Even if you don’t believe in magic, you have to admit soft luggage is sort of magical. It can help turn the least likely motorcycle into a touring bike, and do it for a fraction of what it cost to buy a purpose-built motorcycle. When you get home, you take it off and presto! You get your old motorcycle back in minutes. That’s way better than pulling a rabbit out of a hat. To keep the trick from going wrong, though, here are some tips to consider when choosing soft luggage.
Some general considerations first. Just as you do when you shop for riding gear, try any piece of soft luggage on your motorcycle before you buy. It doesn’t take long to find out that the term ‘universal’ sometimes means ‘doesn’t really fit anything well.’ Some luggage just isn’t compatible with some motorcycles, like those with high pipes that can melt saddlebags, or plastic tanks that rule out magnetic tank bags.
Especially with tank bags, mount the bag and then sit on the motorcycle to make sure the bag doesn’t crowd you, obscure the instruments or interfere with the handlebar when the front wheel is at full lock. Do the same with saddlebags that might interfere with your feet on the pegs.