Motorcycle Luggage Options

Some of us own a motorcycle as a weekend ride, while others use one as a main means of transport. Either way, a situation may arise where we will have to carry additional baggage, be it grocery or running errands.

Of course, the simplest solution will be to carry a backpack! But if you have personally tried it before, I am sure you will agree that it increases fatigue and causes some occasional aches.

Fret not! lets take a look at the options we have available to load up your motorcycle instead!

BMW R1250 GS
Source: Youtube - MoToBike
  • Top & Side Boxes
    One of the most common luggage options is to install top & side boxes. Many sport touring and ADV motorcycles have OEM cases that can be easily mounted. For most other motorcycles, there are aftermarket mounts that allow installation of storage boxes as well.
Source: indianmotorcycle
  • Panniers/Saddle Bags
    A less permanent option to installation of side boxes, would be to use throw over saddle bags / panniers. These (usually) soft bags are mounted over the pillion seat, allowing for easy installation & removal, while providing a decent amount of storage space. Saddle bags are a pretty common option for cruisers, as they are able to be fitted without negatively affecting the aesthetics of the motorcycle.
Source: outletmoto
  • Tail Bags & Tank Bags
    In terms of accessibility, tank bags are hard to beat. Magnetic tank bags literally require no installation, just place them on your metal tank and you are good to go! Many tail and tank bags can also be carried as a backpack, which makes them easy to carry off the bike as well. These are a go-to option for sport bike riders looking to increase storage capacity for good reason!

Things To Consider:

It may be hard to decide which type of luggage option will be the best suited for your needs. Here are a few considerations that come to mind to help you make your decision:

  • Aesthetics
    Those who own a motorcycle as a weekend ride, will no doubt be most concerned with the looks of their ride. Sports bike and café racer owners will probably not want to negatively alter the stylistic design of their ride by installing a top box.
  • Ease of Installation
    Another thing to consider is whether these luggage options will be a permanent or temporary addition to your motorcycle. For ad-hoc storage, ease of installation will definitely be an important factor.
  • Storage Capacity
    Depending on what you are planning to use your motorcycle for, storage capacity will also affect your decision. Will the purpose be for going on a long tour? Or just a short trip to the grocery store?
  • Security
    Top & side boxes, which are meant to be a more permanent solution, are able to be locked. However, the rest of the options may not be an ideal choice if you are thinking of leaving them on your motorcycle unattended.

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