Performance upgrades and flashy looks updates get lots of attention, but sometimes you just need to increase the practicality of your motorcycle. That was certainly the case for us with our long-term 2016 Kawasaki Z800 ABS, which has eye-catching aesthetics and spirited power output but is short on carrying capacity. We needed a set of bags that would easily mount to the naked bike, give us the ability to tackle everyday around-town chores and also open up the possibility of longer-range touring.
And that’s exactly what we found with the Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags.
The Super 2.0s don’t require any mounting brackets or hard parts to install. Instead, they come with the Cortech Quick-Release system that’s adaptable to the shape of just about any motorcycle. There’s four buckles on length-adjustable straps to anchor the saddlebags and wide, non-scratch straps with heavy-duty Velcro that lay over the pillion/top of the tail section. Non-scratch material is also built down the sides of the bags as well.
Mounting the bags takes hardly any time at all, just locate four points to secure the female ends of the buckle straps, lay the saddle bags over the pillion/tail and snap it all into place.
Though these aren’t hard bags, they’re built to withstand some pretty gnarly treatment. The exterior is 1680 denier ballistic polyester and there’s also 1800 denier three-lined twill Jacquard weave side pockets. Highly abrasion and tear resistant, in other words.
There’s also internal support panels to give the bags shape and rigidity while still allowing for some flex, which is helpful when stuffing these things to the brim. Expansion panels provide more than two additional inches to the width of each bag, raising capacity to over 36 liters (9.5 gallons) per bag.
This means you can stuff an entire cold-weather down sleeping bag and small pillow into one side, and a weeks-worth of clothing and some snacks in the other side. There’s still room in the exterior zippered pockets after all that for a tool roll and other essential supplies, making touring a realistic possibility. The biggest bummer in terms of storage is that we couldn’t get a full-face helmet inside the bags.
Other notable elements include removable rain covers as well as heat shield material built into the bottom and up the inside of each bag. Phoslite reflective piping accents the exterior to improve visibility. The top flaps open and close via a dual zipper set-up and the ends of each flap stays in place with Velcro. Inside there’s soft red and black lining. There’s also buckle attachment points built into the saddlebags that will anchor a Super 2.0 Tail Bag, if you’re inclined to have the complete set.
But specs aside, the Super 2.0 Saddlebags open up a whole new world when you’ve gotten used to only being able to carry what you can fit in a backpack.
There’s the little things, like being able to pick up some dinner when you don’t feel like cooking. To-go trays fit perfectly in the Super 2.0s. Also, if you’re like us there’s been more than one occasion where you got caught up running all over town checking off boxes on the honey-do list. We’ve picked up cans of paint, three-pound bags of dog food, a pair of shoes, milk and all sorts of other random, small stuff. We regularly stuffed our running shoes and a change of clothes in there and thought earnestly about actually making it to the gym after work.
The primary downfall is the bags’ vulnerability. Without extra precautions, a thieving degenerate could easily unclick and un-Velcro the bags and walk off with them. If this debased individual was particular about what he stole, he could also just unzip the top flap and take what he wanted. It’s a shame to have to worry about that sort of thing, but we didn’t take precautions to lock anything down and were always slightly nervous leaving the bags outside in the parking lot during working hours.
Cortech has built-in handles which makes it easy to carry the bags along with you if necessary.
With an MSRP of $159.99, the Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags are a quality item for the price. Especially if you have a few different bikes in the garage, the Super 2.0s will adapt to just about any motorcycle and prove useful in a variety of situations, from day-to-day errands to cross country tours.
Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags