Are You Out of Your MIND?
There are those among us who are inclined to think spending $1,100.00 on a pair of side cases for a motorcycle is insane.
I was one of those people.
But no longer.
Image: Are these cases really worth $1,100.00? Absolutely!
Leaving the Goldwing world behind and returning to the more basic bike of my youth is requiring some adjustments.
I just wrapped up a 516 mile round trip visit to South Georgia. As usual, it was an overnighter. The new Triumph is a joy to ride, for sure. But the thought of making such a trip using a backpack or simply strapping soft luggage to the seat or sissybar was less than comforting.
It's not a matter of whether it can be done, it most certainly can be done. If you're willing to carry all of your gear into every public restroom you visit, it can be done. Either that, or you leave it outside on the bike and hope every person who walks by it is honest or distracted enough to leave it be.
So, call me paranoid. I can't do it. I can barely bring myself to leave my helmet on the bike, even though I know full well 98% of the people who see it have no desire to take a motorcycle helmet that someone else has been sweating in for who knows how many miles.
If luggage contained nothing more than underwear and a shaving kit this wouldn't be an issue. However, we carry far more than just the basics with us when we can. The portability of modern tech makes that both possible and nearly necessary. A laptop, various chargers and cables, and other items of import we feel we must have with us get pushed into the corners of what we carry when traveling.
I don't know about you, but lots of people have an entire life-support system in their backpacks. Medicine, bandaids, and other supplies are frequently part of luggage for overnight travelers. Losing those items can result in more than just simple inconvenience.
Having secure, lockable storage is less optional than one may think.
Add to all this the fact that once you've had locking bags on a bike, not having them is nearly intolerable. I didn't really anticipate the impact of my 'spoiledness' from the years of riding that old Goldwing. But spoiled I was, so fixed it I did.
Image: Coffee at a convenience store on a brisk fall morning.
The air was cool as I left South Georgia headed home. I was not prepared for just how cool. I put on all three t-shirts and pushed plastic shopping bags inside the arms of my lined mesh jacket. It wasn't long before I was looking for a cup of coffee.
Standing here outside this convenience store, the peace of the moment is palpable.
One of the things I have always loved about riding a motocycle is the peace of solitude. There are few distractions. I focus on the thing at hand, the bike, the pavement, the other idiots on the road. I move from one moment to the next in a nice, even, linear fashion. It is refreshing.
Steam rises lazily from my cup. I'm far from the interstate and it's quiet here. Now and then someone stops for gas, often commmenting on the Triumph as they walk into the store. A few cars and trucks slide by on the road, but mostly it's quiet. For me, this is about as good as it gets. Normal life feels like scrambling.
This is living.
The trip is therapy. Despite some discomforts brought on by age and wear, I feel like I'm eighteen. Alice Cooper screams 'Eighteen' in my brain. The bike purrs between me and my ancient friend the road. A truck begs me to pass, an opening presents, a lower gear is selected, the throttle is twisted and we are off like a rocket. I am SpaceX with a crew of one.
I recall a certain roadsign I want a picture of. So I'm watching as I roll on, and before long I find it.
The word describes several things I'm experiencing at the moment. A pinnacle, a maximum, the height of experience.
Image: Do these cases make my butt look big? Yeah, but I still love you.
All made possible by a couple of pounds of aluminum and some steel tubing.
Givi Trekker Dolomiti Side Cases on my Triumph T100. I have no regrets. Worth every dime.
Beats the hell out of counseling.
Technical Note: These cases have a sweet mounting system. Turn the key 1/4 turn, turn a knob right below the key a 1/4 turn, and the case separates from the bracket. To return it, set the bottom holders onto their two bracket pegs, and press the top toward the bike. Snap! It's locked on. Very nice!
Definitely a Thing That Works!