Size Really Matter?
Review of the SHAD 37 Topcase
Scooters are fun,
economical and (usually) cute. But are they really practical
This question has been answered in the affirmative over and over in
Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, it seems just about everyplace
except North America. The struggle for scooters to gain acceptance as
practical urban transportation continues in the USA. It's my hope that
scooters are gaining ground. To be sure, I still see plenty of
monstrously big SUVs with a single occupant on the roads, but I also see
lots compact cars, motorcycles and scooters on my daily commute.
to see why the scooter-as-transportation idea has taken such a firm hold
around the world. Scooters cost less to purchase than cars, get MUCH
better fuel economy, take up less space on roadways and in parking lots,
are easy and inexpensive to maintain and insure, and they make wonderful
commuting and errand machines. Most scooters have storage space under
the seat and many also have space on the floorboard or have a luggage
rack in the front or rear (or both). Of course there are also
luggage options for carrying your daily needs on your scooter. We're
going to take a look at a lockable, hard topcase from SHAD on one of the
best of the 50cc moped-class scooter out there - the
Kymco People 50.
make no secret of the fact that I'm a fan of SHAD topcases. Their
quality is excellent, I generally like their locking and opening
mechanisms better than Givi
(another popular brand) and SHADs are typically a better value
than other brands. I have SHAD topcases on all my scooters (except my
Stella) and they have demonstrated long-term reliability. OK, after
all that rambling, let's get to the "size" comment in the title - people
seem to put the smallest available topcase on most scooters. The image
to the left is of a People 50 with a SHAD 29L (L for liter as in 29
liters capacity). Certainly, the smallish 29L seems appropriate to
the size of the scooter, but as we're talking about practicality here,
would something a little bigger really look all that bad?
to the right is of the same Kymco People 50 with a SHAD 37L mounted on
it. Yes, it looks
a little top-heavy in the back, but I don't think it's that bad. I have
gone over the easy process for installing a SHAD mount in our review of
the SHAD 40L with luggage rack
and the mount for the 37 was just as easy to install. I selected the 37
size because I DID think the 40 was too big and looked awkward on a
scooter the size of the People 50. This scooter is a bit of an
experimental scooter for me and I'm focusing on supreme urban
practicality. It's a moped-licensed scooter that a person can ride
without needing a motorcycle endorsement, and it can be legally parked
in a lot of bicycle racks (in Minnesota). With the price of
downtown Minneapolis parking in the $200 per month range, I wanted a
machine that would be inexpensive to acquire and operate, easy to use
without special licensing, and as practical as possible for
transportation. The addition of good luggage is a major contributor to
the practicality of this machine. Most people recognize that they don't
need most of the space in their car to haul "just themselves" and the
same is true of that car's luggage capacity. A scooter equipped with a
case like the SHAD 37 will meet a large percentage of most people's
daily "carrying" requirements.
The image above shows the relative
additional capacity in the SHAD 37 as compared to the 29. I can easily
fit my XXL full-face Nolan helmet in the 29, but precious little else.
The 37 takes my helmet AND a folded up armored jacket. More important
for me, my messenger bag (corporate lunch box, man-purse, etc.)
fits in the 37 but DOES NOT fit in the 29. The price difference between
the SHAD 29 and 37 isn't much - The 29 goes for about $125 and the 37
for about $155.
of the SHAD topcases share a mounting design - one installs a mounting
base to one's scooter and then the case attaches and locks to that base.
This is one big difference between SHAD topcases and many other designs
that bolt directly to the scooter and ARE NOT intended to be frequently
removed. As such, the SHAD is much more functional as actual luggage.
Easy to take off and bring with you for loading and unloading. The cases
both lock closed and lock to the mount for security.
The point of all this rambling? With
a simple and inexpensive addition, your scooter can gain a lot of
transport practicality. Just be sure you match up your real needs and
scooter with the product you select. For me, the SHAD 37 was a great
choice for a commuter-scooter.
In Minnesota, SHAD topcases are available at: Scooterville – Minneapolis.