Choosing The Right Tail Bag

Almost all textile tail bags utilize a very similar mounting system, usually consisting of four shock cords or straps with industrial mounting hooks at the ends. This creates several mounting options depending on the motorcycle.

Motorcycles with high mount or undertail exhausts will almost certainly damage tail bags that mount with shock cords or straps. Luggage manufacturers do not consider damage to tail bags from contact with the exhaust as a product defect or warranty issue, it is viewed as user neglect. For motorcycles with high mount or undertail exhausts I can only recommend a seat bag (dimensions and mounting systems have to be right for the motorcycle) unless there is a way to mount the tail bag without the mounting straps or mounting system contacting the exhaust or exhaust heat shields.

Sport touring motorcycles can accommodate virtually any style of tail bag. I try not to categorize, but some motorcycles, for example; V-Stroms (are they dual sports?) and VFR’s (are they sport tourers?) have undertail or high mount exhausts. And although they have factory heat shields, no luggage manufacturer is brave enough to claim their tail bag or tail bag mounting system will not be damaged if making contact with the factory heat shields. So unless you have a way to mount a tail bag that prevents bag itself or the mounting system from making contact with the exhaust or exhaust heat shields, go with the safe bet and get a luggage rack system or a seat bag.

Cruiser style motorcycles cannot use the same style of tail bags that sport, sport touring, and touring motorcycles can use. Manufacturers call them sissy bar bags or back rest bags and they come in many shapes and sizes. The mounting systems typically fit many different sized back rest pads, the most universal fitting sissy bar or back rest bags I can recommend are Nelson Rigg Sissy Bar Bags.

Dual sport, dual purpose, off road, or adventure style motorcycles are almost guaranteed to have an exhaust in a position that will make contact with a tail bag or the tail bags mounting system. When mounting tail bags on a these types of motorcycles, I strongly recommend the TCI Products Dual Sport Luggage Racks specifically the “Borrego Rack” which is designed for mounting tail bags. These racks are simple to install, can handle heavy off roading, and they don’t look ridiculous!

Remember that these are just suggestions, it is solely up to you, the end user to decide if the way you are mounting or setting up your luggage is secure enough to support your cargo and any road conditions you may encounter.

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