Gadgets & Gear

Review Viaterra Hammerhead Tailbag

Hammerhead is a tailbag compatible with bigger motorcycles that have a wider tail section, built from top notch materials for it to work as a duffle as well as a backpack.

At first glance, this tailbag gives a familiarity with it’s underpinning taken of the Backcountry 40L Duffle/Pack from Mosko Moto (renowned for their soft goods for dual sport and adventure touring). The Hammerhead is priced at INR 7,499/- while Moskomoto’s Backcountry is priced at $250 and that’s about INR 10,000 more than the tailbag here in question.

Compare the two and Mosko Moto’s Backcountry excels in both functional design and build quality. Besides visual differences such as the access to main compartment to say the least. The Hammerhead isn’t on par and yet is well built for the selling price of 7.5k making it a good option for a tailbag. Or is it?

Viaterra claims it to be designed for round-the-world trips. Well, maybe so for a bag that can hold 75 litres of motorcycle travel related stuff inside of it. That’s a lot of weight in one bag to be lugging around. Isn’t it? Ideally, 40 litres would be optimum for a tailbag. For other travel stuff one can use saddle bags and/or another 20 litre bag that can be attached on top of this tailbag using ROK straps via provided molle loops. Key being having stuff segregated clearly by usage and packed efficiently such that they are accessed only when needed rather than opening up one bag each time for every smallest of things. One can contradict by stating that one big bag is better than several smaller bags. Well, it comes down to each one’s comfort zone and preference really.

This tailbag comes with 4 ways to carry it about when off the bike. First with an over the shoulder strap and second with one handle at the side midway along it’s length. A bag full and both these methods could put a strain at the shoulder and hand respectively. Third way is with both hands using side handles located at base of the bag’s width. The location of these handles could lead to a roll over of the bag itself and that is flaw in function. These handles should have been located closer to the top. And finally the fourth way, two shoulder straps that attach for it to work as a backpack. Not comfortable as a well contoured backpack but it will do as it allows for both hands free to do other things.

The Hammerhead is placed over the pillion seat and is fastened with Duraflex metal hooks, while the bag ends rests either on the wide set pillion grab rails on the motorcycle, or over the top of saddle bags that are fastened to saddle stays. This setup for obvious reasons doesn’t allow for a pillion on the motorcycle, unless… the pillion is willing to take on the burden of 75kg on his/her shoulders. Not a good idea this.

The main compartment is a roll top with the patented Fidlock Magnetic closure. Innovative and convenient. The main storage area is made of strong Cordura nylon fabric with and PVC coated polyester fabric. Not the PVC material with heat welded seams that we find on waterproof roll top bags. Hence will not hold water out if submerged into water for long period of time. Viaterra claims this tailbag to be waterproof. Does the job and so will take their word for it. Besides, the bag also comes with a neon colour (for high visibility) waterproof outer cover as added protection from rain and muck. That’s too bright though. A grey/black cover with reflective strips would have done it. One might argue that the high visibility is better and safer for the rider. Can’t deny that.

Two broad flaps from either sides of the bag overlap onto each other to cover the main compartment roll top enclosure. One of these flaps have ear like projections with velcro strips on them. These hold over and onto the other flap. Not reassuring but then there are two additional straps that go across the bag, fastened with metal hooks. After firmly tightening the straps, the extra length of it goes into zipper pockets located on top. Make sure to have these zipped closed at all times else it’s a sure place to have dirt, water and muck to accumulate with just one trip on the back of a motorcycle. These pockets might seem unnecessary though.

Coming to pockets. There is a zipper pocket on either sides along the width of the bag. These too could have been done without. As it’s there, use it to keep handy bike tools, puncture repair kit and/or small chain lubrication can. Just make sure NOT to put in any fragile/breakable stuff, electronic devices or food such as banana or chocolates…especially in the pocket that will be at the bottom when this tailbag is used as a backpack.

The Hammerhead would be a good buy for its price, without question. It’s a tailbag compatible with bigger expensive motorcycles. It can be transcribed that those who can afford such big expensive bikes obviously can afford better/expensive tailbags. Contradict this with – well-built affordable purposeful tailbags are good enough, so why spend on an expensive tailbag? This is also a valid argument. Again comes down to each person’s point of view and reasoning.

For more information and/or purchase of Viaterra Hammerhead, visit their website Viaterra Gear online.

Alternatives to the Hammerhead tailbag would be the Enduristan 51L Tornado 2 Dry bag, the SW-Motech 60L Waterproof Drybag or the Mosko Moto Backcountry 40LDuffle/Pack.

Highlights

  • Cordura 1000D x 1000D nylon outer fabric with PU/WR coating sourced from Invista authorized factory
  • 1200×1200 PVC coated polyester fabric
  • 150D x 150D rip-stop with PU coating
  • 150D x 150D inner lining with anti-fray coating
  • Fidlock Magnetic closure
  • Duraflex metal hooks
  • YKK sliders, zipper chain with YKK pullers
  • 3M Scotchlite 8906 silver fabric trim reflective tape.

Specifications

  • Capacity – 75 liters
  • Weight – 2.1 kg
  • Dimensions – L-67, W-40, H-35

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by: Wordpress