Trax Adventure Luggage System
I’ve tested a number of bikes, gear, and accessories over the years, but there’s always room for more.
The folks at Bike Gear in PE, the South African distributor of SW-Motech products, recently sent me the Trax Adventure panniers with the new bracket mounts. We needed to assemble, mount, test and explore the durability and build quality of the brackets and panniers.
Although the new side racks are more important in this case, I’ll kick off with the panniers or side cases as they’d like to call them.
The Side Cases
This strong and sleek premium aluminium touring case, made in Germany, is suited for any riding situation, road or off-road, and offers high durability and protection from water and dust as well. They are easy to handle, light, and extremely functional. Each case features robust carrying handles, a completely removable lid, glass-reinforced plastic corner caps, and a large sloped edge at the bottom to optimise lean angle and ground clearance while cornering.
Should you choose to order these direct, you will be given the opportunity to partially assemble the cases yourself. Yip, unpacked, you’ll need to fit the lid straps that prevent the case lid from opening all the way and then fit the locks to the latches as well. Simple, and shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes per case. Two keys are supplied, both fit the locks, so keep one on you, and the other in a safe place just in case Murphy comes knocking.
TRAX ADV side cases are available in two sizes (37L or 45L) and two colours (Black or Silver). Silver cases are anodized, black cases have a powder coated finish that provides excellent protection from oxidation and abrasion. The cases are waterproof and dust tight, fitted with replaceable seals. The case lids feature four robust tie-down points, integrated into the lid corners, that provides additional loading options.
I must say, compared to some of the other cases I’ve seen on bikes, the TRAX ADV cases from SW-Motech really holds nothing back. The finishing on the 1.5mm thick case shell, the quality of every component on the case, and the structure truly shows that these guys are at the top of their game.
The Side Racks
The new flexible carrier system (EVO carriers) is known for its easy handling, perfect fit, and maximum flexibility. The quick-lock system is designed to remove the racks from your bike within seconds, using a standard flat-point screwdriver to open the quick-lock fasteners. I’m not 100% convinced that this is a good idea, especially here in S.A. where “midnight spares” operators are a little too active for my liking.
But, replacing any one of the standard quick-locks with the optional Trax Lockable Quick-locks, a little peace of mind will go a long way.
The side racks, or EVO Carriers, come with an array of bolts, nuts, and stuff. Unpacking these, and laying them on the floor proved to be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done this before. So I set off with the right tools, the printed assembly and mounting guidelines, a glass of cold Oros, and the help of my son. Just under two hours later, and we were done – what an experience! With that experience, if we had to do this again, it shouldn’t take more than an hour to fit the side racks.
The side cases fit onto the racks with a quick slide-lock and securely locks into place with a latch-lock in the rear. There’s no way this is coming off during a ride!
Looking at the fitted racks, I was impressed with how sturdy they mount on 4 key points of the bike. The welding on the mount arms are solid, and the carrier itself is a single pressed steel frame which seemed a lot stronger than its predecessor. Some serious off-road testing will confirm this. I did take each side carrier and gave it a serious jerking to see if something would budge or slip; nothing except for my shoulder. Good solid German workmanship!
After the fitment experience, I decided to test on-road first and with fully loaded cases. I played, at slow speed and tight manoeuvering, to feel for weight shift. My son had a go at it during an Advanced Rider Course, cases fitted and loaded… Passed!
I then took the bike on the freeway, down the coast, to feel for sail effect and rear wobble… Passed!
Then came the fun part; off-road! First, an easy dirt road, don’t want to lose the cases in the first dip. I specifically stretched my ears for rattling, clanking metal parts, then turned up the odds to a more technical terrain.
Here the carrier mounts held up extremely well, and at some point, I thought something would snap off. I couldn’t see any hairline cracks on the welding, nor did the cases come off or mounting points budge in any way. Dammit, and I thought I could break something today! Carrier durability… Passed!
Further to this, after extended off-road riding, I check the cases for any dust… Passed!
As a final test, I put the cases through a car wash bay with a good long high-pressure spray from all angles to check for any leaks… Passed!
I’m really impressed, well, German engineering has always impressed me. At no point was I sceptical of this challenge, and gladly accepted the experience. I pleasing one indeed.
For more information and pricing on this well-built and supported brand, please visit SW-Motech.
It all began in 1999 with three passionate motorcyclists and the idea to develop honest motorcycle accessories that simply work. Today more than 250 creative heads build a strong team behind the red icon in Rauschenberg, Hesse and Brno, Czech Republic and transform innovative ideas into reality including prototyping, serial manufacturing, sales and customer service.
“Latest technologies like 3D printing, modern production processes and long-term experience guarantee a consistently outstanding product quality.” – Kai Jockel / Manager Metal Part Production & Founder
In closing, here is a video clip by the manufacturer, giving you a brief overview of the Trax Adventure cases.