First let me say that I have now had my Triumph Tiger 800 XC for 3 months and I am a tick under 4k miles and I love it! That being said, the Tiger out of the box has proven to require some dialing in to really meet my needs. I have done quite a few farkles on the bike already, but I will start with a quick run down on the install and my impressions of my top case.
A bit of back ground. I have been using soft bags on my Scrambler and KLX 250 for some time. I have used Wolfman bags, which I could not recommend enough if you want to go the soft bag route. The construction is stellar, they are big and made entirely in the U.S. They do however lack the measure of security only a hard bag can provide in the form of a lock.
I was really wanting an all aluminum case set up on this bike. I cross shopped just about every case system that’s out there for the Tiger. And let me tell you there are tons of them. From Hepco Becker to Happy-Trail, to Touratech, and the absolute gorgeous Al Jesse bags. And after looking at all, I just could not justify the price of admission. As cool as they look, one could buy a decent running used bike for the dough!
So I was on to composite bags. I first looked at Givi cases, which quite a few of my friends run and love. But I just could not have my brand new, bad ass, Adv bike looking like a scooter with those gay things hanging off of it. So they’re out.
Some years ago I took a flier on a top case for my KLR 650 from Caribou motorcycle luggage. What these guys do is they take Pelican instrument cases and modify them with locks and mounting hardware to go on specific bikes. To any of you familiar with these types of cases, you know they are tough as hell and water proof. Sure they resemble an iphone otter box on steroids, but I think on and Adv bike they kind of look just right to me.
On the old KLR I chose a 35 liter case but it was always just to small. So on the Tiger I opted for the 40 liter. I ordered the case on a Sunday night and it was at my house by Wed. It took me all of 30 mins to install. Everything was clearly labeled and the directions were excellent. I had a couple of questions and I emailed them and got almost immediate replies. Overall a very good buying experience. Which is not easy to say for a lot of online farkle companies.
All the pieces pre-install
The beefy mounting plate. Which also serves as a great mounting point for my small soft tail bag when I wanna travel light. It also has great lash down points for straps.
The finished product.
So now for my impressions. The case is deceptively big. I can get both mine and my wives riding jacket in it and locked up easily. This pass weekend I got everything I needed for Colors in the Catskills in there. That included and extra jacket and a pair of hikers. Didn’t even need and other bag. And it was 100% water proof. Not a drop inside. It has a pretty easy quick mounting system that uses pins that you push down and turn 1/4 to lock.
My only beefs with it are 1) It seems to scuff very easily, 2) It proved to be quite fiddly to get the key into the lock this weekend. Who knows maybe all the rain? Maybe a little graphite powder in there will sort it? 3) My wife is complaining that it digs into her back a bit when we are riding. Do to the design of the front of the case it’s the one top case Caribou doesn’t make a back pad for. Figures. I am going to see if I can fab something up with some angle iron, wood, foam and some vinyl.
Next time I will give my impression of the SW Motech crash bars I added recently.