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Viaterra Claw Mini Motorcycle Tail Bag Review: Tested

28 March 2022, 06:02 PM Vikrant Singh

Introduction

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Left Rear Three Quarter

The Viaterra Claw Mini at 48 litres is priced at Rs 3,899. The full blown Claw - 72 litres - costs Rs 4,299. That’s like getting 50 per cent more capacity for an additional 10 per cent of the price. Logic dictates then that the Claw should be one’s default choice. And that the Mini really doesn’t make sense. But it does. And it is in fact a better buy than the Claw! 

How and why? That’s something we will answer later in the story. For now, let’s look at how easy or difficult the Claw Mini is to mount on a bike. And, if it can carry all that you need, and might possibly want.

Is it easy to install?

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Right Side View

Viaterra doesn’t do an easy release mounting system for its budget luggage. We saw that with the very agreeable Element tail bag, and it’s the same with the Claw Mini. The Mini like the Element, comes with a ‘U’ strap which runs under the bike’s tail when the bag is facing the rear of the bike. It has adjustability on both ends of the strap which makes it easy to fine-tune the fit.

Towards the back of the bag (the side that faces the front of the motorcycle), the Mini comes with two removable straps. These straps go through the bag’s D-rings, around the pillion footrest hangers, and then back through the D-rings for a secure fit. The bag also gets two mesh pockets on its ‘legs’ to hold the leftover length of the straps.

Royal Enfield Classic 350

Royal Enfield Classic 350

  • Displacement349 cc
  • Mileage - Owner Reported35 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)20.2 bhp
  • Kerb Weight195 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 1,90,205

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Rear View

Overall, the Claw Mini is easy, straightforward, and not very time-consuming to put on. Ditto when it comes to removing the bag. However, if one has to do it every evening, post a day-long ride, on a five-day trip, it does begin to get tedious.

How much can it carry?

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Top View

Like we mentioned in the beginning, the Claw Mini is a 48-litre bag. And 48 litres is a lot, really. If one packs smartly using the ‘legs’ of the bag to hold some rolled-up luggage, and then flat-packing squares to fit into the flat area, you can carry weeks worth of clothing, a couple of pair of  shoes, and food as well. This is without using the side pockets, mind, which again are huge!

Think puncture repair kit, tool kit, an air pump, first aid kit, and maybe even oil or small petrol jerry cans, and you can fit them into those pockets. Maybe not all of it at the same time, but the packing flexibility the Claw Mini offers is certainly helpful.

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Top View

Then, if you want to use it as your commute, always-on, tail bag, there’s enough and more room to throw in your laptop bag, your messenger bag, your backpack or whatever is that you prefer carrying. Plus, it will hold your water bottles, your coffee tumblers, and an extra pair of shoes too; that is if you prefer dressier shoes to bulky riding boots to strut around the office in. And when you park, the Mini will comfortably hold your helmet and riding gear.

Conclusion

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Front View

The Claw Mini then is a sensible, practical, affordable, and nearly the all-you-need motorcycle tail bag. It’s easy to roll-up and pack away when not in use, and it’s easy to carry around too; even when loaded. The only thing that didn’t sit well with me is how it looks on the bike. And, for that reason I would prefer the Element as my stay-on-the-bike tail bag instead of the Mini.

Now, to the question that has kept me awake many nights (not literally, of course, I do have a life) - Claw or Claw Mini…

Think power to weight. Now, the power of a motorcycle once you have bought it isn’t going to climb. But, the more you load it up, the worse the power to weight is going to get. Not only is it going to affect the motorcycle’s performance in terms to acceleration and ride-ability, and in fact fuel efficiency, it will also take a toll on the bikes handling and braking.

But, if there’s space, we might as well use it, correct? Sure, we might need three T-shirts for a trip, but if I have the Claw instead of the Mini, and with it more space, why shouldn’t I carry twice as many? After all, I could spill coffee on my Tee early morning requiring a complete wardrobe change. So, I must have it with me, especially if I have the space.

Royal Enfield Classic 350 Top View

But, why just clothes; why shouldn’t I carry five extra tools, maybe a few extra cables, and more food. One always needs food. And it’s a valid argument, because even though carrying extra stuff might spoil my ride, at least I am prepared for armageddon.

But what if I had a smaller bag. Not small, but smaller. Think the Claw Mini. A bag that would allow me to carry the essentials, maybe a few extra, but certainly not the world. And so what if have to pay nearly same as the big bag. I am after all paying for quality and build and practicality and usability, plus ease of installing and its waterproof nature, which doesn’t really change with the bag’s ‘litre’ capacity.

The Claw Mini then, in our book, is the more sensible option contrary to popular belief. It makes you more efficient with packing. You don’t end up lugging around dead weight, which is all the stuff you’d never use on the trip. It’s still as practical. It keeps the overall weight down when fully loaded compared to the Claw. And with it, it makes for a nicer riding experience. Plus, you can leave the Mini on the bike because it looks much less ungainly than the Claw.

I wouldn’t, but then I am more Shallow Hal than Blind Al, so…

If you’d feel differently, however, do let us know.

Product Details

Make: ViaTerra

Model: Claw Mini Tail Bag

Type: Motorcycle Luggage

Price: Rs 3,899

Availability: www.viaterragear.com

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi 

Gallery

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