When I first stumbled across the Motonaut Extreme. I was bewildered. Such a simple idea. It seemed too obvious. Too good to be possible. Why had it never been done before? But as with most great solutions thats because the best ideas are intrinsically simple. It just takes someone with foresight, vision and dedication to bring them to reality. I had to try it out.
So when I started thinking about this years Malle Mile (An amazing 3 day camping motorcycle event in South London), I knew it was the perfect chance to try it out. I needed a simple, cost effective way to get myself, enough camping kit for two people, and my girlfriend, to the event on my almost stock 1991 Honda XR600R. But using a system that could be quickly and easily removed, so as to not affect my riding at the event itself.
Welcome Motnaut Extreme. This genius luggage rack, designed by Swedish adventure rider Kristopher Adsegård, arrives neatly in a little clear plastic storage case. Its contents beautifully organised by black elastic bands. The kit (pictured below) includes the main harness, which serves as the rack, and 6 quick release straps for quickly mounting and un-mounting your bags as required. Plus a few extra bits, to get you sorted if you need to make some mounting points.
The webbing and fasteners are very good quality and insanely tough, I have no doubt they will last a very long time, even with exposure to grit, salt and sun light. Its very lightweight weighing in at less than 1kg. It folds up into a tiny amount of space, is completely modular, can be taken on and off of your bike in about 5 minutes flat (2 with a bit of practice) and costs less than €100. Incredible!
How it Works
To mount the system. You simply lay the harness over the rear fender of your bike, with the logo forward most.
Take the forward securing straps and run them through a suitable anchoring location. I used the loops in my rear passenger pegs, but you could use any suitable loops in your frame, or use the included bolt on loops. Take the loose end back up and secure using the double D-Ring.
Repeat using the rearmost securing straps. Here I managed to loop mine through the frame under plastic. But if you can’t find something suitable, they have even included a fender strap, that wraps around the fender for you to secure your straps too.
Once its all roughly in position, you can tighten up the straps, keeping the rack centred over your fender. Thats it!! Honestly, its that simple. You now have a rack of webbing strap to secure your bags too.
From here you simply feed the Adjustastraps through loops in the webbing, or the metal rings, to create securing points for your luggage. As and where you need them.
I used one strap through each of the large metal rings. Using the two straps each side for one dry sack. I used two straps fed lengthways, from front to back, through the webbing to secure my tent to the top of the bike. It might take a bit of fiddling to get this right the first time you try it. I had to load and unload mine a few times to figure it out. But eventually you’ll find the way that works best for your bike and your luggage. Next time it’ll take you about 5 minutes to attach the rack and your luggage.
Once all tightened down, the rack securely holds your luggage. Both in a sensible location and out of the way of any moving parts. If done right, you’ll even have enough room to even carry a passenger.
For me, the beauty of the system lies within its flexibility. By simply swapping dry bags you can change the amount of luggage you need to transport. Plus, did I mention you can easily just remove it when you don’t need it??? Think about it for a second. No extra weight or ugly pannier frames on your pride and joy. Get to your destination, remove your rack, and head off and do your thing.
The only thing I struggled with, was the location of my exhaust and the concern of melting my luggage whilst carrying a pillion. If I was riding on my own, I could easily have positioned the bags out of the way of the exhaust. However, with a pillion onboard, it forced me to move the luggage up and rearwards, towards the exhaust. For future trips I would simply fabricate a small aluminium shield to bridge the exhaust and protect both the Motonaut Extreme straps and the luggage from the heat. But its such a minor criticism and is probably very bike and purpose specific that it hardly warrants worrying about.
I honestly can’t recommend the Motonaut Extreme system enough. It really does everything you need it too, and in such an elegant, lightweight and simple way. London traffic aside, It was effortless getting myself, my girlfriend and our camping kit down to Kevington Hall for the Malle Mile. It didnt get in the way, it held all our luggage securely, without worrying about it flying off. And the rack was easily removed to allow me to participate in the racing at the event. The Motonaut Extreme Rack truly could be the best modular luggage rack for motorcycles there is. Especially for you adventure/weekend getaway riders out there. Head over to www.motonaut.com to order yours.