Before we begin with this ViaTerra Velox review, here is a list of all ViaTerra products I own, linked to their respective reviews:
So, yeah, almost everything ViaTerra make that can fit on my bike, I got it. They are a nice bunch of people who make simple, no-nonsense, affordable products that last long. My ViaTerra Claw has seen almost all of India, from Ladakh to Bangalore, and is still ready for more! Last week I got their latest product, the Velox delivered to my doorstep.
ViaTerra Velox is made specifically for the Dukes. It will fit on the 125, 200 and 390, probably also on the upcoming RC series bikes. It uses clever mechanisms that hold on to the grab rails and foot rests to make sure that your luggage doesn’t move a millimeter, even under the worst road conditions.
I have ridden around 200 kms with it till now, which included the Mumbai-Lonavala section, plus off-roading at Rajmachi. Here’s my ViaTerra Velox review.
ViaTerra Velox review: Capacity
The Velox has a total capacity of 36 liters, so 18 liters per bag. Compared to the Claw, which has 55 liters of capacity, this feels a tad smaller. But then Claw is meant for those long Ladakh rides, the Velox for your weekend getaways and daily office commutes. The bags have wide openings at top for easy loading your stuff, plus there is a zipped pocket at front for carrying documents and rain cover, and a clamped pocket at back that can fit a large water bottle.
The Velox can easily devour a pair of jeans, 3 tees, a change of undies, deo, toolkit, water bottle, extra fuel bottle, chain lube, towel, small camera bag, 2 rain covers for the bags, soap, hand sanitizer and a medium-sized cat. The cat may make things a little cramped though. In short, everything you need for a 3-6 day ride can be easily packed within these 2 bags.
This would definitely be the USP of this luggage system. The Velox takes barely 20 seconds to mount on your Duke, which is a tremendous improvement over the around 4 minute time it takes to load up the Claw. Because it is made for only one specific bike, all the pieces fit together perfectly. All the zips, clamps and straps are of superb quality as well, making the bag a delight to use.
All you have to do is push the top straps through the grab rails, put the rear sleeve over the foot peg extension, strap at the foot peg using a D-ring system, and tighten the strap up top. Done! On long rides, I am always looking for a hotel where I can park the bike in my sight, because removing and re-mounting the Claw just for a 30 minute stop is stupid. But with the Velox, I can easily carry the bags anywhere I like and put them back on with ease.
ViaTerra Velox review: Pillion comfort
With the Velox mounted on the bike, your girlfriend can definitely sit on the rear seat, unlike the case with Claw where it is absolutely impossible. However, given the already pathetic pillion comfort on the Duke, plus the foot peg space taken by the Velox, don’t expect your girlfriend to be too happy after a long ride. Anything more than 70-100 kms is best avoided.
When I had reached Bangalore during my 1000 km a day ride from Bombay, I had to ask for directions to get inside the city and reach my destination. The auto-rickshaw drivers there were very nice, and gave me detailed info about the road. The roads of Bangalore city are quite unplanned, so they were even ready to sit behind my bike and guide me all the way. But because of the Claw on the back, this was not an option. With the Velox, such scenarios can be handled with ease.
Like all ViaTerra products, build quality is awesome. The bag maintains its shape, no matter what you stuff inside, and how. The fabric looks tough, and should last a long long time. Zip, strap and buckle quality is excellent, like I said before. The rain covers are made of a single fabric piece, and cover most of the bag with ease. Have to check how the rain covers hold with tire splash, although I am certain they will perform splendidly well in this waterproofing test too.
On my latest 4000 km ride from Mumbai to Himachal and back, my Claw’s rear strap came undone from the Velcro, and got half-stuck in the rear sprocket. I didn’t really notice it, and kept riding. Only after about 600 kms of roads, after I had reached home, I saw the badly worn strap hanging off the back. Amazingly, the strap wasn’t completely torn, it was just heavily damaged. Imagine something grinding against the teeth of the sprocket, with the bike going above speeds of 150 kmph, and still hanging in there! Hat’s off to ViaTerra’s build quality.
I barely even noticed these 2 bags hanging off the side of my bike. They don’t interfere with cornering, or overtaking, or balancing of your machine, at all. The ViaTerra website says that Velox is secured by a 3 point mounting system, I beg to differ. Each bag is mounted by a 5 point mounting system, 2 straps on the grab rail, 1 strap on the foot peg, 1 strap over the seat, and 1 sleeve over the foot peg extension.
As you can imagine, there are so many anchor points that even under the fastest acceleration, over the biggest potholes, and through the thicket traffic, the bags don’t move at all. The bag’s spread on the sides of the bike is just a tad lesser than the length of the handlebars, so you can overtake through tight spaces without second thought. Overall, it will not reduce your riding pleasure even the slightest bit.
ViaTerra Velox review: Other things to note
- The Velox comprises of 2 separate bags, so if you don’t have the need for 36 liters of space, you can mount just one of these bags and be on your merry way. Pretty flexible, and helpful for those long office commutes.
- The bags come with 2 straps up top that can be used to carry it off the bike. They aren’t the usual handle type though, but the ones that can be used to hang the bags on nails and hangers.
- The bags look stunning on the bike! They actually increase the visual appeal of my Duke. One of the guys online thought these bags were made by KTM, and came as standard!
- Velox solves the biggest problem I had with the Claw – back pain. No matter how good you mount the Claw, due to our pathetic roads, it does end up touching your back and causing mild discomfort. This is completely gone with the Velox.
ViaTerra Velox review: Verdict
Velox is a beautiful setup. It is functional, good-looking, safe and spacious. For 2900 bucks, it is good value for money too! I would have loved the capacity to be higher, around 60 liters, which would have made it the ideal bag for any length of ride, but that would have made it too bulky and prone to movement. In any case, I am sure ViaTerra guys are already working on something better.
For my Duke 390, the Velox is like a brother lost long ago. It fits like a glove, looks like a part of the bike, and spares me the discomfort of carrying something on my shoulders or the tank. If you own a Duke, consider the Velox as a serious contender for your general luggage needs.
RideZone recommends the Velox as an awesome luggage system for the Dukes.