Review: The Fastrax Backroads Series by Dowco

Jun 22, 2015 View Comments by

Review: The Fastrax Backroads Series by DowcoUniversal Soft Luggage from Dowco –

Dowco has been making motorcycle luggage (among other recreational industries) for a long time, and the expertise shows. Upon arrival, even the shipping boxes in which the bags come are solid and good-looking. When we put our eyes and hands on these three types of bags (tankbag, tailbag, and saddlebags), it’s immediately apparent that they’re quality products made to last. From the waterproof zippers to the fabrics and the stitching, it’s durable in part by the 1680D polyester construction. Dowco even features a limited lifetime warranty.

The Fastrax line of luggage is geared toward the sport-touring and adventure touring crowd. To test their function, we strapped a tankbag, a tailbag, and saddlebags to a Triumph Speed Triple and hit the road for a few days.

The tankbag, our favorite type of bag, can be mounted using either the magnets or the included straps. It’s expandable from 19 to 27 liters. That’s a significant increase for an already spacious tankbag, which easily swallows a DSLR camera, a second lens, an extra pair of gloves, and sunglasses with room to spare. From the outside, it appears modern with clean lines featuring a reflective strip around it, but the inside is what’s really different. The inner liner is bright green. This characteristic illuminates the interior, making it a lot easier to find contents. Three storage nets along the side provide a solution to separate items. We wish the nets were stretched to fit just a little more. Another long net in the lid, along with a compartment that’s ready for a hydration pack, rounds out the interior features. The best part of any tankbag is the map holder of course. This one has two. A small clear pocket at the top is big enough for handwritten directions, a slim GPS, or a phone (touch screens work through the plastic). A cord hole allows for audio coming out or power going in. Just beneath the small map area is another zippered net compartment perfect for a visor rag, pen, or whatever else one might need frequently on the road. In case riders are using one of RoadRUNNER’s signature tankbag maps or a large fold out map, then the big map holder can be attached to the top of the entire bag. Plus, everything underneath is still easily accessible. The Backroads Tankbag, like the rest of the lineup, is water-resistant with a separate rain cover included.

Review: The Fastrax Backroads Series by DowcoTailbag
Considering motorcycle luggage with its inherent small size, the most important trait is organization. It’ll maximize any space. (This applies to more than just traveling.) With the Backroads Tailbag, one adds 19 or 25 liters of storage. Three nets on the sides went mostly unused, as we couldn’t come up with anything to store there, especially with using the tankbag. The lid offers another net, four smaller stretch sleeves, and one large one, which we used to hold cords. Behind it hides another cavernous area perfect for rain gear. From the outside, we like how the tailbag, just like the rest of the Backroads Series, uses clean lines allowing a fit with any motorcycle. On the top, a bungee cord compresses a flap, which is another great place to store rain gear or liners. It comes with a small waterproof bag that can be attached to the outside that we employed as a laundry bag. Riders can use the tailbag by itself or attach it to the saddlebags.

The saddlebags have a semi-rigid shell, which keeps them in place nicely when mounted and makes packing easier. We like the extra interior straps to further assist in keeping the saddlebags’ shape. Each side is expandable to 28 liters from 25. Even though they’re black, the reflective piping aids in heightened visibility in low light or at night. Together, this set up provides more than enough storage for touring. Best of all, it makes tour-worthy motorcycles out of day-trippers.

The Fastrax Backroads 
Series by Dowco
Color: Black
Price: $159.99

Color: Black
Price: $139.99

Color: Black
Price: $199.99


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About the author

As long as I can grab a handlebar, I'll ride it. Trail riding is becoming my favorite hobby as of late. Hope to meet you on the road.