Tested: Trax Adventure Luggage

Beautifully designed, impeccably built, priced accordingly.

trax adventure luggage test
Trax Adventure Hard Cases©Motorcyclist
adv luggage
Lots of volume and even a handy bungee for the lid are just a few of the nice things about the Trax boxes.©Motorcyclist

It should go without saying that premium aftermarket hard bags in the ADV theme need to be tough, convenient to use, utterly waterproof, and flexible enough to accommodate the replacement tire your buddy needs. Trax has been serving that market for years, but the latest version, called the Trax Adventure, benefits from a host of refinements. In doing so, it takes what appears to be a familiar design to another level.

Understand this: Even though the Adventure luggage—available as 37- and 45-liter side cases and a 37-liter top box—seem to mimic the old bags’ general shape and fit the same quad-pin mounts, there’s almost nothing here that’s gone untouched. For starters, all the plastic corners are different, not just restyled and strategically fitted with handles and slots for lashing other bags to them, but now they’re protective only. Before, the plastic was part of the bags’ structure, but now there’s aluminum all the way around, so if you drag the plastic across a rock and crack it you won’t breach the bag. The X-shaped styling elements on the outer faces and tops of the side cases are also to give the box improved stiffness. Finally, the plates that mate to the bike-specific racks are reinforced to better handle abuse.

Latches are new too. Although you still need the key to open both the top latches and those that secure the bags to the bike, the structure is new, with a plastic plate behind the locking mechanism for added strength and security. New for the Adventure update are forward hinges that can be unsnapped so you can remove the lid entirely. The lids now feature handles at each end, a nice touch to make handling them off the bike much easier. Those lids also have four tie-down points on the outside along with clever tie-down points inside the lids that accommodate optional bungee nets or zipper-closed inner lid bags. Bag liners are another option, as are specifically designed dry bags that perfectly fit the side case lids. Phew.

trax adventure luggage test
New backing plates for the locks make the luggage more secure.©Motorcyclist

I’ve been using the Trax Adventure boxes for most of the summer on my KTM 990 SM-T, fitted to SW-Motech’s quick-release brackets. I’ve gone on record saying how much I prefer top-loading cases, and the Adventures only reinforced that for me. They swallow a massive amount of stuff—and I had the smaller 37-liter side cases—that’s also easily organized for the road. I had the pleasure of passing through several hours of no-kidding rain that never penetrated the new lid seals. In fact, neither did air. If I packed at high altitude and tried to open the bags near sea level, it was something of a fight to break the vacuum and get the lid open. They’d always give in, but the scene could be comical at a fuel stop.

Trax makes only standard-size boxes; there aren’t any with cutouts for high or low exhaust. Because of that, the installation on my 990 was too wide to be lane-splitting friendly, but that’s the only serious complaint I have. The total package cost for this installation, including $325 for the mounts, is just less than $1,300, which is competitive with other aluminum adventure-style luggage on the market.

TRAX ADVENTURE HARD LUGGAGE

Price: $480–$500 per bag, plus side carriers
Contact: twistedthrottle.com

MC Grade: A-

Verdict: Beautifully designed, impeccably built, priced accordingly.