Firstgear Onyx Tail Bag
Best feature: Fits 87-07 KLR650 rack perfectly
The Firstgear Onyx Tail Bag fits the rack on my 1987-2007 model KLR650 really well. The bag base is the same length/width as the rack. I'm sure it would suit a bunch of other bike models too, including post-2007 KLRs. The attachment system is a bit strange, but I'm happy with the result. I like to leave a tail bag semi-permanently attached, so I removed the bungee straps and instead ran a plastic-coated, braided steel cable lock through the bag's underside bungee 'channels' and padlocked it to the KLR rack. The bag's sides have some padding, so its shape is very self-supporting, though I also have a vertical crossmember bolted to the front of my rack, helping keep the bag upright. I wrapped the bag's front straps around this vertical support. The bag is fairly tall, so even if you're over 6' in height you'll need to swing your right leg high with an action movie hero-like flourish when getting on the bike, or resort to a more sedate method as if you had a topbox. I've had the bag a week or two now and like it. I wanted something rugged that fits my rack, is a functional shape, is self-supporting, can be left on the bike, and looks understated and simple. I don't mind if it fades, as it'll just look cooler. Early days, but I'd recommend this bag as decent functional value for money.
April 15, 2016
Using for 4 years
I put this bag on my 2011 KLR650 four years ago. It's still in great shape. I hardly ever have to expand it. Carries my rain gear, tool pouch, over pants, a couple of pairs of gloves, and a whole bunch of misc. stuff in the side bags.
Zippers still work good, and it keeps it's shape when partially empty.
My tail rack is slightly smaller than the side pouches, so they are not supported on bottom. As long as I don't put more than a half pound in them, they keep their shape.
I don't ride in heavy rain, but the few times I have been in the rain, it hasn't gotten anything wet inside. I haven't had to use the rain cover yet.
I like this bag so much, that I plan to get another one for my small NX250 this year.
February 1, 2016
I used the Onyx for two years, and that was too long by at least six months. The strong Arizona sun broke down the threading that secured the zippers, causing them to tear away from bag and jam with the frayed remnants. The bag also faded badly, and lost it's square shape, turning into a droopy mess when it wasn't filled with gear.
The best things I can say about it is that it was cheap, easy to install securely, and held a decent quantity of stuff, but I don't recommend it for daily use.
October 18, 2013
This Tail Bag is Very Versatile
I've had this Tail Bag and the matching Saddlebags and they work great, with my setup. I have a 2013 KLR 650 and I put this bag on the luggage rack, using the attached bungee cords w/ plastic hooks, that don't scratch. It is expandable in almost all areas. There are straps that can be taken out of their pockets to strap things like jackets or whatever on top of the bag. There are also tie down points around the bag if you want to strap a helmet on top with a bungee net. I carry a bike cover, rain gear, 3 pairs of gloves, two disk locks, two cable locks, tools, flashlight and the two liners for my jacket, and several other things, I can't recall right now in this one bag. I only use the matching saddlebags for longer trips, like weekends or longer. On one trip my girlfriend and I stopped at a grocery store, took everything out of the main compartment of this bag and put it all into our already packed saddlebags, then filled it with food and drinks, that stayed cold for many hours. I was surprised by that! It was easy to do this because we just expanded the saddlebags to fit the extra gear, even though we already had them packed with all of our clothes for the 3 day trip. Both the Tail Bag and the matching saddlebags have reflective piping that works well. The saddlebags come with the same black bungee cords w/ plastic hooks which I use to secure the Saddlebags tightly to my side racks that cover the side covers. They are not saddlebag racks, they are racks that protect the side covers, similar to case guards, but they work great with soft luggage, holding the bags about 1 to 2 inches above the side covers and away from the heat of the muffler. The saddlebags and tail bag do not interfere w/ the turn signals and mount far enough back to not interfere w/ a passengers legs. They have great capacity yet are nice and slim and compact when not expanded. Plus they are much lighter and more easily removed at your destination then hard luggage. Use your load capacity for the things you need, not for the weight and mounting hardware for hard luggage. Work great on my KLR 650!
July 16, 2013