Last time we saw the differences between leather saddlebags and hard bags, now it’s time to go over the main differences between lateral saddlebags: big bags and small bags.
A lateral saddlebag or a pair of leather saddlebags are an essential and practical addition to any motorcycle. Every biker needs a place to store all the items he considers indispensable for himself or, more generally, for a biker.
The Internet is full of Biker Blogs where, by demonizing big bags, the infinite qualities of small bags are enhanced. Is full of articles explaining how right small bags are for short rides… I am sorry but, right for whom? The choice of a bag is something so personal that is not possible to only exalt one type of capacity by demonizing the other. Let’s see the main qualities of large and small bags.
Lateral Saddlebags: how to choose
Now, if you are planning to go on weekend rider or on longer trips, choosing a large bag is mandatory. The load capacity needed to deal with one week or longer trips may surprise you. In addition to the usual tools required for small repairs you usually need to take with you:
– Rain gear
– Goretex gloves
– Two pairs of spare clothes (thank you laundromat)
– A pair of sneakers
– First aid kit
All these objects easily fill a side bag, especially if you are traveling with a passenger. It is highly recommended to organize the trip well, decide the essentials to take with you, then adjust and pack your luggage accordingly.
Whether you use the bike for short rides or for road trips, there are accessories that must not be missing:
– A small set of keys for your bike
– A couple of sparks
– Duct tape (saved me a couple of times)
– A flash light
A small bag, not bulky and optimal for small rides, can easily store these things; everything else is superfluous … or maybe not? After finding myself under a storm in a couple of circumstances, I realized the vital importance of always carrying my rain gear and a pair of Goretex gloves. Lately, I also discovered the added value of carrying a thermos filled with my favorite tea, seat somewhere and sip on it while looking at a landscape: enough with the usual cold and dark coffee shops … Drink for the soul. All these extras have a “cost”: space that you do not have if you own a small bag or a couple of small saddlebags.
The market is filled with all kind of saddlebags that can go with all motorcycle and biker styles. This is small bags territory: compact and sinuous, small bags lines are able to enhance a motorcycle design without being intrusive and, above all, looking bulky. Large bags and small bags are available in different types of materials and in many different colors to perfectly match the tastes and personality of the biker who decides to install them.
So, which bag to choose? I am lucky enough to be able to go on road trips so i had to opt for large bags, a choice that now allows me to enjoy my saddlebag loading capacities even on short rides. What about you? Do you go for long trips or do you enjoy to go our on short rides?