Ducati's Diavel has some very creative and artistic solutions that make up the unique style of this bike, which is one of the big things many of us like about it. However, when it comes to storage our options are limited. If you've been reading my other reviews, you've already heard me complaining about the lack of storage options. Most folks will immediately seek soft luggage options, but I immediately sought out hard luggage options. As many of you have seen, I just came back from two trips and had to settle using Ducati's tailbag and my "creative" strapped tailbag on the top of it.
For those that have asked, "why didn't you just buy the Strada option to get the bags and back rest?" My answer is pretty simple... one of the major things I like re: the looks of the Diavel is the turn signals not sticking out, so the idea of switching back to the same dorky signal style that come on most bikes just doesn't settle right with me. Those of us that are on the forums and have been in the community and all over the web have a pretty good idea of what is on the market, and until now I simply haven't seen a solution I thought addressed all of my needs. . . . UNTIL NOW.
SHAD is entering the Diavel market with some great product offerings. Their bags offer great styling that won't take away from the looks of our bikes, and their innovative mounting system offers a method that minimizes the "dork" factor when the bags are not installed, and the brackets can be quickly uninstalled when you want to get back to your sweet "non-bagged" look. The mounting system seems as though the makers actually listened to us and understood that we don't want something crappy looking hanging on the side of our expensive exotic toys.
Initial Look and Thoughts
When you consider how far these items had to travel, it is more impressive that everything arrived without any kind of damage or blemish (especially when you consider that UPS just "dropped" my boxes marked "fragile" on my porch - loud enough that my wife heard the "plunk"). The hardware rails appear to be powder coated and the paint looks consident and high quality. The hard bags look durable and I have to admit that I think they look better and more futuristic (neat looking design lines) than I had anticipated.
The installation was a breeze. I didn't have to "tweak" anything - each item bolted correctly, right in the location it needed to. The only glitch I had happened when I was installing both the brackets for the bags and the backrest at the same time... there were no directions for this part and when I was "eye balling it" it didn't seem obvious to me how they went on. I installed the front bolt for the bags bracket very loosely, then just swung the bracket in place while holding the seat bracket - and I started both of the seat bracket bolts on one side. I left all of the bolts loose, and went to the other side to repeat. You will have to widen the spread of the seat bracket to get around the additional girth of the other brackets being mounted on, but just spread the gap carefully and you will get it. I went slow to make sure I didn't inadvertantly scratch anything.
Once all of the brackets were installed I struggled a bit to mount the bags. After several attempts, I added a bit of grease on the rails and that helped "encourage" each bag to go into the slots... and closing the handles firmly locked them into place.
First, I must state that in general I think bags and backrests on bikes add a certain "nerd" factor that take away the great looks of any bike... this isn't a statement about the SHAD setup, this is my opinion of all backrests and all bags. But having stated that, I think SHAD's design execution is really good. The lines on the bags look pretty cool (not too oval and not too square). They mount high on the bike which won't limit lean angle and won't cover up our sweet looking wheels, and their quality appears to be pretty good. The bag brackets only have a front and top - which is a big plus (instead of a square four sided look like so many others have - which just detract more from a bike's looks). The pad on the backrest is also designed in a pretty nice shape (again - not too round and not too square). And finally, all bolts are easy access to allow for quick modifications to meet my ever changing need to look or operate whatever way I fancy at that moment.
What would I change about the design?
Well, being an artist - I will always have an opinion re: design tweaks. My tweaks would be to the brackets. I would have made more of a round radius on the backrest - to reduce the more "squared" look of the back of the bars as the move towards the center bar, and I would have made that radius area lower so that from the front view you only saw the single center bar rising towards the backrest pad (versus being able to see the bar). On the bags - my only complaint was that the whole bracket wasn't about 1/4 inch taller so the brackets could have been moved a little lower and would have left more room to clear the bottom of my seat, and a 1/4 inch wider on each side so I could have ran my rear seat cowl (which I think would have looked pretty cool).
The internet offers all enthusiasts quick product and price comparisons. I looked every where and I consider both the bags and the backrest to be the best value and offer the most flexibility for the price. I can easily state without any bias that I would recommend both of these setups to anyone. If they would have been available when I first bought my bike, they would have been among the first items I would have purchased.
This setup is one of the first in the US. I got the bags, mount kit, and carbon fiber inserts. I also have extra inserts that are being color matched Ducati Red to better go with my bike (check back for updates).
This video shows the removal of the SHAD covers for painting, maintenance, or modifications and then shows the compilation of the package all together assembled on the bike. The photos show the bike with the painted covers and the carbon cover option. -- Length - 2:51 minutes