A trip to dalnyak is undeniably an amazing adventure. However, even before setting off on the road, any motorcyclist is waiting for an epic attraction for packing things and placing them on a motorcycle under the slogan “I twist, I want to take it away.”
Why is it so difficult to place luggage on a motorcycle?
- Little space
- Changing the balance of the motorcycle
- Changing the dimensions of the motorcycle
- The need for special bags
Initially, a motorcyclist has limited luggage space. It was in the car that you threw the tent and sleeping bag into the back seat, tamped things into the trunk with your feet and forgot. The owner of some kind of “sofa” or a good tourer like Multistrada will say, they say, what’s the problem, there is plenty of space even on two wheels!
Yes, there is a lot of luggage space on models intended for tourism, but what about ordinary guys on modest road builders? Okay, when you are still traveling alone, but with a passenger, the amount of space decreases significantly! We have to buy additional bags, wardrobe trunks, a spider net for the trunk. By the way, we have already spoken about trunks in the article (“Motorcycle trunks, what do you need to know about them?”). Therefore, placing things is not always an easy task, it all depends on their number and the model of the motorcycle being equipped.
Changing the balance of the motorcycle
That’s what a motorcyclist really needs to worry about when collecting things for a long distance, so it’s about balance. Any weight, from your own weight to a thirty-minute spanner, will change the imbalance of the motorcycle. Usually, novice tourists take into account only the maximum carrying capacity of a motorcycle with a discount on the selected wheel tires (this is good if they even remember about tires). Placing baggage on the left or right side instantly shifts the center of gravity. If you hung your bags crookedly and the overweight is obvious on one side, then you will not envy you in turns, and at speed it will start to drive towards the overweight. It is very unpleasant when you realize the flaws of preparation already in flight, you have to stop and look for a good balance.
We discussed the distribution of own weight in the article (“Fit and distribution of weight are half the success of a good motorcyclist”). In fact, this topic should not be underestimated. Sometimes, ridiculously, pilots look for a technical justification for the motorcycle’s behavior on the road, and only at the last moment realize that the motorcycle is driving on the highway due to overflowing bags on one side and half-empty on the other!
Changing the dimensions of the motorcycle
When you add side bags, trunks to a motorcycle, it is logical that your working area becomes wider. Now it is not so easy to slip into the aisle, sometimes you have to stand in a traffic jam, instead of quickly jumping between cars.
With vertical luggage placement, everything is easier. The side dimensions do not change, your problem may be the resistance of the luggage to the headwind if the bags form a miniature Everest on the seat.
Baggage and its location affect the handling of the motorcycle as much as the presence of a passenger. Consider this before leaving. If you do not have much experience, then it makes sense to do a couple of circles around the house in the equipped form in order to get used to the changed weight of the motorcycle and to feel the shortcomings of preparation.
How to properly distribute luggage on a motorcycle?
Visually and technically, a motorcycle is always divided into four parts:
If your path is not far, then the best way to load the motorcycle is not in the side trunks, but in the bags on the back seat and in the tank. Basically, if you don’t have a tank bag, then it’s in vain. The center of gravity of the motorcycle is located symmetrically between the front and rear of the motorcycle, as well as in the center relative to the left and right edges (we are not talking about motorcycles with an offset center of gravity, to summarize), so the things that you carry in the bag on the tank will have the least effect on balance of the motorcycle. We have already talked about bags and backpacks in the article “Backpacks and tank bags for motorcyclists”.
Yes, you need to get used to such a bag. Some (including myself) really hate it when a hump gets in the way between the seat and the controls. On the other hand, this is a matter of skill, especially since it is not scary to store the most valuable objects and various little things in such a bag, so as not to waste time looking for them.
Rear seat items that are upright will put stress on the rear wheel, but will not add to your lateral dimensions. In other words, you can still dive into the aisle out of habit. However, make it a rule not to load things vertically above your ribcage. Yes, most city and touring bikes have a straight ride, but that doesn’t limit your behavior. As you lean towards the steering wheel / tank, the wind that was behind you changes.
First, this design becomes wobbly. When you are riding the Leaning Tower of Pisa on a motorcycle, it becomes fraught with maneuvering. Moreover, the spider mesh may not corny can cover such a number of objects.
Secondly, the luggage resists the headwind. A way out of the situation can only be with a special seat back, which is often found on road cruisers. Having at least such a frame of rigidity of things in an upright position, it becomes much safer to transport.
Luggage on the left and right side of the motorcycle
Bags / wardrobe trunks are the most common way to transport things. Large-sized items are also distributed along the sides. And if it is something very large, for example, rubber for a change, then they are attached separately to the motorcycle itself, but not to the bag mounts. Try to arrange your luggage evenly in relation to weight and dimensions. Less necessary and large-sized items are placed in the lower tier, and more popular and small items on the top.
The best location is to fill the wardrobe trunks with heavy travel accessories, and large but light items such as:
- Sleeping bag
- Equipment Parts – Jacket / Raincoat
Fastened with a mesh on the seat. When placing luggage in the lateral planes, symmetry is taken into account first. If there are paired objects, then they should definitely be placed one on one side, the other on the opposite. It is convenient to have covers or extra bags that you can attach to the cases if you need to carry a lot more items.
Do not forget about resistance to temperature and moisture. Equipment, tents and sleeping bags are also fixed higher for reasons of protection from moisture and exhaust gases. Try to make sure that your luggage does not suffer from exhaust fumes and is not too low, because if it does not have protective covers or is itself made of relatively strong materials, forcing any deep puddle will make your luggage at least wet and dirty, in the worst case completely useless.
Front Fork Traverse Bags
Do not overload the front of the motorcycle. Do you remember that the main brake is at the front, and the traction force of the motorcycle is at the rear? So, if there is a front bag on a motorcycle, then it holds very little, because the heavy weight on the front fork will interfere with control and reduce the braking efficiency.