Is there Really a Difference?
HHaving hard-luggage on your motorcycle is luxurious enough. What could possibly make it better? Why luggage liners, of course. If you have hard bags and have never experienced the joy of bag liners, you are just not fully living!
Bag liners allow you to pack your stuff in the hotel room or the house, then bring all your stuff out and put them into the bike without having to remove the hard bags and risk banging them into doors and counters along the way. Then, if you have to open your bag out on the road, you don’t have to worry about your dainties getting scattered across the road or parking lot. The only problem with bag liners tends to be the price. They can be quite spendy, particularly the factory/OEM bag liners.
Non-OEM bag liners can be found, but we’d always wondered if the quality would be consistent and if we’d end up wishing we had the factory version. So a comparison was in order. We obtained two sets of bags. One from Ducati Performance with an MSRP of $187.90 and some TourLiners from MotoPouch with an MSRP of $119.95.
We’ll be honest; we’ve been disappointed with a lot of Ducati Performance accessories in the past. For the price and all the badging you expect something special. Rarely is that the case and these bag liners were no exception. The first time we saw them we thought something was wrong; the coarse weaving of the nylon shell looks like those cardboard disposable bags you get at car shows. Even the zipper, and all of its itty-bitty teeth, looks cheap.
Bright red plastic piping follows the shape of the bag and there is a massive rubber handle on the top of the bag. Small plastic triangles are stitched onto the sides to allow for the attachment a shoulder strap. Yes, it’s just a bag liner, but for almost $200.00 we were expecting a little bit more. But at least there is a very attractive embroidered Ducati Performance logo, that’s nice.
Coming in $70 less than the Ducati bags we didn’t have very high expectations. But we couldn’t have been more wrong. Pulling the bags out for the first time we noticed a much nicer quality nylon shell. Dense weaving and nice white piping give the immediate impression of higher quality. Missing is the big fancy rubber handle and in its place is a simple strap of material for the grab handle. At first we thought this was one of places where they saved money. The TourLiners has the same triangle shoulder strap attachments. Even the robust zippers looks strong and exude a much higher attention to detail and quality.
Aesthetically, one could argue that the Ducati bags look better. The Italian red piping, robust rubber handles and, particularly, embroidered logos look great. Conversely, the MotoPouch bag has understated white nylon piping (but can be custom ordered with other colors if on so desires) and a plastic sleeve with a slip of paper adorned with the MotoPouch logo. However, if one were to look closer, the better materials of the MotoPouch go farther towards looking good once the item is not on the store shelf, particularly if you are not so impressed with logos. Plus, the MotoPouch’s plastic sleeve doubles as a luggage tag/ID holder so you can insert your own information in place of the MotoPouch name. Nice touch, actually.
Both bags have been smartly contoured to fit into the odd shaped Multistrada hard-cases, but that makes both of them a little weird to fill with underwear and shaving kits. The zippers on the Ducati bag go more than 75% of the way around the bag allowing you to lay it on its side while stuffing it with your contents. Nice in concept, but the MotoPouch's narrower zipper that runs just across the top of bag works better in practice. While it may be a bit harder to insert big items (like a bottle of wine) into the MotoPouch, the narrower zipper means that your contents are not constantly spilling out as you try to fill it up nor does all your had work get scattered across the floor if you decide to move the bag before its zipped all the way closed. Points to MotoPouch for zipper design; and for zipper quality for that matter.
Both bags go into the hard shells with ease, but the big rubber handle on the Ducati bag does a great job of fouling the hinge or clasp requiring a lot more effort to get the bag closed. We became so frustrated with the Ducati Performance rubber handle that we contemplated cutting it off all together. The simple nylon strap on the MotoPouch that we first thought was a cost-saving measure is, not only simpler, but overall a better design and shows just one more place where a great deal of attention was paid to a small detail. Points again to MotoPouch.
We tested both bags on moisture, incidentally when we rode through 300 miles of torrential rain, twice, then again with a garden hose aimed directly at the hard bag seams and joints. While the Ducati hard bags are very water-resistant, in both cases our belongings in the Ducati bag liner were damp while our kit in the MotoPouch stayed completely dry even when the outside shell of the liner was moist. We attribute this difference to the cheaper quality materials used on the Ducati Performance bag. More points, once again, to MotoPouch.
Value; no question. The MotoPouch offers a much better value. The materials are of a higher quality, the zipper is much more robust and while it may not have Ducati’s name embroidered on the side, overall this is a better looking bag. Coming in an easy $70 less than the official accessory, we’d have a hard time paying for and justifying the Ducati bag even if it were to cost less than the MotoPouch. The MotoPouch is the clear winner.
One more nice thing about the MotoPouch; we had the opportunity to talk with Sean, founder/owner of MotoPouch. It was clear that this is a product that he is constantly working to improve and make better, continually looking at everything from materials to construction methods. We think we can safely say the Ducati bag does not receive that same level of attention to detail and constant, evolutionary improvements.