Finding Motorcycle Luggage That Fits Your Bike

You might not think about it, but attaching motorcycle luggage to your bike can be difficult. Every bike has a slightly different design, and every single bike has different mounting points. There are very few truly universal motorcycle luggage bags that will fit every bike, as I found out when I got a pair for my dual-sport.

The pair of universal saddlebags and tail bag I got supposedly worked with any bike model. I quickly found out, however, that they had trouble on mine. My first sign of trouble was when I noticed that the motorcycle luggage strap laid right against the tailpipe, and that the bag itself was mere inches from it. Not a problem, I thought. I fashioned myself a small bracket to keep the bag and strap away from the tail pipe. That worked okay, not great, but it was enough for me to go out on a trip. As I quickly found out, however, the bags still didn’t work properly. My universal bags slid sideways, despite being cinched tightly to the back of my DRZ-400S, and ran into the tire. I didn’t notice, thank god, because the clothes spilling out of the ruptured bag didn’t catch in the tire. But I was lucky.

Finding the right Motor Cycle Luggage

If you own a cruiser, then you can probably buy a pair of universal bags and luggage with little trouble. My problem was that I tried to adapt motorcycle luggage to a bike that wasn’t initially designed for it. You will, however, at least want to look into customized options. They will always fit better and look nicer.

As cruisers are the most popular style, you can find any style motorcycle luggage and bags for them. Standard bikes, sport bikes and dual-sport bikes are a bit harder to find things for, though with sport bikes that is because they were not designed to carry anything but the pilot.

There are full websites dedicated to individual bikes, having a full listing of dozens of different forms of motorcycle luggage for each. You will probably have a listing of hard bags, soft bags and semi-rigid bags.

If you are going for fit and polish on your bike, you should go with hard bags. These are not only durable, they look great on your bike. When decorated properly they can even give a bike some much needed character. If you are on a less popular bike, you might have to resort to forums to find people who fabricate hard luggage bags for your bike. Usually there are one or two for every motorcycle community who design and make high quality custom hard bags.

If you decide to go with soft bags, you have more options. Fabric is a more forgiving medium than steel, so they are cheaper to make. More manufacturers create fabric saddlebags than create metal panniers. They also frequently stitch attachment methods designed just for your bike, which will be much better than the universal fit motorcycle luggage that you would otherwise be stuck buying.