My love for riding soon translated into a love for touring on my motorcycle. As a result, I decided to look for some motorcycle panniers. However, I was surprised by how expensive they were. This made me wonder why motorcycle panniers are so expensive?
Most motorcycle panniers are made of lightweight and strong materials. They are waterproof and designed to hold heavy loads over long distances. They have the ability to withstand bad roads and rough terrain while giving riders an option for secure storage.
Luggage storage on a motorcycle is a tricky aspect. The storage units must not add too much weight but must be designed to carry heavy loads over long distances. As a result, motorcycle panniers are made of materials like hard plastic and composites, which are durable and lightweight.
These materials can withstand high loads at high speeds without failing, and if something happens, it protects all your belongings inside it. This keeps the rider and the motorcycle safe while touring. It also helps the rider carry more useful luggage, as the lightweight materials can accommodate it with ease.
Motorcycle panniers should also be able to withstand changing road and weather conditions. No one can predict when these factors will change, as a result of which these storage compartments must be able to handle bad conditions without affecting rider stability, comfort, and safety.
The last worry for motorcyclists is how one can secure their luggage. Many riders on long rides park overnight in public parking lots, which are not always the safest. Motorcycle panniers come with inbuilt locks or a provision to add locks. As a result, riders can carry valuables and leave them on the motorcycle without having to worry about them getting stolen by thieves.
Read on as I discuss motorcycle panniers in detail. This includes how they work and how they are a great storage option. This will help you plan your next long motorcycle tour and help you finalize if you need a pannier or not.
How do motorcycle panniers work?
Motorcycle panniers are made of hard or soft materials that can be mounted to the back seat and sides of your bike. They have straps that help hold the luggage in place and a mechanism that helps keep the pannier attached tightly to the bike.
Panniers are available in both hard and soft materials. While softer materials are lighter, they work better for riders carrying heavy loads in urban conditions. On the other hand, hard materials like plastic are slightly heavier and more expensive, but they offer additional facilities like locking systems and waterproofing of the contents within.
These panniers have racks that are provided with secure straps and clamps, some of which are designed for specific bike models. It is better to check the mounting system of a pannier to see if it is designed for a specific model or can be used for a variety of motorcycles.
The top-loading pannier rests on a rack that extends beyond the tail. It is secured to the backseat to ensure improved stability. Most manufacturers provide a top-loading option to give riders easier access to their equipment.
The side-loading racks are loaded onto the side frame of the bike. They allow you to store more luggage but are not the easiest to access, with the increased risk of having contents stores within falling out when you open them.
The panniers are designed to rest above the exhaust while ensuring they do not upset the balance of the rider. Most good panniers will rest about 2 inches above the exhaust, giving enough clearance to prevent damage due to the hot gases going out.
A pannier should also be aerodynamically efficient, to prevent adding too much drag at higher speeds. But picking a good motorcycle pannier can be a tough task, so we have found a detailed article about some of the top motorcycle panniers, they have covered everything in their detailed article, from the list of top panniers to the things you have to take care of before buying a motorcycle pannier. You can read that article from here.
How difficult are panniers to steal off a motorcycle?
Motorcycle panniers are designed to hold luggage and valuables securely. As a result, they are very hard to break open. However, it is relatively easier to steal soft panniers as they can later be cut open to access the contents within.
Hard motorcycle panniers are designed to give the riders the best security and durability while adding a little extra weight. Most models come with an internal locking mechanism. The ones that don’t will come with a provision to add a small lock to keep these secure.
It is difficult to break into these types of panniers, which makes it a safer option if you are looking to store valuables overnight at parking lots that are not too safe. It is quite difficult to steal the pannier itself, as it requires a number of tools that are provided to secure the pannier to the racks of the motorcycle as tightly as possible.
However, if you have a soft pannier, you are at a higher risk of losing it. Thieves can cut through the straps holding it in place, allowing them to escape with the contents inside. They can then gain access to it by simply cutting through the fabric. As a result, it is a lot less secure and less preferred for valuables.
What to Pack in your Motorcycle Pannier?
Pack items that are absolutely essential for your trip only. Have multiple changes of clothes that are waterproof and spare riding gear like gloves and shoes. It is essential to pack a first-aid kit, a motorcycle toolkit, and a tire repair kit. Depending on the duration of your trip, you may also need to pack utensils and camping gear.
Every motorcycle trip is unique in terms of the requirements. However, do not pack any items that can be purchased on the road or have very minimal use on the trip. This is crucial to saving space for essential items while making sure your bike is not overloaded or unbalanced.
Riding gear and a fresh set of clothes are the most important items that you will need to pack. It is important to pack only what you need to keep you comfortable and safe while on the road.
Also have spare riding gear like shoes and gloves, as these items are the most likely to get misplaced or torn on a long trip. It is also important that the clothes you pack have some amount of water resistance. If not, carry a waterproof jacket just in case you encounter a shower on your trip.
The most essential items for your motorcycle are a toolkit and tire repair kit. While the toolkit will help you make small tweaks or carry out basic repairs on your bike, the tire repair kit will help you fix punctures temporarily. Both these kits may not be a permanent solution, but they will definitely help you ride your stricken bike to the nearest mechanic.
If you decide to go for a long offroad trip that takes you away from motels and civilization, you will have to carry utensils and some rations to cook food on your breaks. Another item you will have to put into your pannier is camping gear.
This will be important to keep you comfortable during the night, allowing you to get some good rest. This can be crucial to ensure you are focused and confident when you hit the road the next day.