How to Pack Your Gear for Touring Like the Experts

One of the obstacles facing motorcycle touring enthusiasts is how to take along extra stuff for the longer trips. Touring bags can help overcome this obstacle without the need to move up to a motorcycle cargo trailer. First, you’ll need to decide which type of bag will work best in your situation. Consider the mounting system, because this may affect your bike’s handling. When shopping for motorcycle touring bags, you’ll need to evaluate each bag’s durability and ability to protect your belongings.

There are two different types of touring bags available. Tank bags are designed to perch on top of the gas tank. Panniers hang below the seat on each side of the bike. Most tank bags are expandable and can hold a surprising amount of luggage. Panniers hang out of sight and may have less impact on your ride quality. Some panniers can be detached and carried like a suitcase.

In fact, detachable panniers can be very convenient with their increased portability. You could even opt for throw-over saddlebags for the ultimate combination of casual portability with increased carrying capacity. But you should know ahead of time that throw-over designs won’t last as long as more enduring types.

The strongest and most durable motorcycle saddlebags employ hard mounts, meaning that they will stay on your bike most, if not all of the time.  The benefits you gain include greater durability and greater carrying capacity, especially for heavy items.

The bottom line on choosing motorcycle touring bags is to find equipment that is stable on you bike (that is, not shifting around with every curve and turn). But as you shop, remember that keeping your personal gear safe and protected inside is the chief aim of any motorcycle touring bag.

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