When you ride a motorcycle, the best thing is to be the least loaded possible to get the most out of the handling of your vehicle. However, circumstances may require the carriage of more or less bulky baggage, whether on regular journeys or long journeys.
Simple journeys to work may require you to bring some essentials. This is obviously your papers and personal effects (driver’s license, registration, insurance, money, keys, maintenance booklet, accident report) but also the necessary in case of bad weather as a combination of rain, and possibly business to change you if you can not spend the day in jacket or motorcycle boots!
A simple backpack is enough to bring some extra clothes and carry helmets and gloves during the day. Opt for a bag that straps well and is padded for comfort, and avoid putting rigid objects that can be dangerous in case of a fall. Also, make sure it is watertight or has a rain cover to protect your belongings in lousy weather. To protect your helmet mild shocks and dust during the day, the bag sold with can even be enough if it is equipped with straps or straps.
Longer solo trips
For longer routes, the backpack remains a valid option, provided you choose well and do not overload it. The ideal is to choose one that fits perfectly with a chest strap or chest strap. Some models, specially designed for bikers, are preformed and reinforced for comfort and safety. Remember, however, that carrying a 50-liter bag that is too charged, even if it is well secured and balanced, is painful over long distances.
Alternatively, the saddle luggage to be fixed on the passenger seat behind the driver. Specific models exist on the market, but you can also use a classic waterproof bag of 25 to 40 liters, type “marine” or duffel for example, and fix it with a net or tensioners. Easily removable to prevent theft during stops, it is easily transported once arrived at a destination.
The tank bag allows you to carry a more massive load without too much impact on driving and keep road map, cash, or toll tickets at hand. Magnetic or with clips, they can, however, scratch the tank and need to be detached with each refueling.
If you leave for a long time or your destination knows a cold or rainy climate, for example, you may also need side luggage, hard suitcases, or saddlebags. With a large capacity, the rigid version modifies the aesthetics and handling of the bike. Attention also, on some models, the saddlebags can be too ready exhaust pipes!
Long trips with a passenger
It is impossible with a passenger to install a saddlebag, and some saddlebags may prove uncomfortable in the long run. The solution is the top-case attached to the back using a support top case and incidentally office folder.
If it has a large capacity, it must, however, be careful not to overload it because it changes the distribution of the masses, and so driving the bike. Still, it will be perfect for carrying bulky clothes or sleeping bags. It is quite expensive, but be aware that it is a suitcase when it is removable and that locking allows you to leave your belongings safe when you move away. The reflex reflectors with which it is often equipped, also favor better visibility.
The holidays “in autonomy.”
The case of long vacations in bivouac is more complicated. To take tent cloth, toilet, and cooking necessities, you will have to trick and combine different solutions of luggage: backpack, side bags, tank bag, top case …
If we find today solutions adapted to all budgets (mini towels, interlocking tableware, self-inflating mattress), it will undeniably be content with the essentials not to exceed the payload of your vehicle. Adjust your suspensions according to the weight transported and, in case of significant needs, evaluate the possibility of a expensive trailer solution and not aesthetic but large capacity. A complete article is available on our blog to help you prepare your motorcycle trip.
It is up to you to evaluate your needs according to the climate, and the route envisaged. Limit and organize your luggage to put the most massive loads down and balance well to maintain a smooth ride and enjoy the trip as best as possible!