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Fulmer Modular Helmet Review

SHAD Topcases

Small Spot Clock


SHAD Topcase Trunk Review

In these days of high petrol prices, expensive parking and congested freeways many of us are turning to motorcycles and scooters as commuter vehicles. Of course there are also the "green" considerations of fuel consumption and manufacture to say nothing of the generally lower expense associated with commuting on a powered two-wheeled conveyance.

I've heard all the arguments against motorcycles and scooters as daily transport. Yes, here in Minnesota, year-round riding is not an option for the vast majority of people. Yes, hauling 10 full-sized sheets of plywood would be impossible (or at least extraordinarily difficult) on a motorcycle. Plywood. Really? How often do you need to do that? How many times are you simply hauling yourself and a few small items around? Secure, convenient and reasonably priced storage is not all that difficult.

Most scooters are going to have a fair amount of "native" storage, typically under the seat. Most large touring motorcycles have excellent storage capacity in the form of panniers and trunks made for the specific bike. We're going to look at a hard, lockable, removable topcase (truck) that can be attached to any motorcycle or scooter with a good luggage rack.

Probably the best-known aftermarket brand for topcases would be Givi. I have a large Givi on my Kymco People 250 scooter. It is of very good quality and Givi products are available at several area dealers. There are two things that tend to bother about Givi topcases: the are fairly pricey and I don't like their locking mechanism.

SAHD 37l and 40l topcasesFor this article I selected SHAD topcases. SHAD is a manufacturing company in Spain that provides OEM products (luggage and seats) to brands such as Triumph. I have personally purchased and used several SHAD topcases and have been completely happy with them. Their quality is (in my opinion) equal to Givi and they are usually less expensive and I like their locking mechanism better than Givi's.

Kawasaki Ninja 250 SHAD Topcase Mount

Genuine Blur SHAD Topcase Mount 

Regardless of what brand of topcase is selected, one needs a place to mount it on your motorcycle or scooter. A lot of scooters currently in the marketplace have some kind of rear rack as standard equipment. Leave it to me to select a Genuine Blur that doesn't. Luckily, Genuine Scooter Company's accessory arm, Scooterworks, provides an excellent rear rack that is custom to the Blur. It does NOT require giving up the rear grab bar on the scooter. The Kawasaki Ninja also required the addition of a rear rack to have a mounting point for the topcase. This was more difficult (and expensive) than the rack for the Blur. Ventura was the only source I could find for the rack. This is nothing short of a shame (and huge missed opportunity) as there are thousands of Ninja 250s on the road in this country. The basic design was the same from 1986 to 2007 and NOBODY else make a rear rack?

SHAD Easy CarryWe selected a SHAD 40 liter topcase with a luggage carrier on top for the Blur and a SHAD 37 liter for the ninja. In both cases, a mounting plate is installed on the rear rack. This will remain on the bike and the topcase locks into this plate. Take the time to be sure this plate is correctly situated and aligned during initial installation. An assortment of installation hardware is included with the SHAD topcases.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a Givi topcase on my Kymco and the latching system has been a source of annoyance to me. It works just fine and the case has functioned fine and held up well over several years BUT I have to utilize the key to open it. There is no unlocked position. The SHAD system has a secure latching mechanism AND a secure locking system. With the latch in the unlocked position, the topcase is still secured to the mounting plate and the case can be opened and closed. In the locked position it is both locked closed and locked onto the bike. Makes perfect sense to me.

Both the SHAD 37 and the 40 will easily hold one of my melon-head sized helmetsSHAD topcases have lots of space (no fooling - XXL or XXXL) with room for more stuff. They add a nice reflective area to the back of the bike and are easy to carry when off the bike with integrated handles. I have used both of these in wet conditions and they did a fine job of keeping their contents dry.

The Genuine Blur scooter has reasonable storage available under the seat, but the addition of this topcase makes this an even better commuting machine. The Kawasaki Ninja has, well, nothing for native storage. Yes, one can bungee stuff to the rear portion of the seat (and I frequently do) but that's not nearly as secure as holding one's "stuff" in a good topcase. The SHAD topcases worked very well for me and continue to get use as a regular part of motorcycle and scooter commuting.

SHAD Ninja and Blur with topcases

SHAD is available locally at Scooterville/Mill City Motorcycles in Minneapolis. 

David Harrington


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