Luggage, Luggage, Luggage

Living on a a motorcycle doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult. Many motorcycle owners have gone on weekend trips, and while some managed to fill every inch of their available luggage they survived their road trips just fine (though maybe next time they brought a trailer).

This was just one person's stuff.

I am not bringing a trailer. At the time of this blog post I will have one tank bag, one tail bag, two saddlebags, and a backpack. Of course, the backpack is for Blue and my hydration bag, so that doesn’t really count. And, while I am reasonably certain about this luggage arrangement I am not without doubts. Most overland motorcycle riders have told me to have at least one piece of luggage that locks. Not only do none of mine lock, they are all soft luggage, held on with straps. I will admit this worries me sometimes, and I have experimented with hard luggage with mixed results.

I probably had too much stuff on this trip.

definitely too much stuff.

The best hard luggage system I’ve found for the bike so far is Vetter’s sidecases with the trunk that came stock with the T model of the SR250.

The original side racks I had installed on Curiosity were damaged before I ever put them on, and the ammo cases had damaged them more. With a little bit of luck I had found another set on Ebay for cheap and bought them. They were slightly different, sitting closer to the bike, but with the hard cases it worked well. The only thing that really worried me was the weight – the hard cases empty weighed about as the soft luggage full. Also the rear seat (where my tent and bedding sit when I’m riding) were gone with this arrangement, and I have never been convinced the hard Vetter’s hold as much as the soft Ortleib cases.

I am hoping to manage one more camping trip, perhaps three days/two nights, with the Vetter cases and see how they work. If I like them I will probably find a newer set on Ebay to use, instead of the set off my XS1100 touring bike, and paint them to match everything else.

Oh, and in case you were wondering why I don’t just use the hard sidecases with the soft tail bag, keeping the rear seat open for my camping gear, it’s because my laptop – the one thing I think I should be locking up on the bike – doesn’t fit in the sidecases.

So, really the hard luggage question is completely about security and the fact it’s somewhere to put travel stickers is entirely a side issue.

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2 Responses to Luggage, Luggage, Luggage

  1. Kless says:

    Really like the far rear setup! Water&Fuel are the most important things haha I bring plenty of water even on 2-5 hour rides but even with my 5.5 gallon tank I’ve given thought to bringing a g.can same size as yours.

    Also I wished I’d seen this thread before I posted on the other didn’t realize you already had waterproof soft luggage. Tough decision to make on the hard vs. soft though I like both of them.


    • traveling250 says:

      I am going to go with the soft. The weight savings and flexibility it worth it, I hope. Of course, my hard bags are in bad shape and there isn’t time to replace them anymore.

      I like having extra water and gas, the 250 doesn’t have a huge range (150-180 miles). I read something online that has stuck in my head. “Gas is distance, water is time.”


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