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Motorcycle Luggage

Touring and sports bikes are solid modes of transportation, with many features and benefits available for the commuter who doesn't want to drive a car. When you need to go to the store or take a trip, you run into the problem of transporting luggage and bags. When it's time to take an extended road trip, consider a sissy bar bag, luggage rack, or other container which allows you to carry items with you.

What are some examples of motorcycle luggage?

From the front of the bike to the sissy bar and the rear, there are luggage options for virtually every part of the bike. You may want to consider:

  • Saddlebags: Saddlebags will lay low on the motorcycle, maintaining fuel efficiency and your center of gravity. They can be made of leather, a leather blend, or a solid material.
  • Pack trunk: Sometimes known as a tail bag, this bag will match the saddle bags and can fit on a luggage rack, allowing room for another rider.
  • Side case: Your motorcycle may benefit from a side case. This soft or hard luggage carrier, if balanced properly, can carry a large load. Make sure you balance them carefully to avoid tipping.
  • Tank bag: Some models of motorcycles are able to use a tank bag. The backpack attaches to the bike's tank with magnets or straps. Pack carefully, as the bag is not completely water-tight.

How much capacity does motorcycle luggage have?

Motorcycles are rated for a maximum weight, so keep the weight of your luggage in mind. Limits for the bags themselves are:

  • Saddlebags: With the bag being low and keeping the motorcycle centered, you can typically hold up to 100 pounds in saddlebags. For safety, keep the weight balanced to avoid an imbalance.
  • Pack trunk: The trunk can carry approximately 11 pounds, with some variance based on material.
  • Side case: Each side case can generally support up to 22 pounds, depending on the make and model. You can carry almost 45 pounds with two cases.
  • Tank bag: Your average tank bag is going to be up to 6" in height and up to 17" in length. You can generally carry up to five or six pounds.

How do you install a luggage rack?

You want your racks and bags to be installed properly for durability and safety. Steps include:

  • Remove your seat: Remove the seat from the motorcycle if necessary.
  • Attach your Velcro: Carefully attach the Velcro strips through the rack, making sure there are no twists.
  • Place the rack: Mount the rack onto the seat according to the manufacturer's directions.
  • Attach the seat: Once the rack is on the seat, re-attach the seat. Verify there is no risk of paint damage or seat movement.