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SHAD E48 Review

SHAD E48 Review

SHAD E48 Semi-Rigid Side Cases Hold a Huge Amount of Gear

by Rick K. and "Burn" for webBikeWorld.com

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Also: How to Install the SHAD Top Master Mounting Kit

Summary

The brand-new SHAD "Semi Rigid" collection includes tank bags, a backpack and saddlebags or panniers.

These are relatively inexpensive but all nicely designed.

They're a good compromise between expensive and heavy hard bags and flabby soft bags.

The E48 Semi Rigid side bags look simple enough but they're actually a very clever design.

SHAD has mounting racks (side bag holders) for the E48 for a variety of popular motorcycles.

The mounts and the bags are very easy to install.

We fitted a set to a brand-new V-Strom 650 base model, provided courtesy of Ellicott City Motorsports in Maryland.

It took only about 15 minutes to complete the job, it's that simple.

And you'll end up with a very nice set of semi-rigid, expandable side bags that hold an amazing amount of stuff.

In fact, we even fit a full-face helmet inside an E48, with photos below to prove it!

SHAD E48 Semi-Rigid Bags
Introduction

If you're looking for an inexpensive way to get some carrying capacity, the new semi-rigid line of luggage from SHAD may be the way to go.

We've never been fans of soft luggage. Unless it's packed to the gills, it looks like a deflated beach ball and flops around like a fresh-caught mackerel on a hot deck.

But not everyone wants big-buck, heavy hard luggage. Semi-hard (or semi-rigid) bags are the perfect compromise.

The trick is that you still need some type of framework to mount the bags; simply throwing them over the back of the bike won't cut it.

SHAD recently announced a new semi-rigid lineup that currently consists of two different tank bags (E04 and E22); a backpack with an external helmet holder (E83) and the E48 Semi-Rigid Side Bags shown here.

The E48 is deceiving, because it actually appears relatively small or compact, but it holds an amazing amount if gear. That's one of the benefits of semi-rigid motorcycle luggage -- the thin walls and light weight provide a maximum size/weight-to-capacity ratio.

The E48 bags are currently available for the following popular motorcycles:

SHAD also has bike-specific mounts for those motorcycles, along with a "universal" carrier that attaches to SHAD side mounts if you already own some SHAD panniers and want to swap out occasionally (or permanently) for the E48 semi-rigid bags.

We installed the mounting brackets (part number S0VS62SE) on a brand-new Suzuki V-Strom 650 that is sitting on the showroom floor of Ellicott City Motorsports in Ellicott City, Maryland.

If you're nearby, stop over and see the installation or better yet -- buy the bike, it's on sale and the bags are free! 

Mounting Kit for the SHAD E48 Semi-Rigid Bags
This is the mounting kit for the V-Strom 650.
SHAD E48 Mounting Bracket Close-up
Close-up of the mounting bracket details and welds.
Installing the SHAD E48 Side Cases

Each of the mounting kits for the E48 bags are specifically designed for easy bolt-on to any of the bikes listed above.

Installing the kit on the V-Strom 650 couldn't be easier and should only take 10-15 minutes max.

The kit comes with replacement bolts, spacers and washers and you simply remove the 6 mm hex bolts that hold the passenger foot pegs on the V-Strom (two bolts on each side) and bolt in the side racks using the 5 mm hex bolts in the kit and you're done.

I added a touch of blue Loctite to the SHAD 5 mm bolts because the stock 6 mm bolts had blue thread locker also.

No torque settings were listed, so I tightened them until they were...pretty tight. No need to overdo it, but I'd guess maybe 20 Nm?

The spacers that come with the SHAD kit fit into the large recess in the passenger foot peg hanger. Then the washers that come with the kit go on the outside. Tighten the bolts and you're done.

Here are some photos:

Suzuki V-Strom 650 Passenger Foot Peg Mounts
6 mm bolts holding the passenger foot peg hangers on the V-Strom 650.
Suzuki V-Strom Passenger Foot Peg Mounts Removed
V-Strom passenger foot peg hanger removed.
SHAD E48 Semi-Rigid Bags Mounting Hardware
Mounting hardware for the E48 rack. Note blue thread locker.
SHAD E48 Semi-Rigid Bags Mounting Bolts
V-Strom foot peg hangers with the E48 mounting kit parts inserted.
SHAD E48 Details

The SHAD E48 measures about 45 cm long (18") by 23 cm deep (9") by 28 cm tall (11").

Each bag has two zippers: one opens the bag and the other opens an expansion joint, which adds about 140 mm to the width at the top.

Just for kicks, we grabbed a size small HJC helmet off the shelf and as you can see below, it fits!.

SHAD E48 Semi Hard Bags Mounting Brackets Installed on V-Strom
Top view showing the installed racks and the orientation of the spacers.
SHAD E48 Semi Hard Bags Mounting Brackets Installed
Completed installation of the mounting rack.
SHAD E48 Semi Hard Bags Rear Side
Various attachment points on the back side of the E48.
SHAD E48 Semi-Rigid Bag Inside Attachment Points
Inside attachment points for the E48 bag. Note D-rings for carrying straps.
SHAD E48 Semi Rigid Bag Full Size Helmet Expansion
We were amazed to discover that a full-face helmet fits inside the E48!

That's pretty amazing, considering that you can't fit a full-face helmet in many/most hard panniers, regardless of size or price.

The E48 bags aren't fully waterproof but each comes with a silver-colored waterproof cover.

On top of each bag are two straps that can be used to carry accessories or to tighten the E48 when the expansion panel is deployed.

SHAD E48 Semi Rigid Bag Mounted
Fitting the E48 on the Frame

The back side of the E48 has a large, flat pocket that slides over the mounting frame. Then there are two hook-and-loop tabs that secure the front and rear of the bag on to the frame wiring.

The bags have the typical wide hook-and-loop straps on top that fit under the seat to secure the side bags to the frame and the bike. Pull the straps tight and squeeze the hook-and-loop together and you're done.

We had to push the rear strap forward a bit to fit the V-Strom seat back on the bike, but once the seat is on, the E48 panniers are actually very secure.

SHAD E48 Semi Rigid Bag Rain Cover
The bags come with waterproof rain covers.
SHAD E48 Semi Rigid Bag Installed on V-Strom 650
E48 set installed, straps under seat. Note tightening straps on top.
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More Features

The E48 bags have some nice reflective piping on the outside that complements the shape of the luggage.

Also, each bag comes with two snap-on adjustable carrying straps so you can carry the bags over your shoulder or like a backpack. The bags also have a built-in (sewn on) handle for easy carrying.

To remove the bags from the bike, unfasten the hook-and-loop straps under the seat, then unfasten the small hook-and-loop straps that hold the front and rear of the bags to the mounting frame. Slide the bags off the frame and you're done.

SHAD E48 Semi Hard Bags Rear View
Suzuki V-Strom 650 With SHAD E48 Bags Mounted
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List Price

The E48 panniers have a list price of $149.00 and the mounting kit for the V-Strom 650 lists for $98.00. Other mounting kits vary between $75.00 and $98.00.

Conclusion

The SHAD E48 bags are very easy to install and hold a surprising amount of gear. They're lightweight yet rugged and they look good; better, in fact, than bulky hard luggage on the mid-sized motorcycles for which the E48 series was designed.

The reflective piping on the outside adds to visibility but also gives a nice styling touch to the luggage.

You can outfit a bike with the E48 side bags and one of the new semi-rigid tank bags for about 1/3 the cost of a hard luggage system and you'll probably have equivalent or possibly even more storage.

Bottom line? SHAD should have no problem selling boatloads of the E48 semi-rigid side cases.

More webBikeWorld:
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wBW Review: SHAD E48 Semi Rigid Side Cases
Manufacturer: SHAD (Spain)
U.S. Distributor: SHAD USA
List Price: $149.00 + $98.00 for mount kit.
Colors: Black Made In: EU
Review Date: March 2016  

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