Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag | Gear Review

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag
Our Hayabusa test bike fitted with the Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag (Touring size).

As our recent test of the Suzuki Hayabusa shows, a big, open-class sportbike can make for one heckuva sport-tourer. But touring means going far, often for days at a time, and that requires luggage to carry gear. Earlier this year we tested Nelson-Rigg’s Commuter series tankbags, both the Lite (up to 8.4 liters when expanded) and Sport (up to 14.5 liters). They offer strap and magnetic mounts in the same bag, which is perfect for the Hayabusa, since the front of its tank has a plastic cover and the back is steel.  

When I needed to pack gear for several days to ride up to the Progressive IMS Outdoors show in Northern California in July, I used the Sport tankbag and matching tailbag. To accommodate different bikes and needs, Nelson-Rigg’s Commuter Tail Bag comes in three sizes: Lite (up to 15.3 liters, $109.95), Sport (up to 22.3 liters, $119.95), and Touring (up to 33 liters, $149.95). I opted for the Touring version.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Series Tail Bag motorcycle luggage review
Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bags are available in three sizes: Lite, Sport, and Touring.

The Hayabusa has a large passenger seat (for a sportbike), which is removable with the ignition key, and it has a large wrap-around grab handle. The Commuter bag has four adjustable straps that connect to quick-release buckles on the outside. Pairs of straps are connected via looped ends, and they run under the seat. I looped the rear straps around the grab handle for extra security. Installation took only a few minutes, and I was able to remove the bag and the straps even quicker. Once installed and loaded, the bag remained secure and the straps tight, even after a full day of tossing the ’Busa around on California’s ultra twisty Highway 1.

Nelson-Rigg Commuter Tail Bag
The Touring size Commuter Tail Bag in its expanded configuration.

In its standard configuration, the Commuter Touring measures 14 x 12 x 9 inches and holds up to 24.8 liters. When expanded, its height increases from 9 to 12 inches and total capacity tops out at 33 liters. The bag is made of Nelson-Rigg’s proprietary UltraMax fabric that offers UV protection against fading, and molded EVA panels help the bag maintain its shape even when empty. Inside the bag is a light gray interior, straps to secure contents, and a large mesh pocket inside the dome-shaped lid. The exterior has a non-slip, non-scratch base, a flush-mount reflective handle, and reflective piping. A rain cover and shoulder/backpack strap are also included.  

Overall, the Commuter Tail Bag is a great piece of luggage that’s well made, versatile, stylish, and reasonably priced. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty.

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