Tested: Ventura bike rack system | Owner review

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Ash Dunning from Cleveland has used Ventura’s pack rack, sports rack, Aero Spada VII 51 litre pack and Aero Delta VII 15/35 litre packs, along with storm covers, on his previous bike – a 2014 Kawasaki Z1000 – and his 2017 Suzuki GSX-S1000F for three years…

 

Why did you choose it?

I’d used a bag system before that sat on top of the pillion seat, but was looking for something more purpose-built and with a good design for my bike; it had to be easy to fit with multiple luggage options.

I didn't want to use panniers on my bike as I wanted to be able to quickly remove it all from the machine after touring, or bea able to leave it on to maybe carry my water proofs on regular days out.

 

What other luggage have you or do you use?

I’ve previously used the Kriega Dry Bag system, but also have SW Motech Evo Tank Bags that I take touring – the Evo City 11/15 litre or the Evo Daypack 5/9 litre

 

Ash replaces the pack rack with a grab rail when not in use…

 

What’s the best thing about the Ventura kit?

It’s very quick and easy to fit the whole kit – about 20 minutes from start to finish. The racks and bags are well made and the L-brackets fit well onto the bike straight out of the box – no fiddling or messing about. It’s also very easy to fit the different racks to the L-brackets.

There are multiple options in racks and bags, with some luggage bags being expandable, and there’re plenty of zipped pockets for easy access to smaller items.

With the luggage fitted it’s very unobtrusive behind the rider, and it makes little difference to the feel or handling of the bike. Filtering through traffic is easy as you don’t add any extra width to the bike like panniers do.

When touring and I reach my destination, I can remove the bags and large pack rack and either fit my small sports rack or the grab handle.

 

Ash likes the convenience of the Ventura kit, but wishes the storm cover stopped water getting into the bottom of the bag…

 

What do you dislike?

There’s not much I dislike about the Ventura system, but it’s quite expensive, and when you change your bike you need to buy specific L Brackets for each machine, and there’s a chance your racks may not fit the new L Brackets. I got lucky and the racks and grab handle from my Z1000 fitted the 2017 Suzuki GSXS 1000F.

When it’s raining – even with the storm cover fitted – the bottom of the bags get wet from the tyres and spray off the roads, which transfers water through to whatever is in the bottom of your bag; I found this out on my first trip in the rain, but I now put a plastic bag inside the bottom of the pack to stop my clothes getting damp.

 

What would you change, or like to see in future products?

Ventura needs to come up with a system to water proof the bottom of the bags from the spray that’s coming up from the tyres and road surface.

 

Would you recommend it?

Yes – I’ve got a lot of great use out of this on my previous bike, and it’s still proving a good way to carry my gear on the Suzuki…

 

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