R1200GSW Passenger Seat Bag

Thursday, November 11, 2013

I got back from a ride today to find a box from Touratech in the dining room. The passenger tail bag—a bag to replace the passenger saddle—had arrived. The back story…

Touratech rear seat/deck bag

Touratech rear seat/deck bag

Touratech rear seat/deck bag
Hexhead tail bag strapped to saddle

Hexhead tail bag strapped to saddle

Hexhead tail bag strapped to saddle

The first image shows a Touratech tail bag that attached to the deck of my ‘05 GS. The bag was held on by straps. The straps were long enough that the bag could be mounted on the deck as shown, or on the passenger saddle. The straps fit through slots that are part of the hexhead GS body work.

When I got my wethead I kept the bag. There were no appropriate mounting slots but the straps were just long enough to wrap them around the passenger saddle of the ‘13 GS. I didn’t like this for two reasons.

MY plan was to buy some kind of pillion plate and mount the bag on the plate. The goal was a quick, tooless swap between passenger saddle and bag (which holds my camera equipment). I purchased the Alt Rider plate, but it didn’t meet my goals as to install and remove the plate you had to remove the passenger grab rails and luggage rack. The Alt Rider plate was sent back. Then I found the new, improved Touratech bag that includes the equivalent of a quick mounting plate. I rationalized to myself that the expensive bag would cost no more than a modest bag plus a mounting plate.

Something new from Touratech

Something new from Touratech

Something new from Touratech
Removable bottom plate

Removable bottom plate

Removable bottom plate
Plastic bottom plate

Plastic bottom plate

Plastic bottom plate
Velcro straps hold plate in pocket

Velcro straps hold plate in pocket

Velcro straps hold plate in pocket

That is the bag and some close ups of the mounting plate. If you turn the passenger saddle upside down it doesn’t look all that different from the Touratech plate. The plate is held in a pocket with two wide velcro straps. The portion of the pocket that is the bottom of the bag looks to be made out of a waterproof material.

Bag on bike

Bag on bike

Bag on bike
Inside of bag

Inside of bag

Inside of bag

It was a bit fiddly to mount the bag the first time. I needed to push from the bottom of the bag near the mounting plate to get the leverage needed to lock the unit in place. After two or three tries I got the technique down. I can switch between bag and stock saddle in a few seconds… assuming I have the stock saddle with me.

Exterior side pockets

Exterior side pockets

Exterior side pockets
Interior side pockets

Interior side pockets

Interior side pockets

The bag has exterior and interior thin side pockets on both sides. The exterior pockets don’t hold all that much. The interior pockets turned out to hold more that I expected. This is good as the bag is deeper than what I’m used to and would probably lose track of small items at the bottom of the bag. Putting such items in the side pockets limits the amount of real estate I need to search.

View from rear

View from rear

View from rear
View from side

View from side

View from side
It expands this tall

It expands this tall

It expands this tall

That’s what it looks like on the bike and when expanded. This bag holds more than my previous bag, but I’d have preferred that it be a bit wider and a bit less deep. Even so, I think this will work better for me than the old bag on top of the passenger saddle. The hardest thing to get used to may be that this bag unzips from the rear and the flap folds toward the front of the bike. This is opposite from the way my old bag worked.