The Dennis Kirk Blog
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It’s just a fact. Most sport bikes are not set up for touring and commuting. But that doesn’t stop the growing number of riders that are doing just that. Being able to grab that extra throttle and blast around apexes and slow traffic is always a rush and that’s the very reason why you ride your sport bike. The only problem is that it can be a pain get all of your gear and goodies onto the bike while keeping it rideable. The good news, though, is that the motorcycle luggage manufacturers have noticed the rise in popularity of sport touring and have started producing more options to choose from.
The key to packing a sport bike is to keep it fairly simple. These motorcycles are designed to have a great power-to-weight ratio and you don’t want to ruin that by over packing. Sure there are giant tank and tail bags that you can strap on, but if you fill them up, you’re going to notice the loss in performance and it will make the bike more top-heavy. Pack only what you need and you will be just fine.
Tank bags are one of the most popular pieces of luggage to get the job done, but with the limited amount of “dash” space on a sport bike, you will lose out on any space where a gadget mount could go. To solve this problem, there are a lot of good tank bags that have built-in pockets and holders for gadgets like GPS units, phones and tablets. The pockets are located on top and are positioned so that you can easily view the device while riding.
If you want to use your bike for commuting and if storage space is not all that important, there are a few “mini” tank bag options available that have just enough room for the essentials and still have the pockets for your electronic devices.
Medium sized tank bags are possibly the most versatile for sport bike riders. You can pack quite a bit of your belongings in them and they do not take over the bike. When the bag is full, it can actually be leaned on to help take some of the pressure off of your wrists, making longer rides more comfortable.
Tail bags are decent alternative, but they will take up the pillion on the bike. That won’t fly if you ride with a passenger. They do have their advantages, though. Being behind you, the tail bag won’t affect your riding position and can be packed with more of your belongings. Just remember that the higher you go, the more you are affecting the center of gravity on the bike.
Of course, saddlebags are huge in the cruiser and touring world, but not so much for sport touring bikes. Sport bike saddlebags are great for long rides on fairly straight highways, but they can be a bit limiting when you hit the twisties and city streets. The latest designs are much better than the ones of old, though. Companies are now designing sport bike specific saddlebags that are more aerodynamic and streamlined to fit the sleek lines of the motorcycle.
Any of these three styles of bags can work great on a sport bike, depending on what your riding style is. You can choose to have just one, two or all three styles on your bike. Because tank and tail bags are in line with the rider and windscreen, they are better suited for high speed runs through the twisties. Saddlebags are great for adding that extra space, but they will affect your overall speed and will widen your bike.
Whatever sport bike luggage you choose will get you out on the road to lay down some serious mileage. Touring is not just for the big cruisers and touring bikes anymore. Your sport bike is more than capable to carry you cross-country.
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