Map Cases from CycoActive
CycoActive offers several products designed with dual-sporters in mind. As a professional hobbyist, I've had my eye on several of them for some time. Since we were planning on doing an issue of All-OffRoad dedicated to navigation, I thought what a great excuse to get a few of these.
To start with, I use the DeLormeŽ Atlas & Gazetteer series of atlases extensively. As a result, I destroy them on a regular basis. CycoActive has an item that can help this situation. They offer an Atlas Case. It's sized for atlases that are 11"w X 15.5"h, making it perfect for the DeLormeŽ Atlas & Gazetteer. The actual viewable space is 11.25"w X 17.25 "h.
It's made of vinyl, clear on both sides, and uses Velcro to close. Atlases can be folded open, backwards, and can have two viewable pages or you can stuff another map in the other side. It's big enough that I store both my Northern and Southern California atlases in the same case. It prevents the pages from being torn, bent, or even puked on (when you're riding down a twisty road with Paul as the navigator this is a very real concern!). It seems to be well made and durable. At a $12 MSRP, this item will pay for itself in no time.
They also offer two map cases that can mount on the crossbar of any motorcycle (that I can think of). Both are made from similar materials as the Atlas Case. I was really excited to get a pair of these. However my excitement waned when they actually got here. One look and I thought, "no way can I ride with these in the way." Well I was WRONG. Not having a chance to go riding much lately, I was getting antsy to try them out. For the lack of anything better to do, I hooked the clips up to my RMX and headed to the Metcalf Motorcycle Park. Not much of a good dual-sport test, but I figured if I could ride on some tight single-track trails I could certainly dual-sport with them. I got in about 25 miles of trail riding and had zero problems. Neither map case interfered in any way. This was starting to get exciting. My next ride was a two-day, 250-mile, self-planned dual sport ride on my XR600. Most of the dirt I planned on riding ended up being closed, fenced, and/or marked "Private Property." So it was more high-speed freeway than I had planned but yet again, no problems. In fact they were real handy to have. I hate to mention the obvious but I used one at a time. I didn't have both cases clipped on at the same time. Anyway, time for details...
First is the Crossbar Mapcase (we tested the smaller CM-1, MSRP $15). The map case mounts to the crossbar with side-squeeze buckles that are zip-tied to the crossbar. This is small, with a viewable window is 7.7"w X 6"h, and lightweight. Again, it is clear on both sides and flips over easily. The mounting clips are on the middle of the sides and are normally 10 inches apart but can fold under to reduce the mounting width to 8.5 inches. The only complaint I have about this item is also a benefit. Having the clips in the middle of the sides puts up closer to the headlight. This puts it in good view position, but on some bikes it may cover some or all of the "dashboard" area, hiding the speedometer, tripometer, computer, or what ever. This is not a big deal (on my XR it's not an issue at all, on my RMX it covers part of the tripometer), but something to keep in mind.
Next comes the BarPack (MSRP $40). I love this thing. Made from PVC-coated fabric and clear vinyl, it mounts in a similar fashion to the Crossbar Mapcase but the clips are on the top of the sides. This leaves the speedo, etc. completely visible. While closed, it has a map holder with a 5"w X 9"h viewable window. The beauty of this unit is that it unfolds; closed it's about an inch thick. Unfold it once to expose several storage pockets for smaller, flat items such as keys, registration, money, and even sunglasses. They use Velcro to keep it closed. Unfold it again to expose a larger, 12"x18", map holder. It also has hidden straps that can be used to clip it around your waist when not on the bike. This map case is just too cool! Great job CycoActive!