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Tips for Packing your Motorcycle Luggage Rack

Jul 21, 2008
Anyone who has taken a long trip on a motorcycle will tell you that it simply isn't possible to fit all that you need in your motorcycle's saddlebags or glove compartment. At best you can fit a change of clothes or two and if you are not traveling alone that simply won't do. The fact is to travel successfully you will need other items besides your clothes and even the best packer can't squeeze all the necessities in those small on-board compartments. Generally if you are traveling for an extended period of time or if you are traveling with a companion you will need to add a motorcycle luggage rack to your bike. There are many things to keep in mind when packing a motorcycle luggage rack.

3. It is important when strapping things to your motorcycle that you make sure not to block the airflow to the engine. The motorcycle engine relies on the air that comes across the fender and past the headlight to cool. This is of particular importance when you are riding a motorcycle with a fat front tire and fender. If you aren't careful when packing your motorcycle luggage rack you may end up overheating your engine.

2. When packing your motorcycle luggage rack it is also important to keep gravity and balance in mind. Try to keep the mass as close to the motorcycle's center of gravity as possible. Typically that would be near your motorcycle's transmission case. The further the weight is distributed from that point the more likely your motorcycle will experience handling issues. Heavier items should be placed as close to the fuel tank as possible or in the saddlebags if there is room. If you have no room in either of those areas of your motorcycle the next best place for heavy items would be on the seat as close behind you as possible. Your motorcycle luggage rack should be used for lighter items. Keep your motorcycle luggage rack packed reasonably with lighter items so it doesn't get to heavy from excessive packing.

1. Make sure that you pay close attention to load limits. There are many load limits based on your bike model and make. These limits may also relate to the brand or type of motorcycle luggage rack that you have purchased. Consult your motorcycle's owners manual and VIN plate for weight restrictions and make sure that you consider your own weight and the weight of fuel when adding weight to your motorcycle's luggage rack. These restrictions are put in place for rider safety and overall wear and tear on your bike. Proper distribution of weight and not overloading your bike are the two most essential things to keep in mind when you are packing your motorcycle luggage rack. It is best to consult your owners manual before you actually buy a motorcycle luggage rack so that you don't waste money on a luggage rack that has more capacity than your bike can hold.
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