BMW's On-Board Luggage System For Off-Road Riding

With the adventure segment of riding becoming more popular in the motorcycle world, BMW Motorrad frees bikers with new, flexible and robust luggage for that next trip to nowhere.

Even as a growing number of enthusiasts leave the paved roads behind, the German motorcycle manufacturer which has longed considered this world its home add to its line-up of biker luggage, some of which allows riders to continue the two-wheeled journey on foot.

Intended primarily for use when riding BMW GS-model motorcycles off-road, the Atacama Adventure Luggage System provides more flexibility when piloting expert-level, back-country trails as well as continuing the expedition off the bike at remote camping locations. The luggage system, which utilizes the same case carrier system developed for the original BMW aluminum cases, gives riders an extra level of flexibility and security when navigating more challenging riding conditions and further enhances the capabilities of the GS.

“We are thrilled to offer this completely new line of on-board luggage for GS riders,” commented Michael Hernandez, Manager, Parts and Accessories, for BMW Motorrad USA. “This original BMW accessory product was developed in the U.S. with the needs of global adventure motorcycle riders in mind – a riding community that is expanding along the trend of riding big adventure motorcycles in further and further remote locations off road.”

The Atacama Adventure Luggage System supports the following BMW GS Models:

  • K25 (2004-2013 R 1200 GS/GS Adventure with BMW aluminum case mounting installed)
  • K50/51 (2013-Present R 1200 GS/GS Adventure with BMW aluminum case mounting installed)
  • K72 (2008-Present F 650/700/800 GS with BMW aluminum case mounting installed)
  • K75 (2014-Present F 800 GS Adventure)

Atacama Side Cases Overview

The Atacama Adventure Luggage System includes the Atacama Side Cases and Atacama Duffel. Interested riders should note, the side cases require the purchase of an additional adapter kit by model for installation. A unique feature of the side case system is the frame and wedge that provide a solid mounting to the motorcycle and easy removal and installation without the need for straps and constant adjustment.

The Atacama Duffel serves as a top case and convertible hiking backpack. Cinch straps, which are included, are used to attach to the motorcycle luggage rack

Functional advantages of the off-road soft luggage system include a wedge and plate mounting system.  Unlike traditional soft luggage systems that use straps to mount, these mount solid to a wedge mounting system made from injection molded glass-filled nylon which are designed to withstand severe wear and impact. This system offers one-click on/off mounting and removal from bike, just like a hard bag which attaches to the BMW case mountings.

The benefit is no movement and an easy on and off application are the soft bags won’t bounce around in rough terrain like traditional ‘over the seat’ softbags and strap-based connection systems.

The system features offset side case sizes such as 6.6 gallons for the exhaust side and 9.2 gallons for the non-exhaust side, both of which allows for symmetrical positioning on the bike, while maximizing overall carrying capacity.

Knowing there is never enough storage on a motorcycle, this system from BMW Motorrad looks to bag compression to help. Soft bags require the ability to compress their contents to maintain maximum efficiency when riding loaded so the roll top, vertical and horizontal compression straps on these bags allow for compression at all axes. Four side-compression straps, one bottom-compression strap, and one large top-compression strap, plus a roll-top closure, allow for superior compression/expansion capabilities.

Manufactured for all weathers, the luggage enjoys 100% waterproof main compartments with 22oz vinyl inner liners which are radio frequency seam welded for maximum efficiency.

Atacama Side Cases Features and Design

Looking closer at some of the extraordinary features in this new luggage system, what’s called the ‘Beaver Tail’ caught our eye. It allows riders the ability to quickly stash an extra jacket or rain liner, shoes, trash from camp and basically anything that will fit behind this panel. It also provides even load compression and abrasion/crash protection and can be peeled back from the bag for easy sewing-machine repairs.  On the inside of the beaver tail, there is a hidden stash pocket for a spare key, paperwork and other important items.

Designed specifically to hold tools, tubes/tire repair, tire levers, air pump, water filter, snacks and other things riders need quick access to throughout the day without digging through your side case, the sewn-in side pockets come in a variety of sizes. On the larger 9.2 gallon bag, each pocket fits two 2L fuel bottles or a 2-3L water storage bag. On the smaller 6.6 gallon side case, each bag fits one 1L fuel bottle or a water bottle.

The luggage accepts MOLLE attachments allowing for the quick attachment/removal of MOLLE compatible accessories such as hydration bladders, extra storage bags, holders and more. Borrowing from the military world, MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment and is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and backpacks utilized by a number of NATO armed forces. As seen with this luggage system, this attachment method has been embraced by the consumer world for not only its durability, but flexibility as well.

Aluminum D-Rings allow the attachment of additional items with clips and the system can be complimented with waterproof Inner Liners. Completely separate and removable, these bags give riders the means to store items that they may be carrying temporarily or that may be soiled.

Understanding many enthusiasts may already be kitted out with hard luggage, model-specific BMW adapters allow riders to keep these, using their soft bags on the exact same racks when they’re going on more off-road and dirt-oriented trips. This prevents damage to hard bags when riding through very rough terrain.

To protect contents from outside elements and in the event of tip-overs, the outer shell, stiffener and beaver tail provide a protective layer for the main waterproof compartment/liner.

Finally, internal front and rear stiffeners help the bag hold its shape even under a heavy load.

Atacama Side Cases Materials

Proving to be as durable as the rider’s themselves, outer surfaces of this luggage system are made from 22oz PVC material for easy washing, extra water resistance, and abrasion resistance. The side panels and roll tops made from 1680 D Ballistic Nylon material.

The high quality extruded aluminum pucks are zinc-coated steel mounting hardware, and powder coated mounting latches. It’s front compression G-hooks and D-rings are made from T6061 aluminum with no moving parts, so they won’t break in a crash.

The Duffel

Proving you can take it with you, the Duffel consists of two separate bags featuring a sewn seam outer bag made from highly abrasion resistant material and a welded-seam 100% waterproof inner bag made from 22oz vinyl.

The outer bag is designed to absorb the abrasion and impact leaving the inner waterproof bag intact. This enables reliable waterproofing even after multiple bike drops or off-road slides.

The Dual overlapping beaver tails feature a unique through-strap mounting system, making it an ideal spot to tuck items throughout the day without having to get inside the bag. For example, a place to store a wet rainfly if it rains while camping. The overlapping beaver tails feature a zippered mesh pocket on one side, a removable clear map pocket on the other, and they’re a convenient storage spot for the cinch-strap tails as well.

The double-ended roll top feature allows easy access throughout the day without having to unstrap the duffel from the bike. Experienced riders know traditional top-opening duffels need to the connection straps undone in order to open the bag.

Quick-stash backpack straps, an internal frame, and a padded back panel for easy carrying when the duffel is off the bike. Riders can put the duffel on their back, carry a pannier in each hand, and transport all the luggage at once. The duffel also works great as a carry-on or checked luggage, perfect for fly-to-ride trips. A central briefcase handle and a carry handle at each end of the bag.

A large top pocket accommodates a 2L hydration bladder and has a hydra-port for the hose along with an internal mesh pocket that’s useful for wallet, phone and other smaller items. Knowing there are no hotels on these trips, external tent pole pocket enables riders to pack tent poles separate from the main body of the tent, making field packing easier.

With side compression straps, two roll tops, and a double overlapping beaver tail, the duffel can be expanded and compressed significantly to accommodate different load volumes.

This piece is as robust as the rest of the system with the top panel made from 22oz vinyl material for easy washing, excellent abrasion resistance and extra water resistance. Overlapping beaver tails are made from 1680D Ballistic Nylon for extreme abrasion/impact resistance.

The Duffel features 4 T6061 aluminum corner D-rings and a front daisy-chain for quick attachment of straps and accessories.

If all this sounds impressive so far, what can be carried is even better.

The maximum payload of Atacama Side Case max 22 lbs per side with it able to withstand speeds up to 81 mph. The Small Atacama Side Case can carry approximately 6.6 gallons and the large case, 9.2 gallons.

The maximum payload of the Atacama Duffel on luggage rack is 11 lbs and rated up to speeds of 81 mph.

Finally, the Atacama Duffel can carry approximately 10.6 gallons of biker stuff.

This new luggage system from BMW Motorrad shows as much thought and attention to the details as given to their popular adventure and off road motorcycles. Currently, the Atacama Adventure Luggage System is only available through authorized BMW Motorrad USA dealers.

Needed Parts Numbers;

  • Atacama Soft Side Case Kit - 71 60 2 412 379, $ 861.50
  • Atacama Soft Top Case Duffel -71 60 2 412 380, $ 326.99
  • K7X Soft Side Case adapter kit - 71 60 2 412 381, $ 243.99
  • K5X Soft Side Case adapter kit - 71 60 2 412 382, $130.99
  • K2X Soft Side Case adapter kit - 71 60 2 412 383, $126.99
  • Atacama Soft Side Case 35L (individual) - 71 60 2 412 384, $483.99
  • Atacama Soft Side Case 25L (individual) - 71 60 2 412 385, $449.99
  • Atacama Soft Case Cinch Strap -71 60 2 420 944, $22.05
  • K50 aluminum case holder retrofit kit - 77 41 2 414 108, $963.17
    Case holders as required where not already fitted

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