How to Attach Panniers to a Bike

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How to Attach Panniers to a Bike

Attaching panniers to a motorcycle is a different process from attaching panniers to a bicycle; this guide focuses on attaching this equipment to a motorcycle. Some riders might know motorcycle panniers as saddlebags, but the concept is the same no matter what the name. These bags attach to the bike behind the seat and above the rear wheel, giving the rider additional storage space. They can come as a matched pair or the rider can install them singularly. They are also available in name brands that match the motorcycle's manufacturer.


Pannier Types

Panniers come in different sizes and materials to suit various needs. The chart below covers some of the most common situations in which a rider may find him or herself in need of a set of panniers. Riders who do not have a large enough budget to accommodate multiple types of panniers may want to stick with the largest, most versatile option available to avoid situations with too-small cargo storage.



Recommended Pannier

Extended road trip

Large, waterproof models

Hard-case options provide maximum protection for long-haul gear

Short-term cargo carrying

Medium-size or expandable bags suitable for carrying items like groceries

Can be in a less durable material such as fringed leather

Easily removable

Emergency gear storage

Smaller bag

Rider should measure emergency gear to ensure chosen bag holds everything


Some bike panniers are suitable for specific purposes, such as luggage-type bags that the rider can take on long trips. Shoppers who are looking for a deal should be careful to look at a product's measurements prior to bidding on or buying an inexpensive pannier; it is possible that the low cost correlates to smaller size. If a seller has not listed the measurements for a pannier, buyers should make their questions known to the seller before purchasing. Purchasing too-small panniers may end up being a waste of money and can force riders to carry cargo on their backs or in other inconvenient and potentially dangerous locations.


Attaching Panniers to a Motorcycle

The installation process for attaching panniers to a bike varies not only based on each motorcycle's make and model but also by the panniers themselves. There is no universal set of instructions that can cover the unique features of each and every bike and bag available, but there are some common sense rules that riders can follow.

Choose the Right Size of Bag

The text above warns against purchasing panniers that are too small for one's purposes, but buying bags that are too big to fit safely onto a specific bike is just as bad. It may be necessary for riders to measure their bikes prior to purchasing a set of panniers to ensure the best-possible fit.

Read the Installation Instructions

In general, installing a pannier on a motorcycle requires identifying anchor points both on the bike and on the bags and determining whether tie-down straps or another method of attachment is suitable for lashing the bags securely to the bike.

Test for Comfort and Security

Panniers should not interfere with the rider's seat and foot placement. Any interference with seat or foot placement can lead to instability on the bike, making for an unsafe and uncomfortable ride. Security is also important to ensure luggage is not lost on the road. Some pannier sets come with locks and other accessories to ensure they stay on the bike, even if someone tries to remove them.


Buying Motorcycle Panniers on eBay

Panniers are an important piece of motorcycle gear, particularly for those who plan on taking their bikes on long trips or using them as a primary mode of transportation for doing shopping and other tasks. Whether old-school leather motorcycle saddlebags or modern hard-case panniers are the solution, riders can make good use of this extra storage, reducing the need for loading heavy cargo into a backpack. Sellers on eBay offer a wide variety of panniers for Australian riders who want to gear up.

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