Long before the first BMW GS hit the scene in the 1980s, many riders used their motorcycles as adventure bikes, taking them on road and off, traveling far and wide, and carrying everything but the kitchen sink. In World War II, scouts and messengers made do with canvas or leather bags mounted to the rear of the motorcycle, and that trend continued post-war, when returning soldiers turned to motorcycles when they needed inexpensive and fun transport with cargo capabilities.
As motorcycle technology and capability advanced, the need for better load carrying systems arose, as good OEM systems did not yet exist. Motorcycles tend to attract tinkerers and inventors, people with mechanical or engineering backgrounds, and these riders started designing their own cargo carriers, some of which garnered enough attention to warrant production. Jürgen Swora was one such rider, fabricating a tail tank for his Africa Twin for a tour of Libya in the mid-1990s. Thus began a journey that became SW-Motech, a world leader in motorcycle accessories.
It’s worth pointing out that the ‘SW’ in SW-Motech doesn’t stand for southwest, as many customers assume. The SW actually comes from Swora’s last name.
Officially founded in 1999 in an old barn turned into a machine shop in Bracht, Germany, the company specialized in metal fabrication, and by 2000 had released the first removable carrier as part of a range of 25 products produced in-house. In 2003, its portfolio expanded into soft luggage, manufactured in partnership with Bags Connection, a company that would later be merged into SW-Motech.
One of SW-Motech’s biggest innovations would arrive in 2005 with its QUICK-LOCK tank ring, and around this time, the company also began manufacturing accessories for OEMs. Other breakthroughs include the first aluminum cases, AERO ABS cases, QUICK-LOCK accessory mounts, and Legend Gear, SW-Motech now offers the complete product line at SW-Motech.us.
When it comes to equipping bikes for the long haul, SW-Motech has a wide range of options. Everything from soft luggage, hard cases, ergonomic enhancements, accessory mounts, and protective parts are available for a wide range of motorcycles and riding needs.
First on the mind of many riders looking to increase an adventure bike’s capabilities is hard cases. SW-Motech’s PRO side carrier can accommodate either hard or soft cases like the TRAX ADV or the SysBag. The bike-specific PRO carrier is a removable design with 2.5mm thick steel construction with an updated QUICK-LOCK fastener system. Adapter kits are available for SW-Motech cases, as well as other brands’ products, making the system extremely versatile.
TRAX ADV aluminum side cases are a premium touring case featuring glass-reinforced plastic corner caps for durability and a chamfered lower edge to maximize cornering clearance. Waterproof and sealed from dust, the seals are replaceable, and the cases come in two color options. The TRAX ADV system consists of the PRO side carrier, along with two side cases.
SysBag soft cases come in three sizes, are light weight, feature a removable waterproof inner bag, and are constructed of UV-resistant 1680D ballistic nylon. The SysBag 30/30 system consists of two 30 liter soft cases, PRO side carrier, adapter plates and an adapter kit.
For even more rear storage, consider SW-Motech’s ADVENTURE-RACK and TRAX ADV 38 liter top case.
To add crash protection to your adventure bike, SW-Motech offers crash bars, upper crash bars, engine guards, engine guard extensions for the front area and centerstand, handguards, and axle guards. These are available individually, or in a complete kit many different bikes.
For ergonomics, you can equip your bike with adjustable EVO footrests, handlebar risers and bar backs, adjustable gear levers, and brake pedal extensions. To aid in navigation, SW-Motech has options for GPS and smartphone mounting.
New for 2022, SW-Motech is updating its SysBag family with new waterproof versions, three models in small, medium and large, and sporting a roll-top closure and overlapping lid. Reinforced carrying handles, reflective details for visibility, and a 100% waterproof main compartment make these bags durable and versatile. The large bag is constructed of TPU, while the medium and small bags use TPU and EVA plastic construction.
SW-Motech is proud to produce high-quality, rugged, German-engineered motorcycle accessories. All of these products and more are available through SW-Motech.us, with fitments for dozens of motorcycle brands and hundreds of models. Use the bike filter to find bike-specific parts for your ride, or check out the universal fit product lineup, and see where SW-Motech can take you.