Many people consider motorcycles to be more recreational than practical. If you own a motorcycle, the lack of cargo space probably limits your ability to use it. Although motorcycles are fun to ride, it’s difficult to carry many items on them. With both hands on the handlebars, you may not be able to hold as much as even a pedestrian.
Fortunately, motorcycle owners have several options to increase the capacity of their vehicles. A good first step is to find a spacious backpack or rucksack. These can hold a substantial amount of food and clothing. You may also decide to install a cup holder on your motorcycle; this comes in handy when you need to bring a small bottle of water or soda.
To carry a greater number of items, consider purchasing one or more motorcycle bags. You can buy them in a variety of sizes and shapes. Fork bags attach to the motorcycle fork and hang below the headlight. Windshield bags mount near the base of your bike’s windshield; they have a long, narrow shape. The glass protects them from moisture.
As their name suggests, handlebar bags hang from the handlebars. They are relatively small and light. Saddlebags provide a somewhat larger option. They attach to the side of the motorcycle, near the back wheel. Rather than using buttons or zippers, most saddlebags feature two or three durable buckles. The buckles often have an old-fashioned appearance.
You can mount a tail bag near the end of your motorcycle. Some of these bags require a luggage rack. One additional type of bag is the tank bag. With the help of strong magnets, it attaches to the bike’s gas tank. Although the magnets add to its cost, this design eliminates the need to use straps or install mounting brackets on your motorcycle.
Another type of luggage container is the top box. It sits on top of the motorcycle, close to the rear wheel. It’s not as aerodynamic as a tail bag or a backpack, but it can hold more items and keep them in an upright position. Unlike most bags, top boxes are made from rigid materials. They often come in square and rectangular shapes.
Motorcycle luggage retailers offer styles to suit every bike and its owner. Materials include vinyl, nylon, hard plastic and leather. Consider buying motorcycle bags with a waterproof or water-resistant material; it can keep your valuables safe in an unexpected rain shower or thunderstorm. This will make your motorcycle even more versatile.
After obtaining luggage containers for your bike, you will gain the ability to use it for many new purposes. You can go shopping or visit a takeout restaurant and bring some items home. If you need to take books and papers to college, your lack of cargo space will no longer pose a problem. Camping may even become a possibility.
Long-distance travel is more exciting on a motorcycle. Such trips will become more feasible when you can bring food, water, maps and extra clothing. Luggage containers also enable motorcycle owners to carry tools with them. Many motorcycles travel 30 to 80 miles on a single gallon of gasoline; greater versatility can reduce your fuel costs as well.
Matt Haran is an avid writer of anything auto. He is part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @thatdoodmatt.