Saddlebags have been around for a long time, and over the years the cost has come down and the quality has improved beyond any of the products we had to use in the good old days. Now that we all seem to have an expanding sense of adventure, we are riding farther into the great unknown than ever before, so we need to carry more stuff and a good set of saddlebags are an excellent way to get the job done. Whether you ride a cruiser, sportbike, or dual sport, we can always find a reason to bring extra riding gear, equipment, provisions, tools, or whatever we need to make our trips that much better. Dual sport and streetbike saddlebags are generally made from soft materials, like formed heavy-denier nylon, while cruiser riders tend to prefer leather or hard plastic. Whichever you prefer, make sure to find a set that fits your needs and budget.
If you are looking for a tough and inexpensive saddlebag for your dual sport bike, the RG-020 is worth consideration. Constructed of water-resistant 1,680-denier TriMax ballistic nylon, these compact 12- to 15-liter bags are just large enough to carry your basic adventure essentials. They will mount to any bike with its simple strap system and the anti-scratch backing protects your plastic from harm.
The Stansport 766 saddlebags are constructed from heavy-duty cotton canvas with a reinforced vinyl backing that offers more than 1,000ci of storage space for your various sundries. Think of the 766 as a lightweight, inexpensive way to haul stuff on your bike during a clear weather day ride or commute. Be careful to mount the bags away from the exhaust though; cotton doesn't hold up well to direct heat so be diligent when mounting them to your motorcycle.
Leather and motorcycles just go together and this pair of saddlebags from powersports industry cover and saddlebag company Dowco Powersports are sleek and slanted, giving your ride a custom look. Made of 12-ounce UV- and water-resistant vinyl and offering a total of 20 liters in load capacity these accessories can help you bring your items along for the weekend ride.
Technically the Giant Loop MotoTrekk Panniers are more like soft luggage, but let’s not get into the semantics. The MotoTrekks are feature laden, easy to install, tough, durable, waterproof, and battle-proven PVC-style construction. They fit on any full-size dual sport or adventure motorcycle and provide 21 liters of storage in eac4h bag and weigh a mere 5 pounds.