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The Fine Art of Properly Loading a Motorcycle.

10545 Views 60 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  anrajala
I would be interested to hear what the MOrons use for luggage. I don't get more than a couple of 2/3 day trips per year. I've had/have hard luggage, soft saddle bags, tail trunks, backpacks and tank bags.

I like the RKA expandable tank bag combined with a Nelson-Rigg expandable tail trunk. More than enough room for a few days of clothes a cobra lock and bike cover.
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Good to see Bruce Reeve contributing an article. Having an 03 VFR complete with hard bags I find a tank bag completes the deal and makes a good place to rest my upper body on a long haul.
Here's a pic of my typical "Packmule" setup

Givi soft bags, don't know the model. It uses a sort of "mounting pad" that attaches to the seat with straps. The bags then attach with quick-disconnect buckles. Something like ~$65 used.

For the upper, I obtained some "Mal~Wart special" backpack/rolling luggage-thing, with an integrated frame, ~$15.

Finally, a Marsee magnetic 20L tankbag ~$145 (the only thing I didn't obtain second-hand or on clearance). Total weight of all the "packaging", including bungees is probably 18-20lbs.

Also pictured are a 4-man tent (red bag), a brown/silver 8'x10' tarp I use as the groundcloth (modified so I can stake the tent through eyelets, and have a "porch"), and a Coleman sleeping-bag, secured through the "slings" of the backpack. Not seen is the full-size air mattress and inflator, or 5 days worth of clothing, and other assorted "gear", including a laptop, variousl tools (or which I've had yet to use for myself), .22 pack rifle, .45 pistol, and ammunition. (it's PACKED, dude!)

Altogether, about 105lbs of "cargo". Substantially less than a typical passenger. And *IT* doesn't move around, or lean the wrong way in a turn.

I used an abundance of those "flat" bungee cords, with the reinforced-plastic hooks, in assorted lengths (I stay away from those metal-hooked POS things, I've had a high failure rate with them. plus, they scratch every damn thing). If one looks even slightly frayed or like the elastic is "breaking" - I toss it. Carry spares, it's easy to have a failure out on the road.

I like the Givis a lot more than I thought I would at first. There are several "D" rings at strategic places on the bags, they allow extra places to attach bungees.

Heavy things go low, things you might have to have *right now* go in the tankbag, or on my person. Always distribute the weight evenly from side to side in the saddlebags (like I need to actually say this).
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Excellent suggestion!

That is, if you're "Hotel Camping", or know exactly where it is you're headed (and that destination includes a Hotel).
You tryin' to start trouble with that bottle of Mobil 1 sittin' there.

Now that is packing. That's also the reason I question having hard luggage. I never have a passenger and think a big dry sack on the back of say a Ulysses would do me for 4-5 days.
I commute and even tour on sport bikes ('86 GSXR, '95 Aprilia RS250) and my choice is of luggage is a tail trunk and a tank bag. This keeps'em narrow for lane splitting and a hard trunk discourages casual theft.

I bought the one on my GSXR from J.C. Whitney years ago (before the GSXR). It will hold two full face helmets plus two jackets, if they're not too bulky. It's very plain - no lights or quick release - but I'd buy another one in a minute if I could find one. I've used a Givi on a borrowed bike and it just didn't have the capacity.
An article that devoid of personality should be in Robb Report Motorcycling.

On the plus side, my car was dropped off this morning by an acquaintance of the tweeker who stole it.

Aww, what a load of crap. I already know how to ride a motorcycle while fully loaded.

You're missing the tank panniers.
I have a Triumph Daytona 1200 that serves well as a sport tourer. I use eclipse soft bags when going overnight with my sweetie (10 years old now and still waterproof! the bags not my sweetie... she is gettin on 40 but still looks 30!), a Triumph tank bag (gets daily use when commuting), and I strap a duffel bag to my Ventura rear rack (the rack is also used for grocery getting etc). Its enough to haul my sweetie and I and a small tent and minimal gear for a weekend camping trip etc. I am a big fan of Fed Exing stuff as well. I sometimes Fed Ex stuff home or sometimes even to a mail center near our destination to help keep things light. Light is right!
I had a friend in college who, during holidays, used to UPS a big box of dirty laundry home so her Mom would do it. When it was clean, she would UPS it back. I still haven't decided whether that is pure genius... or pure laziness. Any thoughts?
Re: NOT!

I'm lookin' at a set for next travelin' season.......
From the Department of Redundancy Department...
Wait'll you get a load of the monowheel trailer I'm buildin' to tow behind! I'm thinkin' a fold-out camp kitchen, complete with sink.........

I have 90 liter saddle bags, 35 liter tank bag, nice to lean on, a seat bag and a big tent bag. The last 2 I don't use, perhaps this summer. With the first 2 I haven't needed more room. If I have needed more than that I try to find the car keys, and the car.
(just kiddin' about the sink thing!)
This article was really dull. The more I travel about the USA the less I find I need to bring. When I quit camping, even less.

Keep the loads low and balanced. After over 100K of running about on BMW GS's with hard bags I'm going with soft luggage for a trail run on my latest bike (DL1000). Of course with Tank panniers and tank bag on the front. I'm trying for a simple, unplug, carry in one load set up for this time. " I think".
The thing is, whenever I go THAT far, I just load it all up in a box trailer and tow it behind. No sense one ridin' while one drives - it just makes for that much less gas-mileage. Of course, if I DID ride, I wouldn't have to put up listenin' to The Wife while I traveled.........
Did they puke in the floorboards?
The Motorcycle, or You?
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