The Breakdown

“Engineered for Riding” indeed. The new TERRA cases are made in Barcelona ES and these lightweight, large capacity, well-styled aluminum side and top cases are high-quality pieces with lots of features. The TR36 and TR47 side cases feature 90-degree drop-down, side-loading lids for direct easy access with an internal adjustable tray and stretch mesh piece facilitating loading, unloading, and load retention when the lid is open, while the TR37 and TR48 top cases offer easy top-loading interior access with four lid-mounted cargo points. New SHAD 4P (four-point) side case kits provide super-strong secure mounts for the side cases while the top cases utilize new aluminum or black powder-painted aluminum plates for fitment to SHAD Top Mount kits, OE luggage grids, or other accessory racks. The TERRA cases are super easy to fit, release and carry, super durable, and super functional. All components are competitively priced.
Aesthetics 95%
Design & Innovation 85%
Materials & Build Quality 90%
Fit & Function 90%
Overall Performance 95%
Value for $$$ 97%
Pros
Lightweight with very strong construction / Natural aluminum or Black Edition powder-painted versions / Integrated flush-mounted lid latch and multifunctional fit-release-carry components / 90-degree side-loading cases for easy access / Adjustable side case tray and mesh insert / 4P side case mounting kits extremely strong and durable / Top cases lids feature four cargo mounts / Complete system solutions for many motorcycles / Individual components and system solutions priced competitively / Great return on the investment.
Cons
Side cases don’t have cushioning protective mats found in the top cases / Top case straps are a bit short / Side case straps stiff and could be caught in lid seal / Installation kits provide a flat rather than slightly angled fitment of top and side cases that would better flow with motorcycle lines / Black Edition cases not yet experienced.

Introduction

First introduced in the fall of 2019, at EICMA to be exact, we got first-hand news regarding the new SHAD TERRA product line via email from the Director of SHAD USA who was at the show and participated in the unveiling. The official press kit and a link to an initial promo video also came with the email. Needless to say, we were excited.

And a couple of hours after passing everything along to Wade Thiel, the 8 November 2019 wBW news posting regarding the release of this exciting new line of aluminum hard case luggage from SHAD was posted.

But as with so many things common to our COVID-19 pandemic-driven world, the first SHAD TERRA products didn’t hit North American shores until late summer ‘20. And while Wade’s comment about, “…a review from Bruce at some point” is now a done deal, the “some point” took a little bit longer than expected.

SHAD has seldom been reluctant to provide products for wBW reviews and this positive approach resulted in us getting samples of all the TERRA hard case pieces along with some of the first 4P (four-point) side-case mounting kits available, although the much-anticipated BMW F-series kits were delayed until later in the fall.

And from the late-breaking-news side of things, after getting a couple of winter teaser photos of the new SHAD TERRA Black Edition pieces the wait continued until early March when SHAD formally announced their availability.

However, these classic-looking, award-winning pieces are not likely to make their way north in time for a hands-on test before this review is published, but the Press Kit media is here to drool over instead. Hopefully, we can do an update of sorts later this summer.

Shad Terra Black Edition Promotional Images

SHAD and the TERRA Line of Products

SHAD is a highly respected presence in the motorcycle industry and larger powersport realm as well. Since it was founded in 1973, SHAD has been designing and producing OEM top cases and seats for the motorcycle industry, collaborating with the main manufacturers regarding technical and design challenges, and developing and evolving their own consumer product line.

The SHAD line of products is well recognized and the winner of many awards including three prestigious RED DOT DESIGN AWARD for 2021 (TERRA Cases) and 2017 and 2015 for the SH36 side bags and the SH59 and SH58 expandable top cases. Two iF DESIGN AWARDS for 2021 have also now been added to the growing list of accolades.

Another activity worthy of note is SHAD’s “We Are Doing Green” initiative, which originated as part of the TERRA Development Project, one of the multiple programs done as part of the implementation of an Environmental Management System certification in accordance with ISO 14001:2015.

This initiative is focused on sustainable actions and the fight against climate change by reforestation and one clearly identified by the distinctive green tag on every product.

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Current TERRA Product Line

The current SHAD TERRA case line is comprised of the TR37 and TR48 aluminum top cases and the TR36 and TR47 side cases. These are available as mix-n-match options for the full-meal-deal solutions or when a balanced look is desired based on left or right-side high-mounted exhaust systems, and of course, the Black Edition pieces are now added to this list.

Common Features of the TERRA Cases 

  • Made from hardened light-weight aluminum alloy
  • 1.2mm cross-section form provides minimum weight with strength and resistance
  • Made from sustainable aluminum, clinching instead of welding used for joins
  • Available in natural aluminum finish or scratch-resistant powder coating (Black Edition)
  • Stainless steel (AISI 304) hinges and (pegs) – cases are self-standing
  • ABS perimeter case guards to protect from impacts and when sitting on surfaces
  • Stainless steel (AISI 304) Terra Lock System (patent pending) components
  • Cases can be mounted/removed, opened/closed with one hand in seconds
  • Keys and lock cylinder are (new) premium version with theft protection and dust cover
  • Side cases are side opening with sturdy lid straps
  • A removable internal mesh net (PN X0TR01) is included to hold and protect contents
  • Flush-mounted lid latch/case lock and integrated install/remove and carry handle
  • TERRA side cases attach to motorcycles using a new 4P (four-point) or original 3P system
  • Interior features a drop-down tray with quick release tabs for Up or Down positioning
  • The double sealing perimeter frame and lid components to keep the wet stuff out
  • Recommended maximum load per case is 10kg or 22lbs
  • Side case kits include three lock cylinders and two keys for unified three-case fitments
  • Lock cylinders are easy to install and remove (with access)
  • Top Cases are (dimple) marked for optional two-piece (upper & lower) backrest pads
  • 20mm tubing used for a strong, durable and protective solution
  • The rear crossbar adds stability and strength to the assembly 

TERRA Cases Dimensions & Weights

Top Case Dimensions – the TR37 Top Case measures 49.5 x 41.8 x 25.9cm (19.5 x 16.45 x 10.2in) Length x Height x Width/Depth). The deeper TR48 Top Case measures 49.5 x 41.8 x 32.2cm (19.5 x 16.45 x 12.67in).

Side Case Dimensions – the TR36L & TR36R Side Cases measure 49.5 x 41.8 x 28.2cm (19.5 x 16.45 x 11.1in) Length x Height x Width/Depth) while the deeper TR47L & TR47R variants measure 49.5 x 41.8 x 34.5cm (19.5 x 16.45 x 13.6in).

Dimensions between the TR36 L&R side cases and the TR48 L&R side cases are the same; but the part numbers are unique so customers can order specific left and/or right pieces for balancing installations given exhaust placement, etc.

TERRA Top and Side Case Measured Weights – wBW data

TR37 Top Case 4.96kg or 10.93lbs TR36 Side Case 5.63kg or 12.42lbs
TR48 Top Case 5.80kg or 12.79lbs TR47 Side Case 6.08kg or 13.40lbs

Comparatively, the TERRA pieces come off very well; the pieces are light when considering their sturdy build and multiple fittings compared to many other competitive pieces. A SHAD SH58X plastic top case comes in at 5.63kg or 12.42lbs and the BMW Adventure Aluminum pannier (left side full dimensions, approx. 45L) is 6.130kg or 13.51lbs.

Shad Terra Case ComparisonExternal Features of the TERRA Cases

All TERRA cases are made from hardened aluminum alloy that is stronger and lighter and allows a reduced cross-section of 1.2mm for a minimum weight and maximum strength that equates to robustness and impact resistance. The regular cases are not finished or coated, whereas the newer Black Edition cases are finished with scratch-resistant powder-coated paint.

Classed as sideloading pieces, the main compartment houses the case mounting assembly on the exterior and interior back wall. The latch-style lid release and fit/release and carry handle components are integrated forming a smooth finished look to the top of the case.

The lid is fitted to the main compartment with stainless steel hinges that are light, strong, and resistant to the elements. A water-resistant double engagement seal is used between the main compartment and the lid, forming a solid, secure, and weatherproof closure.

External protection is provided by thin hard plastic trim pieces encompassing the main compartment and lid sections along with a heavier thicker bumper or impact frame mounted to the lower side and edges of the lid.

The TERRA cases can be removed and set down either flat or standing without the worry of them tipping over or rolling away and being scratched in the process (been there, seen that).

With two solidly mounted replaceable supports on the bottom and the lid hinge guards, the cases sit and stay where placed. Alternatively, they can be laid down flat as the engagement pieces on the backside act as a level stable base – great design and build for durability and stability in use.

TERRA Side Case Mounting Assembly – three pieces are used – a long upper mounting block with two top rest points and lower tube engagement/locking latch, the front vertical mount insert, and the lower back vertical (push-down) rest. All three pieces attach directly to the strong lightweight support frame on the inside – simple and all replaceable.

TERRA Top Case Mount Assembly – for loading and weight distribution strength a shaped replaceable plastic section mount with two front engagement tabs and rear insert and locking housing is fitted to the bottom of the case secured by the inner support frame.

The top cases are also equipped with four corner post tie-downs or cargo hooks if you will that accommodate almost any size of flat strap or hook-style straps so the real estate on top of the case can be utilized for light-weight gear.

The patent-pending SHAD TERRA Lock System includes an industrial grade stainless steel structure with an integrated lid release & lock and multifunctional carry handle used to fit and release (remove) the cases. These components, when closed and/or locked sit flush with the main case structure for a clean surface look and feel.

Shad Terra Release Carry Handle

With the delivery of a side case set comes a small bag in the right case containing three locks and two sets of keys. The three locks allow integrated or common keying of three cases if a top case is added at the time or later; the locks are quickly installed or changed (given keyed access to the case) in five minutes or so. All the cases have dust/moisture covers for the locks.

Replacement parts – many of the case components are replaceable and SHAD can provide the needed spare or replacement parts – that much has been learned over the years in testing, evaluating, and using so many of their products.

Shad Terra Storage Capacity

Internal Features of the TERRA Cases

The internally mounted backing or support plates for the external mounting pieces do not take up much space in the main compartment but do provide lots of strength and everything is replaceable if ever needed.

The only observation here is that a protective cushioning cover or pad should be secured over this plate, like the piece used on the floor of the top cases; replication of these pieces is ongoing as a home-grown solution.

Pins/latches/fasteners – everything used is stainless steel for strength, durability, and resistance to the elements over the long term. Internal lid supports use plastic caps and threaded inserts with hardware to facilitate the replacement of the pliable plastic straps that support the lid at a 90-degree angle when open for unrestricted access.

These strap pieces have a mixed history with me regarding use on the SHAD SH-series top and side cases, but the TERRA straps are not showing any accelerated wear, even in the cold late winter/early spring temps.

A favorite feature of the side cases is the adjustable tray and this piece for a side-load case is very welcome, even if everything is kept packed in other bags. When in its upright position the full width adjustable plastic tray acts as a floor extension with sidewall when the lid is open – simple, functional, and totally unobtrusive when desired.

To swing the tray down out of the way – push the two outer side tabs on the tray inwards a bit and let it swing down into the shaping of the lid, completely out of the way while packing or unloading.

By itself, the tray makes a great load management piece that is most useful when carrying a multi-pack of drink containers or even a cardboard tray holding coffee and tea containers…although road surfaces do impact of course.

The right side-cases come equipped with a stretch mesh piece (also available as an optional item). This piece is easily fitted to any of the side cases and works with the adjustable tray piece to form a supportive but expandable outer wall of sorts to keep things from falling out of the main compartment area, especially if contents of the case are loose packed.

And speaking of packing, if the motorcycle is parked with the side stand and any left side case opened, the contents can shift or roll out into the lid or onto the ground; this is where the TERRA layout with its deep lid, tray, and mesh piece proves to be most valuable in keeping contents secure.

Shad Terra Storage Potential

In using the mesh piece (which is very functional and much appreciated) my first observation is that its bottom mounts use engagement points on the adjustable tray, so the mesh needs to be released from the top or bottom engagement points to allow the tray to be dropped down.

Secondly, there is a lost feature opportunity – there are no mounting points along the lid’s plastic frame that would let the user fit the mesh piece to the inner lid perimeter, basically forming a self-contained storage area in the lid, accessible by opening the lid a bit and reaching in – great for quick access. Some local adaptation work is ongoing to perhaps address this.

TERRA Case Essentials and Accessories

The TERRA top and side cases have essential ‘sold separately’ items and truly optional accessories that can indeed enhance the overall functionality of the cases.

The Essential Top Plate Mount

The original hard-side SHAD SH-series top cases came with the applicable mounting plate packed inside or preinstalled on the bottom of the case but the TERRA top cases do not include this essential piece, and it needs to be purchased separately.

Presuming a SHAD Top Master (top mount) kit is installed or another compatible mounting surface, the SHAD mounting plate is the essential interface providing the front engagement and rear lock interface points for the top cases although the plate mounts can often be readily adapted for use with other rack or luggage grid layouts.

The original honey-combed plastic plate (PN D1B481 PAR) was listed for use with the TERRA top cases but as we discovered, the TERRA top cases did not always seat and lock into place easily with this plate. Thankfully, the new lightweight aluminum mounting plates (D1BTRPA) sent along with the cases work perfectly and are a perfect match for the TERRA cases.

SHAD has now released the new from 2021 plastic ‘Big Plate’ (D1B481PA) along with another aluminum mounting plate (D1BTRPA2) in black to complement the newly released Black Edition cases. FWIW, the aluminum mounting plate is light, strong, and a versatile piece for top case fitment or securing other luggage.

Shad Terra Mounting Plate

The Optional Pieces

Backrest Kit –  a two-piece backrest (PN D0RI75) for both the case and lid are utter simplicity to mount thanks to the dimple marks on the cases and easily understood instructions.

Inner Mesh – a stretch Inner Mesh piece (PN X0TR01) that hooks into place at five points (two on the upper outer housing of the main compartment and three on the adjustable tray) and helps with load retention and packing of contents; when not needed this inner mesh-piece is easily removed and stowed.

TERRA Inner Bag – the new TERRA expandable inner bag (PN X0IB47) works with any of the TERRA cases and carries on the hard-working durable reputation of the original SHAD SH-series inner bags used for years.

Like the originals the TERRA inner bags are great looking, well made, sturdy, water-resistant, and travel-oriented – pack them, load them, unload them, and off you go, mounted, or dismounted. But keep a close eye on them. They gain a lot of admirers who are anxious to ‘borrow’ them for use; I say, go get your own…

20L Duffel Bag – spell it the way you want, but the SHAD Inner Duffle 20L (PN X0IB20) roll-top bag is waterproof (IPX5 rated) and right-sized for internal or external case use especially the TERRA top cases with their four lid-mounted accessory posts. A shoulder strap is included.

OK, now that we have the TERRA cases covered, it is time to look at the mounting options so we can get the cases into use. And this is where the new 4P side case mounting system comes onto the scene. The original 3P side mounting system featured in two wBW reviews is a compatible option, but the 4P kits are truly the solution for any riding scenario.

Shad Terra Side Box Mount

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SHAD 4P Mounting System for TERRA Side Cases

The SHAD 4P or four-point mounting system is the newest side mounting kit from SHAD and like all SHAD side or top mount (Top (Master) fitment kits, the 4P pieces are well built and extremely strong.

One of SHAD’s design changes for this new kit is the use of 20mm thick mild steel tubing vice the more standard 18-19mm diameter tubing. It may not seem like a big change, but believe me, in viewing, handling, installing, and using these new pieces there is a significant bump up regarding feel and fitted strength although with an accepted weight penalty.

Between the beefy tubing, solid mounting brackets, and frame tabs, all treated to a durable black powder-coated finish the new 4P kits are proving to be extremely durable – providing rugged ‘nap’ or crash protection for the back of the motorcycle and a simple rock-solid mount for the TERRA TR36 and TR47 side cases.

4P System Layout (Frame and Case)

The standard 4P system or kit includes the two heavy (literally) top brackets with 90-degree side mount sections; the left and right rectangular-shaped 20mm tubing frames with side mounting points and frontal frame or exhaust-side mounting arms; a lightweight but sturdy back crossbar; and a bag of black steel M8 and M6 hardware.

Where the 3P-based products utilized three engagement points (two along the top and one at the front), the 4P or four-point layout has (four) engagement points – two along the top tubing, one along the front vertical tube, and one for the back lower tubing; a precise solid fit.

Viewers of early TERRA videos might notice that the side cases were moving around a bit especially during off-road segments – this observation is (likely) due, to the fact that the demo machines were using compatible 3P mounting kits that accommodate the TERRA cases but do not provide the same fitted strength and stability as with the 4P frames.

The top two engagement or rest points fit just ahead of the (removable) orientation bumper on the top tube with the third being the front (vertical) insert layout familiar to 3P system users and the fourth engagement point found at the lower back of the frame and this layout absolutely seals the deal regarding the rock-solid fitment of the cases into the 4P frames.

Although the engagement points provide a stable fit for the individual side case, it is not yet locked into place. This action is provided by a rotating clamp mechanism integrated into the top block housing on the back of the case in the same manner as used for the 3P system and activated by the lever action of the integrated multifunctional carry handle.

Fitment of TERRA Side Cases on the 4P System

To install the TERRA side cases, lift the lid/lock latch slightly allowing the fingers to access the top of the multifunction fit/remove/carry handle. As the handle is lifted away from the case the rotating clamp/lock is pulled back from around the bottom of the upper tubing.

Elevate the case slightly at the rear and align the case at the top so the rear rest or engagement point sits up against the front edge of the bumper piece on the upper tubing. Now push the case down to seat the top rests which serves to engage the lower front insert into the vertical (tubing) section and seat the lower backrest (bottom frame tubing).

Some slight pressure on the case helps seat the case if needed – ambient temperatures and use of the cases will change things. When satisfied that the case is fully seated, slowly push the

multifunction handle down into its flush position on top of the case – this movement rotates the clamp/lock piece around the tubing and secures the case fully.

Note – do not force the handle; if resistance is felt the case is not properly aligned or fully seated. Lift the handle, reseat as needed or remove the case and try again.

To remove the case, unlock it (as applicable), lift the lid latch slightly to access the multifunction handle, lift the handle, close the lid latch (to prevent any unforeseen openings of the lid) and while holding the handle up, lift the case up at the back and pull it away from the front engagement point and then clear of the 4P frame.

Note – when new, the integrated install/remove and carry handle piece can be quite stiff (due to the top mechanism and tube clamp layout) and as both the handle and lid latch components are a close flush fit, opening or closing the pieces can result in some initial pinching of the fingers; but with use, it’s all good. It is a very functional and smooth-looking layout.

Shad Terra Side Case Mount Types

4P and 3P Compatibility for SHAD Side Cases

In having identified the original 3P mounting system (also a Red Dot Design Award winner in 2015) it is worth knowing that there are shared features and compatibilities between the 3P (three-point) and 4P (four-point) mounting systems.

So, for those who may already have the 3P mounting system installed on a motorcycle, the TERRA TR36 and TR47 side cases will slide right into place. Although as identified earlier, if using the TERRA pieces for serious ADV oriented, including off-road travel, the 4P layout is the far better solution.

Both the SH35 and SH36 side cases were covered under two wBW reviews – the first being Rick’s original review of July 2014 followed by my BMW S1000XR-based review of Oct 2017.

SHAD 4P Motorcycle Fitment Listing

Based on the expected, and current, popularity of the TERRA case line, SHAD has been busy expanding the 4P fitment line with the list growing tremendously since first viewing the initial production listing early last year.

Visiting any of the SHAD global websites or downloading and going through the latest product catalog reveals how committed SHAD is to the 4P and TERRA product lines and the level of effort being made to offer mounting kits for so many motorcycles with 4P system mounts currently available for Benelli, BMW, Honda, KTM, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha models.

Shad Terra Mounting Options

SHAD Top Master Solutions for TERRA Top Cases

The SHAD TERRA TR37 and TR48 top cases are great pieces when fitted by themselves or when used as a three-case system solution along with the TR36 or TR47 side cases. SHAD has an even longer listing of Top Master kits available for many brands and models of motorcycles, with more being unveiled on a continuing basis.

SHAD Top Master or top mount kits take various forms depending on brand and motorcycle model. Some kits replace OE rear luggage rack or grid components although many are much simpler, providing reinforcement of OE components or additional mounting points for the SHAD top case mounting plates as shown in the photo above.

Many motorcycles equipped with OEM rear racks like the lightweight tubular aluminum layouts used on certain BMW motorcycles including the F 750/850 GS/GSA machines need some reinforcement or additional mounting points when installing heavier duty or larger capacity cases.

And the SHAD-specific model Top Master mounting kits provide this needed reinforcement of OE components and/or add surface mounting points for the safe and effective fitment of TERRA or other SHAD top case kits, with or without side case mounts.

had Terra Mounting Brackets

TERRA Side and Top Case Installation Notes

SHAD ES and SHAD US really stepped up in providing the TERRA case sets along with multiple 4P and Top Mount motorcycle fitment kits so wBW could undertake this long-term in-depth review you are now reading.

But even with the bulk of the products arriving on a small truck-loadable pallet in early September last year we still didn’t manage to get all the kits installed on available motorcycles and road testing in before winter conditions arrived – bummer.

But as documented below and revealed in the photo gallery, between last fall and this spring the 4P and Top Mount kits for the BMW F750/850GS series, the 4P kit for the R1200/R1250GS/GSA machines, and the 4P and Top Kit for the Honda NC 750 X machine were installed and road-tested, with more installations to be done – a work in progress.

What remains to be done? Well, candidate machines for the Yamaha T7 and KTM 790 kits are still being sought although ongoing COVID-19 (lockdown) restrictions are putting a damper on things, for now.

BMW F 850 GS Adv (Rallye) & F 750 GS (Low Frame) – the kit for the BMW F-series was on the second round of model-specific releases so it was not available until late last fall. But once received the F 850 GSA OE Adventure Pannier kit is removed and the SHAD 4P kit installed with some urgency as late fall riding can be an uncertain thing, but it held well into December.

The only issue encountered with the F 850 GSA installation is that the rear mounting tab or bracket for the cross-over bar ends up sitting 5 to 8mm away from the stock muffler, a bit close for comfort.

Initial mitigation work involved removal of the right side 4P frame followed by some Dremel work to cut down the square (unfinished) shaping of the bracket – something that should have been done during production finishing anyway.

But before any other changes to the 4P installation, the stainless-steel L-brackets that are fitted to the rear sub-frame trellis tubing as support brackets for the BMW Adventure side frame pieces were reinstalled – more as a trial than anything, but a successful one.

After some more scoping, the 5mm spacers from the 4P kit, used between the deck mounting points and the top 4P brackets were swapped out for 10mm steel spacers to raise the height of these heavy-duty L-shaped brackets that are the side mounting points for the 4P frames.

With this change made and the top brackets mounted, the 4P frame front and side hardware is installed and just tightened up enough for a positioning hold, then the side frames are pulled up and back to the extent allowed by the oversized 10mm mounting holes and the 8mm hardware – this makes a difference.

How much? Well, there is an easy 5-6mm gain overall and with all the hardware fully tightened up and the crossbar reinstalled the results provide about 10mm of clearance between the bracket and the muffler; not perfect, but better and within the comfort range for use.

With everything documented and submitted to SHAD, dialogue over the issue is ongoing, but whether it will result in any change to the kits is unknown. And this condition may or may not be an issue in other markets given differences in mufflers between markets, etc., or users…

A subsequent (test) installation of the optional Akropovic exhaust revealed (as suspected) no clearance issues; other third-party mufflers should be fine as most of them use a more oval shaping or are of a smaller diameter overall. Some related work to slightly reshape the crossbar for a better less stressful fit should also see some net clearance gain.

Installing the 4P kit directly onto the F 750 GS Low Frame model was issue-free without any of the changes or adjustments identified above needed. And while it is still a close fit, the 10-12mm of clearance provided between the rear cross-over mount and muffler is acceptable.

Shad Terra Rear Mount

Honda NC 750 X – the 4P kit for the NC 750 X was part of the original shipment but ended up being an over-the-winter project once the 2019 DCT equipped model came over for off-season slumber providing the (planned) opportunity for accessory work including the 4P Kit and a Top Master kit received early in the new year, allowing the desired 3-case layout to be finished.

An installed SW-Motech rear luggage kit and Adventure rack that hosts a SHAD plate and SH50 top case was removed first with everything bagged, tagged, and put on the shelf – with six motorcycles lounging around and lots of accessories on hand, some order is needed.

The SHAD 4P kit for the 2019+ Honda NC750X is a straightforward exercise. With the top vertical L-brackets sharing the rear frame points along with the passenger rails, the 4P side frames then mount to the L-brackets at the back and upfront at 8mm accessory mounting points located on the back of the OE passenger peg components.

The only issue encountered is that threading the left side 8mm Allen-head hardware into its mounting hole on the back of the passenger peg component is darn near impossible as it sits close to the swingarm and chainguard; even my low-profile 90-degree ratchet tool did not fit.

The solution – a similar length M8 hex-head piece. Starting it into the threaded hole and tightening it up fully with a 13mm wrench had this challenge met. Done.

And when installing both SHAD kits the top mount pieces are installed first as they are the support pieces for both kits – SHAD identifies that the top mount kit is to be installed first when both kits are to be fitted.

There is a workaround to simplifying this effort though if the 4P is already installed. With the 4P front arm mounts still tightened up, remove the side mounting hardware pieces, which then allows the top vertical brackets to be taken off and put aside; the 4P frames sit in place thanks to their still secured front mounts. Now the top mount pieces can be installed.

Each side arm piece of the Top Master Kit has the L-bracket layout welded in place, so once the side arms with these brackets are mounted to the frame points, the back 4P frame mounting points will be closely aligned – some loosening of the lower front hardware allows piece-to-piece fitting and with this done and the side hardware replaced everything is tighten up.

As this Top Master kit is intended for use with the original SHAD plastic mounting plates that feature multiple mounting holes and slots some templating of the new TERRA aluminum plate to the Top Master platform layout is needed.

With 10 to 15 minutes of effort, four 9mm (23/64ths) holes were drilled through the aluminum plate and cleaned out and the aluminum TERRA plate secured to the narrow top mount platforms with M8 hardware. The newer plates (not yet received) will mitigate this issue.

BMW R1250GS – another easy installation using the 4P components and included hardware. No adaptations or adjustments needed! Once the two left and right top hanger-style L-brackets are installed (loosely) the left side frame is loosely fitted hanger-style at the back to the mounting points on the vertical section of the bracket.

The front mounting points for the left 4P frame use the two lower sub-frame inserts that are the trellis tubing reinforcement for the passenger peg assemblies and the BMW R1250 GS Adventure side frame pieces. Again, the M8 hardware is just started to keep things in place.

With the right 4P frame hung in place at the back, the OE M8 (T40) screw and stylized cover plate of the upper muffler mount are removed (watch that the thin aluminum washers don’t either fall out or get missed on the floor). Align the front mount of the right 4P frame over the muffler mount and install the cover plate and provided M8 hardware.

Position and loosely mount the rear crossbar, then make sure the side frames are in the desired position (given some adjustability due to the oversized and/or elongated holes) and tighten up the hardware on each side, checking alignment and angulation along the way. Some follow-on adjustments might be needed for height and leveling purposes.

The only hardware change is one made for all 4P installations, and this change has the supplied M6 hardware swapped out for on-hand M8 hardware – the upgraded pieces are far stronger and provide a much better mounting although some adjustability is lost regarding mounting clearances; the holes may need to be cleaned out a bit due to the powder-coating.

Shad Terra Mounting Instructions

SHAD TERRA Double Backrest (D0RI75)

Two of the also new SHAD TERRA Double Backrest kits were provided although they sat on the ready shelf until spring. These two-piece kits are a new design from previous backrest kits and far easier to install.

Installation is indeed simplified thanks to dimples located on the front inner wall of the top cases for the larger main section mounting and two conspicuous circular molding guides forming part of the plastic trim piece on the lid of the case.

After a quick skim of the double-sided instruction sheet. one side for each section of the backrest, and with a cordless drill and bit set at hand the whole kit was mounted up cleanly in just over five minutes.

The pads are well-formed with plastic bases and mounting points on the inner sides for the supplied 5mm slider nuts with M5 x 16mm screws included. The padded sections are comprised of a bi-elastic cover and high-performance (dense) polyurethane cushioning underneath – support with comfort. The backrest really does finish the larger TR48 top case.

SHAD TERRA Side Case Sets – Fitted Width Measurements:

Motorcycle TR36 Side Cases TR47 Side Cases
2019 BMW F750GS Low Frame 99.5cm or 39.2in Not fitted/measured
2020 BMW F850GS Adv 100.0cm or 39.4in 115cm or 45.3in
2020 BMW R1250GS 100.5cm or 39.5in 113cm or 44.5in
2019 Honda NC 750X 110cm or 43.3in Not fitted/measured

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Other 4P and TERRA Gear Applications

Where the original SHAD 3P side case system is more unique with its L-shaped (upper bar and front engagement) mount points for compatible SH35, SH36, and TR side cases, the SHAD 4P or four-point system is rectangular shaped – an approach and solution used for many/most OE and third-party products and for good reasons – versatility and adaptability being but two.

Kriega OS-Platform Mounting – with the OE BMW Adventure side frame kit pieces removed from the F 850 GS Adventure and the SHAD 4P system installed for TERRA side case use, it is time to try more things or use options for the 4P system involving the Kriega OS-Platform kit.

The Kriega OS-Platform kit is intended for use on GS/GSA-style motorcycles like the R 1200/R1250 GS/GSA, F 850 GSA, or other models fitted with or using the BMW Motorrad OE Adventure side frames that have a unique shaping for the (high-mounted) exhaust side.

Both side plates of the Kriega kit are identical but the OS-Platform edition includes an upper tube-fitted offset adapter to overcome the unique shaping identified above. When this piece is installed, and the side plates mounted using simple tube clamp mounts a flat vertical profile is provided as a secure backing/mounting platform for soft or semi-rigid side bags. The layout and use of this kit are described in the wBW review of the Wolfman Rocky Mountain Expedition Saddle Bags WP product.

The Kriega OS (off-set) adapter is not needed with the 4P kits as their mounting layout accommodates the offset for the exhaust systems of the respective motorcycle model, so both sides present a flat vertical profile for use.

Shad Terra with Kriega OS-Platform

Soft or Semi-Rigid Side Bag Fitment – even though a side plate solution like the Kriega OS-Platform kit is still deemed to be the best solution (security and safety), many semi-rigid or soft-shaped side bags or saddlebag sets will fit nicely against the 4P frames.

And this layout identifies an advantage of sorts in that the SHAD 4P frames are a bit smaller dimensionally than some other pieces on the market and this can facilitate direct mounting of semi-rigid or soft luggage pieces that often have a larger back footprint than the frames.

All the waterproof drybags and saddlebag sets on hand-mounted up with minimal adaptation to the 4P side frames, including the Wolfman Rocky Mountain Expedition Saddlebags, a set of aged but still like-new Touratech Waterproof Moto Saddle Bags that have a formed hard-shell backing and great internal stiffening.

Even the original SHAD Zulupack Waterproof Saddlebags were usable although with a bit more thought needed regarding strap layout as these original pieces did not have a lot of integrated mounting points, unlike the newer SHAD SW42 waterproof saddlebags that do; these new pieces are also under wBW review.

And if you have wanted to become proficient in the use of motorcycle-related cargo straps, fasteners, etc., fitting individual or a set of soft or semi-rigid bags to the 4P frames, with or without the Kriega (or a similar kit) installed, is a great way to learn the ropes, er…the straps…

Shad Terra With Alt Rider Luggage Plate

On the Road with the TERRA Cases

This will sound like a broken record, but for the record, we still aren’t doing much (or any) far-far away traveling, although everyone is hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting brighter and regardless, ride and travel planning continues, right?

Between four motorcycles, the SHAD TERRA cases are getting lots of use, just not the longer-term day in day out mixed road or no roads use that we are hoping will soon be possible. But even so, the top and side cases are providing stellar service and to say they are easy to use is a true understatement.

The 4P side case kits are rock solid, no matter the motorcycle, and the TR36 and TR47 side cases slip into place snugly, lockdown without issue, and just become part of the motorcycle. Did I say they each hold a lot of gear?

Weight differential and some loading bias are noticeable when the side and top cases are loaded up but no more than comparative luggage and comparative loads and in fact, there are positives in how well and how securely the TERRA cases fit and ride on the motorcycles, “they just become part of the motorcycle” – no wiggle, no shaking, no movement.

Acknowledging that the TERRA cases have not yet been truly banged around on the road for extended periods of time, they were and are being used over rough roads and trails in wet weather, ranging from cold fall showers, early winter sleet events and spring showers and nothing, other than the odd drop sneaking through when the lid is opened has ever shown up inside the cases.

And of course, the venerable wBW immersion tests, done over the winter in a tub rather than having to break the ice on a frozen pond or ditch yielded the same results – no leakage; the cases would make good flotation devices.

Width and profile-wise, once mounted the TR36 side cases don’t typically require much accommodation regarding getting on and off but the deeper (wider) TR47 pieces are noticeable, but this is about as negative a comment as is needed in using the TERRA cases.

For general purpose activities, including commuting, the R 1250 GS user gets the larger backrest endowed TR48 top case for her activities and I happily utilize the TR37 top case with its lower profile and reduced capacity – ideal for on/off-road forays to carry the emergency use kits and gear with room remaining for (a) food or (b) personal clothing.

Between the SHJAD TERRA TR37 top case and the SW-MOTECH PRO GS tank bag, I’m good for a week or better. While still getting the odd little nip in using the closely fitted latch and multifunction handle, fitting, removing, and carrying the cases is a one-hand effort, and when empty one realizes just how light these cases are.

Despite some concerns over the lack of a finish to the aluminum alloy cases, they are surviving very well although as with aluminum or plastic cases a good direct hit from a pointed or heavy object can result in some scratches or dings with the resultant marks worked out a bit but not totally removable.

Care and maintenance wise – clean them up with warm soap and water (nothing abrasive) and wipe them dry with a soft cloth. Some of the original dull finish is obviously wearing, but the resultant patina or luster is a sign of ‘age’ and use, which is more than acceptable for this user.

From reliability and durability perspectives, the only thing that has ever failed on any of the SHAD cases (side or top) over the years has been the stiff and semi-pliable plastic lid supports used on the original SH-series top cases and so far, this isn’t an issue with the TERRA cases.

Shad Terra Mounted on BMW R1250GS Adventure

Observations & Issues Rollup

Internal backing plate mats – the top cases have a lightweight protective pad or mat on the floor that covers the backing plate for the external mounting pieces and provides protection to case contents, but these mats are not provided in or for use with the side cases? This is an easy thing to resolve; it will be locally but including these pieces should be done.

Side Case Lid Straps – the 90-degree drop provided by the straps allows full access with the lids opened. But as found with one side case (as received) one strap had been installed twisted and its misshapen hard-edged form had obviously been pinched between the seal of the lid and main compartment.

This issue is easily resolved thanks to the hardware mounting points and no permanent damage to the seal occurred (verified through the water integrity testing). But if the issue had not been found and the lid continually forced closed damage could occur impacting elemental integrity.

Top Case Lid Straps – a little bit longer, please! This (remains) an issue or perhaps a pet peeve from the original SH-series cases and not just SHAD products. Many cases are designed to be angled up slightly at the back (see comment below) and if the straps are of the right length the lids stay up; but if not, then the lids close by themselves, usually unexpectedly.

Top and Side Master Kit Layout – most/many motorcycle decks have a five to ten (or more) up angle towards the rear of the motorcycle for aesthetic and functional reasons with matching rear rack angulation as well; the nominal 12 degree or so angulation on the R and F-series Beemers works well in mounting pieces of kit with lids (see top case comment above).

But this advantage, at least with the R 1250 GS and F 850 GSA kits is lost for the most part as mounting bracketry is shaped/formed to result in a level surface (relative to the ground) once the side and top cases are fitted. Thankfully, some minor angulation adjustability is possible through hardware adjustments, but it would be great if SHAD would revisit this…

4P Crossbar layout/mounting – these tubular pieces are valuable system components – enhancing system strength while stabilizing and minimizing movement. But the current pieces could use some reshaping or lengthening so they do not pull the side frames in so much nor put so much pressure against the bottom of the upper fender on the F-series machines.

End Notes

Some years ago, SHAD provided me with a prototype set of aluminum side cases, a matching top box, and a (heavy) multi-piece steel tube bracket kit for installation on to the first year BMW F800GS – that ended up becoming one of the longest-term members of the home fleet for some decades, eventually replaced with the GSA model, another long-termer.

These pre-production side cases and the top case reflected good design, the side cases were narrow and the top case (box) square; all were obviously pre-production build but very functional. And for what its’ worth, the top case is still in use today.

But for a long time, it seemed as if this early experience, despite some multi-year back and forth discussions with SHAD entities regarding aluminum luggage products, had gone for naught; thankfully, it hadn’t. So here we are, years later, with the SHAD TERRA products and from my perspective, the wait was worth it.

Long-term reviews often identify that the product or products have been uphill, over dale, and back home again and as such have been through much. But in this instance, it seems that the experience with the SHAD TERRA cases and mounting systems is just getting started; and I am really looking forward to the TERRA-based adventures to come.

There are no major issues with any of the products and most of the observations made could be easily addressed and rectified so hopefully, SHAD will do some tweaking of these products going forward or perhaps offer some additional kit pieces to facilitate user needs.

And while not having gotten my hands on any of the Black Edition pieces they are undoubtedly among the best looking, hard cases ever seen and this rider would gladly swap some of the current SHAD pieces on hand for the Black Edition pieces – hint, hint.

Bottom Line – the SHAD TERRA cases are a new line of light-in-weight aluminum luggage with outstanding form, fit, and functionality and rock-solid mounting to the new SHAD 4P side frames or SHAD top mount kits. They have a few blemishes but nothing that SHAD could not address by updating some minor pieces. Available separately, as a set or system solution of three, the TERRA cases and mounting kits are competitively priced and look great once fitted especially the new Black Edition pieces. Highly recommended. 

Pros

  • Lightweight with very strong construction
  • Natural aluminum or Black Edition powder-painted versions
  • Integrated flush-mounted lid latch and multifunctional fit-release-carry components
  • 90-degree side-loading cases for easy access
  • Adjustable side case tray and mesh insert
  • 4P side case mounting kits extremely strong and durable
  • Top cases lids feature four cargo mounts
  • Complete system solutions for many motorcycles
  • Individual components and system solutions priced competitively
  • Great return on the investment. 

Cons

  • Side cases don’t have cushioning protective mats found in the top cases
  • Top case straps are a bit short
  • Side case straps stiff and could be caught in the lid seal
  • Installation kits provide a flat rather than slightly angled fitment of top and side cases that would better flow with motorcycle lines
  • Black Edition cases not yet experienced.

wBW Specs

  • Manufacturer: SHAD
  • Pricing (USD): See SHAD Pricing Table below. Pricing for SHAD 4P Side and SHAD Top Master (mount) kits are priced based on specific motorcycle model fitment. System pricing is usually advantageous and some product discounts may be available.
  • Made In: Spain
  • Warranty: Two-year warranty
  • Review Period/Date: October 2020 to May 2021
  • Submission Date: 7 June 2021

Important Links

SHAD TERRA Case Pricing (2021)
TERRA Silver (Alu) Case Pricing (USD)
D0TR36100R TR36 Side Case, Right 401.99
D0TR36100L TR36 Side Case, Left 373.99
D0TR37100 TR37 Top Case 398.99
D0TR47100R TR47 Side Case, Right 426.99
D0TR47100L TR47 Side Case, Left 398.99
D0TR48100 TR48 Top Case 426.99
TERRA Black Edition
D0TR36100RB TR36 Side Case, Right 426.99
D0TR36100LB TR36 Side Case, Left 399.99
D0TR37100B TR36 Top Case 406.99
D0TR47100RB TR47 Side Case, Right 451.99
D0TR47100LB TR47 Side Case Left 426.99
D0TR48100B TR48 Top Case 433.99

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SHAD TERRA Photo Gallery

4 Comments

  1. Guillermo Eduardo Fuentes Urrutia
    July 2, 2021
    Reply

    did you try the sw-motech top rack + 4p side brackets on the NC750x?, i have a cb500x with a sw-motech top rack already, and this 4p system looks very interesting, but i don’t know if i could fit with my current setup.

    greetings!

  2. July 3, 2021
    Reply

    Guillermo, the SW-Motech rack on the NC750X was not compatible with the 4P side case kit due to shaping and layout, so the SHAD Top Master kit was used as shown in the review as it provides the mounting points for the 4P side frame pieces as well as the top rack layout. Whether the same issues would be encountered with the SW MOTECH top rack CB500X or not isn’t known and, SHAD does offer a top mount/rack kit for your motorcycle. It might be worth a look at the Installation Diagrams for the SHAD products (usually found under the Technical Details link on their product pages) as these layouts could provide some visual clues regarding fitment and compatibilities. Hope this info helps, cheers, Bruce

  3. Guillermo Eduardo Fuentes Urrutia
    July 5, 2021
    Reply

    thanks for the quick reply, i saw the mounting points on the 750 and are completely different, this 4p system seems so good for soft and hard luggage, i personally think the shad 23 lts are really good for city riding.

  4. Moto.Lolla
    August 15, 2021
    Reply

    I was really excited about those. I decided to get the 48L top box for my R1250GS. I was wondering whether to get black or aluminium, went with the aluminium, because it was going to be delivered faster and I was going away for a week. I had some difficulties with the mounting, but managed to fix it. And I really liked the top box and how much it holds 😁. But it scratches SO easily as if I have done it on purpose! I am totally disappointed from that – it’s not normal to have it scratched for a week of on-road travelling. That made me decide against ordering the panniers. If I knew prior that it scratched that easily, I wouldn’t have ordered it. Or I would’ve found a protective foil or something. One can expect it to get scratched in… 3 months or a year, but a week? Come on… It’s a shame, besides that, the top box is great.

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