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Motorcycle trunks, what you need to know about them?

As the saying goes: I carry everything with me. In the case of motorcycles, it would be more correct to say “I carry with me”. Now only a very lazy manufacturer does not develop additional bonuses for its models in the form of body kits, tuning, arcs and various little things that this or that owner wants to equip his swallow. Designers and engineers worked hard on development for a reason, the manufacturer is ready to offer tasty options that were created within the framework of a particular brand and model. For those who do not want to bother with a choice, the decision is elementary, just come to the dealer and get hold of everything you need, knowing that new items will sit like family.


For those for whom the dealer’s gifts are too expensive or do not want to follow the simple beaten path, there is a wide market. In this case, the sequence for choosing a motorized wardrobe trunk will be approximately as follows:

  • Outline the purpose and functionality. Why do you need trunks? How many things do you need to carry?
  • Evaluate the possibility of attaching the wardrobe trunk
  • Decide on the desired shapes and materials

The choice of bag is always based on the capabilities of your motorcycle and the purpose of travel. Packing with the saddlebags of a touring motorcycle is very different from the simple center bag of a city bike. Therefore, before buying on the principle “what a bag and pockets there are many”, just analyze where and how to attach, will they not interfere with you?

It is no secret that wardrobe trunks are lateral and central. From myself, I want to note a couple of modest details.

First. In the city, it is more practical to have center bags due to the economy in size. In conditions of traffic and aisle it is very annoying to scratch someone’s Porsche or Lexus with the body of a metal case. Despite the fact that you were driving and firmly believed that you would fit between the rows. In the city, extra dimensions are a dubious advantage, then it is easier to carry all things by car than to constantly look around and twitch: whether I can get through or not.

Second. Side trunks may have protective arches. On long journeys, if your route is not very familiar and there are not as many things as it could be, it is possible to resort to a cunning castling. All things should be placed in the central bags, and in place of the wardrobe trunk in the arches put spare cans of gasoline. Let me explain where this conclusion comes from. Not all routes lie through the vastness of a living civilization. If you cannot resist the voice of adventure and the call of nature, fuel consumption and tank capacity are sometimes as large as the distance to the nearest gas station. Personally, I have found myself in a similar situation twice. For the first time when I traveled around Karelia, whose nature is madly in love with all its winding roads and breathtaking landscapes. One drawback is that the gas stations are far enough from each other. Thoughts about calculating fuel distract from the beauty of the surrounding world. Second time on the way to a nature reserve in the central part of the country. Since the zone is a reserved area, the nearest gas station to it turned out to be gas. So-so discovery when a motorcycle blinks a red eye and demands a legitimate afternoon snack.


We choose not only based on our goals, but also according to the parameters of the motorcycle itself. I’m not saying no about the class, I’m talking about carrying capacity, maximum axle load and aerodynamics. Whether you like it or not, side trunks have a significant impact on the behavior of the motorcycle in the direction of oncoming air flow. The more bags you hang, the more resistance your motorcycle will put on the air with you. The same problem applies to the geometry of the selected bag. Will the air flow around it or hit like a wall?

How will the overall geometry of the bike change with all your outboard quirks? If you put tall trunks, be prepared that sooner or later someone will seriously catch on them, as well as on huge side trunks, especially if they do not have protective arches.

By overloading the axle, you don’t just shift the balance. Yes, what did you think? Full trunks are almost like a passenger, the bike is not very happy about that, to be honest. When you overload the front or rear axle, one of them sags and the geometry of the motorcycle deviates towards the overloaded part.

Materials (edit)

If we generalize the options by materials, we get the following:

  • Textile
  • Leather
  • Plastic
  • Metal

Textile trunks are one of the most common and affordable. They are loved for their convenience, versatility and design, which can really be combined in completely different classes. The disadvantages include – the necessary care. If such trunks have already collected water, then be kind – dry them. If you spill anything inside, please, wash it.

Leather trunks choice of style. They are bought deliberately and usually for the city. In service, of course, the whole bouquet of work with leather goods.

Plastic wardrobe trunks are a rare choice, except for city traffic or small trips. There are pluses, but in fact there are more minuses, here you have a fear of chips / cracks, a minimum of mobility. It’s not scary to wrinkle a textile bag or a leather bag, but this one is scary. You also have to take care of it from the high temperature, otherwise you put it near the hot pipe and that’s it, buy another one.

Metal trunks are loved by owners of touring motorcycles. Their motto is “that I have snow, that I am hot, that it is pouring rain for me”. An increased level of protection, moreover, they will also protect the motorcycle itself in case of a fall. By cons, we write down the lack of drainage, namely, the moisture has nowhere to go from it. If you opened them in the rain, the water will flop at the bottom until you wipe it off. Well, and accordingly they are heavier than the previous described brothers.

There are always the simplest requirements for materials:

  • Moisture protection
  • Thermal stability, in case the trunks are hanging close to pipes or the engine
  • Wear resistance


The last thing that I would not like to forget about – trunks are an element of tuning. The vast majority of motorcyclists, especially cruisers, make saddlebags a part of the motorcycle image, creating a unique look.

They are airbrushed, repainted, glued with stickers. Leather trunks are decorated with all sorts of ruffles. It is especially delicious when your leather cases are made by hand, with all outer seams and bindings. This is how the spirit of self-expression and individuality emerges. Wardrobe trunks can make a motorcycle look unforgettable or unforgettable!

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