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How Do I Choose the Best Motorcycle Luggage Rack?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2016
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The type of motorcycle luggage rack that will work best for you will depend on what type of motorcycle you will be attaching the rack to, how much luggage you need to secure to the bike, the cost of the rack, and the look of the unit when it is mounted on the bike. While many motorcycle luggage rack models will fit a wide variety of motorcycles, it is best to ensure the rack is compatible with your make, model, and year of motorcycle before purchasing. Most stores, online and on-site, will have this information readily available.

Consider where and how the rack will be mounted on the bike. Many motorcycle luggage rack models are designed to mount at the rear of the seat, allowing you to secure one or more bags to the rack. Many racks are quite small, so only one or two bags can be attached at a time. This is the case for a few reasons: first, adding too much weight to the bike, especially high up near the seat, can affect the handling of the motorcycle; second, too many bags can adversely affect the aerodynamics of the bike when in motion.

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If you have a larger amount of luggage to carry, you may want to consider a motorcycle luggage rack that will allow you to mount pannier bags to the rear of the bike. These bags hang down over the rear wheel, keeping the weight lower for better handling and more storage space. Panniers generally come in two varieties: soft shell and hard shell. Hard shell cases will offer more protection, especially in the event of an accident, though soft shell cases tend to be lighter and less expensive. They will also expand slightly, meaning you will be able to fit more of your belongings inside.

The best motorcycle luggage rack models that are designed for mounting at the back of the motorcycle seat will be the ones that are lightweight, attractive, and affordable. They will fit with the aesthetic of the bike, and they will be unobtrusive when not in use. The luggage rack should not stand out, as it is only an accessory, and you will want the overall visual appeal of the bike to be noticed rather than the metal rack affixed to the back. Choose one that mounts solidly for sufficient stability when loaded down.

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