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Tips for Purchasing Used Motorcycle Luggage

Jul 24, 2008
You just brought that brand new bike home and as you're standing there admiring not only the appearance of it, but the sweet deal you got on it as well, you noticed that something was missing. You are planning on taking an extensive two-week road trip within the next month, but there isn't enough storage on that bike to accommodate your needs, especially with clothing, food, and gear.

Now you're confronted with a dilemma. You've already decided that you want the matching saddle bags and trunk that are available through the manufacturer (which you should have done when you ordered the bike). However, it's too late to do that now since they won't arrive in time for that road trip. So you've decided to purchase some used motorcycle luggage for the time being.

You wouldn't normally worry about buying new equipment, but you are concerned about buying it used. Whether you have decided on hard or soft luggage, purchasing the equipment used is a great way to save a few bucks and still be able to take off on that long awaited trip that is right around the corner. So, just to throw you a little advice, here are 5 tips to help you make that purchase.

Tip #1 - Educate yourself on the different types of motorcycle luggage. First of all, motorcycle luggage is classified in two categories --- hard and soft. Then there are the subcategories --- saddlebags, tank bags, and trunks. These come in a variety of materials, but leather is always recommended most.

Tip #2 - Don't over-purchase the luggage. A lot of new riders (and even some experienced ones) make the mistake of buying more motorcycle luggage than what is necessary. Even when you are purchasing used luggage, this still equates to wasting your money. Additionally, there is the issue of overwhelming the bike with more than what is necessary, and this could result in the bike becoming unstable.

Tip #3 - If you want to find used motorcycle luggage, the first place to shop is at a used motorcycle dealer. Makes sense to me. There are used motorcycle parts shops that you can visit as well. Despite these venues, probably the easiest way to shop for used luggage is online, but there are no guarantees that the items will fit properly.

Tip #4 - Ride your bike on that shopping excursion. Common sense would tell you that this is the best way to ensure that what you purchase fits properly and therefore eliminates any guesswork, which I feel is like making assumptions. And we all know the outcome when we assume things, don't we?

Tip #5 - Once you have found the motorcycle luggage you want, give it a thorough inspection. Four things to make sure of:

- all the locks lock properly and all the zippers zip easily (and stay zipped)

- if there is a lock (or locks), make sure you get the right key (or keys)

- there are no rips, tears, or unstitched seams in the material

- there are no problems with any of the brackets or clips closing when it comes to mounting, and securing the luggage
About the Author
Click here to learn more about used motorcycle luggage at The MotorcyclePedia.
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