Mr. Seck’s TU250 Luggage Reviews, Part 2

Enduristan Monsoon Saddlebags and Sandstorm 2 Sport Tank Bag

 

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I’ve used soft luggage over the years but the main problem has been keeping stuff dry when you’re traveling. The shower-cap-styled rain covers provided with the more affordable tank bags and saddlebags are not a very appealing solution and often are not truly waterproof. Inevitably, I’ve ended up bundling all my stuff in plastic bags to ensure that it remains dry.

In 2013, I wanted a better solution. I’ve always been a fan of the roll-top Ortlieb-designed saddlebags so I was pleased to discover a similar, more beefed-up design being made by a company called Enduristan. They also had an appealing tank bag as well.

As you may know, I have a soft spot for the ‘stan bit in their name, but that wasn’t the main attraction. These are Swiss-designed bags that are built to take on serious adventure travel!

The good folks at Black Dog Cycle Works (the North American distributor) were initially a tad reluctant to provide the bags for me, as their main market is not really TU250 owners. Links to my Pakistan adventure travels on 125 and 150 cc motorcycles convinced them I at least had the right spirit to test out the bags and they were duly dispatched to Toronto.

This was the complete two-up traveling kit for the 2013 riding season. Note that if you ride solo, you can strap more stuff to the back seat with the help of the tie down loops on the Monsoon saddlebags. The new Monsoon 2 bags even have an additional row of tie down loops on the outer edge of the bags if you want to load something massive on the back.
This was the complete two-up traveling kit for the 2013 riding season. Note that if you ride solo, you can strap more stuff to the back seat with the help of the tie down loops on the Monsoon saddlebags. The new Monsoon 2 bags even have an additional row of tie down loops on the outer edge of the bags if you want to load something massive on the back.

Enough Yammering; What’s The Deal?

Okay, lets cut to the chase here. The Enduristan Monsoon saddlebags and Sandstorm 2 Sport tank bag are superbly designed, well-built pieces of kit that will take an absolute shit kicking. To date, nothing has broken or torn, and if I cleaned them up properly, you’d have a hard time telling they still weren’t new after a season of use!

The Sandstorm 2 tank bag will work with just about any bike, although you'll have to protect the the paint from the rubbing of the straps, if you worry about that sort of thing.
The Sandstorm 2 tank bag will work with just about any bike, although you’ll have to protect the the paint from the rubbing of the straps, if you worry about that sort of thing.

Of course, I haven’t subjected them to the kind of abuse that they were designed for, so they will soldier on as much as possible as my main luggage kit, and I’ll let you know when I’ve g’his pit kayed them.

You’ll note from the intro photo that I’m sizing them up for my 2014 long-term tester, the Suzuki GW250.

For the street rider out there, these bags, in particular the Monsoon saddlebags are worthy of consideration. In my opinion they don’t look out of place on a street bike and they’ll carry a pile of gear and keep it dry. As they are over-engineered for street use, they are likely the only bags you’ll need until you grind a hole in them sliding down the pavement. Even then, you could probably just stitch them up and keep going!

The Enduristan Sandstorm 2 tank bag is also a great piece of kit and it worked beautifully on our 2013 TU250 long-term test bike. I’m finding though on the GW250 it will be challenging to use as I’ll need to do a lot of paint protecting in order to insure all the plastic bits don’t get worn down by the straps. This doesn’t appear to be so much of an issue with the saddlebags as I’ll simply have to cover the tail section with some material that will inhibit wear from the rubbing of the bags and straps.

On the TU with the Cycleracks rack, complete with their bag supports, all these wearing issues were really a non-issues as the rack took care of all that. The minimal plastic on the TU also made the Sandstorm tank bag easy to mount without much worry. There was however some minor scuffing from the front buckles on the tank after a season of use. It wasn’t a big deal, as the scuffing could easily be buffed out, but it’s worth noting.

To read about how the bags mounted up, click here.

The Enduristan bags blended quite nicely with the TU.
The Enduristan bags blended quite nicely with the TU.

More Details About The Monsoon Saddlebags

While mounting the bags I noted that they incorporate high-quality Rok Straps in the critical areas. I was also impressed by the fact that once the bags were cinched down, the excess strap could be neatly held in place with the moveable elasticized bands that are part of the set up. No straps flapping in the wind.

Nicely done.

There was nothing in these bags when I took this shot, yet they hold their form.
There was nothing in these bags when I took this shot, yet they hold their form.

In the areas most likely to be damaged, 1000D Cordura is utilized. This material is said to be twice as strong as the Cordura used in most motorcycle jackets and pants.

There’s a plastic panel that slides into a channel between the outer bag and inner liner and it wraps around the front, underneath and to the rear of the bag. It’s high-impact plastic that will help to protect the contents of the bags from thrown-up stones or branches, if you are riding off road.

The added bonus of this plastic insert is that it keeps the bags in a nice shape, even when they are empty. Who likes a saggy bag after all? This shape-holding ability makes them look smart while doing grocery runs when you’re not traveling around the world.

There are two Velcroed panels inside each bag that can be used as separators for your kit, or they can simply be pushed against the front and back of the bags to give you one large open space.

Here's the inside of the Monsoon saddlebag. Note the Velcroed separators and the handle at the bottom that easily allows you to turn the bag inside out for cleaning purposes.
Here’s the inside of the Monsoon saddlebag. Note the Velcroed separators and the handle at the bottom that easily allows you to turn the bag inside out for cleaning purposes.

If you find some cool stuff on your travels, no worries; the roll top closures allow you to increase your carrying capacity substantially if you don’t overstuff them to begin with (the bags are rated at 2×15–30 litres). And, if you want to lash down even more stuff to the back seat of your bike the Monsoons come equipped with a rack of loops to affix tie downs.

Finally, as mentioned, these Monsoon bags have proved to be 100% waterproof so far. Their red waterproof inner liner with its welded seams is easily washable as well. There’s a handle at the bottom of the liner that allows you to pull the liner inside out in a second. Then, just hit the liner with a blast of a water hose, let it dry and fit back in as quickly as you pulled it out.

Ultimately, I haven’t found much to criticize on these saddlebags so far. For the hard-core off road rider, I have noticed an interesting development in the waterproof inner liner designs offered by Enduristan’s competition, and that is that they are Velcroed in and completely removable, which means if anything punctures this inner bladder, you can replace it. On the Enduristan Monsoons, with their fixed liner, you’d have to patch it somehow in the event of a puncture.

Got Any More On The Tank Bag?

Works well. Too bad it's too slim to manage a bigger map holder.
Works well. Too bad it’s too slim to manage a bigger map holder.

As mentioned, the Sandstorm 2 Sport tank bag also a great piece of kit. It is expandable (from 7-12 litres) but not via a roll top – it has a big weather-sealed zip top.

The inner liner is kind of like a bellows that fuses together the outer and inner semi-rigid shells of the bag exterior. This again makes for a bag that can increase its capacity as required.

Most of the interior is comprised of the same red waterproof material that is used in the Monsoon saddlebags, and there is one fused separator in the bag. This liner can’t be pulled out for cleaning like in the Monsoons, but it is easy enough to be cleaned if required.

Some may think the red liner is a styling exercise, and indeed it does look good, but the added bonus is that it is easier to see what is in the bag than if this liner were black, especially so at night.

I’ve only found two niggles with the tank bag so far. The first is really a product of it’s slim design which is actually intended to work – even on ultra-slim hard enduro bikes, and that is that the accessory map holder that Velcros to the top of the bag is not wide enough to hold two sections of a normal map. To utilize the maximum real estate that the map holder offers, you have to butcher your map into a one-and-a-half section fold. I know, that’s a big “so what?”, but I though I’d mention it.

The guts of a Think Tank CityWalker 10 camera bag can fit into the Sandstorm 2 thus offering a happy place for one's camera.
The guts of a Think Tank CityWalker 10 camera bag can fit into the Sandstorm 2 thus offering a happy place for one’s camera.

Finally, I did manage to see a bit of water seepage through the zipper area of the bag after I rode through a rainstorm that could only be described as hurricane-like. Nothing got wet, but some moisture did manage to make it through a very impressive-looking sealed zipper.

I’m not concerned though as no normal human would continue ride under those conditions, but these are the lengths we’ll go to for our beloved readership.

Final Word

Here's the fully-loaded luggage kit as we are about depart Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Park. That would be my good self on the left, and Eric, the lodge's owner on the right. Stay tuned for the full touring story to follow.
Here’s the fully-loaded luggage kit as we are about depart Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Park. That would be my good self on the left, and Eric, the lodge’s owner on the right. Stay tuned for the full touring story to follow.

If you’re in the market for soft luggage, whether for your adventure tourer, hard enduro bike, or even your street bike, these bags are worthy of your attention; they’re excellent pieces of motorcycle luggage.

If you compare them with similar offerings from companies like Kriega, Alt Rider, and Giant Loop, Enduristan’s combined price of just north of US $500 (for the saddlebags and tank bag) starts to look like exceptional value, especially given their five-year guarantee. And, at that price, you get the new Monsoon 2 saddlebags that are supposed to be even tougher and more feature-laden.

Enjoy the ride.

Cheers, Mr. Seck

5 thoughts on “Mr. Seck’s TU250 Luggage Reviews, Part 2”

  1. Hi Mike,

    They look like they are going to work although I have yet to install the Snider’s Paintgard to ensure I don’t scratch up the side panels. My Shad top box and the Suzuki tank bag that I received recently have been doing the trick for me so far.

    We’ll be doing some touring later this month and I’ll know the full story as to whether there are any problems, although I don’t foresee any.

    Cheers, Richard

  2. Those are Sym’s own accessory saddlebags. They worked surprisingly well for what they are asking for them. Not waterproof though.

    Cheers, Richard

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