Best Motorcycle Saddle Bags

When it comes to motorcycle touring and long-distance riding, storage space is a crucial consideration. Motorcycle saddlebags have become an integral part of the biking experience, providing riders with a convenient and stylish solution for carrying their belongings. In this article, we will delve into the history of motorcycle saddlebags, explore their features, and discuss what factors to consider when choosing the right ones for your needs. First, let’s start with my recommendations for top 10 motorcycle saddle bags – sorted from my least to the most favorite ones.

Best Motorcycle Saddle Bags

Kemimoto motorcycle saddlebags: These saddlebags offer a large 24L capacity, providing ample storage space for all your essentials during your off-road adventures. Built with high-quality materials, they are designed to withstand the toughest riding conditions. Each saddlebag comes with a rain cover, ensuring that your belongings stay dry and secure even in unpredictable weather. With their user-friendly design, installation is quick and hassle-free. Enhance your riding experience and keep your gear organized with the kemimoto Motorcycle Saddlebags, the perfect companion for all your motorcycle journeys.

Rhinowalk motorcycle saddlebags: These high-quality saddlebags are designed for adventure, street, sports, and dirt bikes, offering ample storage space and reliable waterproof protection. With a total capacity of 18 liters (9 liters per bag), these saddlebags allow you to carry your essentials with ease. Their waterproof construction ensures that your belongings stay dry even in challenging riding conditions, while compatibility with most motorcycle racks makes installation a breeze. The sleek design, sturdy zippers, and reinforced stitching add both style and durability to these saddlebags. Gear up and ride confidently with the Rhinowalk Motorcycle Saddlebags Waterproof 18L (9L*2).

Viking Bags Axe Motorcycle Saddlebags: The Viking Bags Axe Motorcycle Saddlebags are crafted from durable Viking leather, known for its strength and longevity. These saddlebags offer a throw-over mounting system, making them compatible with a wide range of motorcycles. The bags feature a spacious design with multiple pockets, providing ample storage space for your belongings. Additionally, they have a weather-resistant construction, ensuring your items remain protected even in adverse conditions.

Nelson-Rigg Route 1 Traveler Saddlebags: Designed for the avid traveler, the Nelson-Rigg Route 1 Traveler Saddlebags are constructed from UV-treated Tri-Max ballistic nylon. This material offers exceptional durability, able to withstand the rigors of long-distance riding. These saddlebags boast a large storage capacity, allowing you to pack all your essentials. The quick-release mounting system makes installation and removal a breeze, while the bags’ robust design ensures they can handle the demands of the road.

Willie & Max Revolution Saddlebags: For those seeking a classic aesthetic, the Willie & Max Revolution Saddlebags are an excellent choice. These saddlebags are made from synthetic leather, providing a vintage look without compromising durability. They feature a throw-over mounting system with adjustable yoke mounting, allowing for easy installation and a secure fit. The bags have a compact design, making them ideal for riders who prefer a sleek profile, while still offering ample storage space for your necessities.

Saddlemen Express Drifter Slant Saddlebags: If you’re after a blend of style and functionality, the Saddlemen Express Drifter Slant Saddlebags are worth considering. These slant-style saddlebags are constructed from synthetic leather, combining durability with a touch of retro flair. The bags feature a quick-release mounting system for easy installation and removal. With their weather-resistant construction and internal mesh pockets, you can ride with confidence knowing your belongings are protected and organized.

Kuryakyn Momentum Road Warrior Saddlebags: The Kuryakyn Momentum Road Warrior Saddlebags are designed for riders who demand premium quality and exceptional functionality. These saddlebags are crafted from durable textile material, offering both strength and flexibility. The semi-rigid design maintains its shape while allowing for easy mounting and dismounting. With a quick-mounting system, weather-resistant construction, and multiple storage compartments, these saddlebags provide the ultimate convenience for your riding adventures.

Dowco Willie & Max 58320-00 Warrior Series: The Dowco Willie & Max 58320-00 Warrior Series Saddlebags are engineered for riders seeking optimal convenience and durability. These saddlebags feature a quick-mount system that allows for effortless installation and removal. Constructed from industrial-grade ballistic nylon, they are built to withstand tough conditions and provide excellent resistance to abrasion. The modular storage system, with adjustable compartments, ensures efficient organization of your belongings. The bags also offer a water-resistant design to protect your items from the elements.

Tourmaster Select Saddlebags: The Tourmaster Select Saddlebags combine durability, versatility, and enhanced visibility. Constructed from heavy-duty 600D polyester, these saddlebags are built to withstand the demands of the road. They feature a quick-release mounting system, allowing for easy installation and removal. The bags come with reflective piping, improving visibility during nighttime rides. Multiple external pockets provide convenient access to smaller items, making these saddlebags a practical choice for riders on the go.

Givi EA101 Easy Range Saddlebags: If you prefer lightweight and compact saddlebags, the Givi EA101 Easy Range Saddlebags are an excellent option. These saddlebags are made of high-tenacity polyester, offering durability and resistance to wear. With a quick-release mounting system, you can effortlessly attach and detach the bags as needed. The waterproof roll-top closure ensures your belongings stay dry, and the reflective accents enhance visibility for added safety on the road.

Chase Harper USA Magnum Saddlebags: The Chase Harper USA Magnum Saddlebags are designed for riders who prioritize durability and functionality. Constructed from industrial-grade ballistic nylon, these saddlebags are exceptionally resistant to abrasion and wear. They feature a versatile mounting system, allowing you to adjust the bags to suit your motorcycle’s specifications. The bags offer a large main compartment for your essentials, while exterior pockets provide additional storage options. These saddlebags are built to last, making them an excellent investment for long-term use

Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags: The Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags are known for their sleek design and exceptional durability. Made from 1680 denier ballistic polyester, these saddlebags offer outstanding strength and resistance to wear. The quick-release mounting system ensures easy installation and removal. With waterproof zippers, your belongings remain dry even in wet conditions. The internal mesh pockets allow for efficient organization, making these saddlebags a practical choice for riders who value both style and functionality.

Best Motorcycle Saddle Bags

Rhinowalk motorcycle saddlebags
• Waterproof material
• Shockproof and high temperature resistant
18L Capacity
• It can be easily fixed without a frame and will not rub against the wheels and pedals.
• The shoulder straps of the bag can be used crosswise, with both sides inserted and fixed to the rear of the motorcycle.

$129.00 on Amazon

Kemimoto motorcycle saddlebags
• Wide Suitability for Motorcycle
• 20L Large Capacity & 4L Extra Storage
• Durable with Rain Cover 
• Easy to Installation & Adjustment
• Rain Covers to help to keep some rain out or dusty and keep stuff dry and clean, At KEMIMOTO, we fully stand behind our motorcycle saddlebags. If you don’t 100% love our motorcycle saddlebags, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will provide you with the best solution in time.
$69.99 on Amazon

Viking Bags Axe Motorcycle Saddlebags
• Viking sports & street bike saddlebags are made of heavy-duty Cordura
• Dual quick-opening top zippers
• Duraflex buckles throughout for added strength
• Heat-resistant bottom to prevent burn from the exhaust
• Quick-release side straps
Check Price On Amazon

Nelson-Rigg Route 1 Traveler Saddlebags
• LIFETIME WARRANTY All Nelson-Rigg products are made to the highest standards of quality and finish. Our products are warrantied to be free from defects in materials and workmanship
• SUPER FABRIC Made from our exclusive and industry-leading UltraMax fabric that offers maximum fade resistance and prevention of breakdown from the natural elements
• KEY FEATURES No need to worry about being seen, the Traveler has reflective piping for enhanced visibility. The included rain cover makes this bag 100% waterproof
• PERFECT SIZE With dimensions of 22”L x 12”W x 14.5”H (63 liters) and 22″L X 12″W X 17″H (73.5 liters) expanded it easily mounts to the tour trunk of your Harley Davidson Ultra, Honda Goldwing or Indian Roadmaster
• SIMPLE INSTALLATION With all straps attached to the bag, installation is a breeze, simply run the straps down to your trunk luggage rack and back up to the bag
$183.00 on Amazon

Willie & Max Revolution Saddlebags
• Fits most cruisers on the market
• Easy to mount and easy to remove
• Durable construction allows for many years of use
• Weather-resistant design and materials
• Reinforced gussets for shape retention
$288 on Amazon

Saddlemen Express Drifter Slant Saddlebags
• Clean-styled saddlebags available in Custom-Fit mounting.
• Custom-Fit style has a strong, smooth backside and no yoke, designed to allow custom mounting to your motorcycle.
• Extra-strong plastic back works perfectly with the S4 Quick-Disconnect Mounting System.
• Made of a durable combination of materials including genuine leather, Saddlehyde, chrome-plated brass, and a tough plastic frame.
• All feature chrome-plated buckles and genuine leather straps with lockable, quick-release hidden buckles.
$185.00 On Amazon

Kuryakyn Momentum Road Warrior Saddlebags
• UV-rated construction with weather-resistant 1200 denier textile material; Anti-scratch backs with heat-resistant bottoms
• Throw-over design with a fully adjustable mounting belt allows easy installation and removal; Mounting strap kit for extra security while no hardware or support brackets are required
• Storage includes forward-facing quick-stash pockets, and an internal adjustable divider, and fits up to 26 liters per bag (32 expanded); Baggage contains a 2″ expansion panel with the capacity to fit a half helmet
• Includes rain cover for added protection; Carrying handles offer easy portability
• Universal fit; Each bag measures 18″ x 8″ (10″ expanded) x 11″
$238.00 on Amazon

Dowco Willie & Max 58320-00 Warrior Series
• Zip-off yokes and quick-release buckles
• Sewn-in handles for easy transfer from the bike
• Plastic reinforcing for shape retention
• Made of synthetic leather
• Made In the USA
$212.00 on Amazon

Tourmaster Select Saddlebags
• 840D UV-resistant nylon exterior construction
• 210D gray nylon interior with Tour Master branding ribbon
• Dual zipper entry allows for easy access
• Specifically shaped to optimize storage and fitment
• Fits the 2001-2014 Honda Gold Wing GL-1800
$164.00 on Amazon

Givi EA101 Easy Range Saddlebags
• Rain cover
• Shoulder strap
• 2 elastic bungees with hooks
• Reinforcements in rigid plastic
$155.00 On Amazon

Chase Harper USA Magnum Saddlebags
• Adjustable velcro strap mounting harness paired with traditional quick-release loop mounting system for a secure fit while enabling rapid mounting/dismounting. PLEASE NOTE: The strap mounting harness accommodates mounting areas up to 15” wide. If your mounting area is wider than 15”, Chase Harper USA saddle bag mounting harness extenders are available and can be found by typing/copy-pasting Item# B086XLJFHM into the Amazon search above
• Thick genuine leather covers the exterior facing the inside of the bike on the exhaust side to prevent scratching and protect against exhaust heat
• Includes left and right saddle bags constructed from industrial-grade ballistic urethane-coated nylon. Water-resistant, tear-resistant, highly durable
• Slim, contour design hugs the back end for a sleek fit that helps create a low drag coefficient as well as prevents snagging on bushes and brush while riding on the trail. Dimensions: 19″L x 7″W x 9″H; 17 Liters – each side
$98.00 on Amazon

Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags
• 1682 denier ballistic polyester and 1800 denier three-lined twill jacquard weave side pockets with a polyester backing
• Protective heat shield on the lower section of bags and back piping. 
• Black soft interior
• Zippered side pocket on each bag
• Rain covers included
$166.00 on Amazon

Universal Fit Motorcycle Saddlebags

Universal fit motorcycle saddlebags are a versatile accessory designed to accommodate a wide range of motorcycle models, making them a popular choice among riders. Universal fit saddlebags are typically constructed using durable materials, ensuring their longevity and ability to withstand the rigors of the road. With adjustable mounting systems and attachment points, these saddlebags can be securely and easily installed on motorcycles, offering riders the freedom to choose their preferred placement. Whether for short commutes or long-distance adventures, universal fit motorcycle saddlebags are a reliable and practical solution for riders seeking both functionality and style.

Best Universal Fit Motorcycle Saddle Bags

Viking Bags Axe Motorcycle Saddlebags

Saddlemen Express Drifter Slant Saddlebags

Kuryakyn Momentum Road Warrior Saddlebags
Check Price On Amazon$185.00 On Amazon$238.00 on Amazon

Leather Motorcycle Saddlebags

For those who look for style in their motorcycle accessories – leather is always the best choice. And the best-ever leather saddle bags are offered by Willie & Max. These saddle bags prove that motorcycle accessories can be stylish not only practical. When choosing leather it is always advisable to check well the quality of the product and I can assure in the quality of Wilie & Max.

Best Leather Motorcycle Saddle Bags

Willie & Max Revolution Saddlebags

Saddlemen Express Drifter Slant Saddlebags

Dowco Willie & Max 58320-00 Warrior Series
$288 on Amazon$185.00 On Amazon$212.00 on Amazon

History of Motorcycle Saddle Bags

The origin of motorcycle saddlebags can be traced back to the early 20th century. As motorcycles gained popularity and riders ventured on longer journeys, the need for additional storage became evident. Initially, riders relied on makeshift bags and pouches attached to the motorcycle frame or handlebars. However, these solutions were often cumbersome and inadequate.

In the 1920s, manufacturers started producing purpose-built saddlebags. These bags were typically made of leather and attached to the motorcycle’s rear fender or side struts. They provided a secure and spacious storage option, allowing riders to carry essential items for their journeys. Over time, saddlebag designs evolved, incorporating various features to enhance functionality and aesthetics.

Features of Motorcycle Saddle Bags

Material: Traditional saddlebags were predominantly made of leather due to its durability and classic appearance. However, modern saddlebags now come in a variety of materials, including synthetic fabrics and hard plastics. Each material has its own advantages, such as water resistance, easy maintenance, or impact resistance, allowing riders to choose based on their specific needs.

Mounting Options: Saddlebags can be mounted in different ways, depending on the motorcycle model and personal preference. The most common mounting systems include throw-over, bolt-on, and quick-release options. Throw-over saddlebags hang over the rear fender and are secured with straps or buckles. Bolt-on bags require specific mounting brackets and provide a more permanent attachment. Quick-release systems use specialized hardware, allowing riders to easily attach and detach the bags as needed.

Storage Capacity: Saddlebags come in various sizes to accommodate different storage needs. The capacity is typically measured in liters or cubic inches, indicating the total volume available. It’s essential to consider the items you plan to carry and choose saddlebags with sufficient capacity without compromising the balance and handling of your motorcycle.

Security Features: Since saddlebags are often used to carry valuable items, security is a vital consideration. Look for bags that offer locking mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access. Some saddlebags come with integrated locks, while others can be fitted with external padlocks or security cables for added protection.

Weather Resistance: Motorcycles are exposed to the elements, and it’s crucial to ensure your saddlebags can withstand different weather conditions. Look for bags that are water-resistant or waterproof to protect your belongings from rain or splashes. Additionally, features like storm flaps or rubberized zippers can provide extra protection against moisture.

Organizational Features: To keep your belongings organized and easily accessible, consider saddlebags with internal pockets, dividers, or compartments. These features allow you to separate and secure different items, making them readily available when needed.

How to install motorcycle saddlebags?

Installing motorcycle saddlebags typically involves the following steps:

  1. Gather the necessary tools and materials: You’ll need saddlebags, mounting brackets or support brackets (depending on the saddlebag design), bolts, nuts, washers, a wrench or socket set, and possibly a drill and drill bits.
  2. Position the saddlebags: Determine where you want to place the saddlebags on your motorcycle. Keep in mind that they should be securely fastened and not interfere with the movement of the rear wheel or any other components.
  3. Install the mounting brackets: If your saddlebags come with mounting brackets, attach them to the appropriate areas of your motorcycle. This may involve removing certain parts, such as the passenger seat or turn signal mounts, to access the attachment points. Follow the instructions provided with the saddlebags for specific guidance on bracket installation.
  4. Align the saddlebags: Once the brackets are in place, align the saddlebags with the brackets and make sure they fit securely. Adjust the brackets as needed to achieve the desired positioning.
  5. Mark the mounting holes: With the saddlebags aligned properly, use a marker or pencil to mark the locations for the mounting holes on the brackets and saddlebags. This will serve as a guide for drilling.
  6. Drill the mounting holes (if necessary): If your saddlebags and brackets do not have pre-drilled holes, carefully drill holes at the marked locations. Ensure that the drill bit size matches the bolts you will be using.
  7. Attach the saddlebags: Place the saddlebags back onto the brackets, aligning the mounting holes. Insert bolts through the holes from the inside of the saddlebags, passing through the brackets. Place washers on the bolts to distribute the load and prevent damage to the saddlebags. Secure the bolts with nuts on the other side of the brackets. Use a wrench or socket set to tighten the nuts securely.
  8. Check the fit and stability: Ensure that the saddlebags are firmly attached and do not shift or interfere with the motorcycle’s operation. Test the opening and closing mechanisms of the saddlebags to ensure they function properly.
  9. Repeat the process for the other side: If you have a set of saddlebags for both sides of the motorcycle, repeat the above steps for the other side.

These are general steps. They may differ according to the type of your saddlebags. Check this videos out to get the idea on how to instal motorcycle saddlebags:

What to Consider When Choosing Best Motorcycle Saddlebags

Motorcycle Compatibility: Ensure that the saddlebags you choose are compatible with your motorcycle. Consider factors such as the bike’s design, exhaust placement, and any aftermarket modifications that may affect the fitment of the bags.

Riding Style: Your riding style and preferences will impact the type of saddlebags you should choose. If you frequently ride off-road or engage in spirited riding, opt for bags that offer secure mounting and impact resistance. For long-distance touring, prioritize bags with ample storage capacity and organizational features.

Budget: Saddlebags come in a wide price range, depending on the material, brand, and features. Set a budget before making a purchase and explore options within your price range. Remember to balance cost with quality and functionality to ensure a satisfactory long-term investment.

Maintenance: Consider the maintenance requirements of the saddlebags. Leather bags may require periodic conditioning, while synthetic materials may only need occasional cleaning. Choose a material that aligns with your preferred level of maintenance.

Aesthetics: Saddlebags not only serve a practical purpose but also contribute to the overall aesthetics of your motorcycle. Consider the style and design of the bags, ensuring they 

complement the look of your bike and reflect your personal taste.

Motorcycle Saddlebags DIY

Creating your own DIY motorcycle saddlebags can be a fun and rewarding project. While the process may vary depending on the materials and tools you have access to, here’s a general guide to help you get started:

Materials you will need:

  1. Heavy-duty fabric or leather: Choose a durable material that can withstand the rigors of the road.
  2. Thread: Use a heavy-duty thread that matches the color of your chosen fabric or leather.
  3. Zippers or buckles: Depending on your design preference, you will need zippers or buckles to secure the saddlebags.
  4. Straps and buckles: These will be used to attach the saddlebags to your motorcycle.
  5. Padding material: Optional, but recommended to provide some protection for the contents of the saddlebags.
  6. Measuring tape, scissors, and pins: Basic tools for measuring, cutting, and securing the materials.

Step-by-step process:

  1. Measure and plan: Determine the desired size and shape of your saddlebags. Consider the storage capacity and how they will fit on your motorcycle. Sketch out a design and take measurements accordingly.
  2. Cut the fabric or leather: Use your measurements to cut out the main panels for the front, back, and sides of each saddlebag. If you prefer a curved or contoured shape, create a paper template first and trace it onto the material.
  3. Sew the main panels: Pin the fabric or leather pieces together with the wrong sides facing out. Using a heavy-duty thread, sew the panels together along the edges, leaving the top open. Reinforce the seams to ensure durability.
  4. Add padding (optional): If you want to provide extra protection for the contents of your saddlebags, you can insert padding between the main fabric panels and the lining. Cut padding material to fit the size of the panels and secure it in place with stitches or adhesive.
  5. Attach the closure mechanism: Decide whether you want to use zippers or buckles to secure your saddlebags. If using zippers, sew them onto the top opening of the main panels. If using buckles, attach them to straps that can be threaded through corresponding loops.
  6. Sew the lining: Cut out lining fabric to match the size and shape of the main panels. Sew the lining pieces together in the same manner as the main panels, but this time with the right sides facing in. Leave a small opening to turn the lining right-side-out later.
  7. Attach the lining: Slip the lining inside the main panels of the saddlebags, aligning the top edges. Pin the two layers together and sew them around the top opening. Use a hidden or blind stitch to close the opening in the lining.
  8. Attach straps: Cut straps to the desired length, allowing enough room to secure the saddlebags to your motorcycle. Sew the straps to the backside of the saddlebags, ensuring they are positioned to fit your motorcycle’s frame or luggage rack.
  9. Test and adjust: Before finalizing the construction, test-fit the saddlebags on your motorcycle to ensure they sit securely and do not interfere with any moving parts. Make any necessary adjustments to the strap length or attachment points.
  10. Final touches: Trim any excess thread or fabric, and give your saddlebags a thorough inspection for any loose stitches or weak points. Consider applying a waterproofing treatment to protect your saddlebags from the elements.

Remember, this is a general guide, and you may need to modify the steps based on your specific design and materials. For example, some people use tool boxes as DIY saddlebags. One of the most popular ways to make motorcycle saddlebags DIY is to use ammunition cans:

Some even elevate it on a whole new level:

So, there’s always a way to make your saddlebag yourself! 

In conclusion, motorcycle saddlebags have a rich history and continue to be a valuable accessory for riders worldwide. They offer a convenient and stylish storage solution for long-distance riding. By considering factors such as material, mounting options, storage capacity, security features, weather resistance, organizational features, motorcycle compatibility, riding style, budget, maintenance, and aesthetics, you can choose the perfect saddlebags that meet your needs and enhance your riding experience. So, get ready to hit the road and embark on new adventures with your trusted motorcycle saddlebags by your side.