A Guide to Buying Extended Saddlebags
The recent spike in gas prices has created a surge in motorcycle sales throughout the U.S. Whether you’re a seasoned or first-time rider, you want your bike to stand out from the rest. One way you can personalize your motorcycle is by adding extended saddlebags. Here is a guide to help you find the right saddlebags for your ride.
The most important thing you need to know before buying a saddlebag is if your bike will be able to keep you and the bag safe while traveling. Three factors to look for is whether you can securely mount the saddlebag to the motorcycle, lock the bag, and access the bag easily. Make sure that a clear set of instructions for secure mounting comes with the saddlebags.
Saddlebags that can be locked easily will keep your items safe while you are away from your bike. Bags that are easy to access should have quick release buckles so you can open or close the saddlebags quickly without needing to be unstrapped from the bike. If you want painted extended saddlebags, you can match the color to your motorcycle, which will enhance the overall look of your ride.
Weight Limit of Motorcycle
The next thing you should do before buying a saddlebag is find out what the GVWR, or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, is for your motorcycle. This will tell you the total weight your motorcycle can carry at one time. To find out how heavy of an extended saddlebag your motorcycle can carry, subtract the weight of the bike, the weight of the rider and passenger, and the weight of any gear from the GVWR. You may also want to invest in a mounting system to give your ride some additional support.
Type of Mounting System
The mount system you choose depends on what kind of motorcycle you own. For Dynas and Softails, we have specific Bagger-Tail saddle mounts for these types of models. We also have BareBack bag mounting systems that can be applied to multiple different models. While all of these are fairly easy to install, the simplest mounting system is a support bracket. Typically used on cruisers and with throw over saddlebags, support brackets keep the bags from brushing up against the tire or obstructing the rear shocks.
Rack systems let you secure extra heavy and custom extended saddlebags to your bike. There are also universal racks and systems for adventure- and sport-touring motorcycles. Make sure you pick the right that will keep the saddlebags you choose in place on your ride.
Type of Saddlebags
If you are interested in a more affordable extended saddlebag, the throw-over might be the right style for you. Throw-over saddlebags are soft luggage bags that fit well on cruisers and some sport bikes and adventure-tourers. Throw-overs come with universal mounting straps that are quick and easy to install. This type of saddlebag is lightweight, decreasing the amount of stress your motorcycle can experience with added weight.
Some newer versions on the market are semi-rigid and dry extended saddlebags. These are some of the best extended saddlebags give the rider lots of storage space without adding a ton of extra weight. There are also unique, innovative mounting systems that let you attach semi-rigid or dry saddlebags to the luggage rack already installed on your bike. These types of saddlebags are extremely popular with ADV and off-road enthusiasts, due to the added space and being weather resistant.
Cycle Vision has more tips to help you find the right saddlebag for your motorcycle. Visit us at our San Diego, CA, store or call us at 619-295-7800.