motorcycle 101 guides

How to Choose a Motorcycle Luggage Rack

How to Choose a Motorcycle Luggage Rack

Motorcycle luggage racks are made from a metallic base and mounted at the rear of a motorcycle. Motorcycles can only carry so much luggage and may need parts to help make it easier to carry your luggage bags. That’s where motorcycle luggage racks come in. Choosing the right motorcycle luggage rack requires you to consider many factors and criteria.

Here you’ll find a guide on features you need to check before buying a motorcycle luggage rack.

How to Choose a Motorcycle Luggage Rack - infographic

1. Things to Look for When Choosing a Motorcycle Luggage Rack

1.1 Material and Finishing

The first and foremost thing to look for when buying a luggage rack for your motorcycle is the material and outer coating. Racks must be made of heavy-duty and sturdy materials like stainless steel, carbon steel, or any other strong metallic material. Materials like stainless steel are corrosion resistant, very durable, environment-friendly, need low-maintenance, and look cool.

Furthermore, choosing the right finish or outer coating is equally important as choosing the material. Besides being rust-resistant, stainless steel materials can corrode when exposed to environmental elements for a long time. So to avoid this, choose a luggage rack that is finely chrome-plated. Chrome finishing also helps increase the lifespan of the rack by minimizing wear and tear.

1.2 Quality

You need a stable luggage rack to mount your luggage bags to prevent them from falling off. Choose a high-quality luggage rack that won’t become loose over time. Read reviews before making a purchase to make sure that a luggage rack won’t come loose after traveling a few miles.

1.3 Dimension

The size or dimensions of the luggage rack will depend on why you need a luggage rack or how much luggage you plan to carry. If you go touring regularly, you will need a large luggage rack that can carry all your bags. The average dimensions of a luggage rack are a length of 20” and a width of 15”.

1.4 Compatibility

Certain luggage racks will only fit specific models like any other motorcycle part. Before buying, make sure the luggage rack you plan to purchase can fit on your bike. Though many luggage racks are universal fits, it is best to make sure that that rack is compatible with your model. To confirm the luggage rack is compatible, you might need to contact the seller.

1.5 Lightweight

Make sure you pick a lightweight luggage rack that will not add too much additional weight to your touring bikes, especially if they are considered heavyweight vehicles.

1.6 Mounting

Luggage racks can be categorized by two mounting systems:

  • Quick Disconnect: This system saves time by being easy to install and uninstall. It takes only a few seconds to fasten and remove the luggage rack from your motorcycle.
  • Hard Mount: This system can keep a luggage rack fixed to your motorcycle permanently. However, it takes longer to install and remove from your vehicle. The motorcycle luggage rack will remain in place if the mounting bolts are fastened tightly.

If you want to buy a luggage rack for touring, it’s best to choose a hard-mount rack. If you want a luggage rack for daily rides, the quick disconnect would work best for you.

1.7 Weight and Storage Capacity

Make sure to check the weight and storage capacity of the luggage rack to make sure it can carry the amount of luggage you plan to carry. Many luggage racks have small weight and storage capacities, only able to carry one or two bags at a time. If you plan to carry several bags, consider buying a luggage rack with larger storage and weight capacities. Make sure the large weight and storage capacities don’t affect your motorcycle’s performance.

1.8 Positioning

Positioning is another essential factor to look for when buying a motorcycle luggage rack. Measure the height of the luggage rack after installing it on your bike to make sure it is level with the height of the rider's seat. Also, make sure there is an adequate buffer space between the luggage rack and the rider’s seat.

1.9 Hardware Availability

Try to buy a motorcycle luggage rack from brands that provide free hardware. Free hardware included with the luggage rack will make installation easier since you do not need to go look for and purchase separate equipment. Getting the hardware by yourself will make the process frustrating and long.

1.10 Easy Installation

When choosing a motorcycle luggage rack, it’s best to choose one from a brand that provides an installation guide. The instructions for installing luggage racks are usually easy to follow and will help make the installation go by faster.

1.11 Aesthetics

Aside from carrying luggage, racks also enhance the looks of your motorcycle. Motorcycle luggage racks are designed to mount at the motorcycle’s rear end, built with a stylish look to make your vehicle appear more attractive. Choose a luggage rack with colors and designs that complement your motorcycle’s appearance. Buy a rack that fits the aesthetic of your motorcycle and will be unobtrusive when not in use. 

1.12 Side Brackets

Many riders are concerned about raising the height of their motorcycle luggage rack. If you wish the same, consider buying side brackets with a luggage rack. The side brackets serve as a support to increase the height of the luggage rack.

2. Takeaway

Many riders have trouble deciding the criteria of an ideal motorcycle luggage rack. There are several factors you must keep in mind before making a purchase. The type of luggage rack that would work best depends on what type of motorbike you have and how much luggage you plan to carry. Additionally, you also need to consider other factors like material, quality, size, weight, storage capacity, positioning, and aesthetics before buying motorcycle luggage.

Reading next

How to Clean Motorcycle Air Filter
Options for Lowering Motorcycle Seat Height

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.