There’s a lot to worry about when planning a long-distance ride, and packing for the trip can be one of the most frustrating. An excursion on two-wheels often forces you to take only the essentials, so having the right luggage can mean the difference between a pleasant or an infuriating journey. Motorcycle USA wants all your rides to be spectacular, so we’ve come up with a list of luggage to meet a variety of needs, from the overnight jaunt to the cross-country tour. We’ve even thrown in some off-the-bike bags for good measure. Check out the 2012 Motorcycle Gift Guide to Luggage to find that perfect gift for the rider in your life.
Cortech Super 2.0 36-Liter Saddlebags
Sportbikes aren’t typically conducive to long-distance rides. Unless you’re equipped with the Cortech Super 2.0 36-Liter Saddlebags. This luggage attaches to the motorcycle’s tail section with straightforward Velcro straps that are attached beneath the passenger seat. This allows you to pack clothes, electronics, tools and anything else that you might need for an overnight trip. The bags feature a number of storage pockets and the reverse main zipper ensures that it doesn’t open while you’re riding. – Adam Waheed.
River Road Spectrum Series Cruiser GPS Tank Bag
The River Road Spectrum Series Cruiser GPS Tank Bag is a versatile, durable piece of luggage made of RoadTex 1680 denier nylon that comes with PVC coating to help repel water. It attaches to the bike using a combination of straps and magnets and has reflective piping on the sides to increase visibility. The Spectrum Series GPS bag has a special compartment on top that allows you to display your GPS system safely in front of you while riding and the compartment is collapsible when not in use. The tank bag can be detached from the base and used as a backpack, while the base can be utilized as a road-map case. Non-slip material on the bottom keeps the bag from sliding around and soft liner inside helps keep your valuables protected.
Alpinestars XL Transition Roller Bag
When we travel to far away lands for sportbike intros, the amount of gear we must carry is staggering. More often than not I find myself pulling out the Aplinestars XL Transition Roller Bag to transport my gear. It’s by far the biggest bag in Alpinestars’ arsenal, and if you are not careful you will get dinged for baggage overweight fees at the airport. But when it’s imperative to carry everything in one bag, there isn’t a better bag out there. I’ve traveled over 75,000 miles this year with the XL Transition and it has held up beautifully without a tear, broken zipper or blown out wheel. If you are in need of a massive bag that will stand up to abuse, look no further than this bag. – Justin Dawes
Mission Workshop VX / R8 Arkiv Field Pack
Not every motorcycle has saddlebags but every motorcyclist needs something to stash essentials in, be it a run to the local grocery store or a cross country trip. The Arkiv Field Pack fills this need and then some.
There are a couple of features that make Mission Workshop’s Arkiv Field Pack very attractive. The first is its construction. The VX/R8 Arkiv Field Pack is built military-tough. This backpack is heavy-duty. And it has been weatherproofed. We also love its versatility. It has a large capacity main bag, but also comes with a range of pockets and organizers that you can add to tailor the bag to your needs. You can go from outfitting it to carry the basic necessities to decking it out with all of the extra pockets and sleeves for a multiple day trip. Strap it on a sissy bar or throw it on your back, “The Arkiv modular system gives the bag freedom to evolve and adapt as needed.” – Bryan Harley.
MSRP: Small – $320; Large – $360
Thor Motocross Slam Backpack
If you’re looking for a gift for the young rider in your life, the Thor Motocross Slam Backpack may well be the perfect choice. Available in a number of bold color options to help make it stand out from the crowd, the Motocross Slam Backpack is geared to carry all the books a student could handle and then some. It has an air-mesh back panel and shoulder straps to allow for ventilation and has a scratch-resistant base. The Motocross Slam Backpack also comes with a micro-fleece lined laptop compartment and has a host of internal pockets and dividers to keep all the school supplies organized.
Alpinestars Trader Day Pack
Alpinestars hooked me up with this one-of-a-kind waterproof backpack at a press introduction I went to and it has turned out to be my go-to bag when I am in need. Whether it be packing for a one night stay somewhere or a trip to the pool with my towel, shorts and flip flops, the pack works for any situation. The convenient size makes for a light load without too much “baggage.” The Astars Trader Day Pack retails for around $110 and is worth every penny. Best bag I’ve ever had! – Frankie Garcia
Fly Racing Grande Roller Bag
Get all your gear to the track with the Fly Racing Grande Roller Bag. The main compartment is large enough to fit your helmet, chest protector and other items, while two large pockets on the sides offer more than enough space for boots and other dirty gear. It comes with durable, rollerblade wheels for easy maneuvering, even while packed to the hilt, and has a convenient telescoping handle that stows away while not in use. A mud mat extends out from the side of the bag to help you keep clean while changing and there’s also a large, fleece lined pocket to hold goggles, extra lenses and accessories.
Saddlemen Standard Sport Tunnel Bag
The Saddlemen Standard Sport Tunnel Bag is designed to fit all rear/pillions nine-inches wide or smaller with the included mounting system. It comes with additional straps for added security, and once secured the bags can be removed and re-attached with ease via use of a series of cam locks located on the outside of the bag. Constructed of 1200-denier SaddleTuff, the Tunnel Bag is designed to last a long time. It comes with a large compartment big enough to accommodate most laptops and notebook computers and the two external pockets expand two additional inches for added capacity. The Tunnel Bag comes with 13 exterior D-rings to allow for attachment of other items and a carrying handle allows the bag to be used as a suitcase when off the bike.
Great Basin Saddle Bag by Giant Loop
The Great Basin Saddle Bag by Giant Loop is geared toward the adventure tourer and is designed to fit bikes equipped with passenger pegs such as the Kawasaki KLR650, the Triumph Tiger, BMW GS Series and Suzuki V-Strom, just to name a few. It was designed and sewn in the USA and features a water resistant Bomb Shell exterior to make sure everything stays dry inside. Designed to easily strap on, the Great Basin Saddle Bag comes with no racks, mounts or braces. A host of other features such as removable pannier pods, a roll-top center case, internal compression straps and water resistant YKK zipper with double pulls make this a “must-have” piece of luggage for those with sights on the open road in 2013. Great Basin is known for producing highly durable bags that can withstand lots of off-road use, seen first-hand in our 2009 Giant Loop Saddlebags Review.