Commuting to work or school on a motorcycle or scooter sounds like a lot of fun, but reality often leavens the thrill.
There aren’t many places with a perfect dry and sunny climate that encourages carefree two-wheel commuting.
Most of us have to consider things like the type of outerwear that will work over street clothes, where to store the helmet, what to do if it rains and where to park.
And finally, will the bike or scoot still be where we left it? In some high-theft areas, that’s definitely a question.
The theft problem will always be with us, and there’s a veritable cornucopia of motorcycle products to help with the rest.
But in dry weather or wet, motorcycle commuting also requires some type of conveyance for a laptop, a lunch, tunes and the sheaf of papers that you carry back and forth to the office so the boss thinks you actually care about the job.
There are all sorts of motorcycle luggage choices, ranging from tank bags to backpacks. Each commuter has a personal preference, but the best styles are the chameleons that can hide their motorcycle roots when necessary and show an appropriate office style.
We’ve reviewed courier bags, backpacks and even tank bags that serve double-duty, and the Roadgear MultiTasker is one more option to consider.
The MultiTasker is, for all practical purposes, a briefcase made by a company famous for its motorcycle luggage. It has the same look and feel as most of the Roadgear luggage line, right down to the use of 1000 denier du Pont Cordura Plus and YKK zippers. The briefcase carries a 10 year warranty from Roadgear, so they must be pretty confident that it will last that long.
Like most of Roadgear’s luggage, it’s also made in the U.S.A., which is a rarity these days.
One of the first things I noticed about the MultiTasker is the big rubberized handle on top. It’s nice and thick and it makes it much easier to carry the bag than the simple nylon webbed straps that many of the other briefcases of this type use.
The colored fabric on the outer flap draws the eye as the major styling touch and Roadgear signature. In addition to the yellow shown here, the MultiTasker is available in red, black, silver and blue.
That outer flap also includes a pocket, accessible via a full-length zipper across the top. The zipper has two big zipper pulls that make it easy to grab, and these pulls are repeated on the other zippers also.
The flap also includes the standard Roadgear logo, which is embossed on a strip of 3M Scotchlite reflective tape. Two heavy-duty Nylon “Rock Lockster” brand snap connectors keep the flap secured to the bag.
Open the flap and inside is everything you’d expect in a professional briefcase. Three vertical pen holder pockets and three larger vertical pockets hold anything from pens to felt-tipped markers or a USB memory stick.
Stacked in back of these pockets are three more 3.5″ wide (90 mm) vertical pockets also measuring about 3.5″ deep. There’s a snap hook that can hold a key chain and a tiny zippered pocket that can hold coins, batteries or maybe a small flashlight.
These are backed up by another zippered pocket, measuring 6″ by 9″ (150 mm by 230 mm). Behind this battery of pockets are two vertical dividers, which can hold papers, books, laptop batteries, an MP3 or CD player or the like for quick access.
The main body of the MultiTasker is a zippered and expandable compartment that can hold a laptop and more. This compartment runs the full length and breadth of the briefcase at 16″ wide by 12″ deep (41 by 31 cm) and expandable to about 5″ thick.
Finally, the back side of the briefcase includes a full-length zipper at the top that opens to reveal a single pocket the size of the entire bag. This pocket can be accessed without lifting the flap on the briefcase, making it easily accessible and very handy for carrying a newspaper, book or other reading materials.
Remember when Dad used to carry a hard briefcase? I haven’t seen one of those in probably 20 years. I’ve been using a soft luggage briefcase of one type or another almost forever, because they’re more suited to the “stuff it and run”, shoulder-carry favored by commuters who milk every last Z.
Most of the time I’m carrying my MultiTasker over the shoulder by its adjustable strap, but it can also be worn as a backpack with the supplied straps. The straps have an upside-down “Y” shape, with the single branch of the “Y” connecting to the top of the bag. The two shoulder straps can be threaded through a permanently attached webbed strap located at each lower corner on the back of the bag to form the arm loops.
Unfortunately, the shoulder strap design isn’t quite as robust as it could be; the straps on our example slide out of their friction keepers too easily. Since I wear the bag over my shoulder “courier style” anyway, this isn’t really a bother.
The MultiTasker weighs a scant 2 lbs. empty (about 907 grams). This helps reduce the burden carried by the user; my previous soft briefcase weighed almost twice as much when empty.
If you’re looking for purpose-built motorcycle luggage, Roadgear has dozens of choices. We originally were a bit puzzled at how the MultiTasker fit into Roadgear’s product line, but when you consider it as a standard briefcase with an added touch of motorcycle style, it makes sense.
We’re starting the webBikeWorld Christmas shopping list, and this will be right up there as an excellent gift for a friend or significant other.