Wheelrider motorcycle top case doubles as carry-on luggage, includes solar panel
One thing motorcycles are not known for is ample storage space. A top case at the rear is a simple and affordable solution for extra storage space, but its practicality expires the moment it has to be carried by hand. The Wheelrider rethinks the top case with this in mind – it's sized according to airline carry-on luggage standards, equipped with wheels, extendable handle and a solar panel to charge devices.
Stefano Mangini, a Restless Traveler on motorcycle himself, conceived the Wheelrider out of both experience and necessity and is aiming to bring the idea to market through a crowdfunding campaign.
Think of a frequent flyer that commutes to the airport on two wheels, or maybe a professional who needs to have his gear at hand every time he parks his motorcycle. The Wheelrider has been conceived with these people in mind, providing a case that can be easily trolleyed around on its wheels and extractable handle. Made from durable injection molded ABS plastic, its size is compliant to airline standards for carry-on luggage.
Wheelrider is offered in two sizes. The standard carry-on size is 25 cm (9.8 in), but the larger 30 cm (11.8 in) lid is required to accommodate a full face helmet. Conveniently enough the top part of the case is interchangeable.
Internally the Wheelrider can be divided in three separate compartments, with the middle section offering document space and a padded laptop pouch. Removing this converts it to a typical single-spaced top case, better suited to carry bulky items or store a helmet while the motorcycle is parked.
The outer shell includes a plate with six locking points to attach the Wheelrider to a base that is installed on the motorcycle’s rear rack – as with every other top case. The base secures with a proprietary security lock and can be attached to almost any rack according to the designers.
Additional features include a helmet lock discretely hidden inside the base plate that uses a retractable 5 mm (0.2 in) steel cable that locks with the same key that opens the top case. Other accessories that can be connected to the three-pin system of the base include a twin USB powerbank and a small pouch that contains two waterproof covers; one for the seat and another for the helmet that is locked to the rack. If the campaign comes to fruition more compatible accessories are expected to be developed.
The Wheelrider design also incorporates a 6 W solar panel. Built with an anti-scratch surface that is supposed to withstand the perils of airport baggage handling, it can be used for charging portable devices on the go via a USB port.
If all goes to plan, the first production lot of 1150 units is expected to start shipping in June 2016. The retail price of a Wheelrider is set at US$480 and includes the top case (at the size of choice) with the solar panel and the base plate with the helmet lock. It will be available in six colors, plus a special edition with a carbon fiber outer shell that is priced at $2,000. A discounted offer of $190 for backers is still available at the time of writing. The campaign has currently raised $5000 towards its $100,000 goal.
The following video demonstrates the Wheelrider’s main features.
Source: Wheelrider on Kickstarter