Eclipse motorcycle luggage has been made in the U.S.A. for just about as long as I’ve been riding motorcycles. The company was started in 1973, and it was in the spring of that year, if I recall correctly, that I purchased my first bike, a 1968 Bultaco Metralla (of all things).
Back in those days, I didn’t know a tank bag — or Eclipse Luggage — from a hole in the wall, but somewhere along the way, as I moved from bike to bike in the ’70’s, I became aware of Eclipse through advertisements found during my cover-to-cover assimilation of each month’s Cycle magazine.
And here we are, just like that, in 2006. Cycle magazine is long gone, unfortunately, along with my Metralla, my youth, the war in Viet Nam and, thankfully, double-knit polyester. But don’t despair, because Eclipse is still with us!
After all this time, I came to the realization that I never did actually own a piece of Eclipse luggage, and I figured it was about time. I had been looking for a very small tail bag that would fit on the luggage rack on our 1998 Triumph Tiger hack bike anyway, so maybe Eclipse had a solution.
I wanted something much smaller than the Triumph hard luggage tail bag that came with the bike; something just big enough to hold maybe a pair of gloves, a sweater, a bottle of water and a camera.
Looking around on the Eclipse website, I ended up ordering their #301 “Rumble Pack” tail bag, or “tail pack”, as they call it, which looked to be about the smallest tail bag they make.
The Rumble Pack measures about 12” long by 10.5” wide and it’s roughly 6” deep by my measurements (which are slightly smaller than the measurements listed on the Eclipse website). That’s about 30.5 by 27 by 15 centimeters for you metric fans.
The Rumble Pack expands by unfastening 5 metal snaps around the perimeter and pulling upwards. This nearly doubles its depth to about 12″ (30.5cm). Eclipse claims that when the bag will hold a full-face helmet when it’s expanded, but since I haven’t tried it, I’ll have to take them at their word.
Eclipse lists the capacity of the Rumble Pack at 650 cu. in. (11 liters) unexpanded and 1200 cu. in. (20 liters) expanded.
As it turns out, I should have measured the Tiger’s luggage rack before I ordered a bag, but I was too lazy that night to trundle down to the garage to take a peek. The Rumble Pack is too big to fit on the Tiger’s rack, plus, as I have now discovered, it’s really designed to fit on the back of a motorcycle seat and not a luggage rack — or at least not the Tiger’s luggage rack.
The Eclipse Rumble Pack attaches to the bike with four simple J hooks. The bag has two channels, or tubes,
sewn crossways on the bottom. A bungee cord is looped through the channels and around the perimeter of the bottom of the bag and it has two large vinyl covered J hooks attached to each side. The J hooks are about 1/4″ round (6mm). The bag is mounted by stretching the hooks down and catching them underneath the motorcycle’s seat or by hooking them on to the bike’s frame or other appropriate location.
Inside the bag is a clever bungee cord tightening mechanism that Eclipse calls a “Cordlock”. This can be used to cinch up the bungee cord if necessary to keep the bag securely fastened to the bike. The Cordlock is located underneath the hard stiffener panel located inside on the floor of the bag, and it can be pulled tight to put tension on the bungee cord if necessary.
The Rumble Pack fits perfectly on the passenger (pillion) section of the Tiger’s stock saddle, but the J-hooks that are provided on the bag are too thick to fit under the lower lip of the seat. The seat bottom is too close to the Tiger’s bodywork, and although I can remove the seat to place the hooks, I’m afraid the tension will tear the seat cover.
I can squeeze the hooks under the plastic trim located under the Tiger’s seat, but the tension from the bungee cord is, I think, too much for the relatively flimsy plastic trim, which was meant only as a styling accent and has little structural integrity.
I think it would have been better, at least in this application, if the J hooks were made from flat metal instead of round bar stock, or at least if Eclipse would offer the option of flat hooks for those who need them. Flat hooks would probably slide very easily under the lower edge of the seat. Unfortunately, the Tiger’s luggage rack is shaped in such a way that the Eclipse bag will not fit, even though Triumph added a couple of slots that are specifically designed for use with hooks.
Other than that, the bag works well. The bag itself is not waterproof, but it does come with a (claimed) waterproof cover. The cover is a simple affair, made to fit the bag when expanded. It has a piece of cord sewn into the bottom with a simple spring-loaded button to tighten the cover around the bag.
I’m not thrilled with the way this works; first of all, the cover is sized for an expanded bag, so it is too big for the bag when the bag is not expanded, and the cover’s simple tightening mechanism isn’t very robust. I’m continually afraid that turbulence at speed will cause the cover will fly off the bag because I can’t seem to get the cover tight enough.
I also wish the bag was at least designed to be water resistant, at the very least. The design is such that even the briefest of rainstorms seems to allow the insides to get wet. I think the problem is that the zippers are not adequately protected by the simple flaps that cover them.
The bag’s cover opens via two zippers located on each side of the top cover just under these short flaps, and there’s also a small section of Velcro at the rear of the cover that holds it in place. A small pocket, roughly 6″ by 5″ by 1″ deep (15x13x3 centimeters), is located on top of the cover. This pocket opens with a zipper and the zipper does not have a protective flap.
The bag has a single cavity inside that’s useful for stuffing all sorts of carry-on items. A mesh pocket is sewn to the back of the cover and is useful for holding the Rumble Pack’s waterproof cover when it’s not being used.
The bag also has a strip of reflective material around the perimeter, with a reflective Eclipse logo on each side.
If the Rumble Pack will fit your bike, and if you don’t mind that the bag isn’t really waterproof unless the cover is installed, it may work for you. Make sure that the bag’s dimensions will fit your bike, that you have a suitable location for the J hooks and that the hooks aren’t too thick for your mounting application