Added extras: Best motorcycle luggage accessories

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Purpose-designed motorcycle luggage can be brilliant. Whether you use hard or soft panniers, a topbox or tankbag, all are brilliant ways of carrying your clobber around for commuting to work or going on a week-long holiday.

But often that’s not the end of the story. What about if you’ve run out of room and just want to add an extra small item? What about if you want to make your panniers extra secure?

Then there are the issues of extra weather-proofing or maybe a waterproof inner bag for that extra peace of mind. All these issues and more can be resolved by using extra straps, bags, covers or other kinds of luggage accessories.

Related: Top motorcycle luggage racks, camping kit.

So, whether you need just a couple of the long-famous elasticated ‘bungee’ straps with which to strap an oversuit onto your bike’s back seat, some quality security straps to keep your panniers safe, some inner or outer pannier bags to be sure of keeping the rain out or more, there’s almost certainly a luggage accessory to suit you.

Here are some ideas and our pick of the best out there to help.

ROK straps are stretchable, adjustable and lockable luggage straps which are a whole generation beyond the traditional, elasticated cord and hooks 'bungee'. We've actually given the ROK straps a thorough review, and reckon they're a very easy thing to recommend.


They come in a variety of lengths of strong webbing; are rubberised to help keep tension; adjustable; have a locking buckle system and the clasps are in HD plastic to avoid the scratching that sometimes happens with traditional bungees. Simply attach, buckle them up then tighten for the perfectly secure and neat load.

Pros

  • Secure fitment
  • Adjustability
  • Different lengths available

Cons

  • More expensive than bungees

Most bikers are familiar with cargo nets and they're a great, lightweight way of attaching small items (such as an oversuit) to your pillion seat or luggage rack quickly and easily.


Basically an elasticated net with an assortment of plastic-coated metal hooks, usually either four or six, at its corners and edges, they’re easy to use, versatile and cheap – hence their popularity. We wouldn’t, however, recommend their use for larger or heavier items or pronged distance use.

Pros

  • Versatility
  • Ease of use
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Only really for smaller, lighter items

Bungee straps need no introduction. They're fairly heavy-duty elasticated cords with plastic-coated metal hooks at each end. As such, they're a brilliantly easy and versatile way of attaching extra stuff to your bike, but you need to secure carefully and get the right length of strap for the job at hand.


Which is why this multi-pack, containing six straps with two each in 30cm, 45cm and 60cm lengths, gives you brilliant options for attaching extra luggage.

Pros

  • Ease and versatility
  • Multipack choice
  • Bargain price

Cons

  • Not as secure as some

Price: $29.35
Tested by Simon Weir for four years, 60,000 miles. Quality 4/5, Value 3/5

"These three bags are an invaluable part of my packing process. Clothes go in the largest red one – it’ll hold four days’ T-shirts and underwear comfortably. I put shoes in the medium green one, though it could hold another three days’ clothes. I use the small one as my bag of power: adaptors, chargers, leads, extra power banks and headphones live in it – but it’s big enough to take much more.

Packing kit in these keeps it all organised and dry, even if the outer luggage leaks. I’ve used them enough that the branding has worn off and they’re looking a bit battered, but they still work as well as ever. My only gripe is that you can only buy them in sets like this, not individually or in packs of the same size: I’d like a couple more of the most-useful red ones."

Price: $10.61

A modern, more high-tech update on the traditional elasticated bungee strap. These Bungee Extra straps feature a more heavy-duty elasticated strap than the traditional bungee and also feature stronger, hardened steel hooks covered with protective moulded plastic.


They’re also approved to the demanding German TUV standard. On the slight downside, they’re more expensive than traditional, cheap bungees, too – the price here is for just one strap – but invest in an appropriate assortment of lengths and you won’t regret it.

Pros

  • More advanced ‘bungee’
  • Stronger with uprated hook
  • Variety of lengths

Cons

  • More expensive than traditional bungee

Price: $16.64

Soft panniers or saddlebags can be a great luggage option for your bike, especially if your ride of choice is a custom-style machine where hard panniers would look out of place, but they're not always the most weatherproof, especially in rainy old Blighty.


Which is where these elasticated, polyester, waterproof saddlebag covers come in. They fit right over your panniers, keeping the worst of the rain and spray and bay and, when not needed, fold up small and can be tucked away.

Pros

  • Great for custom bikes and soft panniers
  • Great value
  • Easy to pack away afterwards

Cons

  • Need securing carefully

Accessory luggage straps such as bungees aren't always designed just to attach extra goodies to your bike, sometimes they're intended to ensure your luggage, such as panniers, is totally secure and theft-proof, such as here.


These Kriega straps are lockable via a stainless-steel cam lock, are made from steel-encased webbing, are a versatile 4.5 feet long (1.37m) and comes with two keys and full fitting instructions and tips. There’s even a tie-back included for tidy storage.

Pros

  • Lockable feature
  • Strong, steel encased webbing
  • Long length

Cons

  • Not the cheapest

Here's a simple fix to that most common of British biking luggage problems, keeping the gear in your luggage, especially if its not the most weatherproof type, dry.


The Weise dry bag is exactly what it says on the tin – a waterproof, transparent, double-seal bag into which you put your gear, seal properly, then stow in your luggage for peace of mind. Yes, many people simply use bin bags, but these are usefully clear so you can see what’s in them, have a proper seal and are pretty cheap anyway.

Pros

  • Simple solution
  • Clear with a proper seal
  • Good value

Cons

  • Skinflints will stick with binbags

Here's another simple, affordable solution to a common bike-luggage problem, stopping your items or bags sliding around (or even falling off entirely) when strapped down on your pillion seat or other luggage.


This anti-slip mat/webbing is available in two sizes and is simply put on your pillion seat (or whatever you’re strapping your extra items to) underneath your extra items before you strap it down. Its non-slip properties stop things from sliding around and, when not in use, it can easily be stored in your luggage or elsewhere.

Pros

  • Simple solution
  • Two sizes
  • Decent value

Cons

  • Needs to be stored afterwards

About the author: After qualifying as a mechanical engineer, Jim Blackstock began working on magazines in the early 1990s. He remains passionate about product testing to ensure readers know what products offer good value and why. He relishes torrential rain to see if riding kit keeps water out and an hour or two to tinker on a project bike in his workshop.

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