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Riding motorcycle with backpack safe?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by WantFreedom, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. Hi Guys,

    As most of you know I'm only a learner been riding for a month I wanted to know if this is safe or not seeing I'm only learning.

    I was going to ride my motorbike to tennis on Thursday night I have never ridden with a backpack, basically its just a standard sports backpack not a specialty motorcycle one it won't be heavy just carry a couple of tennis rackets, pair of shoes, bottle of water and shorts and t shirt? I will be riding about 10-15km

    One other thing I will be riding home in the dark and I have never ridden in the dark so there is two things I will be doing unfamiliar with me would they make much of a difference in regards to riding my motorbike ?


  2. Riding a motorcycle is not safe. If you can accept that, adding very slightly to the risk with what you are carrying is not a big jump. I might draw the line at sharp metal objects though.
    I've carried many a load in a backpack but these days I'm inclined to put it in a top box purely for comfort.
  3. No worries re pack, but as titustitus suggests maybe don't dump your loose tools or knife collection loose in one.

    Re night riding, just do what you normally do, just a bit slower. Like driving a car at night. Make sure you're not using a tinted visor (duh). And don't stare into oncoming lights, look where you're going.

    It's not a long ride so relax and enjoy.
  4. I can't stand carrying a backpack on my shoulders. So I strap one to the bike.
  5. If you're that worried, between now and then load some stuff in your bag and go for a ride around the block. In a few hundred metres you'll realise neither the backpack nor the night riding aren't that much of an issue. I did most of my L's practicing at night while commuting between home, uni and work with a backpack during the day.

    I'll add that I wear my backpack straps a bit tighter on the bike - keeps the weight moving with me instead of having a mind of its own.
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  6. Gotta pop your cherry sooner or later.

    Carrying the backpack is no big deal.

    Riding at night if in built up areas you probably won't notice much difference with all the street lights. It's when you get out to more rural areas where it is pitch black and where you need to look when cornering isn't where your head light is pointing.
  7. Thanks guys,

    I wasn't sure if it would make much of a difference I just wanted to check,

    I'll load up the backpack with the gear tomorrow night and ride around the streets see how it feels.
  8. With just your tennis gear it should be no problem. The heavier it is though the more I'd rather tie it on behind me rather than wear it.
    A basic backpack can be a little restrictive on your shoulder movement.
    When your getting ready, do it up as tight as you can while still allowing good movement and back stretch.
  9. Backpacks are a pain in the arse; ditched mine for a strap on bag as soon as I could. Your headlight probably has a rubbish bulb in it; I suggest buying a higher performance bulb and re-aiming your headlight to be sure it's pointed right.
  10. I use a back pack to carry my uniform to training after work.. It's pretty light so is of no major concern.

    There are some nice bike designed backpacks that place the weight on your chest and not shoulders etc but this is somewhat of an investment and i'd only recommend it if you would use it on a regular basis, or on long trips.
  11. most of the sturdy hiking style backpacks would be fine, just get one that has plenty of strap length so its easy to loosen so it can go over your jacket easy.

    I used one for ages before I got my Ventura bag.
  12. I often ride with my laptop in a backpack.

    I think it has more reason to be concerned with its owner on top of a motorcycle than I do need to be concerned with it.

    I have visions of spinning down the road on my backpack turtle style.... I hope that vision is only ever hypothetical. Besides, I'd make one fat turtle.
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  13. Just on the subject of hiking backpacks, the larger ones tend to have metal (usually aluminium) supporting struts built into the structure to help control and manage the weight of the contents.
    This can be a problem because they may extend high enough above shoulders to restrict backward head movement (worse for sports bikes) and even the risk of being impaled in a bad crash.
    Small day packs don't have this issue.
    I hate the extra weight of luggage being on my back and transferring to the butt/seat interface on a long ride.
  14. I started with a backpack, found it slightly irritating when a complete newb. Moved to a strap on tail pack for higher capacity. It felt "nicer", one less thing pushing me around when I when starting out. It had way less effect than the first time you get a strong cross wind on your helmet. If I'm over loaded these days the laptop goes over the shoulder in its supplied shoulder bag. I forget it’s there. "Mototrcyclist slides to a safe stop after accident. Then suffers burns from computer battery fire."

    To throw some very poor statistical analysis in to the mix: I see heaps of riders with back-packs, so many that some days I feel like the odd guy out there. Can't say I've ever heard any mention of back-packs a factor in accidents.

    Suck it and see. Go for a ride like you said and see how it feels, as long as it's not some behemoth you can fit a full set of cricket gear in.

    If I ever see you like that, I promise I'll flip you back on your legs.
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  15. Go take a running dive with and without the backpack and tell us which hurts more.
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  16. Crashed twice in a backpack. Think in the last accident it might have contributed to me rolling as I couldn't lie flat but i'm still alive. Don't crash and you'll be fine.
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  17. I use an $8 rivers backpack. Use it to carry ~8kg of groceries all the time. One time I crashed with a pack on, had a folded up fleece vest in it, stopped me from rolling.
    And by crash, I mean I got T boned by a car and thrown / slid a decent aways.
  18. If the backpack in question is big enough to catch the wind and restrict your head movement, not such a great idea. On the other hand a little one won't make much difference and if it's packed with soft clothes rather than bricks and steel boxes could even be helpful in SOME kinds of falls. If you've got a lot to carry and/or a long way to carry it consider getting a gearsack/ventura rack and bag instead. Locking top-boxes are awesome!
  19. I ride with a back pack everyday. It does take some time to get used to it plus I don't put anything heavy in it.
  20. I think your a bit of a pussy :)