Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Luggage for safe storage

Guest Blogger Kiara Wilson

As a multiple motorcycle owner, determining which two-wheeled bike will make the perfect companion on a long journey is less about how reliable the vehicle is and more about how much luggage I can bring with me. For me personally, I've chosen a smaller, lighter set of side saddlebags for my Suzuki GSX-R, while my Triumph Speedmaster has a much bigger set of luggage gear. If I'm planning on suiting up for a long ride from the North Georgia Mountains to the northern communities of California, the Triumph Speedmaster makes much more sense. But sometimes, just sometimes, I feel more like taking the sport bike across the country, cruising the beach and having something fast for the corners. Maybe it's time I upgraded my saddlebags, but that's no longer necessary thanks to removable, adaptable saddlebags that can move from one motorcycle to the next without any extra installation. Regardless of your intentions, saddlebags help make the journey that much more enjoyable.

Luggage for Your Ride

Motorcycle luggage comes in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, designs and application purposes. Once you've strapped your bike down with the necessary side saddlebags, you can also add sissy bar bags, windshield bags and trunk luggage for a wider scale of storage needs. But be careful; sometimes you can overload your bike and it can drastically under-perform when you need the cornering, acceleration and braking. These are motorcycles, after all, and not full-size vehicles. When you're heading out on a lengthy road trip, you should always pack light and only carry the essentials. Of course, if you're only interested in the end destination, there are no limits to how you can mix and match your luggage accessories. I always choose Viking products for my bikes, no matter what I'm outfitting. I know my gear stays dry, locked away and safe throughout the ride. This makes my ride that much more enjoyable, because I can't afford to have damaged electronics and other valuables when I arrive somewhere.

Motorcycle Saddlebags Take You Further

A classic storage location for your goods, the side motorcycle saddlebags have been the go-to luggage compartments of riders for many decades. From cruiser bikes to off-road machines, there's a pair of side saddlebags waiting for every intended purpose. Saddlebags come in a variety of materials, so you can find a pair that directly relate to your needs as you see fit. For instance, lightweight, hard-plastic saddlebags become particularly useful if storage is necessary in punishing conditions, such as the cold wintry north or the hot humid of the desert.

That's why I trust my luggage with the Viking Bags brand, because I know my gear will always be protected no matter how harsh the environment may be. Built with an inner frame to reinforce the basic structuring, there is no sagging or de-shaping of these saddlebags, even while empty. Additionally, there are plenty of premium leather skin saddlebags that become highly attractive pieces of luggage when all I'm worried about is a little bit of rainfall ruining my ride.

Personal Choice

When making the personal choice, I always choose Viking Bags for my rides. They're built to withstand the harsh realities of motorcycle riding, and I know I can lock away my personal items if I need to step away. I've outfitted my Speedmaster with one of the Charger series saddlebags, a single-strapped piece of luggage that comes standard with a locking mechanism for added security. This timeless beauty instantly made my Triumph look like a king when hauling down the road. It provided a bit of extra width on the motorcycle itself, creating handling stability when it's needed most. When I'm touring, the security feature of a locking mechanism comes in very handy, because I don't have to think twice about my personal items falling into the wrong hands. I don't need to worry about losing my luggage when stopping for a meal, shopping for some new gear or simply parking my bike overnight. While the choice of a side saddlebag is certainly yours, depending on your bike model, I suggest getting something that's easy to remove and universally fit. Viking makes many of their saddlebags universal, so you can quickly dismount on one bike and mount to another.

Sissy Bar Luggage For Extra Room

Although I don't have much experience with sissy bar bags myself, there really isn't a better storage solution available. If your cruiser is outfitted with sissy bars, you can strap down your bike with luggage that doesn't interfere with any riders at all. The luggage is out of the way and conveniently placed, giving you enough room to do what you do best: cruise in style. With a variety of styles and sizes available, you'll need to measure your motorcycle's sissy bars and determine which solution will work best for the intended purposes. For shorter distance trips and daily commuting, Viking's Nylon Cruiser will work best for your needs. However, if you plan on carrying more gear and camping next to your bike (recommended for everyone at least once), Viking's Classic Sissy Bar Bag is a much more practical option. Just like their saddlebag counterparts, many sissy bar bags you'll find on the market these days are lockable and built for maximum protection.

Yes, luggage compartments, trunk bags and side saddles allow us to travel farther than across town with our motorcycles. I've managed to tour the country with enough clothing to last me a month, as well as plenty of accessories to keep me occupied on my journey, all with the help of a sturdy set of saddlebags. Cheap bags will leave you wanting a bit more, because you'll eventually need to replace due to wear and tear on the shells themselves. If you've ever considered making the leap to a real set of saddlebags, the time is now. Talk with an expert who knows what it takes to outfit a motorcycle with the proper set of luggage for any type of ride, because you'll need to fully understand how much room is needed for your luggage.


VStar Lady said...

Pat, you've done a nice job promoting Viking Bags ...

Katrina Oakley said...

I prefer soft side bags. We have 2 bikes, the shovelhead is a 76 and has some great fringed berthas the streetglide is a 2010 and has hard bags. I can fit so much more in the bertha's!

Curt Carter said...

Pat, nice write-up on Viking Bags. They seem well made and the one I have for my Sportster is huge...maybe even a little too big, but I don't have to worry about not having enough storage. :-)


Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy.
Tina, if I ever make to your neck of the woods you guys will need to take me on this ride. It looks like fun!


Live Free. Ride Hard. Be Happy.