Ogio 9800 Gear Bag Review

Style and function meet in this moto suitcase

story by Kevin Duke, Photograph by Kevin Duke, Created Apr. 21, 2008
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Being a motorcycle rider inevitably poses challenges when traveling. We’re all familiar with the logistics of storing luggage on a bike, using a mixture of backpacks, saddlebags, tank bags and tail packs.

But when you’re not mounted up in your riding gear, how do you transport a helmet, a pair of boots and a set of leathers, along with a smattering of whatever else you might need, during a motorcycle-oriented trip?

Consider the Ogio 9800, a stylish and practical way to tote your riding gear and whatever else you need schlepped. The bag’s name is derived from its capacity in cubic inches which, in terms of motorcycles, equals the displacement of 102 Harley Twin Cam 96 motors. In metric terms it works out to the equivalent of 160 literbikes. In terms of luggage, it’s more than enough space to hold all your gear and then some.

With 9800 cubic inches of available stowage, the Ogio easily carries all your riding gear with room for plenty more.
The tough nylon underbelly of the Ogio 9800 is what makes it stand apart. Its SLED (Structural Load Equalizing Deck) system is strong and gives the bag its responsive handling.

Constructed from 420-denier nylon and 600-denier poly/tarpaulin, the Ogio 9800 offers a huge main compartment along with several smaller zippered enclosures in the lid area to separate all your stuff. A decent-sized external pocket on top provides another subsection. Twin compression straps with quick-release buckles hold together even an overstuffed bag. Multiple grab handles provide options when loading and unloading.

The robust construction is backboned by the solidity of its “SLED” (Structural Load Equalizing Deck) nylon base that holds up to the abuse of the ka-lump, ka-lump up or down stairs. A set of stylish wheels like you’d find on inline skates roll gracefully across various surfaces such as parking lots and airport terminals, guided ably by a pull-out handle. The balanced chassis pulls effortlessly, and it can also be pushed along without darting around like a drunk in a Hoveround.

The Ogio 9800 has become a regular traveling companion during my motorcycle exploits, gathering inspection stickers from as far away as Qatar, Italy and Japan. Although it’s been tossed around by baggage handlers across the globe, it has retained its sporting good looks and has emerged unscathed except for one of the plastic clips for the compression straps that was crushed by an over-zealous baggage handler.

My winged travels revealed a potential drawback of such a cavernous piece of luggage. The 14-pound bag, once loaded with whatever you’re carrying, can easily weigh in over the 50-pound limit of most airlines. More than once I’ve had to fish out a few weighty items from the 9800 so it wouldn’t require an additional fee for overweight luggage. If you and your gear stay out of airports, you’ll always appreciate the spacious amount of stowage offered by the big Ogio.

Overall, the Ogio 9800 is nearly perfect. It might be even more versatile with multi-position dividers for the yawing main compartment, although I appreciated the loading options of the single large section. Also, the lack of a place for displaying the owner’s address or business card seems like an obvious omission for a piece of higher-end luggage such as this.

The Ogio 9800 is ready to swallow nearly anything you want to carry, whether it’s gear for motorcycling or for any other activity that requires gear, such as diving, etc.

Good stuff is never cheap, and the Ogio 9800 will put a $189.99 dent in your wallet. This initially seemed a bit steep to me until I compared it to similar travel bags. The Ogio’s MSRP is in line with its competitors yet gets more favorable customer reviews for its durability and construction.

The zippered lid of the Ogio 9800 is sectioned into three zippered compartments (including a breathable mesh pocket), plus a large internal section that runs the length of the whole bag.

This is simply the best roller gear bag I’ve seen, and it impresses for its function as well as its style. The Ogio brand has been garnering a well-earned reputation in the moto world for its design and innovation, and the 9800 further reinforces that impression.  It works just as well in the cut and thrust of LAX airport as it does when tossed in the back of an F-150.

Related Reading
Ogio Website

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