One of the most exhilarating aspects of owning a motorcycle is taking long road trips down highways, on back roads, and through cities. However, due to limited storage space on motorcycles, extended periods of time on the road pose challenges to both the rider and the bike. To ensure their own safety, riders should learn the proper way to pack luggage and other items on their bike. Packing your motorcycle can be the hardest part when preparing for a long ride. Riders should be aware that this added weight causes extra wear and tear on your bike and affects how well you can break, turn the corner, and accelerate. Those who are carrying extra weight on their bike should be extra cautious.
One of the first things riders should be aware of is how much weight your bike can carry. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum weight your bike can sustain and includes the weight of the bike, passenger, and any additional luggage. For your own safety, remain inside of this limit when you pack and adjust the tire pressure and suspension accordingly.
You should also be aware of where you place heavy items on the bike. The rule of thumb is to keep additional weight in line with the bike’s unloaded weight distribution and towards the bike’s center of gravity. When packing your motorcycle, don’t put excessive weight on one side of the bike or put too much weight on the tail, as it can make the bike wheelie prone. By preparing for all of these things in advance, it will be easier for you to sit back and enjoy the ride.
If you have too much gear to safely stow on your bike, check out our previous blog, Towing a Trailer with Your Motorcycle.
“How to Load your Motorcycle” by Jeff Cobb, motorcycle.com, April 19, 2013.