I have previously extolled the benefits of SW-Motech’s quick-lock system on their motorcycle luggage products. That was until my ride to Chikmanglur. One of the locks gave way when I was merrily jumping my Tiger off speed breakers. Sean Alexander from Big Bad Bikes let me know that this was a known issue and the quick-lock system was not designed for off road use. He was kind enough to send me extra locks free of cost. He also sent me three high tension bolts with lock nuts to use instead of the locks when I planned to ride my motorcycle off road.
I decided to give the quick-lock system a last chance to impress me on this weekend’s ride to Panshet. Everything was fine till I got off NH4 and started thrashing my Duke on the pothole ridden village roads. One lock snapped and I used the bolt and nut as a fix.
I’m pretty convinced that SW-Motech’s quick-lock system isn’t designed for Indian conditions. I also think their design isn’t optimal. At a minimum you need three mounting points to fix something rigidly to something else. It’s pretty obvious that the rear most part of the top case mounting system will have the most stress because the case will be swung like a pendulum from the rear end of the motorcycle. Yet for some reason the SW-Motech engineers decided to place just one lock towards the rear and two towards the front. As a result the single lock at the rear keeps snapping. Someone should have noticed this during testing. If they had placed two locks towards the rear and one lock towards the front I’m pretty sure the system would have been able to endure a little more abuse.
I have now removed the quick-locks from the tail racks of my Tiger and Duke and will be using the nuts and bolts going forward. My advice to anyone else using SW-Motech’s quick-lock luggage system is to do the same. If you are riding an adventure motorcycle in India it’s not a question of whether these locks will give way. Rather it’s a question of when.