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2021 CanAm Spyder RT
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When I go out for a ride, even if it is only a 45 minute spin through the local country roads, just for the joy of riding, I take a good amount of gear with me. I always have a first aid kit, a flat tire repair kit, a rain jacket and pants, at least one extra pair of gloves, a baseball cap to wear when off the bike, and a small bag of key small items like a flashlight, tire pressure gauge, small multi tool and a few others. For most of my riding years I had cruisers, with vinyl or leather bags, and at least one bag was always full. One of the reasons I truly love my Goldwing is the extensive amount of lockable, hard luggage. I carry all of my "all the time" stuff listed above, plus have somewhere to safely stow my jacket, gloves and helmet when I get to where I am going (if I have a destination for that ride that day).

And I will admit that it is not unusual that I start a ride with jacket on, and then in the course of the day decide its just too hot for the jacket, and I'm glad I have a place to put it if I decide to just ride with a t-shirt instead.

I also have room for anything I might buy (within reason). And of course, I am ready to use some of my luggage space for a weekend getaway bag or even for longer trips. So I often wonder what do sportbike riders do, with literally no on board storage space? Most of the time I see the rider with a backpack on, which I would think would be really uncomfortable in typical summer weather, or if not carrying a backpack, then I assume they are out for very short rides or that they are just counting on not needing a thing, ever, while riding a motorcycle. Some do have tankbags, which I guess can hold enough to carry the basics, but it appears that tankbag use is not very common.

What brought this all to mind was not really the sportbikes, but seeing a rider at the gas station who was leaving as I pulled in. He had one of those "adventure" bikes, a BMW, with no bags, no backpack, no tankbag, no tailbag, no anything. Is he really "adventure" riding, or just hoping for the best on a regular street ride? Just my thoughts this Sunday morning.
 

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Cargo pants and backpack!

Seriously, for the first two years, I would store a small tire repair and 1st aid kit, multi-tool, zip ties, mini-bungees, water bottle, snacks, and any small arms I wanted to carry in my backpack. It was heavy but not too bad and helped build up my lower back strength! Wallet and cell phone went in my jacket or cargo pockets.

My wife bought me a tail bag this past Christmas/Hannukah and it has enough room for all the above, minus the 1st aid kit.

My rides rarely take me more than 50 miles or so from home, so I don't really need to worry about a change of clothing or anything. If I need to make a store run, I usually plan that as a separate ride and will take the backpack for that!

As for other SB riders that I see in my area, most of them are in t-shirts and jeans or shorts, so I'd imagine they aren't doing much other than joyriding...
 

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2009 Ninja 500r
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I used to carry a backpack as well. Now that my Goldwing is Naked it is more of a local ride it out and home type of bike although, I do have a bag I put on the false tank that attaches to the railing on said false tank. The blackbird is my new road bike, it has the beetle bags, and a Krauser top box so it carries as much luggage as my OldWing carried, although not as much as the NewWings though. I have never filled up my luggage nor have I pulled a trailer, but have seen those who do and looks like a lot to me.

I was told the most important thing to carry is bus fare to get home. aka, a way to get home via a wrecker service, friend or Uhaul type etc.

I blew the engine in my 500 out on a group ride and one of the guys in the group got me home and I rented a uhaul and went and retrieved my bike. If it was a flat, I would have had to do the same because I don't carry those kits (used too under the seat but did not have a way to air the tire back up thus my discontinuing carrying), although I can seen the benefits of this.
 

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Tank bag, back pack. Tube bag tied across back seat. Or a decent size tube bag on the tank.
Some bikes like my Suzuki can have saddle bags, and or a top box. Most of the newer sport bikes will not accept saddle bags, and or a top box. Many are just plain stupid aft of the swing arm bushing.
Some Harleys use a Saint Bernard bag under the head light. Fishing rod goes on the front forks.

UK
 

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Moderator - Loves All Motorcycles
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None of my bikes have bags. The Goldwing used to but it "yeeted" those one weekend morning.

I carry a string backpack with essentials. In it are my purse, an extra throttle cable for the bike I'm riding, an extra clutch cable for the bike I'm riding, carb cleaner, some basic hand tools, fuses, and a bag of zip ties. Need to pick up a tyre repair kit. Only weighs like 5 pounds and the bag is a light material so it doesn't change how I feel in the summer.

As for purchases, I can usually fit up to a 6 pack of toilet paper in the bag with everything else that's in it. So I can usually pick myself up dinner, get prescriptions, and other small errands. If I need to carry more, I'll bring a milk crate and/or straps to the store with me. Then I'll strap my purchases to the pillion seat.
 

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On The Road Again!
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I don't know how any of these people ride while wearing a back pack.
My shoulders and back would be killing me in short order.
And I'm so used to having a bike with saddlebags and trunk that couldn't live without them. I always have stuff that I carry with me and I need a place to put it.
 
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I don't know how any of these people ride while wearing a back pack.
My shoulders and back would be killing me in short order.
And I'm so used to having a bike with saddlebags and trunk that couldn't live without them. I always have stuff that I carry with me and I need a place to put it.
The back back subject has come up before.
Bluzu with me, a tank bag, a pack pack, saddle bags, top box and a tube bag across the bag seat, has been faster for many miles over the mountains, than the vast majority of bikes can go. A strap across the chest to hold the straps from slipping off, is a good plan.

I nearly always have a back pack. One of them has a big 46 on the back.

UK
 

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I don't know how any of these people ride while wearing a back pack.
My shoulders and back would be killing me in short order.
And I'm so used to having a bike with saddlebags and trunk that couldn't live without them. I always have stuff that I carry with me and I need a place to put it.
I've been wearing a backpack since I started riding last September, but I'd like to get saddle bags. I'm going to look into that when I get my next bike...hopefully in a couple months. The backpack will still be going with me to work. It would be nice to ride around on my days off and not have to wear a backpack.
 

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I don't ride a sport bike, but I do ride a naked roadster. Some aftermarket luggage makers do offer hard side panniers and mounting brackets for naked & sport bikes. But, I didn't want to ruin the looks or lines of the bike with the large panniers since I really dont use this bike for touring. I did modify a couple of larger cruiser fork bags, made up some mounting brackets and mounted them as 12" long x 7" high mini saddlebags, they're pretty low profile and carry what I need. I also have a expandable quick release tank bag if needed. In the right side bag I carry a portable 12v jumpstarter/powerpack, a 12v mini air compressor & tire plug kit along with a couple of other items.

If not using the tank bag, I use the left side mini saddlebag for personal items such as keys, bottled water, sunglasses, reading glasses, wallet, cell phone and such. The cargo net is always on my rear seat for additional items in needed. A cargo net works great if its completely wrapped around the seat, not hooked onto the sides like some people tend to do. If hooked onto the sides, items can slide out of the net. Personally, I would never wear a backpack while riding. Depending on what you have in the backpack, it could be dangerous in a crash. Also I've been told they are a real PIA. Sport bikes and naked bikes are not touring bikes, but when I have gone on the occasional long distance trip with this bike where I needed additional clothing, I've strapped a pretty large drybag across the rear seat and across the top of the mini saddlebags of the bike. There's always ways to carry what you need if you want to spend the money to buy the specialty luggage that's available, or if you're creative enough.

 

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Personally, I would never wear a backpack while riding. Depending on what you have in the backpack, it could be dangerous in a crash. Also I've been told they are a real PIA.
I was thinking about securing my backpack to the seat with a cargo net of some sort. But it's so convenient to just wear the backpack. I don't feel it much because it tends to rest on the seat anyway.
 

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On The Road Again!
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I've been wearing a backpack since I started riding last September, but I'd like to get saddle bags. I'm going to look into that when I get my next bike...hopefully in a couple months. The backpack will still be going with me to work. It would be nice to ride around on my days off and not have to wear a backpack.
With a back pack, every time you hit a bump, all of that weight is bouncing up and down
on your shoulders. Let the bike carry the weight. It's much more capable of doing it
than your shoulders are.
 
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