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Maybe prior to buying a motorcycle, you imagined yourself riding in just a t-shirt, blue jeans, and some beat-up work boots. It didn’t matter where you were going, so long as you could feel the air flowing through your hair. But once you got the motorcycle, a sense of responsibility might have set in. For one thing, you’re (hopefully) wearing a jacket, helmet, and gloves. And you probably also realized that while owning a motorcycle may help you get around traffic, it can’t get you around your responsibilities. Whether you have to pick up groceries on the way home or you’re on diaper duty, there are quite a few trips you may end up making with your motorcycle that require a little more storage. With motorcycle saddlebags, you won’t need to trade in your two wheels for four.
There are a lot of different kinds of motorcycle bags, and in many cases, you can use several different kinds to maximize storage potential. In addition to traditional saddlebags, we’ve included tail/seat bags and a compact swingarm bag. Whichever type you choose, you should stock up on basic emergency supplies like tool kits, tire repair kits, and flashlights. Throwing in some rain gear isn’t a bad idea, either. Whatever you put in your bag, just remember to leave enough room for that carton of milk your better half told you to pick up from the store. With that in mind, these are some of our favorite motorcycle bags on Amazon.
1. Nelson-Rigg Yellow Saddlebags
Nelson Rigg is one of the top manufacturers of motorcycle gear, and the brand has been at it since the early 70s. These saddlebags mount to adventure and dual-sport motorcycles. Mounting to the bike is easy because of the four quick-release straps. That makes the bags easy to remove without compromising the security. The bags have tote-bag-style liners, making it easy to load and unload the saddlebags. They’re also waterproof, so you can ride in any conditions with confidence.
Pros: Sportbike soft bags that are available in all-black or high-visibility yellow. Includes bag liners for easily loading and unloading the things in your bag. UV coated for all-weather use.
Cons: Undoing the straps to open the bag can be tedious.
2. Diamond Plate Motorcycle Saddlebag Set
For those who embrace a tough biker look, these black bags have metal studs along the outside. They’re made from a waterproof PVC material, and the bag opens and closes using convenient hook and loop closures and side-release buckles. This set includes two distinct saddlebags. While there are no outer pockets, the bag’s main compartment is large enough to hold a substantial amount.
Pros: Tough-looking bag with ample storage space. Uses easy-open hook and loop closures and side-release buckles. Sturdy waterproof PVC material.
Cons: Not real leather, which some may not like. Bags may be too large for some motorcycles.
3. Stansport Saddle Bag
If you prefer a bag with a vintage look, this option looks like something an Allied soldier might have thrown on their motorcycle. It’s made from a tough duck canvas and comes in an olive color with brown vinyl detailing. It closes using a simple but secure D-ring loop system, and there’s an interior drawstring for additional security. The bags are fairly small, so they’re best suited to carrying a handful of essentials. For a more modern look, it also comes in black.
Pros: Stylish vintage look. Highly affordable set of two saddlebags. Made from sturdy duck canvas. Lightweight enough for a variety of vehicles, including motor scooters and even bicycles.
Cons: Since it’s made from a canvas material, it may not be ideal for wet weather.
4. Nelson Rigg Motorcycle Tail/Seat Bag
Tail bags can be a good option for storing small essentials, and you don’t have to worry about making sure they’re kept away from the tailpipe and wheels. This line of tail bags from Nelson Rigg features several different sizes, so you can find the kind that best suits your needs. There’s the Commuter Lite, Commuter Sport, and Commuter Touring. Each of the bags is expandable, and the maximum capacity is 15.32 liters, 22.26 liters and 33.04 liters, respectively. The interior of the bag features a cross strap for securing whatever you’re carrying.
Pros: Expandable bag with UV-coated protection, interior straps and mesh pockets for easy internal organization. Includes a rainfly for protecting the bag when not in use or while riding through rain.
Cons: Strap holders are not the most durable, and it may be worth swapping them out.
5. Dowco Willie & Max Motorcycle Swingarm Bag
Swingarm bags are something of a variant on a traditional saddlebag. As the name suggests, they mount to the swingarm. They can’t hold as much stuff, but they’re easier to access and can hold a few basic essentials. Motorcycle swingarms vary pretty widely, meaning that not every bag is going to fit every bike. This bag fits several different bikes, and it’s designed for bikes with triangulated swingarms. It features easy-access plastic side-release buckles that are cleverly disguised to look like traditional metal tongue buckles.
Pros: Good bag for carrying a few essentials, stylish synthetic leather look. The bag is made in the US. Easy-access side-release buckles.
Cons: Mounting straps are not the most durable, so it may be best to use zip ties as a supplement. Synthetic leather, which some may not like.
6. Milwaukee Leather Black Plain Saddle Bag
For a traditional, tough-looking saddlebag set, these bags from Milwaukee Leather are a good option. Despite the company name, they’re not actually leather, but a synthetic material. The bags have various outer pouches and pockets, in addition to the roomy main compartments. The edges of the bag have reflective piping for better visibility at night. The straps have a classic single-tongue belt look, but actually open using convenient side-release buckles.
Pros: Versatile fit for a variety of bikes, classic saddlebag look with chrome-plated buckles. Roomy interior compartment with various outer pouches for small essentials.
Cons: Not genuine leather.
7. OGIO Stealth Black Tail Bag
Another good option for those who prefer a tail bag is this pick from OGIO. It features multiple zippered compartments for easily storing and organizing your gear. It also uses compression straps for an expandable design. The web mounting system means that it has a universal fit, and there’s a built-in rain cover for protecting your bag when the weather sours. The convenient top handle makes it easy to carry around once you get to your destination.
Pros: Expandable design, features various accessory pockets on the top and sides of the bag. The streamlined shape is designed to not obstruct airflow. Includes an integrated rain cover.
Cons: The main compartment doesn’t have any internal organizers. The mounting system can be somewhat tricky.