With the right saddle bag, your belongings are safe and secure whenever you're on the road. However, choosing the right one can be downright confusing, what with all the choices you have. And because you'll be shelling out money for this accessory, although it's very affordable, you'll want something that's worth every buck. So to help you pick one that'll fit your motorcycle, needs, and budget, here are some things you need to consider first:
When choosing a saddle bag, keep in mind the type of bike you have. Remember that not all bag types can fit into all types of motorcycles. Touring bikes are usually bigger and wider than standard motorcycles, so better have your ride's specs with you when shopping for a bag. Another option is to have a bag customized to your motorcycle's specs. This may require you to shell out more money, but it's a good guarantee that the bag will fit snugly onto your ride.
You have several options to choose from in terms of material: leather, synthetic leather, fiberglass, and nylon. A leather bag can be very expensive, especially if it's made from full-grain or whole grain leather and features exquisite craftsmanship. However, a high-grade leather bag is very durable and will last for many years. If you want the look of leather but don't want to shell out a huge amount of money, synthetic leather is a good choice. As for fiberglass, it can be more expensive than leather but is waterproof, and in some cases, can offer more storage room. If you want a more affordable choice, a nylon saddle bag is a good bet because this is also durable and is easy to maintain.
The bigger a saddle bag is, the more objects you can stuff inside it. However, a big bag also means a heavier motorcycle. If you have a huge touring bike designed for cross-country trips, a big bag is a good investment since you'll need to bring some clothes with you. However, if you have a sport bike, you'll want a smaller and sleeker bag that won't ruin your ride's aerodynamics.
Mounting options and frame
A saddle bag can either be a throw-on or bolt-on type. As its name suggests, a throw-on type comes with strings that you can tie onto the shocks, under the seat, and onto the mounting frame. As for a bolt-on type, it offers a more secure way of installation.
When it comes to mounting frames, most motorcycle bags today are mounted on some sort of frame that's bolted onto your motorcycle. Depending on your bike's style, size, and your preferences, you can either get a bag that's mounted horizontally or vertically through an upright frame. Both mounting frames are easy to install and keep your bag securely attach to your ride.
Nifty features worth looking into include quick-release buckles that let you easily open the bag, a built-in metal frame to prevent sagging, and pockets for extra storage. A bag that comes with its own lock is also a worthy investment especially if you leave items inside an unattended bag.