While most owners seem to like taking their bikes 'scratching' on the nearest bit of winding mountain road, as recommended by the factory in the owners manual, inevitably we will all at some point find we want to travel further. When the time comes it is likely that we'll need to carry some things with us, and then we come up against the fact that the 668 is not well designed for touring.
The factory performance spares catalogue has accessory luggage kits for the Strike, and presumably you could fit these to other models in the range, but these are possibly not going to suit every owners taste, riding habits or pocket book. You can see pictures and US prices for these on the web on the Moto Laverda USA web site.
Personally, I prefer removeable soft luggage, so my bike can quickly be returned to its more normal uncluttered appearance. This leads to considerations of how such removeable soft luggage can be attached.
The plastic dummy tank fitted to the bike means that readily available magnetic tank bags simply will not work. Fortunately, there are generic bags made that have various straps and clips that allow a tank bag to be fitted, but even here there are potential difficulties. I am curently using such a tank bag, manufactured by Nelson-Rigg, which has a very secure five point mounting system, with a strap that passes under the headstock attaching the two front mounts, and a three way strap at the back which I pass through the frame triangulation in front of the side covers. It isn't the most elegant solution, but it works. The bag I use may no longer be available. I bought mine cheap as it was considered slow moving or dead stock and the USA web site doesn't list it, but hopefully you get the general idea.
I'd recommend against being greedy with the size of the tank bag, especially on a bike with low clipon bars such as the 668, as I find I am leaning forward and contacting even the smallish bag I use.
Bagster have a range of high quality (and expensive) luggage that is manufactured to fit exactly various motorcycle models and which can be supplied colour keyed to match your bike. These are reportedly manufactured to the highest standards and there are tank bag/tank cover sets made for the 750 models that should match the 650/668 very well. They even list yellow as an available colour. The tank cover can be left in place permanently, and there are different sized bags available, any of which will clip to the tank cover.
The 668 fuel filler location can be a real curse, as you need to open the rear pillion seat cubby to fuel the bike and this operation will probaly need to be performed every 200-300 kms whilst touring. You could always simply regard it as a good excuse to stop a little longer, but I prefer to make this operation as simple as possible. I recently purchased an Australian made Gearsack seat bag that fits the bill nicely. Unfortunately, Gearsack don't seem to have any web presence, so I can't provide a link. It is easily secured using the built in stretch straps provided and the rear straps can be clipped together under the wheel arch. The rear straps can be pulled out rearwards over the number plate holder while still clipped together, allowing the bag to be released and tilted forwards onto the riders seat without releasing the front straps. This gives full access to the fuel filler when refueling. Other bags with a similar mounting system should work equally well.
A word or two of warning is needed here, though. There aren't really any good alternative mounting points for the rear straps, so clipping them together under the wheel arch is possibly the only sensible solution. This will place additional strain on the number plate holder, a potentially fragile part.
Given the other two bags I already have, I've not needed to get rear saddle bags or throwover bags. Therefore all I can offer is some generic information. The exhausts on the 668 exit rather high, meaning that there is not much room for large saddle bags. The exhaust pipes themselves do not appear to get very hot, but it would defintely be wise to ensure that fully laden bags do not come into contact with the pipes, as that would eliminate the cooling airflow over the pipes and create a potential melting or fire hazard.
Some seat bags, such as the Gearsack I currently use, have provision for zip on side bags. These may be a useful space addition, if the bags fit without hanging too low.
This is from Sidney Conn, a Ghost owner in North Carolina:-
"I wanted to have a small tail bag so I made a sleeve which covered the seat and sewed the bag to it. The bag folds down flat when not used and to fuel I just pop it open and reach inside to insert the key. This is a bit of a pain but it's not too horrible and I like the extra storage. I made a tank bag from cordura. It's held on by stickyback Velcro and a small retainer cord around the front of the tank."
© Steve Carr, 2001-2007
Site created February, 2000. Last modified Friday, May 15, 2009
30 May 2005