Kriega makes some of the most cleverly designed and high quality motorcycle luggage and accessories on the market. For the Labrador trip, we equipped both bikes with front haul loops and I made up for the F800GS’s lack of a top box with a US-30 tail pack. How’d they work?
Kriega Front Haul Loop
Taking a couple of huge, heavy motorcycles into the wilderness was a bit daunting. Not because we were worried about mechanical problems, but rather failures of the human kind. What if we got the 500lbs (before luggage) R1200GS stuck in the mud? What if I crashed one of the bikes into a swamp? How would we get it out with no other help on hand? We fitted these haul loops in case we had to manhandle the bikes through any problems.
Intended for Enduro racing, where you often have to coax your bike out of trouble or over obstacles using manpower, the Kriga Haul Loops are extremely strong, semi-rigid straps that fit onto any motorycles forks. The rigidity makes them stand proud of the forks, making it easy to grasp without needing to look for them, while materials like Hypalon and Toughtek fabrics along with big stainless steel buckles mean they’ll support the weight of even these enormous bikes.
Thankfully, we didn’t have to test the strength of the haul loops as the bike stayed on road during my crash and we managed to stay out of trouble otherwise. To supplement the loops, we also packed four ratchet straps that we needed for the ferry crossings anyways, but could have done double duty as tow straps or a jerry-rigged winch in an emergency. At $35 and adding virtually no weight, these are a no brainer for anyone that might ever need to haul a bike around.
Kriega US Liner
Almost forgot about this one. We got these to use with our Kriega R35 rucksacks that we didn’t end up taking along on this trip, but we did take these waterproof bags. It’s essentially just a 25-liter dry sack that seals by rolling the top down over itself and buckling the ends together. I kept my clothes inside this in my panniers until a taco’d them, then I strapped this sack to the 800’s luggage rack for the rest of the trip. Even during torrential rain, it kept all my clothes completely dry. Versatile, effective, cheap ($45).
Kriega US-30 Tail Pack
Composed of two separate bags — the US-20 and US-10 — the US-30 tail pack gives you 30 liters of totally waterproof storage that straps easily to the pillion seat of any bike. Two straps pass under that seat and buckle onto the US-20, which then connects to the US-10 in a similar manner. You can run either pack by itself as well. Both packs are made from rip-stop nylon with tough rubberized reinforcements on the top and bottom to prevent them from sliding and to protect against abrasion. Like the US Liner, they’re waterproof dry sacks that roll closed, but these feature and additional buckle to keep that roll totally secure and the compression straps you connect them with allow you to compress them very tightly. There’s external water resistant zipper compartments on the tops of both.
I used the US-10 to hold all my various layers of foul weather riding gear: three pairs of spare gloves, thermals, seal socks, Gore-Tex jacket liner, fleece, balaclava, neck roll, etc. The US-25 served as a compressible, waterproof stuff sack for my down sleeping bag. Down looses its thermal properties if it gets wet, so it’s crucial you keep sleeping bags made from it dry, the US-25 did that. I kept my passport and all the bike documentation in the top zipper compartment of the US-10. It’s not claimed to be 100 percent waterproof, but made from waterproof material and equipped with a rubberized, shielded zipper it kept everything dry even in some really nasty storms.
To say these packs are overbuilt would be an understatement. They stood up to every weather condition we experienced along the way including days of torrential rain and even more days of ridiculous heat. They remained completely stable and secure even at speeds far in excess of 100mph and only shifted slightly, as you can see, when I cartwheeled the 800 down a gravel road at 50 or 60mph. They stood up to all that abuse and served as my pillow ever night for two weeks.
An ingenious touch are the removable, washable, white liners. Dark out? You can still find what's in the bags.
Since these will work on essentially any bike and are so incredibly versatile, I plan to use them for every bike trip I take in the future and expect them to last for years and years. A lifetime luggage solution that’ll work anywhere, anytime for $178? It’s almost too good to be true.
You’re probably detecting that I really love Kriega gear by now and it’s true, I do. Of course it helps that the company offers such solid customer support and really believes in its product. They gave us these bags for the Labrador trip and I deal directly with the customer’s owners, but judging by evidence I’ve seen on some of the forums I participate in, regular customers get the same kind of treatment I do as a journalist. I even witnessed Dom, the guy behind Kriega, talk himself out of a dead certain sale to a guy that wanted to use one of his bags for adventure racing. Dom simply didn’t believe that his were the best possible products for that guy and told him so. Awesome stuff.