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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Oxford Roll Top RT15 Waterproof Luggage Review

So despite booking our trip to Assen for the World Superbike race months in advance, as usual i found myself in the situation of preparing for it just a few weeks before. A five day trip on a GSX-R750 demands a reasonable amount of planning in the luggage department, something which i had so far neglected!

Motorcycle News: Oxford's RT range launched just before our Assen trip
Luckily though our friends at Oxford Products were on hand to help out! Having recently taken delivery of their brand new Oxford Roll Top (RT) waterproof luggage range, they were quick to despatch 3 of their multi purpose Roll Top RT15 models down to us. Out of the three bits of luggage that arrived there was a tank bag and two tail packs that double up as panniers.

Unfortunately the wide panels at the back of the 2010 GSX-R aren't really suited for panniers, so i opt for the tank bag plus single tail pack and lend the other to a mate. After picking out the kit i think i'll need for the trip (and then brutally halving it), i unravel the Oxford RT15's from the packaging and split my gear between the two equally-sized packs.

Motorcycle News: The 15-litre RT15 packs are bigger than they first appear
Despite their small appearance, the packs are deceptively big and the handy roll top feature means you can squeeze that extra hoody in and adjust the strap for the slightly bigger load. The quoted capacity for each pack is 15 litres, which was just about perfect for our 5-day excursion.

Luggage on a sportsbike is never going to be 100% straightforward, but after a couple of minutes it was clear what the best way to fit each piece was going to be. The tank bag is effortless with its detachable magnetic fitting system, it slaps straight onto the tank, and straps around the top yoke for added peace of mind.

Motorcycle News: Note the innovative use of old socks to protect the paintwork!
The tail pack takes a bit more work, strapping it under the pillion seat is the first step, then running two of the double D-ring straps (included with the luggage) from the Oxford RT15 down to the luggage hooks on the pillion pegs. One more strap to secure the back end of the pack around the number-plate holder and then i'm good to go!

We depart at 4am on a cold and wet April morning and the tank bag positions itself nicely for me to lean on as i get tucked-up behind the double-bubble screen. After a couple of hours riding and a quick fuel stop we reach the Euro Tunnel and i check how the luggage is doing. Needless to say it hadn't moved a millimeter, and a quick inspection inside the tank bag reveals my kit is still bone dry, the Oxford RT15's removable waterproof lining performing excellently in the torrential British rain.

Motorcycle News: The tank bag is easy to fit for day trips out to local bike shops!
After arriving at our hotel near Assen i remove the luggage and another check proves that all my clothes stayed dry for the duration of the trip, exactly what you want from your luggage. Over the next few days i threw the tank bag on for the odd day trip, easily swallowing camera and paperwork when we headed to the TT circuit.

Overall i was hugely impressed with how the luggage performed, if you're planning longer trips or you find it impossible to travel light, then you'll be pleased to hear that Oxford also produce bigger versions of this luggage in the form of the RT30 tailpack/panniers (30 litre luggage capacity) and the RT60 giant tail pack (a whopping 60 litres luggage capacity). Well worth checking out in our opinion.

All Oxford Roll Top luggage is completely waterproof (when used with removable lining in), made from tough rip-stop nylon material and comes with a life-time guarantee. Find out more at