Product: Autokicker Hero Tail Pack / Seat Bag
Supplier: Amazon UK
Purchase Price: £39.99
Purchase Date: 2nd August 2016
Review Date: 4th August 2016
Long Term Review: TBA
Reviewer: Tristan Findley
Riding my Triumph America LT over the last few months has spoilt me a little in terms of on-bike storage. Moving to the Suzuki GSR-750 gives me far less storage, even though I have a little ‘boot’ space under the pillion seat for a wallet and sunglasses case, or maybe a disc lock. So once I had gotten comfortable on the bike I started looking at different storage options for it. My main method of storage is currently a tank bag, but I want a little something for the rear of the bike. The GSR-750 is a bit of an angular aggressive-looking bike, so I’d need a something that is equally as angular for the rear. After a little hunting on Amazon, I came across the Autokicker Hero Tail Pack / Seat Bag.
Manufacturer Product Description
A Unique Smart Looking Tail/Seat Bag.
The Unique modern appearance makes sure the Hero look good on a wide range of bikes. Fantastic construction and features means solid performance which is sure to please any biker.
• 300(L) x 270(W) x 200(H) mm (At Max Points)
• PVC black leather Waterproof Material Construction
• Fitting Hook and Clip options (Provided)
• Easy access design
• 7 Litres Capacity
• High quality #5 YKK self-healing zips Including YKK Sliders & pulls
• Double Zips for easy operation
• Easy On / Off Design
• Rubber Logo
• Hard wearing base
• Design Reduces scratches and abrasion to paint work
The Hero is part of Autokicker Criterion range. A collection of high specification motorcycle luggage.
The AutoKicker Hero Tailpack arrived from Amazon in the standard Non-descrit Prime box which was surprisingly flat. Opening the box reveals the tail bag inside a clear polythene bag. As expected, the zippered opening had been folded flat inside the bag allowing the whole back to flatten down for shipment. Not a problem as it turns out, because zipping the bag closed restores the desired shape of the bag.
Upon opening the polythene shipping bag you are greeted by the slight smell of the faux plastic leather, which on a more expensive bag I would have probably complained about, but as this is designed to be waterproof, this fake leather look is probably more suitable. Once you close up the zippered opening you realise that the bag is actually slightly bigger than expected. It has a fair amount of space inside it, and it has a good reasonable exterior footprint. All straps and fixtures are shipped inside the tailpack.
Included with the pack is:
- 2x fitting straps with quick release buckles (male / male)
- 1x fitting strap with standard plastic hitch clips
- 1x shoulder strap with standard plastic hitch clips
- 1x Easy Strap Fitting System instruction sheet
The outside of the bag is a mix between the plastic faux leather and a padded nylon mesh coating. Beneath the mesh and faux is a more waterproof layer. The overall look of it is pretty good, and from feeling around the bag feels well made with good water resistance from the materials and stitching. The sides of the bag have two pairs of clip buckles (all female) so you can easily attach and remove the bag from the bike seat.
The bottom of the bag has a pad that sits over the rear seat with the same leather looking material on top, and a grippier material on the underside so it doesn’t slide around on the seat once attached. The left and right side of the panel have plastic tie down points on them (set further back than the quick release buckles) for use as an alternative (or extra) attachment solution. The bottom pad is wider at the front (zippered end) and tapers off toward the rear with Wings on the left and right of the panel. The dimensions of the panel are:
- Bottom Panel (Wide end): 250mm
- Bottom Panel (tapered end): 125mm
- Wings: 60mm
Moving on to the zippered opening of the bag, you have a pair of YKK zippers meaning the bag can be opened from the left or right. The zippered panel itself has two slightly padded mesh sections on it which resemble a seat-back or mini sissy-bar. When attached to the bike, these should complete the arch of your back down to the tail of the bike, giving a good streamlined look (similar to that of a Hyabusa). Open the panel and you will find a thin zippered pocket inside of the panel which is big enough to hold an iPhone 6s Plus (though the zippered opening is slightly too small to allow it to fit through in landscape). Two straps stop the zippered panel dropping below the bottom of the bag – useful if you need a small platform upon which to place things when loading / unloading the bike. Returning to the outside of the zippered panel, you find a carry handle framed by two larger clip / tie-down points which are designed for use with the included quick-release shoulder strap.
Overall I really like the look of the AutoKicker Hero Tailpack. The material and look of it is rather reminiscent of my Dianese AirFrame jacket and trousers, so it completes my summer look!
The AutoKicker Hero Tailpack is designed to attach to either a Rear Set, or to a rear hump / seat cowl using the supplied fitting straps. In my case, I will be fitting this to a Suzuki GSR-750 (GSX-S750) on top of the standard rear seat. As I have the MotoGP GSR-750, I don’t have the rear seat cowl option so I cannot test it with that.
Sitting the bag on the bike for the first time did initially make me worry that the bag wouldn’t fit, but once I unlocked the seat and attached the supplied fitting straps in a cross formation, I was able to see that the bag was in fact the perfect fit. As you can see from the photo on the left, the wings slightly overlap the profile of the seat, allowing them to wrap around the sides slightly – useful so the straps don’t damage the seat in any way. In my installation, I’ve used the helmet storage hooks to tidy the extra strap length away for now. Removing and attaching the pillion seat isn’t compromised in anyway with the bag attached – in fact removing the seat is a little easier thanks to the handle on the bag.
With the bag attached and the seat locked back to the bike, the bag sits perfectly over the profile of the seat. The zippered opening overlaps the seat slightly, protruding forward just a little giving the impression of a seat rest, however from limited testing in the garage it does not touch my back in my default riding position. Opening the zippered section actually lets it rest against the riders seat due to the slight angle from the pillion seat.
The pack seems to flatten off a little when the straps are tightened, however I don’t foresee this as much of a problem – I tested the bag empty, so with gear in the bag it shouldn’t loose shape at all.
To test the AutoKicker Hero Tailpack, I decided to load up for my regular commute to work. In the tailpack was my jeans with belt, my IKEA Beskydda reflective harness, my Dianese Airframe jacket windstopper, and a Musto / Volvo Ocean Race baseball cap. In the front zipper compartment I’d put the shoulder strap and a glasses cleaning cloth. I’d intended to leave my phone in the zippered compartment but decided instead to put it in my tank bag which I also took with me. This two-bag configuration allowed me to go to work without any backpack on, which meant a much nicer ride for me.
Attaching the bag to the bike without anything in it was a little tricker (possibly my jeans were a little big for it), and I had to release a small bit of tension on one of the straps, but only by a fraction.
Now I’m only 5″6 (on a good day), so i’m far from the tallest guy. The tail pack did make getting on and off the bike a little more tricky than I’m used to, as I’ve now got to pick my leg up further. I did notice that the Velcro from my boot caught a little on the mesh panels, leaving them a touch bobbly.
While riding, i could feel the bag against my lower back, but if anything it felt like a little backrest. I didn’t feel like it was impeding my movement, Even while sitting further upright on the bike or waiting at lights. From what I could feel and from what I saw once I made it into work, the bag had not shifted at all during the journey.
After a couple of days with the AutoKicker Hero Tailpack, I’m really liking it. It looks smart, gives me just the right amount of extra storage on my GSR-750, and combining it with my Oxford Tank Bag gives me a fairly large amount of in-line storage on a slim bike. At only £39 its not overly expensive and pretty good value given the amount of storage.
As I’ve not yet been caught in any bad weather I’ve been unable to test the waterproofing of the bag (and before anyone asks I’m not riding up and down the road while my girlfriend squirts me with a hose). Once I know how it performs I will be sure to report back. Until then, I’d give the AutoKicker Hero Tailpack a firm recommendation, especially given its unique style and reasonable cost.
Long Term Review
This review of the AutoKicker Hero Tailpack is not sponsored or commissioned. The product was purchased privately for use by Tristan Findley.