Dedicating yourself to two-wheeled transportation around the urban sprawl takes a special skill set and the right gear. And not just for your body. Schlepping anything with more girth than the latest, largest handheld device demands dedicated storage. On a fully decked out bagger, cruiser or panniered ADV, that’s not an issue; but on the more maneuverable city-friendly motos, portable stowage is a must. That Jansport you’ve had since freshman year will work in a pinch, but it sits too low, resting its weight in all of the wrong places for tucked and upright riders. Thankfully there are plenty of good rider-friendly bags out there, and these are the best of them, from tank to tail and everywhere in between.
For the Moto-Messengers
Over-the-Shoulder Valuables Holder
Kriega Urban WP Messenger
With 16 liters of completely waterproof protection, the Kriega Urban WP Messenger bag is an ideal tote for riders who aren’t scared away by rain. There’s enough space inside to lug a 17-inch laptop (remember those?!) as well as all of your daily essentials. A strategically placed side pocket can be accessed easily from the saddle and the (optional) waist strap positions things properly when riding.
Chrome Industries Buran Night
Built using a weatherproof and abrasion-resistant Cordura shell, the Buran Night messenger can handle the rigors of demanding riders. Its four-pocket design has a place for everything — including a padded laptop sleeve — and the cross-chest load stabilizer helps keep it all in check mid lean.
Slim, Stealthy and Amply Spacious
JBird Collective Techpack
The waxed canvas semi-rigid shell of the JBird Collective Techpack is built like your favorite second bike — it takes a beating and looks the better for it. Mil-spec G hooks are everywhere to clip extras onto if the 25-liter capacity leaves you wanting, and the patented Cobra Buckle isn’t phased by dirt, dust or grime. Unlike most backpacks, the shoulder straps are pure suede and relatively slip resistant, so the Techpack stays locked in position.
Boblbee 25L GT Megalopolis Executive Backpack
You’ve sorted out your soft parts with hardshell armor, so it only makes sense that your everyday essentials get treated to the same protection. The Boblbee 25L GT offers up 25 liters of armored internal storage, including a separate sleeve to secure 15-inch laptops and everything else an executive with a penchant for speed needs to conquer his day. As an added bonus, the Boblebee’s unique harness and shell designs are built to transfer impact forces away from riders’ backs to minimize potential spinal injuries should things ever go awry.
Takes the Weight Off Your Back
Iron and Resin Pannier Bag
Saddle bags are one of the most practical passengers for any ride. The only problem is most were styled in the ’40s and feature fringe leather and get bolted to your bike. The Iron and Resin Pannier Bag is an attractive universal-fit solution that can quickly be removed and brought into the office with you.
SW Motech Blaze Saddlebags
SW Motech makes some of the most durable soft goods in moto travel. Designed with the sport rider in mind, the Blaze Saddlebags are installed over the passenger pillion and employ a removable solid-mount arm to keep them from wiggling around or hitting hot pipes during travel. If extra space is needed, they expand from 14 to 21 liters.
Wheelie-Proof Tail Bags
Store the Junk on the “Trunk”
Wolfman Peak Tail Bag
If all of your daily essentials can fit in a breadbox, the Wolfman Peak Tail Bag is a pillion-mounted solution for backpack-free riding. Expandable from 8 to 11 liters, the Peak has multiple mounting options to fit virtually any bike and is one of the few tail bags to feature internal compression straps to lock down your load.
Weatherproof, spacious and easy to install on anything with a frame rail, the Kriega US-20 dry bag is perfect for urban riders not scared away by damp or downpour conditions. If extra storage is ever needed, Kriega bags all feature attachment points to add on larger (or smaller) dry bags to create a complete luggage system for longer hauls.
Traffic-Ready Tank Bags
A Balance-Oriented Approach to Storage
Givi 3D603 Tanklock Tankbag
Combined with the bike-specific mount, the Givi Tanklock Tankbag eliminates the need to run straps or magnetic holds around your gas tank. That makes it easy to attach in the morning and, more importantly, easy to get out of your way when you need to fill up. An ingenious waterproof clear pocket on top is ideally sized for your smartphone too — but eyes on the road, pal.
Icon Urban Tank Bag
The Icon Urban Tank Bag features straps and magnets to hold in place on your bike, but also has a set of shoulder straps that unfurl to transform it into a backpack to lug gear up to the office. It’s spacious enough to carry a helmet, camera, GPS, rags, tools and your iPad — and pass as a personal item in the eyes of the TSA, should you be riding to the airport.