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Best way to carry gear?

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by caterz, May 4, 2007.

  1. Ok, my (not so old) faithful backpack has split down the seam after I stuffed it too full a few too many times. In thinking about replacing it, i was wondering if i should get something a bit more bike specific.

    Up till now, i just carried my backpack just on my back or strapped to the pillion seat with occy straps if it was too full or heavy. Been thinking, however, what effect would crashing with a pack on my back do? Not that I plan to do that, of course, but if it did would it make things worse?

    then of course there's the mate who told me about another mate who had a occy strap fly loose while riding, jam in his rear wheel, lock it up, went for a slide, one broken leg later... now having occy straps unhook while riding, i even lost one, i know this could happen. I think the suggestion was to use a cargo net instead?

    reading thru some other posts, I found some mention of bags specifically designed to have occy straps go thru them rather than over the top? so the bag contents don't get squished.

    the other option is of course to get a rack, i'm on restricted license so i can't carry pillions yet anyway. I got told on a course if i used a rack to turn it round over the seat anyway cause the bike handles better?

    ok, hopefully the above made some sort of sense. Basically the question that comes out of it is what method do you use/recommend/ wouldn't touch with a barge pole?

  2. I'm not saying this would happen every time, but one of my friends avoided severe injuries after being hit by a car when her backpack broke her fall.

    I've almost lost a bag by strapping it to the pillion seat once, but it didn't fall all the way off. I also dropped the bike the first time I did it when I went to swing my leg over the seat and the bag got in the way. Glad no-one was watching.
  3. I use a backpack all the time. Its holds alot but when empty is rather flat so its very versatile.

    Also i have a sissy rack in the garage if i really need it with a much bigger bag designed to go on the rack.

    So if need be i can carry a fair bit of gear but the rack will take about 10-15min to put on as i must undo my rear fairing.

    Would never use the occy straps, just dont trust them, so much potential for things going wrong.
  4. Check out www.andystrapz.com

    How much stuff do you need to carry? Tank bag not a bad idea
  5. I second the idea of a tank bag, another option is a seat bag.

    Both are available with straps so you can use them as a (short distance) back pack.

    It's generally better to have bike gear for carrying stuff on a bike... it tends to be better suited to that job.
  6. go a rack bag!

    I bought a ventura rack bag (56 litre) on Ebay for almost nothing.
    I then bought a rack from a gsxR1 also from ebay for almost nothing.

    Ventura wanted to charge me $260 for some mounts, so I went to Bunnings, bought some 19mm tubing, some shelf brackets, and made some mounts for less than $10.
    Didn't bend them properly, so made a 2nd set, with the help of a plumbers pipe bender ($12) and the bends whilst not easy look professional. A bit of black paint, and some D clips, and I have done 6000km with it so far, with no issues. Total expenditure - less than $100

    Would never go back to a backpack again, and occy straps are to attach the camping gear or chairs if needed on the very back of the rack.
    Just so convenient when you can put everything in the bag!
  7. Definitely gonna look into those straps.

    As for how much I carry, it depends. If I'm going to work, it's usually just a change of clothes & lunch. If I'll be going training, more clothes, shoes & a towel. If I'm gonna be away from home for a few days, that's when I'm bursting the bag.

    spose it's kinda like I need 2 bags, one small, one large. Going thru the forums I've read about tail bags. Does that just mean a bag that straps onto the pillion seat? And how about panniers? I ride a ZZR with an exhaust either side, not sure any would be suitable?
  8. Forget the backpacks and straps get yourself a Ventura rack and bag. Best damn value system on the market! IMHO.
  9. Under my arm!


    Backpack. I do try and pack it so if I come off, I don't land on my disc lock.
  10. I always send my luggage ahead with my driver.......
    Failing that, this is the best way to carry gear-

    Regards, Andrew.
  11. Having the bag sitting over the seat puts the weight more forward, giving a centre of weight that is closer to what the bike is normally. I've ridden with some fairly heavy loads on the back of my bike, and you can feel the difference when the weight is more forward. Of course, if you have a pillion then you can flip the bag around, after all, the pillion is going to be heavier then the bag and you want that weight further forward.

    I have a ventura rack system, plus two 45L bags and a tank bag. I don't use a backpack as i think the risks out way any benefit.