OK, so you finally pulled the trigger on that fly-and-ride motorcycle trip of a lifetime, and it’s time to get packed. Sure, a good-sized suitcase will do the trick, but with 50-pound checked bag weight limits in the unfriendly skies, it can be tricky to fit your riding gear, unmentionables and other clothing in the typical Samsonite. There’s generally too much space or not enough, and no suitably shaped spot for your full-face helmet.
If motojournalists agree on anything, it’s the utility of the Ogio 9800 Roller Bag for such occasions, or even just driving to a track day or other riding event. If, for example, you had the misfortune to be on the same flight as a bunch of us on the way to a riding press intro, at baggage claim there’s a good chance your suitcase would be buried under an avalanche of Ogio 9800s, endlessly going ’round and ’round the carousel until we eventually come down from the bar.
When you lose patience and begin hucking 9800s to get to your bag, you will notice that the attractive one tested here, designed exclusively for Fly Racing, opens like a clamshell with a sturdy, padlockable double zipper on three sides and has grab handles all around. The base, which Ogio calls its Structural Load Equalizing Deck (SLED), is thick, hard plastic with integrated ribs for strength and to help it slide over stairs, truck tailgates, etc.
The SLED also supports the bag’s oversized heavy-duty wheels, which have extra clearance and in-line sealed bearings for easy maneuverability and smooth rolling. You may even be tempted to try popping out the telescoping handle or unbuckling the adjustable compression/reinforcement straps, but I don’t recommend it since at this point a bunch of tired, liquored-up journalists are probably standing nearby wondering why you’re manhandling their luggage.
With a few exceptions, though, we tend to be a friendly lot, so one of us would probably demonstrate the other fine points of the Fly Racing 9800 by Ogio, such as its large main compartment with adjustable divider, which fastens into position with hook-and-loop. The divider creates a nice separate space for your helmet at one end of the bag, and Ogio has padded the entire thing – sides, lid and divider – with integrated foam for protection from drops, bumps and malevolent baggage handlers.
In 25 years of hauling a 9800 around the world I have never suffered helmet damage while in the bag (rimshot!). Opposite the helmet compartment there’s another large one for your boots, pants, jacket, rainsuit, back protector, etc. And an overseas tour’s worth of clothing fits into the separate dual-zippered compartment in the 9800 lid, which has both exterior and interior zippered stash pockets for maps, magazines, spare glasses, an economy-sized bottle of ibuprofen and a stack of “Get Out of Jail Free” cards from the board game Monopoly, which are almost always good for a laugh in tense situations.
The Fly Racing 9800 Roller Bag by Ogio retails for $279.95 and officially measures 34 x 16.5 x 15.25 inches fully loaded, which does slightly exceed the 62-inch maximum linear checked bag dimension on most airlines. But it really depends upon how full it is and where you measure. I’ve only had it tagged oversize once, by a small airline in Greece, which apparently had 1/4-scale conveyor belts designed by nymphs. Weight is 14 pounds empty and capacity is 7,500 cubic inches, more than enough for all of your gear, with some room leftover for souvenirs to placate your spouse upon returning home.
For more information, see your dealer or visit flyracing.com.