Reviews Shad Motorcycle Luggage Review: Top Case, Side Cases and Tank Bag

Shad Motorcycle Luggage Review: Top Case, Side Cases and Tank Bag

Shad is a Spanish manufacturer of moto and other powersports luggage, seats, and smartphone mounting gear, making a push to be widely available in the U.S. Shad works a dealer-direct distribution model, and has strategic partnerships with Yamaha USA and Kymco USA, which distribute Shad products for their brand applications. We are sure to see more of their products in our market as they are well made, highly functional, and look good.

I mounted some Shad items on my personal Yamaha MT-10 so I might more easily carry additional cargo on longer trips. Specifically, I installed the Shad SH58X top case, SH36 side cases, and E16P tank bag with the Shad Pin System for quick mounting.

I have used many OEM and aftermarket luggage systems on various motorcycles. Given that experience, I can state that the build quality and functionality of these Shad products is excellent, well-thought-out, and great to use.

History 

Shad’s parent company, NAD, has been in business since 1973. Shad designs and produces OEM cases and seats for quite a few of the major manufacturers in the motorcycle industry and has its own unique and broad range of top and side cases, waterproof bags, tank and tail bags, backpacks, and more.

Its client list is a who’s who of motorcycle industry heavyweights. You can find a long list of companies for whom they manufacture cases and bags here and a list of seats they make here. I’m impressed.

Mounting 

I removed three OEM bolts from each side of the Yamaha MT-10. It took 5 minutes to glance at the instructions, and the installation was completed in less than an hour. I’m not sure I even needed to read instructions, as there is only one way to do the job, and the process is intuitive.

The racks for the top box and side cases are heavy-duty quarter-inch steel painted matte black, and are model specific. They arrive perfectly drilled so that installation is easy and does not require any modifications to the motorcycle or racks. These mounts are relatively unobtrusive when the cases are removed. The racks are on tight with no slack or movement, so when the case and bags are mounted, they are rock solid.

Locks 

The Shad gear locks closed as well as locking to the mounts. Unlike some brands, Shad allows the user to remove the key in both locked and unlocked positions. I like that feature because, on a long, rural ride with many stops, I don’t want to have to use the key. I only lock the cases when I stop in more populated areas. Even with the cases unlocked, they can’t be removed from the bike without the key. There is a nice feel to the latch mechanism when opening and closing. They are smooth and don’t take much force to engage or disengage.

Shad thoughtfully includes one extra lock cylinder with the two side bags. This allowed me to replace the stock cylinder in the top case with one that matches the side cases. Replacing the cylinder took 10 minutes, and now I only need one key for all the cases.

Shad SH58X Top Case  

Shad’s SH58X is a unique and very cleverly designed expandable top case. It is the same 58 liters (fully expanded) and differs from the SH59X only in cover material—aluminum vs. carbon-look black. I don’t know of another like it.

The three positions—Shad calls them L, XL, and XXL—adjust the capacity to either 42, 48, or 58 liters. Adjusting is accomplished by raising or lowering the leading edge of the box, which pivots on the trailing edge. There is enough room to stash two full-face helmets and a bit more gear. When the box is in the lower position, it appears much smaller than when fully expanded.

The process is straightforward—open the lid, unsnap the hinge/lock clasps in each back corner, lift the case frame one or two positions, and then snap the hinge/lock clasps back into place. That’s all. No tools.

I chose this model because it matches the SH36 side cases I admired. Available accessories include a brake light kit, top rack, and a backrest for the top case, color change lids (white, metal black and new titanium), and zippered inner bags for all cases. They are well made and fit perfectly. The top box bag even had a perimeter zipper to expand it and has a full zippered pocket in the zippered cover flap. Good stuff.

I like this design and appreciate that this rather large case may be slimmed down for use when a full load is not intended, yet offers a lot more space for unexpected acquisitions. I suppose it’s more aerodynamic in the lower position, as well.

There is a warning label to limit one’s speed to 120 kph (75 mph). Presumably, this is to avoid lawyers and any turbulence over that speed. Naturally, I had to test that and found no case-induced wobble even at over 145 kph (90 mph). The bags were not heavily loaded, so I do recommend adhering to their guidelines. Nonetheless, I experienced no negative influences, even with the top case and side bags installed. While we are on warnings, the maximum load rating on this case is 22 pounds (or five pizzas).

The SH58X includes a base plate (as do all Shad top cases) for mounting to a rack. Other manufacturers may sell base plates separately. I mounted it to the model-specific rack, also from Shad. I like that I can buy a small case and use the same base plate—not so with some other brands.

I like that Shad’s base plate has many holes for mounting just about anywhere on any type of rack. Shad includes lots of hardware with long and short bolts, as well as curved clips in case you want to mount to a rack that is constructed with tubular elements and has no flat surfaces. I ended up using only a small portion of the hardware, and saved the rest should my mounting needs change.

The case is rated waterproof and impact resistant. There are quickly detached elastic compression straps across the top of the lower compartment to keep things stay put.

I’m occasionally teased about the size of this case on my naked bike. I don’t care. I can pack for a weekend trip in this one case.

Shad SH36 Side Cases

 Shad’s cases employ what they call its “patented new 3P mounting system.” I’ve seen similar before that have the lower rear corner of the case grips the mount, while two U-shaped cavities on the inside top of the case press around the top tube of the mount, and then lock around it.

The first few times taking them on and off required a little extra elbow grease, as the rubber lining fits tightly around the mounts. This became easier after a few installations and removals. Now they are snug, but easy on/off.

The locking mechanisms are firm and smooth. Like the top case, the locks allow me to remove the key without locking them. I like the shelf at the bottom of each side case keeps the contents from falling into the cover when opened. These cases envelop an XL full-face helmet with a bit to spare. They are offered standard with carbon-look panels and elastic bands to keep things in place. The maximum load rating is 24 pounds per side. The SH36s are rated impact resistant and fully waterproof.

Their SH35 side cases are identical but for their black and aluminum trim.

Shad E-16P Tank Bag

I like tank bags, and have ridden with many different brands over the years. They hold my flat fix kit and whatever I need for the day. Not too small, and not too big. Some attach with strap, while others by magnets when a steel tank is available.

The Shad E-16P tank bag is constructed of 600D polyester and uses Shad’s Pin System. I replaced the three bolts that retain my gas tank collar, using the supplied bolts with a flanged head. Now I drop the bag over the three bolt-heads, line them up, and pull the bag rearward until I feel the mount snap into place. So easy. To remove, I pull the little strap at the bottom of the front of the bag to unlock then pull the bag forward to release it.

One thing I never enjoyed with other tank bags was removal for fueling, especially as often as must be done on my “Empty 10”. The PIN system is an upgrade, although not unique in the industry.

I chose Shad’s largest tank bag for its versatility. It is expandable from 11 to 15 liters, giving me mission flexibility. It has nice little features, including a tether strap, toll pass holder, charging ports, touch screen phone holder, rain cover, shoulder strap, zippered net in top cover for organization, and glove-friendly zippers.

Conclusion

Shad’s line of luggage is easy to install, well-constructed, and easy to live with. I am confident on trips with the Shad luggage and enjoy the ease of use. Some may say that these accessories may be proportionally too big for a motorcycle the size of a Yamaha MT-10. I say that it’s just fine for making my super-naked bike into a sport-touring motorcycle.

Shad Motorcycle Luggage Prices

  • Shad SH58X Top Case: From $399.
  • Shad SH36 Side Cases: From $525.
  • Shad E-16P Tank Bag: $192.

Photography by Jonathan Handler

Shad Motorcycle Luggage Review Photo Gallery

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