The Five Best Ways To Add Storage To A Sportbike

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The Five Best Ways To Add Storage To A Sportbike

Sportbikes can be exceptionally practical. They’re light, they’re efficient, they have good brakes and slim dimensions. But man, is it a pain to carry your stuff on them. With a little clever modification, it needn’t be. Here are the best ways to add storage to any sportbike.

The Five Best Ways To Add Storage To A Sportbike - Tank bag
Tank bag

#1 Tankbag

Tankbags bring numerous benefits: they locate the mass of your luggage as close to your bike’s center of gravity as possible, out of the wind, securely between your arms. They also leave room for a passenger and make it easy to read a map. We like the Kriega US Tank Bag Adaptor, which works on literally any bike and fixes either a 10 or 20-liter, totally waterproof bag to your tank in absolute security.

The Five Best Ways To Add Storage To A Sportbike - Backpack
Backpack

#2 Backpack

The go to solution. Throw your stuff inside and hit the road. Problem is, wearing weight on your back can get really uncomfortable. That’s why we wear Kriega bags, which transfer the weight off your shoulders, improving comfort and leaving you with freedom to move around.

The Five Best Ways To Add Storage To A Sportbike - Tailpack
Tailpack

#3 Tailpack

Strap a soft luggage bag (or several) to your back seat and you suddenly have a flexible, secure storage solution. This is how I carry a lock and chain on my bikes or haul big loads for road trips. Your bike is made to carry weight on its passenger seat, so adding weight there is no big deal. Again, Kreiga is our go to. A Kriega US-10 will fit your day-to-day tools, a US-20 will take a laptop or a weekend’s worth of clothes and either a US-30 or two 10s, strapped to a 20, will take you further.

The Five Best Ways To Add Storage To A Sportbike - Top box
Top box

#4 Topbox

Depending on which bike you ride, you might find a mounting kit that can attach a topbox to your sportbike easily. They typically require pillion grab rails or a big subframe though, so if you’re on a current generation sportbike, you may be out of luck, unless you’re prepared to make some more permanent modifications. Go on eBay and buy a spare pillion seat, get out your electric drill and bolt that top box right onto it. If that seat has a lot of padding, a sandwich of a 20 gauge steel sheet on top and underneath may add some strength. With bolt heads inside the locked box, that’ll give you a secure, removable place to keep stuff, if not a pretty one.

How To Carry Absolutely Anything On a Motorcycle

#5 Bungee Cords

When I ride to the airport, I throw my Maxpedition Fliegerduffel on the back seat with bungee cords. They’re an easy, cheap, versatile way to carry virtually anything on any bike. Just make sure you strap the cords to a secure part of your bike and get them tight.

What are your go-to carry solutions?

  • Guest

    Givi universal mounting plate allows you to mount a topcase onto your pillion.

    • Jack Meoph

      Nice. I use a tail bag on the Ducati (have top box and saddle bags for my Triumph). Unfortunately both my bikes have plastic tanks, so I would have to dig out the old style tank bag, because the magnetic one I use for my wife’s Ninjette is useless! :( I will not ride with a backpack. Also, there are plenty of manufacturers that make sport saddle bags. And now that more and more MC manufacturers are going with the low slung, center of gravity, GP style pipes, saddle bags are an option for the newer bikes. Whether for good or bad, my shoulder will not indulge my want to ride another true sport bike, so I won’t be dealing with this problem ever again.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      Heck yeah, e45s.

    • E Brown

      If I wind up keeping my CBR600RR, this is the route I’d go. I’m currently running a Cycleguys Fastpack, which is handy but limited.

    • Justin McClintock

      I’ve been looking at doing something similar on my own. I bought an extra seatpan for my SV1K and pulled the seat itself off. I already have a chp but effective topcase for my motard. I plan on getting an additional baseplate for it and mounting that to the spare seatpan from the SV.

    • Stuki

      How did you affix the givi plate to the seat? Or seatpan?

      Lockable storage on Gixxer seems a bit unnecessary, as nothing you could possibly put in the topcase is nearly the thief magnet the bike itself is…….. :)

  • Aaron Averett

    “Sportbikes can be exceptionally practical. They’re light, they’re efficient, they have good brakes and slim dimensions. ”

    Are sportbikes really that efficient? I was under the impression they got like 35 – 40 miles to the gallon, which seems pretty dysmal to me, for a vehicle that weighs 400 pounds. My MR2 Spyder sportscar got better than that on the highway, and even with no trunk at all that thing could have carried several times what one could carry on even the grandest of touring bikes.

    Also, I don’t get why saddlebags aren’t mentioned here. I have a pair of Cortech saddlebags, which can also connect a matching tail bag, that provide more than enough capacity for an overnight trip.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      My archaic Honda F3 gets 55mpg highway, 45ish doodling around town.
      It does drop noticeably if I spend the whole tank wringing it out.

      • SniperSmitty

        I have a 2000 CBR F4. Brilliant bike. Easy to ride, very flickable, and real fun in the twisties!!

        • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

          Old sportbikes for the win.

          • SniperSmitty

            +1 I test rode an ’08 CBR RR and I actually liked the F4 better. I’m 6’4″ so maybe that’s why. Also maybe because it was 3k less. More money for gear!!

    • SniperSmitty

      I get 48-52mpg on my CBR 600 by keeping the rpms under 6k. 200 miles on 4 US gallons. It can be done.
      Keep the dirty side down!!

    • Justin McClintock

      Some of them are bad, some aren’t. Also depends heavily on how heavy-handed you are with the throttle. My SV1K gets just over 40 in town, but CAN get into the upper 50s on the open road if speeds are kept in check. Best I ever got out of it was 57 mpg.

    • BillW

      Because Kriega doesn’t make any (except for ADV bikes). :)

  • Guy

    I use the SW-Motech Blaze Sport saddlebag system. It keeps a neat set of soft luggage on the back without letting it shift around much. I like my bike tidy.
    http://www.twistedthrottle.com/sw-motech-bags-connection-blaze-sport-saddlebag-system-triumph-street-triple-08

  • http://garrett-nelson.tumblr.com/ Garrett Nelson

    Bungee Cords are good, but bungee cargo net is better! I tell everyone it’s the best thing I’ve ever bought for motorcycling and it’s only $5-10!

    I used to think top cases were stupid, but I had the opportunity to borrow a Multistrada for a few days with a top bow and fell in love with it! You can put so much stuff in a top box. Went to the local farmers market on a sunday, parked real close in and filled the thing with groceries. Top boxes might look like crap, but they’re so damn awesome it doesn’t matter.

    • Scott Otte

      I felt the same way, but they change what you can do with a bike so dramatically, with nothing but aesthetics sacrificed. They’re now a requirement for any new bike.

    • Khali

      Everyone should carry a bungee net under their seat. It can help carry everything, from groceries to half your fairing and a broken mirror after a silly fall :P (true story)

      Oh and some bikes look like they lack something without a top box…think ADV bikes for example. At least I think my V-Strom does :)

  • 200 Fathoms

    Seallines Wide-Mouth Duffles. Waterproof. 40L or 80L.

    http://www.cascadedesigns.com/sealline/packs-and-duffles/widemouth-duffle/product

    Ventura luggage system. Comes with brackets, “Pack-Rack” (to easily mount/remove their bags in seconds), smaller “Sport-Rack” for smaller loads, and “Grab-Handle” when carrying no loads. Racks/handle switch out in seconds.

    http://www.ventura-mca.com/products/components/

    • kawatwo

      I second the Ventura system. I have had them on several bikes and love them. Zip two together and you can carry two bags of groceries and a bit more. Adds almost no weight to the bike when empty too. You can also turn one bag the backward direction if you also need to carry a passenger at the same time.

    • sospeedy

      Used the Ventura pack on a 7 day road trip last year on the Speed Trip and it was fantastic! Apparently this is really popular in Europe and I now know why! Highly recommended.

  • Austin

    Not the best looking solution but using the bracket for a Bandit and a little modification I mounted a pair of Givi v35s on my GSXR. http://imgur.com/GfRYSZ1

  • wjung88

    Sidenote: do you really leave your bike at the airport? And do you carry on your helmet or lock it to the bike? And really?? At LAX? Am I the only one that wouldn’t want to leave my bike there for even a few days?

  • Clint

    I use Givi tank lock quick release and engineered a behind the seat one by buying a spare

  • Clint

    I use Givi tank lock 15 L on the front tank and bought a spare rear seat and engineered a quick release to it.

  • Larry

    Instead of bungee cords, I’d go with Rok Straps. They’re rugged, versatile and make a closed loop that can fasten just about anywhere a bungee can. So unless you’ve gone all Brazilian on your tail tidy and there’s literally no where on your bike to loop them…grab rails, passenger peg loops…you’ll get your bag cinched down more securely with a pair of Roks.

  • Rameses the 2nd

    ROK Straps for $10 is much better than bungee cords and it works on all bikes (including sports bikes).

  • Jeremy

    I carry a ratchet strap and a bungee net in my jacket pocket at all times. I like the ROK straps though, I may change to those.

    I’ve had bungees snap, and hate the way they rot out from the AZ sun. I’ve had the end of my tie-strap wrap my axle before, and throw it into the road. Glad I didn’t lose my stuff, I had it double-strapped with a bungee. I’ve learned to use the ENTIRETY of the tie-strap, even if I have to wrap my load twice. I’ll never have a foot of strap hanging off my ties, again. That’s what really turns me off about the ROK strap. How much do they stretch, guys?

  • Joshua

    5 Best Ways to… and #1 is a Kriega, #2 is a Kriega, and #3 is a Kriega. Some bungee cords & a dorky top-box round out your list. If this is not an ad it certainly rings like one.

    • Zanpa

      Those are open comments, so please suggest a better alternative.

    • Tom Gabriele

      Agreed. After reading #3, I scoured the page looking for a “sponsored” tag. I don’t know what I would suggest as an alternative, if Kreiga really does make the best everything, then so be it. But a more useful suggestion might be to find a forum specific to your bike, and see what works for your fellow riders. And then check the for sale section to get a good deal on it.

    • Michael Howard

      Yeah, it sucks that Kriega makes such great products that they’re highly recommended by just about everyone who’s ever used them. Kinda like the Aerostich Roadcrafter (along with most other Aerostich products).

      As mentioned, though, please suggest alternatives. If you know of something better than Kriega, I’d happily “trade up”. But so far, nothing I’ve seen can touch my Kriega R30.

      • Rameses the 2nd

        Both Alpinestars and Ogio also make great riding backpacks. kriega is not the only company. Go to Revzilla and you can see review on many backpacks from consumers like you and me.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          An neither manufacturer approaches the quality, functionality, comfort or even guarantee Kriega does. It’s simply the best stuff out there, and often comes without a cost penalty over the brands you mention.

          • Rameses the 2nd

            Functionality? AlpineStars has a backpack with helmet cover, laptop compartment, rain cover, and it expands from 16L to 26L. Plus, it is on sale on RevZilla, so it is significantly cheaper than Kriega. Here is the link: http://www.revzilla.com/product/alpinestars-tech-aero-backpack

            I am sure Kriega is a great backpack, but there are other choices and this particular bag I mentioned above is probably better for daily city commute than Kriega R25. However, Kriega 10 years guarantee is definitely something unique and nobody comes close to that. My brother has a Ogio backpack that he absolutely loves, so yeah there are a lot of great choices available to motorcyclists in addition to Kriega.

            • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

              You obviously haven’t worn a Kriega.

          • taba

            I likey my Alpinestars Tech Aero tank bag and backpack.

            Hoping they’ll offer a tailpack sometime.

          • KriegaUSA

            Boom! There you have it. Thanks, man. Appreciate the props.

          • Lourens Smak

            Are you familiar with these backpacks? http://www.boblbee.com they function as a CE level 2 back-protector as well… the waist-band (almost essential on the bike) has to be bought separately though, and even without they’re not cheap… I haven’t tried one of these, but I have seen them IRL, they look well-made and well thought-out. I use a tankbag and soft panniers myself, but it would be great to hear opinions on the Boblbee from people that use one.

            http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3550/3463305645_63de0fd4b3_m.jpg

    • Michael Howard

      Actually, #1 was tankbag, #2 was backpack, #3 was tailpack, #4 was topbox and #5 was bungee cords. The Kriegas were all just given as examples.

  • ThinkingInImages

    I need permanently attached storage. This is the first time I’m trying out saddle bags and they’re brilliant. The problem with sports motorcycles is “saddle bag sag”. The tail sections just don’t have enough attachment points and vertical surfaces to keep bags from tipping inward. Sometime this year I’ll get a proper, designed specifically for this motorcycle set, but they are expensive.

  • Zachary Laughrey

    The Kriega tail bag is great. However, if you want to get things in and out frequently, I would choose a different option. The straps have to be undone to gain access to the compartments.

  • A P

    I’ll add a caution: Like carrying a passenger, weigh high and on the rear of a sportbike will change the center of gravity (Ya, I know that’s not the correct technical term, but understandable for non-engineering types), and therefore the handing/braking characteristics. Even a few pounds (varying with the amount in the luggage) can make a noticeable difference, causing hard-to-diagnose wobbles and wiggles. With the large top cases, wind flow may also be affected in surprising ways… a strong tailwind may push much harder than expected, requiring more conservative braking (earlier).

    Compensate accordingly and yer good to go.

  • Paolo

    “Sportbikes can be exceptionally practical..” …except for bumper to bumper traffic, where they will overheat.

  • Michael Howard

    Sportbikes are great, but “exceptionally practical”? Pretty much any other type of bike ‒ short of a raked-out chopper ‒ is more practical than a sportbike.

  • runnermatt

    I have a D38 Dryspec Rigid waterproof bag from TwistedThrottle.com that I put on my CBR250R. It is quite large but allowed me to carry my rather large lunch box, a set of work shoes/pants/belt/etc., a second set of motorcycle gloves depending on the weather and the extra layers for my ADV gear. It hangs off the back of the bike, but because of the rigid core it doesn’t droop down anywhere. My only other complaint is that it will slide forward against my lower back. I think this is because there isn’t a tie down point far enough back for the bag, but it is easy enough to stand on the pegs a little and use my butt to push the bag back.

    http://www.twistedthrottle.com/brand/dryspec/

    http://ourvirginiahome.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/mattmotorcycle2.jpg

  • Doug Erickson

    The best way to add storage? Add a scooter to the stable. ;-) Hey, no-one said cheap!

  • jonoabq

    Big fan of Kriega, and Wolfman, have a couple of each manufacturers stuff in different flavors for different length trips. For multi-day/go light sport touring trips in the Southwest & Colorado I usually go with my Giant Loop.

  • Joe Bielski

    I’ve got a milk crate strapped to my pillion. It looks GREAT!!!

    • Khali

      I love seeing 1000cc RR’s with milk/fruit crates strapped every time I go to watch motoGP races!

      • Joe Bielski

        LOL, but it does get the job done. sorta…sometimes…

  • Smittyman

    I too have to admit Kriega offers the best options for storage, however, I recently found these tank covers at tankvest.com. Really offers ways to accessorize what can carry on your motorcycle.

  • Ryan Kiefer

    Poverty is the mother of invention.

    My solution wound up being a milk crate I already had + ratchet straps I already had + bungees to keep things from blowing out of the milk crate. It’s ugly as homemade sin, and is completely insecure, so I can’t leave anything I care about therein, but it will do while I save my pennies for a rack and proper top box. On school days where I don’t have time to come home between gym, work, and evening school, I cram two backpacks in and wedge my laptop case in between them. It works, but I sort of hate how the lines of the black CBR clash with this sky blue crate. Even a cheap amazon/ebay top box would look much better.

  • Brian Cordell

    Honda helped out with accessory bags. This was my set up for an 1800 mile tour.

  • Khali

    2 Weeks ago I went to “Penguins” motorcycle gathering in Spain and tired of trying to distribute the camping stuff between my top box and 2 soft panniers, I just threw everything into my Northern Diver 110L diving bag (which is waterproof), removed the top box and strapped it with a couple cargo cinchs over the passenger seat and the cargo tray. Just so you can make an idea that bag is so big you can fit an average person inside it without much effort.

    I have to say that it affected the bike’s handling a bit, didnt like it so much, better go for side bags/soft panniers that distribute the weight lower and affect much less the handling:

  • Paul Mirtschin

    Soft panniers are also an excellent extra storage option. Although it makes a 250 seem even smaller than it is. :)

    Five days of clothing, including kevlar hoodie and jeans, and even had room for some wine (in plastic bottles to make it easier and safer).

  • FreeFrog

    Tankbag is #1 least appreciated moto luggage. I’ve had about 8 tankbags… I recommending the expandable type. Combined with tailback you’ve got all you need unless you’re an overpacker.

  • Guest

    Or there’s this. Canvas and leather bedroll with army blanket, sleeping matt, spare clothes and whiskey flask inside. :-)

  • iaindesigns

    Or there’s this. Canvas and leather bedroll with army blanket, sleeping matt, spare clothes and whiskey flask inside. :-) Currently working on a tank bag. They should be available for purchase through my website soon.

  • 77BeatsPerMinute

    A lot of people don’t know about the Fast Pack. It’s pricey for such as tiny bag but it’s low profile when not in use. Here’s my review on my GSXR600. Cost $70 at Cycle Gear.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p74Q92Leong

  • Nathan

    I bought a tank bag last summer and OMG I realized I’ve wasted so much of my life without one.