Sometimes, you don’t want full-on fitted luggage on your motorcycle. Sometimes, you just want to chuck a bag across the back, strap it on and go. And while this can often be entirely possible with an empty pillion seat, on some bikes, there simply isn’t enough room to be able to fix a rollbag securely enough.
This is where a luggage rack can come in handy, especially on bikes with small pillion seats, such as sportsbikes or bobbers with no pillion seat. In these cases case, adding a luggage rack provides much more area for you to be able to rest a bag on safely and strap it down, improving safety and convenience.
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And on off-road bikes, they can provide a useful spot to mount essential kit with you, such as tools and spares and if you are using a lightweight off-roader or adventure bike for commuting, then the rack will be useful for your daily gear.
Alternatively, if you don’t use it for luggage, a rack could also provide a useful spot to wrap your padlock and chain around so that it is always with you – also useful for commuting, for example.
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Of course, there are also racks that are part of a larger luggage system so in the future, you could build on the rack itself if you need to carry more luggage, by adding say a topbox.
But in the meantime, here is a selection of luggage racks to improve your carrying capacity and your safety.
Hepco and Becker
This u2018luggage bridgeu2019 from German manufacturer Hepco & Becker is not cheap but it is well made and is available for a massive range of motorcycles, including BMWu2019s retro R nineT, as shown here. Itu2019s formed in tubular steel, is powder-coated in black and is designed to support soft luggage, as opposed to mounting a topbox.
Maximum load: 3kg
Ventura Sport Rack
Ventura has come up with an interesting way to add luggage to bikes that would not normally be able to accept it. Its system uses a pair of bike-specific L-brackets u2013 in this case, for the Aprilia RSV4 R u2013 which fit to the bike in a similar way to pillion grab-handles (in fact, they can be used for that too).
The upstood rear ends then accept the luggage rack shown here (as well as systems for larger bags), that can be positioned to the front or the rear, depending on weight balance.
Load limit: Unknown
Renntec Luggage Rack
British firm Renntec has a massive range of luggage racks, such as this one for a Yamaha XJ900F. The racks are designed to allow a range of soft luggage to be carried on the bike, such as roll bags and it includes a pillion grab rail for added security for passengers. Itu2019s made in 19mm steel tube and finished in a polyester powder coat and mounts to standard bike fitting points.
Load limit: 5kg
SW-Motech Top Rack
Luggage giant SW-Motech offers a simple, bolt-on tubular-steel luggage rack for a range of off-road motorcycles, such as this one for the Yamaha XT600. It uses existing mounting points on the motorcycle and comes with the necessary hardware to fit to the bike, offering a useful space to mount luggage or spares and tools.
Maximum load: 7.5kg
Givi Luggage Rack
Givi is another huge luggage manufacturer that produces racks to hold its range of topboxes. This example is for the Honda CBF125 and is designed to accept the brandu2019s adapter plates so a rigid topbox can also be fitted. However, even without the plate and the topbox, itu2019s still a very useful rack for soft luggage. Itu2019s formed in tubular steel and mounts to existing points on the bike with supplied hardware.
Load limit: 6kg
This rack is designed to fit the rear fender of a Harley Davidson XL Sportster and is available in black powder-coat or the high-gloss chrome you see here. It is curved to fit the fender perfectly and uses existing holes to mount. It is available in two lengths; 180mm and 280mm for even more carrying capacity.
Load limit: 4.5kg
Anzy Rack and Backrest
This rack has it all going on; mounting brackets, luggage rack and backrest for a pillion passenger. This example is for the Honda Rebel CMX300 cruiser and the side panels fit to the bike with the backrest and luggage rack fitting to the panels.
The backrest and rack can be used individually or together, as you see here and the rack has tie-down points on the bottom to secure luggage.
Load limit: 4.5kg
This odd-looking rack from Siebenrock is designed to work with the companyu2019s u2018Solou2019 seat on the BMW R80GS, effectively replacing the pillion seat with this rack to offer additional carrying capacity. Itu2019s made from tubular steel and is painted for protection.
While the price of £77.01 seems attractive, the Solo seat which this must be used with costs a whopping £307.23 so you really need to be committed to your future-classic BMW.
Maximum load: Unknown