When you don't want to spend the cash on expensive custom motorcycle luggage, you could attempt to fashion some yourself. With a simple easy mount bracket, you can attach almost any type of luggage to your motorcycle, so long as it is the right size. The simplest DIY solution for your own luggage is to find a piece of luggage that is already made, and then make some modifications to make it road-ready.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Spray paint
- Painting tape
Purchase a small carry-on size suitcase, preferably with hard sides to keep out moisture and to make it easy to attach to a mount. If you really want to save some cash, troll your local garage sales, estate sales and online classifieds for a used suitcase. The best-case scenario is to find a suitcase with a working lock and key that only costs you a buck or two.
Also purchase an "easy mount" bracket from a motorcycle supply retailer such as Leather Connexion or Easy Brackets. These easy-on, easy-off brackets cost a bit more than their more permanent counterparts, but they'll save you lots of hassle later on.
Spray paint your new suitcase to match your motorcycle. Since many carry-on size suitcases come in black, you may not have to do this step, but if you find a hard-sided used case in pink, it might be a good idea. For a professional look, be sure to tape the zippers and edging to keep them from getting painted. You can also refurbish the inside of the case, if you've purchased an old suitcase that's seen better days.
Secure your easy-mount bracket to the side of your motorcycle by removing the fender rail bolts and replacing them with the easy bolts that came with your bracket set. Also attach the mounting plate to the side of your suitcase, taking care to place the mount so the suitcase will have the open side up. You will need a drill to drill holes in the side of the case to complete this step.
Mount your suitcase onto the side of your motorcycle by sliding the mounting plate over the easy-mount bolts on the fender rail. Be sure your suitcase is locked before attempting to drive the motorcycle.
Tips and warnings
- Use a luggage strap or bungee cord to keep your suitcase tight, if you are not confident about the strength of the suitcase's locking mechanism.
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