Viaterra, Nelson-Rigg & Cramster Colt - Review

Discussion in 'T&AA - Travel and Anything Automotive' started by Aargee, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    Disclaimer - This is 100% review that has no strings; I've not been paid by anyone to put up & I certainly have no reason to be biased with anyone. And, if you start going through this article with an intention to buy or compare the motorcycle luggage, then, I'm sorry, you may or may not find it possible because, I intent to share my experience on using Cramster Colt & Nelson-Rigg with my recently acquired Viaterra. I leave the conclusion to the readers.

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  2. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    During Sep 2011, I made a superbly unplanned disorganized solo trip to RJ. I didn't know (or rather have) much options to buy a motorcycle luggage & I had to settle for Cramster COLT. At that point, no one knew whether the saddle bag fits perfect to CBR 250R or would touch the exhaust. So I went ahead & made the purchase.

    For Rs 2400, the bag accommodated 12 days clothing, chain lube & cleaner, some waste cloths, toiletries, bike docos, Canon S5IS, slippers, additional pair of gloves, 2 water bottles, 2 screw drivers, 2 pliers & insulation tape

    To carry mobile, laptop & charger, I used my Swiss gear backpack tied down to the rear seat using 2 bungee chord. Anyway, these things are immaterial to talk about Cramster COLT

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  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    The hole at the bottom is for air to escape when you stuff items inside.

    Disclaimer - I Also used the same gear for my Leh trip. As in not @Aargee's gear, but bought the same model. Colt.
     
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  4. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    So after 12 days on road, finally when coming to Chennai, the COLT bag started touching the exhaust which happened without my knowledge & made a burn hole in the bottom of the COLT. Thankfully nothing else happened nor I lost anything. My Wife gave a nice smile & took away the bag to dump old cloths. I'm quite happy on that part because she didn't ask me the cost of the saddle bag

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    Thus my COLT was short lived & I'd enough with the saddle bags & started for hunting for no more Indian makes & a tail bag combo
     
  5. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    With a little experience I'd with saddle bag, I was determined to buy a tail bag where I'm absolutely sure there will be no issues with bag getting burnt. So I settled for NelsonRigg Spirit 30 that provides 30 litres of storage space. I did several trips & it is one of the good tail bag (why not excellent, will explain in short while), say about 4 long trips before it almost gave up.

    I still love it barring for one reason that it doesn't have pockets or zippers outside. This tail bag also taught me few valuable lessons...
    - How to compress & pack large quantities
    - How to carry less & carry sufficient things
    That made me to realize that I really don't need to carry my entire world & now I'm little confident that even for a 15-20 day road trip, I don't need more than 35 liter of space

    Let the pics flow...
     
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  6. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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  7. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    Nelsonrigg was simple straight forward tailbag; simple box where you could dump stuff. Sometimes simplicity is best

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    Had a strong velcro in addition to two strong YKK zippers
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    A good handle to carry around & doesn't look like a motorcycle tail bag
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    The underneath was built with very friction material to bind to seat strong; what didn't impress me much was that, it has 4 straps to bind to the motorcycle. This wasn't so comfortable as it was shown in Youtube videos, may be on my CBR 250R. I also had to buy extra straps for $29.99 which I conveniently didn't.
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    Sturdy construction & retains the shape no matter what...
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    Finally I did a great Indian juggad by fitting plastic D-clips & that was way too convenient. This bag helped me to carry out several trips with just 2 flip side...
    1. The stitches weren't strong enough for the bag to be stuffed. After about 3-4 trips, the stitch gave up once & I'd to fix it with a cobbler at Mumbai
    2. 30 liters wasn't just sufficient for a week's trip. I realized I need about 40 liters & may be it was sufficient was 2-3 days trip

    All the more, the extra length of strap that I tied gave up while returning back & the tire just wore up the strap & one of the Dclip gave up. That is when I started looking for another bag & that is when I stumbled on Viaterra CLAW or what I like to call a Taddle bag
     
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  8. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    The Viaterra experience...

    I'd ordered a bag on 19-Jan & it left the warehouse on the same day; there're very few online stores that accept CC payments in this country & Viaterra is one of them, consider me lucky. Both I & Viaterra kept tracking the shipment everyday; we found the package reached my locality on 21-Jan, the lazy bumbs at DTDC delivered to me only on 24-Jan. Absolutely great packing - 5/5

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    Comes with a free rain cover - 5/5
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    This is what I found on the interior pocket, but then on one open & close, no apprehension, things are fine. And mind you, this was with just only one zipper, all others were intact - 4/5

    This is the inner pocket, likewise there's another pocket at the exterior, just behind this one as big as this one, probably to place bike documents etc
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    The front side, or the side that rider rests upon, when mounted
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    The rear side, or the side that is visible to others, when mounted. Notice the long strap that comes like the one in any duffle bag, that allows us easy to carry anywhere without having to look like a motorcycle tail bag
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    Underneath, that sits on the rear seat
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    Material quality, I'd say it's same or better than Nelsonrigg & would be insulting to compare with Colt
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  9. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    Comes with a YKK zipper
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    I believe it's way too easy to load; though Colt is widthy, but need to get used up to loading. But this one is damn easy as Nelsonrigg I suppose

    One thing to notice is that the stitches inside are superb + the straps are made invisible. I think Viaterra has two layers of interiors because the one you see below is very spongy. Now this means, I can probably have my camera lens unscratched if the lens cover opens up. The stitches at the bottom (where the straps for mounting) are totally invisible. Even Nelsonrigg has them visible.
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    This was another defect in addition to the above zipper on both the sides of the strap that is tied to rear footrest (we'll get to that shortly); but I suppose this hardly matters because, this is the velco part that help the additional length of strap from hanging or tying up else where. Since there isn't any weight associated, I think I can live with it
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    Also notice the slight difference in the sides marked 1 & 2; this is the side that comes right behind the rider. Again, I think it hardly matters
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    And this is the outside that will be visible to others; notice how reflective the materials are
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    Though this is a tail bag, there're 2 clips, just like the clips provided on saddle bag like Colt. This also comes in handy if the zipper is broken or when things are too much to accommodate (for people who like to carry their house hehe) to simply pack tight & not using the zipper.
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    This is one of the best part where the corner of the CLAW has plastic support; TWO thumbs up!!!
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    Marked below 1 to 6 are the places where the plastic tube shown above appears including the other side making it totally 12 of them.

    A & B (also appears the other side) are two additional sleep loops, which I don't know for what they're provided. May be for fastening with a bungee chord...if at all the straps give up...MAY BE???
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  10. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    The best are these...
    Left side is 1.5 liter bottle & right side is 1 liter bottle. I'm more than confident it can hold 2 X 2 liter bottles comfortably, that too on both sides. This means, I can actually carry 4 X 2 liters of water on both sides!!! That is 8 liters of water!!!
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    So I thought of testing something else...especially with this...
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    Along with this bag, I never got instruction as how to mount the bag; however, Viaterra provided me a LIVE SUPPORT through phone as how the bag is to be mounted on my CBR 250R - 5/5

    So let me share as how...
    This is the side that is right behind the rider that has two straps each one to be fastened to the rear footpeg & tightened through the DClips. 1 goes to right side rear foot peg & 2 to the left. Now that secures the bag from moving from left & right
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    The best part is this one; this is the part visible to the others, and has only one strap instead of 2 (in Nelsonrigg). Here the strap from 2 has to be fastened to the tail of the bike & to be fastened to the DClip as provided at #1. I was skeptical as how the bag would hold & boom!!! What an idea Sirjee??? The bag simply didn't move a MILLIMETER!!! Now, I've only tested with an empty bag & just pulled the bike from side stand just by pulling the CLAW & there was absolutely no issues or whatsoever. I think this is far better than Nelsonrigg's 4 mount strap system

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  11. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Aargee, more detail on the mounting process/straps please!
     
  12. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    So, how long does it take to mount the bag? This is what I found; I remember it takes nearly the same time or little more to mount my Nelsonrigg with that Indian juggad
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    and to unmount, easy piece of work...
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  13. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    What could've been better...
    - Minor manufacturing defect; I hope it doesn't interfere with the functionality
    - Having learnt the art of squeezing things & practicing to carry light, I find this bag way too huge. If there's another bag that is available between 35/40/45 liters of storage in future, I wouldn't mind to exchange
    - Instruction sheet or a Youtube video explaining how to mount CLAW (I hope this will be easily taken care)
    - I know they're just starting up, but I really prefer more colors; since I've a RED CBR 250R, I would've preferred as RED or BLACK color instead of Orange border. I hope with increase in demand & sales, Viaterra brings this option

    What impressed me...
    - Life time repairs; this is one frigging thing that I love it
    - Absolutely great quality; the material is way too superb
    - The inside like I said, is too soft for a motorcycle bag which is really good
    - D Clips that helps to fasten & unfasten way too quick
    - Excellent build quality & materials used
    - Free rain cover (seamless construction). That too it's eay too easy to cover & takes only few seconds :thumbup:
    - Long shoulder strap to carry around
    - 2 pockets on either side on outside are great welcome; I can now carry additional fuel & save time on refueling
    - Outside & inside zippered pockets are great
    - Though I'm yet to test real time, I believe, the mount system is nice; good engineering;
    - Gives the best of the world between saddle & tail bag (that's why I call this TADDLE bag :wink1: ) & can be sure that exhaust will not burn the bag
    - 15 days return policy
    - Purchase through credit card :thumbup: & NEFT

    Neutral stance...
    - The straps could've been little thicker, but I hope they're sufficient to hold good weight for 55 liters. Viaterra told me they did a torture test (not just stress test) on the bag & found the straps were good
    - If the bag is under loaded, not sure if the bag will hold upright on the rear seat

    More queries?

    ViaTerra Claw - All-In-One Motorcycle Luggage System
     
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  14. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    2900/- for the Claw
     
  15. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    A pseudo load test...

    Was free for sometime in the evening, thought why not test Claw with things that I would carry for a 7 day road trip?

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    Will Viaterra Claw hold all these? Even if it did, will it hold it as one? Even if it held as one, will the straps stay strong? Even if it stayed strong, will it be mounted on the motorcycle as it has to? Will the strap stay in one place? Will the Claw keep moving with all these weight? Stay tuned for the report...coming soon...
     
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  16. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    You carry your laptop on road trips? :eek:
     
  17. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    So did I in my tank bag! :p
     
  18. Rockfella

    Rockfella Nordic Staff Member

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    Talking of the tank bag i'm yet to use it :) Like it bheri much.
     
  19. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    So, when it comes to fitting, no doubt, the 55 liters accommodated things quite easily; the 15" laptop including it's charger & a mouse was :success:


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    But here comes the biggest surprise & I think we're about to break the myth of carrying water; I had 2 X 1.5 liter bottle and 2 X 1 liter bottle making it totally 5 liters. I initially thought CLAW could easily accommodate 4 X 1.5 liter = 6 liters or even 4 X 2 liter = 8 liters. But most things reveal only upon actual testing. This is what I found...
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    This means...
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    So Claw, when loaded (not to brim) might accommodate about 4 X 1 liter or lesser bottles. Anyway, I didn't have 4 X 1 liters of bottle to test; so I continued by using only one 1.5 liter bottle..
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    But the 2 X 1 liter bottle side held very well
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    Again, I'm not saying Claw cannot accommodate 1.5 liter bottles when fully loaded, but, for sure some rearrangements or careful packing needs to be done. As for me, I was only testing & hence didn't pay much attention to detail when it came to packing & loading things. I believe, I can dump things & just ride away

    Some ground realities...
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    as how Claw appears in real time when loaded. However, let's continue the test by loading on to the motorcycle...
     
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  20. Aargee

    Aargee RAID Rookie

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    The right side
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    The left side
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    The rear side...
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    Let's see how much time did we take...
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    Wow

    Let's test the rain cover...
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    and how much time did we take for the rain cover?
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    --- Double Post Merged, Jan 30, 2013 ---
    Now let's see some measurements...

    Here the scale is mounted on to the rider's seat; the scale is down by few inches than the taddle bag
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    Here the scale is mounted to the rear seat; the scale & the taddle bag are on the same level
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