Take me home, El Capitan!

R15 motorcycle backpack
R15 motorcycle backpack

When it comes to carrying your daily crap around on your motorcycle, some choose to go with tank bags, top-boxes, and/or rear rack bags.. others, like me prefer a back-pack. I hate putting bags of any type on my bike. They add "sprung" weight, affect handling, they usually look ugly, they invite vandalism, and eventually a tank bag will mar your paint in one way or another. Most generic back-packs are made for camping, hiking, etc and aren't comfortable on a bike..The Kriegas are different. They were designed by motorcyclists for motorcyclists.

Recently a local 'Busa rider turned me on to the British company Kriega and their selection of motorcycle-specific back-packs. I tried his on and it was so comfortable and so unobtrusive that I ordered two for myself and instantly fell in love with them. The smaller R15 (pics above) I use for daily riding and the larger R20 (pic at right) for when I need to pack a little more for a day trip out of town.

From Kriega's extensive product line, Pirates Lair has chosen (for now) to add the R15 which is 17"×13"×7" and the slightly larger R20 (pic at right) which is 19.5"×14.5"×11.5." Kriega suggests the smaller bag for riders under 5.5,’ but I'm 5'8" and the R15 is perfect for "my" daily adventures. The R15 offers a 15 litre capacity (that's DOUBLE the capacity of the Engage Tank Bags we sell) which should offer plenty of space for anyone's around town use, commuting, or minor drug smuggling. The R20 offers a whopping 20 litre capacity.

R20 motorcycle backpack
Click Image For Larger View

Side-By-Side Comparison of R15 & R20.. Click Here

Inside the main compartment, which is kept secure by a YKK water resistant zipper, you'll find a few inner pockets with either zippers or pull-ties. These bags, IMHO would be nicer with more pockets to keep things separated and perhaps a dedicated rain cover, but that's a minor complaint. All the Kriega bags feature 3M reflective areas along back and front. The internal reservoir pocket with compression straps fits an optional 3 liter hydration insert (sold separately).

The main selling point of the Kriega back-packs is their innovative Quad-Loc harness and strap system. These are unlike any back-pack system I've ever seen, except for some scuba BC's or skydiving rigs. The straps are angled out of the way for total freedom of movement. The aforementioned Quad-Loc offers one-click lock-in/removal of the back-pack. Each back-pack comes with a lower "waist" strap for off-road riding. I removed mine. As the inside surface of the pack is contoured like a crescent moon. Once you get the back-pack on and sitting on the bike.. it won't move, it won't hang down and touch your tail section, it won't in any way hinder your riding style. You really don't know it's there.

Another benefit of the angled straps is ease of on/off. Unlike other back-packs, where you have to struggle like Houdini to get the sucker on or off.. the design of the Kriega makes this issue a thing of the past. Amazing. Even small details like flapping straps have been addressed. Even though I possess a vocabulary rivaling William F Buckley's .... I can NOT do these bags verbal justice. They are that good. Perfect for the back-pack wearing street or off-road rider... or for any rider thinking about an alternative to a lame-ass tank bag.

The optional Hydrapak inserts (click image for larger view) are made of FDA approved materials and feature a taste-free drink tube that won’t leave you with that weird plastic taste in your mouth like some others do. They’re reversible for easy cleaning and drying, and the tube disconnects from the reservoir with the touch of a button. The wide fill design of the Hydrapak has a roll-top hook & loop closure for leak proof security. Hook & loop harness/tube connector also included. The 3 liter Hydra-Pak is 12"×10" and has a 37" drink tube. It fits Kriega R20 and R15 only.

3L Reservoir + Tube

Kriega R15 / 15 litre Backpack $160.US (USPS Priority Included)
Kriega R20 / 20 litre Backpack $180.US (USPS Priority Included)

3 Litre Hydrapak Insert $35.US (USPS Priority Included)