Tour Master Cortech Luggage Review

JC Hilderbrand | November 2, 2007
Having the Coretech setup is an inexpensive way to add a ton of storage to your ride. Sportbikes  dual-sport and even touring machines will benefit from quality Tour Master components.
Having the Coretech setup is an inexpensive way to add a ton of storage to your ride. Sportbikes, dual-sport and even touring machines will benefit from quality Tour Master components.

The Score
Everybody needs more storage. Whether you live in a crappy apartment or massive pimped-out crib, the available space will invariably be filled. The same goes for motorcycles which have struggled on the issue of carrying capacity from Day 1. The lack of storage space inherent to virtually every motorcycle has opened the door for aftermarket companies like Tour Master to come swooping in for the rescue. We spent part of the late summer testing our stable of 2007 Adventure Touring machines. When the luggage for our Ducati Multistrada 1100s failed to materialize our jones for luggage suddenly went soft – as in the soft Cortech TriBag Saddlebag and TriBag Tailbag

The Scoop
Tour Master Cortech TriBag Saddlebag – MSRP: $159.99
Saddlebags are the easiest way to add storage without affecting the riding position and performance too greatly. Adding a tank bag makes reaching the bars difficult for smaller riders and adds weight up high, and tailbags do the same out back while compressing the riding position forward. The beauty of saddlebags is in their placement and security. The Cortech arrangement we tested nestled in tight to the machine without ever getting close to the rear wheel or bumping our test riders’ legs. A neoprene strap on the side of each bag helped grip the bike and keep the bags from moving while simultaneously protecting the Duc’s shiny finish. A slash-cut forward section does a good job of keeping airspace between the front of the bag and the backside of a rider’s calves.

Two zippered side pockets on each bag make for easy access to smaller items like a wallet, notepad or road map, and give a total of three compartments per side. The main storage areas have a heat shield on lower section to prevent pipe burn, and use a U-shaped zipper on top so that its contents are still accessible when paired with a top-mounted tailbag like the one we used. Capacity is listed at 20 liters per side with dimensions of 14.5″L x 11″W x 8.5″H. We aren’t really concerned enough to attempt verifying the 20-liter claim, but we will say that frugal packing will allow for several days worth of clothes.

Mounting the saddlebags was the only real challenge, and not much of one in actuality. The wide Velcro straps are super strong, but getting them adjusted to the right length took several tries. Accuracy is vital to keeping the bags from getting sucked between the rear wheel and fender, so we took our time and got things right. We tried them on several bikes and the range of adjustment was adequate for all. For riders with only one bike, the adjustment issue isn’t worth mentioning. Get it right the first time and you won’t have to worry about it any more. Swapping machines is when the stiff Velcro becomes a hassle. But, the security of such strong binders was great – no worrying about losing these bags.

Tour Master Cortech TriBag Tailbag – MSRP: $89.99

A combination of Cortech TriBag components gave our Ducati Multistrada 1100s a stronger touring flavor.
A combination of Cortech TriBag components gave our Ducati Multistrada 1100s a stronger touring flavor.

The TriBag Tailbag can be used individually with the available hide-away bungee hooks, but we utilized the quick-release mounting system on the matching TriBag Saddlebag to make this duo dynamic. A set of four, three-prong plastic clips with adjustable nylon straps are a great way to mate these two pieces together. However, getting the clasps to buckle and then come apart requires some serious effort. They seemed to get easier as they broke in throughout our testing, but even at the end it still requires a strong set of man-hands during installation and removal.

Dimensions of 17.5″L x 12″W x 10″H gave us all the room we needed for travel sundries, and having the ability to take it off (relatively quickly) and into a hotel for the night by its angle-mounted shoulder strap made it a nice addition to the saddlebags. Two large pockets on the end and one smaller nook along the side make it easy to store and find those little items rather than have them jumbled inside the main compartment. We did notice that when the main compartment is stuffed to capacity, it’s large enough to run interference with a hydration or backpack and would push annoyingly on our testers. However, the whole purpose of having these luggage accessories is to avoid backpacks, and ours were only necessary due to a magazine’s need for camera equipment. Otherwise we never would have been sporting them and the large duffle-style tailbag would be a moot point.

The Sentence
Tour Master obviously put a lot of thought into designing these bags to create a wonderful blend of capacity, durability and utility. The fact that they are specifically designed to mate to other Cortech accessories is a big plus in our books as well. Both pieces of luggage are constructed of 1680 Denier ballistic nylon and have reflective material to help keep other motorists aware of your location, so they’re safe too. Aside from having nancy-boy hands during installation, the only other negative issue we had was that a rubber tab on the zipper pulled off after only a few days of use. Seeing how our complaints were so minor, it’s obvious that we consider both of these components to be excellent accessories. Perhaps the best thing about this set of soft luggage is how the combination brings out a whole new genre of motorcycling which may have been impossible before. Tour Master brings touring to life without the inconvenience of backpacks and jimmy-rigged bungees.

Product: Tour Master Cortech Saddlebags and TriBag Tailbag

Color Options: Black, *Blue, *Red (* – for TriBag only)

Sizes: Universal

MSRP: TriBag Saddlebag – $159.99; TriBag Tailbag – $89.99

Buy It Now: Tour Master Cortech TriBag Saddlebag, Tour Master Cortech TriBag Tailbag

Find More Tour Master Products


JC Hilderbrand

Off-Road Editor| Articles | Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA’s Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn’t matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

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