Long-Term Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR: Fastrax Tail Bag For Superior Commuting

Finally, a place to put my lunch!

Fastrax tail bag
Dowco’s Fastrax Backroads tail bag secures via nylon straps and comes with a rain cover (that stores in a pouch at the front of the bag) as well as an auxiliary sack that mounts to the top of the bag and is big enough to hold a sweatshirt or two.Photo: Julia LaPalme

WRIST: Ari Henning
MSRP (2016): $14,799
MILES: 981
MPG: 30
MODS: Tail bag

As I pointed out when we first introduced the Aprilia Tuono 1100 project bike a few months back, the base-model Tuono I'm riding is the only Aprilia V-4 (out of a total of six 2016 models) that comes from the factory with a passenger seat and footpegs. That's great for taking your significant other or skeptical friends out for a ride to show them first hand how hellacious this machine is, but it also provides the perfect place to strap a tail bag. And adding some cargo space makes the Tuono a far more utilitarian machine.

My tail bag of choice has long been the Fastrax model offered by Dowco Powersports. I've literally been using the same bag (on what must by now be dozens of sportbikes) for 8 years, and it always seems to swallow my lunch, hold a weekend's worth of clothes, or help me haul parts, groceries, or other stuff around town. Dowco updated the Fastrax bag this year (dowcopowersports.com; $119) and we included it in last month's Gear department, and since the previous-generation bag I'm using is beginning to look its age I decided to give the new setup a try.

Fastrax tail bag expanded
No elastic! The previous model’s bungee drawcord let you adjust how much the bag expands so your cargo stays compressed. The new bag lacks that feature, which means you get the full 25 liters or 28 liters of capacity, but nothing in between. Unfortunately, this one omission makes the Fastrax bag a little less functional.Photo: Julia LaPalme

This latest Fastrax bag has a new exterior and a sleeker look, but besides that it’s essentially the same as before. That means it mounts quickly and securely via straps and expands to 28 liters with the pull of a zipper. Unlike the original bag, however, that zippered billow is no longer equipped with an elastic drawcord. That means there’s no way to reel in the excess volume if you’ve expanded the bag but aren’t using the full 28 liters, and unfortunately that makes this new bag a little less functional than the previous model.

In any case, having a place to put some stuff makes the Tuono far more practical. Maybe I’ll use the cargo space to carry a canister full of fuel—more range would definitely help make the Aprilia a better streetbike!