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Friday, March 22, 2013

A review of the EMGO travel trunk

Sitting on my stoop this morning was my brand new EMGO travel trunk.  I picked it off of Amazon for under seventy dollars and have been wanting some sort of top case for a while.  One of the major issues, and I really do think the Kymco corporation missed the boat on this, with my bike is a lack of storage.  The Kymco, or "Kimmie", is a nice bike and frankly she's surprised me on how quickly she's stolen my heart.  She is still not at the level of my beloved and much missed Burgman...but she's growing on me more and more.

  I commute nearly every day on her, taking my lunch bag at least and maybe a pull over for that cool ride home at 12:30 AM.  With my former bike, I had storage for my riding jacket, full face helmet and pull over...all waiting for me to slip on and head home after a hard day of work.  With the Xciting, I can place my helmet and pull over away...but nothing else.  So I'm lugging in a few things every day.

 My hope is that the EMGO travel trunk would solve some of that.   Lucky for me, it was simple to install.

Kimmie's previous owner had a top case installed before, and the grab bars were solid enough to hold the travel trunk as well.  The entire set up consisted of a hard thick plastic bottom plate which already had several holes pre-drilled into it.  I would just have to affix the bottom plate to the existing luggage rack area with four mounting screws.

Sadly this took some drilling as the previous owner's top case holes did not match up with mine.  

The bottom plate installed.

It only took me about an hour to do.  That simplicity I liked and EMGO gets kudo's from me because of this simplicity.  After all, I'm a monkey with a gun when it comes to anything mechanical.

The travel trunk itself is 12" by 16.5" by 11" (or 30.48 by 41.91 by 27.94 cm) so it's roomy enough to hold a full face helmet at least and various little odds and ends.  I'll probably make it a habit to carry my rain gear, gauntlet gloves and pull over under the seat.  My daily "needs" of lunch and place to store my helmet will go into the trunk.  It looks like my jacket will have to go inside with me for now.

The case is actually a half inch (0.5" or 1.27 cm) in thickness.  It has a dual ridge "locking" system so when it's shut it should be waterproof.  Always a nice thing when your on your bike and since I've used my bike to make the occasional delivery  the size and convenience of the box will work nicely for me. The locking mechanism is hinged, so it locks the top to the bottom.  The entire case can be locked into the bottom holder as well, and with a push of a button, released to take inside.

I was a bit worried about the case either blocking the rear lights completely or hanging over them so much as to create a shadow.  I didn't need to worry at all as the case does not interfere with the lights at all.  I've been considering adding LED brake lights to the license plate or to the top box itself as a safety measure and may have found the perfect solution, that is for another post however.  In the meantime some reflective tape should help make me a little more visible.

Overall I'm happy with the box and can't wait to take it out on the road.  I'm assuming that it will affect the way I ride, after all it will catch the wind and effect the over all balance of the bike...but that should be easy enough to overcome.  


Dar said...

It's a really nice looking topcase! I hope it offers you a good solution for your storage issues. Storage is the only issue I have with bike commuting and I end up lugging a back pack to and from work, which I hate! I need to buy some saddle bags and top box.

Trobairitz said...

Pretty nice top case. It is good to have some extra storage.

I have a soft top case I can attach when I want but I like the waterproof and security of the hard cases.

This will add some utilitarian functionality for you on your commute.