DISCLAIMER: I do not have anything to do with Chase Harper or anyone working for them. This review is not endorsed by them & its just my opinion which I thought of sharing with the motorcycle community. I also want to state that this is my first review for any product.
I have posted this same review at ADVrider.com as I frequent there, but I wanted to post it for my fellow FZ6 owners as well. You can view the thread here with pics if you dont like the slideshow : http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=229164
NOTE about images: Since I cannot post more than 5 images, I have made a slideshow for all of you to see:
I have been looking for a tail bag that can do it all ever since I owned my DR650. I wanted something I can dump my work stuff into & not worry about it. Since 90% of the time I use my bike for commuting, this was biggest criteria for selection. At that time I only wanted something to hold my shoes, my blackberry & lunch. I never got around to buying anything & I sold the DR. Got a new job, so got myself a new Yamaha FZ6. Now, in addtion to all the above items I now had a huge laptop bag that contained my laptop, charger, mouse & lots of documents. So my criteria became a bit tougher, I needed something that swallow the entire laptop bag when I am on the bike & when I take the cage I can just take my laptop bag as is without having to move any contents around. My laptop bag measured 17W 14H 4D & most mainsream tail bags that I came across just werent big enough to hold this. I gave up & decided to get myself a duffle bag & so ordered the Givi T418 duffle bag, which appealed to me in looks, price & features. The bag was good quality & was flexible enough to "flex" by laptop bag in. However, I just couldnt get it to mount on the damn bike. Givi bag sold. Back to the drawing board & somehow I came across the Chase Harper http://www.chaseharper.com/TailTrunk...2&fr=4502.htm&
& I thought "hmm this looks large enough to hold my crap" & so I ordered it. The folks at Chase Harper were kind enough to accomodate my request for USPS shipping instead of UPS & the bag arrived in NJ from CA in 3 days.
The bag arrived in a huge box & before opening I thought to myself "How the heck something this huge will look on my FZ??" , I opened it & there it was. All new black & at first glance you can notice this thing is high quality. No stiches hanging, the cordura is top notch, zippers slide without hesitation & the bungies look like they can hang someone from the ceiling. The pictures at their website dont do it justice, it looks a lot better in person & has a nice shape to it. The whole "trunk" is solid (except for the top cover) & with no items in doesnt collapse. All of this comes with a life time warranty! And the best part about this? Made In USA ! No offense to any products made elsewhere, but personally I like stuff made here.
The 2 wheeled Trunk:
So off I go out to try & mount it on my bike. After 10 minutes of adjusting the bungies & pulling the trunk in all directions for stability, I decided it was good to go. My first test was to take it for a 90 mile 1 way trip to my training class, which for that week only was from Mon-Fri & 95% of that was nothing but interstate yawning in the helmet. So I dump my laptop bag, blackberry, shoes, lunch, extra bungies & black fasteners that came with the bag & headed out. At first I noticed that it moved a bit when I was riding & that scared the shit out of me. I know it moved as I could feel it on my back (I sit slightly backwards, so it may be a non issue for folks who sit upright) For the first few miles, which were not on the interstate, I kept a constant eye through my mirrors to check if the bag was still there. The trunk refused to get off the bike, good, so I proceed to the exit ramp & I blast my way to merge into the traffic at 80MPH. I could not feel the bag anymore & I was like "Shit the bag is gone.....", looked in the mirror & the bag is still there. Stubborn. As I kept moving I couldnt believe its still there, since this is my first tail bag I couldnt let go of the fact that it was sturdy & tight enough to not fly away. After 90 miles, the trunk was still on my bike. The contents were not too snug so I expected everything to have moved around. But everything was just the way I had packed it, even my blackberry didnt move. I went over potholes, rapid acceleration, blah blah & the trunk proved every bit worth.
Hey its dry too!
In my 5 days of long distance training commuting, it rained twice. No torential downpours but rain, which at speeds of even 50MPH would make anything wet. I didnt purchase a rain bag for this & assumed that everything would be wet. I reach & take the trunk off the bike & yes it is wet & felt very strong about my earlier assumption. I take it to my apartment & quickly open it as I was worried about my training documents & my blackberry. I opened it & everything was BONE DRY, NOT A DROP inside !! Chase Harper claims this bag to be not waterproof but I can assure you it is. I rode in similar rain a second time & again I had my doubts but again not a drop went inside. The cordura is top grade & water just sits on it or slides off.
I cant stress how pleased I am with this product & at the price I think is well deserved. The best utility mod so far on my bike. I have been using it for the past 3 weeks & everyday I spend a max of 20 seconds to put the trunk in place on the bike. After that I dont even bother checking if its there, except at traffic lights were I have nothing better to do. The bungies do stretch a bit after their initial use, so you will need to trighten them to get that snug fit that you initially setup. I adjusted mine 1 week ago & its been that way since.
Being Nit Picky:
Well I have to point out a few things, the bottom zippers that contain the bungies, well unfortunately on my bike the trunk extends a bit beyond the seat & rests on the brake light casing, anyway the those zippers tend to scratch the surface a bit. Oh well. I will probably just cover the casing with some tape to avoid contact. But the biggest problem I have? NO SHOULDER STRAP!! Nothing is more frustrating than using your swipe card to enter office while holding the trunk in one hand & your helmet in the other & at the same time trying to open the damn door.
+High quality material
+Can hold the kitchen sink
+Sticks to bike like glue at highway speeds
+Like a 1 piece suit, on & off the bike is a quick & painless process
+MADE IN USA
-Zipper sratches my brake light casing but thats just me
-NO SHOULDER STRAP
-NO SHOULDER STRAP