The right luggage will keep items organized and stored safely during your ride.

The decision between hard vs. soft bags will depend on your bike, travel timeline, cost, and weight expectations. To keep things light I’ve always gone with soft luggage.

The three most basic elements are a tank bag, fender bag, and a tail-bag or saddle bag.

Tank bag – place to store items you want during the day:  hat, sunglasses, first aid kid, snacks, lip balm, map, extra layer.   Bag should be large enough to store what you need, but small enough that you can still stand unimpeded.

Tail bag / Saddle Bag – items that you only use each night or need irregularly: tools, street clothes, extra pair of shoes, bathroom kit, camping equipment.

Fender Bag – spare tube(s), tire irons, screw-driver.

Rack – additional attachment point for tent, ground-pad, sleeping bag, and/or extra dry-duffle.

The Giant Loop bag is a bit of a hybrid.  It keeps items close to the bike out of the way of your legs and has plenty of room for multi-day gear loads. It’s the best soft bag I’ve seen.

XR650R loaded for 3 day trip with a Giant Loop Coyote Bag, Wolfman Enduro Tank Bag, and Moose Fender Bag. The white labels show commonly upgraded parts on a dual sport bike. The dry-duffle is for any shopping along the way.


KLR650 with Ortlieb Thin Dry Saddle Bags, Wolfman Explorer Tank Bag, and stock KLR rack loaded for 1 week trip.


Photos: Richard