The modular ventura bike-Pack is a unique luggage system. It incorporates a rack designed for a specific motorcycle model. The black rack consists of two easily installed L-shaped brackets that connect to your bike's frame for optimum support. (They also act as grab handles for your passenger.) Once the brackets are in place you have two options: the Pack-Rack, which is taller and shaped like a skeletal sissybar, or the Sport-Rack, which is essentially a short bar and rack intended for use around town without the bags.
There are two bags that slip over the Pack-Rack and lock to it using quick-release buckles. The Aero-Spada III offers 45 quarts of capacity between its two compartments. The Aero-Delta III can carry 34 quarts. The killer deal is that either bag can be used separately or they can be zipped together to form one enormous bag. You can use any configuration, up to 90 quarts with twin Spada bags. When used individually, each bag can either sit on the rear seat and double as a backrest, or face rearward and rest on the rack.
The "Aerodynamically" designed packs are made in New Zealand from high-density Cordura and feature reflective safety triangles front and rear. Padded carrying handles allow the bags to be toted as hand luggage, or you can purchase optional padded shoulder straps and convert them into backpacks. The compartments open trunk-style using heavy-duty zippers under rain flaps.
The Ventura system offers a huge degree of flexibility and convenience. It's also safer than other luggage systems since the load is carried low and center, and remains stationary so no shifting can occur during cornering or braking. The down side is that it's not particularly pretty, and will stand out like a sore thumb on a bike with lots of billet and chrome.
There are Ventura Bike-Pack systems to fit over 500 motorcycle models. The Kawasaki Vulcan Classic kit (as shown) retails for a suggested price of $365 (bracket $90; rack $45; Spada bag $125; Delta bag $105).
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For additional evaluations of, comparisons of, and shopping advice for motorcycle gear and accessories, see the Accessories and Gear section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.