Gear: Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack – Review

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Gear: Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack - Review

The waist pack. Quintessential nerdiness or level-headed practicality? The Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack manages to be practical while eschewing the dorky stigma associated with lesser waistpacks. The matte black color scheme, tasteful logos, and overall design speaks more to understated practicality (aka “tactical”); far from the neon-green images of overweight Americans at Disneyland with M&Ms strapped to their ever-expanding waistlines.

Gear: Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack - Review
Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack

The Gear:

As a stand-alone piece of gear, the waistpack does handsomely for day-trips and quick blasts out to the canyons and mountains. It is designed to carry tools (in the included Kriega tool roll), food, small electronic accessories and other bits you might need on a short ride. There are two main compartments, one small and the other large. The larger is water-resistant and can either house the Kriega Tool Roll or any other gear (small camera, etc.) Included in this compartment are compression straps to hold whatever you decide to carry nice and tight. The smaller compartment is basically a mini dry-bag with removable white liner (kudos Kriega!), which is great for carrying water-sensitive gear. I don’t do much riding in the rain so I usually carry things like glove liners, food, extra ear plugs, wallet, microfiber cloth, etc., in the R8.  You can augment the usefulness of the pack by wearing a Kriega R15 rucksack right above it, adding the ability to carry up to 3 liters of water in a hydration pack and more necessities such as a thermal jacket, extra visor, extra pair of gloves, and more.

Gear: Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack - Review
Kriega R8 Waistpack

The Good:

  • Outstanding quality: Kriega makes some of the best motorcycle-specific gear out there, and their sound conceptual designs are backed up with second-to-none fit and finish. The quality of the materials, stitching, snaps, zips and buckles is evident in all of their products and the R8 Waistpack is no exception.
  • More useful than you would think. Works great as a small pack for quick jaunts or as a companion to the R15 backpack.
Gear: Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack - Review
Kriega R8

The Bad:

  • On some bikes, the waist pack can interfere with the pillion section of the seat, making it uncomfortable to wear. Overall, if you already don’t have much fore-aft space on your bike, then the waistpack is going to limit you even more. I found the pack to be a bit cumbersome when I had a couple Kriega tailpacks on the rear of my Bonneville as it forced me to remain in the most forward position during long rides.
  • At a price of $129.00, it’s pricey, but Kriega is nice enough to include their excellent tool roll…
  • I wouldn’t ride with your accessorized tool roll in the bespoke compartment; I found it to be uncomfortably heavy and the pack tended to sag onto my bum. I elect to put my heavy tools in my tailpack.

The Verdict: This Kriega provides baseline practical functionality and that is going to appeal to a lot of folks. By itself, it’s a comfortable way of carrying everything you need for half-days on your favorite roads. Coupled with an R15 pack and possibly a couple of tailpacks, and it becomes a worthy companion to any overnight or multi-day tour. It’s a charmer.

 

More:
Kriega R8 Motorcycle Waistpack Product Information >>

  • Rameses the 2nd

    How much gear is too much gear? Full Face Helmet, Overpants, Riding Boots, Gloves, Leather Jacket, Backpack (because 90% of motorcycles don’t have anything for luggage)… We are already taking at least 20 lbs. No matter how fit and muscular you are, this much gear gets tiring at the end of the day. I think we need an article on how to ride fully protected (regular every day city commute) with the least amount of gear possible.

    • NOCHnoch

      My bike has an engine and a seat…I don’t really feel the gear that much!

      But seriously, how much heavier is your gear than regular street clothes? I wear Icon El Bajo boots (look pretty normal if bulky), Maple riding jeans, an Olympia textile jacket (much lighter than leather), Rev’it gloves, and while my helmet could be lighter I don’t mind it that much.

      I prefer tank/tailbags to backpacks, though. I wouldn’t want my mobility compromised by something that heavy.

      • Rameses the 2nd

        I have Triumph Raven Leather Jacket (7 lbs), TCX Jupiter 2 Gore-Tex Boots (~ 4 to 5 lbs), Shoei RF-1100 Helmet (3.5 lbs), First Gear HT Air Over Pants (4 lbs), Neck warmer or buff, Icon gloves, etc… ( < 1 lbs). No matter how you put it together, riding gear is definitely heavier than regular street clothes.

        • NOCHnoch

          I think if you switch from a backpack to a tailbag/panniers you won’t feel the gear as much when you’re on the bike. Clomping around in riding boots isnt fun, but a regular leather jacket weighs close to 7lbs (or more) and a few pounds on the legs won’t make a huge difference. As for the helmet, without going for carbon fiber there’s probably not much you can do.

      • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

        I’ve weighed all my gear after a ride to my parents place for an overnight stay. This included all the usual ATGATT plus laptop, work boots, 1.5L water, 5 lbs of tools and the total was around 40-45 lbs. Lots of weight, but to me, it was all necessary.

        • NOCHnoch

          It’s not fair to count your laptop, water and tools! For me, riding gear is what I wear. Everything else is luggage, and I have 120+hp to deal with that.

          • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

            I see your point, however to me gear is gear. What I wear for a given situation, including riding gear, and what I carry is determined by where I’m at, how I’m going to travel, and where I’m going to be.

            Having the luggage infrastructure to carry what you need safely and conveniently is crucial.

            • Piglet2010

              That is why I ride a Honda Deauville most of the time – built in locking panniers no wider than the handlebars are a wonderful thing to have. But it seems that image is more important here in the US, since Honda only sold a couple dozen, it seems.

    • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

      There are always practical limits, however, it all depends on what you are going to do. Obviously, in the context of a “regular every day city commute” bringing on a waist-pack is probably unnecessary. However, your Macbook Pro might be totally necessary in that case. Horse for courses.

    • _dc

      A properly designed backpack can be worn for long periods of time without inducing fatigue. Don’t let your childhood experience of hauling around a old style backpack full of text books deter you, I hated those too.

      But the modern packs that borrow design elements from actual hiking gear (Osprey, etc.) are quite comfortable since they distribute the load across your chest, back and shoulders evenly.

      I’d take the Kriega backpacks over the waist packs any day. Larger carrying volume and more comfortable.

      • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

        The point is not choosing one or the other, but rather, which is more appropriate for your needs. The waist pack is a useful way to compartmentalize your belongings and have quick(er) access to things you may need that would otherwise be buried in your larger backpack.

  • NOCHnoch

    Still kinda dorky IMHO

  • Lee Scuppers

    “Quintessential nerdiness or level-headed practicality?”

    That’s hardly an exclusive OR.

    • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

      Touche.

  • SteveNextDoor

    Just a quick tip: it would help to show a pic of someone wearing it on and/or off the bike to better judge its size and also how it will sit on the body when riding. I noticed on the Kriega site there are no pics of this type either (they have one pic of someone wearing it, but it is from above and you can only see the waist belt).

    • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

      I’ll get it done tomorrow.

      • SteveNextDoor

        Don’t lie, you know you’re out riding! ;)

  • Michael Howard

    “Bespoke” means “made to order”, as in one-of-a-kind, custom-made for a particular individual. I’m pretty sure Kriega doesn’t do that kind of thing.

    • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

      “Tailor made” is a synonym for bespoke. The compartment on the Kriega, while not customized for an individual, is tailored around the dimensional and practical requirements for the Kriega tool roll.

      • _dc

        Which makes it a specialized compartment, mass produced the same for every bag.

        Bespoke implies something different entirely.

        • http://rideapart.com/author/aakash-desai/ Aakash

          Both of you are correct.

  • gleite311

    I think for a typical street ride, I’d stick with a tank bag or tail bag before using a waist pack. They would hold more and be less bulky by way of not having to wear them over my gear. If I were on my dual-sport though, the waist pack (or backpack) would be the preferred option since I don’t have any kind of rack on my XR for carrying items.

  • William Connor

    Nerdy. I use an ICON backpack that carries my lunch and essentials when I don’t feel like rocking side cases. Got the backpack for free.

  • KriegaUSA

    Thanks for the write-up chaps! It might be worth us letting folks know that the R8 was designed primarily for serious off-road riding / racing. A lot of rally, desert and hard enduro boys rock a waistpack due to way it centralizes mass and keep the bike as light and nimble as possible. Not many street riders use these, simply because they don’t really need to. But quite a few do go for the far more compact and discreet R3 (see photo) when they need to carry a few essentials (and be sure it’ll all stay dry if they get caught in the rain), but don’t have any pockets in their race suits etc.

    http://kriegausa.smugmug.com/Other/Pro-Shots/i-stcpfLM/0/O/PerformanceBikes6.jpg

  • KriegaUSA