortunately, this bag is not pillion compatible. It was never my intention to ride with a pillion but this may be important for some people so it's worth noting.

In summary

The good

  • Easy to get on and off
  • Mount isn't obvious when bag not on the bike
  • Waterproofing is great
  • Looks good, even on the scrambler with one bag
  • Strap attachment makes it possible to double as laptop bag
The Bad

  • Terrible standard strap
  • No locking mechanism to attach bag to bike
  • No locking mechanism for contents of bag
  • Can't be used at the same time as tailbag
  • Can't be used with a pillion

It is compatible with a passenger if you lower the right side peg. Wunderlich sells a nicely made pair but they are quite expensive. I made this from some 1” aluminum thick walled square stock tubing and an old dirt bike peg.... no complaints from my wife.


125980


125979
 

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Nice looking bag! I don’t think it was mentioned in your post that your mounting bracket (with the silver bolt) and the quick release attacment on the bag are by SW Motech, not BMW.

Cheers! Neil
So i can buy the pair for my UGS from SW Motech at a fairer price than BMW and get the same product (Quality?)
 

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So i can buy the pair for my UGS from SW Motech at a fairer price than BMW and get the same product (Quality?)
I think the brackets are identical, as are the mounting mechanism. Its just the bags themselves that are a bit different.
I have the sw motech bracket and took it into the bmw dealer to confirm that they both fit.
 

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I think the brackets are identical, as are the mounting mechanism. Its just the bags themselves that are a bit different.
I have the sw motech bracket and took it into the bmw dealer to confirm that they both fit.

Nice one! thanks for that.
 

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I’ve just bought the grey/black one off that auction site for £127 delivered.
I ordered the bracket from a BMW car dealership which came in 1 day and cheaper than either the Motorrad dealer or any SW Motech Seller’s.
Worth checking with your local BMW car dealership for prices.
 

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That bag looks tiny, will it fit a 15" laptop?

When I was shopping for a bag the clear winner was a $160 universal bag from Iron & Resin. 8,000 miles later with nearly daily use and it's still pretty much perfect:

Fits my 15" MBP and the laptop carrying bag, plus room for a bottle or hat, in addition to the smaller pocket which is perfect for a small electric air pump and plug kit.

I've yet to find a better bang for the buck. I hope companies keep trying though.
 

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Hmm depends on how you measure your laptop.
Mine actually measures 15” by 9.6” but is classed as a 15.6” which is what I guess you are referring to.
If so, just, only just and I wouldn’t risk it in the rain as the inner bag doesn’t close around it.
At 14 litres this is the bigger bag ! Guess I will have to leave the tech at home and just enjoy the ride.
I’m just happy I don’t have to wear a backpack anymore.
The bonus for me is the mounting hardware. Secure on the bike but quick and easy to remove leaving a discreet single bar in place. Identical to the SW Motech Legend system.
 

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That bag looks tiny, will it fit a 15" laptop?

When I was shopping for a bag the clear winner was a $160 universal bag from Iron & Resin. 8,000 miles later with nearly daily use and it's still pretty much perfect:

Fits my 15" MBP and the laptop carrying bag, plus room for a bottle or hat, in addition to the smaller pocket which is perfect for a small electric air pump and plug kit.

I've yet to find a better bang for the buck. I hope companies keep trying though.
Hi @Vectorbug the iron & resin bag looks and the reviews are great at such a value. Can you share a pic of how it looks on the bike ? I'm trying to figure out how it'll hook to the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Has anyone figured out a way to get this or any other bag to work when you remove the tail and shift the turn singles back a bit? I'm looking at https://www.shadusa.com/collections/r-ninet-1200/products/bmw-r-ninet-1200-13-19-sr18-saddlebags-holder but event that isn't working with my turn signals: View attachment 126217
Yes, you can mount the bag bracket under the tail instead of on top. If you have a look at the daedalus review of mine, I included it there
 
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