Shad Cases Review [SH47 Top Case + SH36 Side Cases: Project BMW R 1250 RS]

Shad is a Barcelona-based manufacturer of motorcycle cases, bags, seats, and phone mounting kits. They have facilities in Shanghai and Jakarta, as well. You may know that Shad also builds OEM cases for many major motorcycle manufacturers.

Given all this experience and trust from major OEMs, it is a given that Shad builds good products. I reviewed the SH58 top case and SH36 side cases two years ago on a Yamaha MT-10, and discovered that “Shad’s line of luggage is easy to install, well-constructed, and easy to live with.”

Now, I’m putting the Shad SH47 top case and SH36 side cases to the test on the Ultimate Motorcycling BMW R 1250 RS Project Bike to see how they look and work compared to the Shad-made BMW accessory top and side cases. I’ll also analyze why riders might choose one over the other.

What goes into the decision to buy the established OEM accessory cases versus Shad’s offerings? Both are attractive in their own ways. BMW has side and top mounts that blend in better with the bike when the bags have been removed. Shad offers mounting kits for the BMW, as well as many other brands and models, and they look less integrated than the OEM mounts.

Shad cases can be moved from bike to bike, so long as their 3P mounting system is available for each model. BMW’s cases can only be moved to a select few models of their bikes. Appreciating the looks of one versus another is subjective. Objectively, the Shad system for the Ultimate Motorcycling BMW R 1250 RS Project Bike has greater capacity and is less than half the price of the BMW kit.

Price Breakdowns


  • Shad SH36 side cases: $528 pair
  • Shad SH47 top case: $261
  • Shad 3P side case mounting system: $157
  • Shad top case mount: $67
  • Shad top case backrest: $33
  • Shad top case inner bag: $66
  • Shad side case inner bags: $56 Shad Total: $1168 MSRP

BMW Accessory

  • BMW touring side cases: $1212/pair
  • BMW 30-liter top case: $703
  • BMW top case liner: $107
  • BMW top case backrest: $104
  • BMW touring case liner set: $244Top and side case mounts presumed to be present BMW Total: $2370 MSRP

The BMW-branded side cases total 62 liters capacity with 30 liters on top. The Shad SH36 side cases total 72 liters, and the SH47 top case is 47 liters—the model numbers are not arbitrary. The BMW cargo total is 92 liters, compared to Shad’s 119 liters. That 27-liter (and 29 percent) difference is almost equal to one of BMW’s side cases. Also, Shad offers a broader range of sizes and styles.

Shad Cases Review: SH47 Top Case

I like that I can close the Shad cases to ride without being required to lock them. This allows me easy access to cargo at stops without fishing out my key.

The Shad mounts are a 10-minute installation. The three cases are easily affixed to and removed from the mounts. All three Shad cases lock into place easily with a satisfying click. The closing mechanisms are solid, secure, and easy to engage.

Shad Cases Review: Mounting System

Opening and closing at stops during rides is simple, and the Shad cases are much easier to operate than brands that require users to swing up a latch plate to connect to the opposite side, and then click it into place. These just snap shut upon closing.

There can be fitment issues with aftermarket exhausts. The Shad SH36 side cases fit with both the OEM and the Remus Black Hawk slip-on muffler I recently reviewed. There is about two inches of clearance between the top of the muffler and the bottom of the case.

Shad Cases Review: Price

As with the BMW accessory cases, the SH36s have a shelf built into the bottom on each side. These shelves keep contents from just spilling into the covers upon opening. I use the Shad liner bags to further eliminate spillage. I can secure the bags in the cases, leaving the zippers partially open so I can access needed contents without making a mess of things.

The SH36 cases ship with an extra lock cylinder intended to install on the top case to match all three cases with one key. The SH47 uses a smaller cylinder than the SH36s. However, Shad supplied me with new cylinders for the SH36s, so all was good. Having two keys would not have been too terrible—the BMW’s keyless ignition and any attached keys are always in my pocket.

The Shad SH47 top case is just the right size for everyday riding—I leave the side cases home and run with the SH47 only. It’s neither too big nor too small, with room for my small tool kit, flat fix kit, water, change of glove, and space for any acquisitions made during the day. Even when the SH47 is loaded, I find that the weight disappears and never influences the performance or handling of the bike. In fact, even with all cases mounted and packed, there is no difference.

So, my reasons for choosing Shad over BMW’s accessory cases were cost, design, color, and capacity—Shad offers top cases as large as 59 liters. Shad requires an extra key, while BMW cases are keyed to the original bike key. This was not enough to sway my decision.

Shad Cases Review: MSRP

Then there are those buyers who will only consider accessories from the motorcycle manufacturer, perhaps due to brand loyalty, wanting OEM-sourced parts, or a good salesman at the dealership. I completely understand why some buyers might prefer the BMW cases simply because they are BMW.

Shad Cases Review: BMW R 1250 RS Project Bike

However, the BMW cases are not very attractive to my eyes—especially the silver covers, which I would want painted immediately. Others may disagree that the Shad cases are sportier looking. In their standard black, I think the Shad cases look great with any color bike.

I have taken two long tours with the Shad SH47 top case and SH36 side cases on the Ultimate Motorcycling BMW R 1250 RS Project Bike, and could not be more pleased. The choice is yours. You know what I picked.