One of the great things about motorcycling is the ability to chuck a bag on the back seat and head off into the sunset on an adventure.
There is plenty of luggage around that will keep your kit safe and dry as you go for a long road-based tour or even venture off-road for a muddy adventure.
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But while keeping your kit safe and dry inside a reliable bag is easy, what about keeping that bag safely fixed to the bike?
You could always get a set of bungee cords from a car factor or even the omni-present tool stall at any bike show and many meets but there are inevitably limitations; metal hooks can damage paint and metal finishes and the inexpensive variety can easily lose their springiness and their grip on your gear.
I recently tried a set of ROK straps and am now converted; they are a simple concept but brilliantly executed and would not go back to trying to secure a metal hook next to a bit of plastic bodywork ever again.
The basic principle behind ROK straps is essentially the same as a bungee cord; it’s an elasticated luggage strap to hold your gear onto the bike. But the differences are profound.
Firstly, there are no metal hooks; loops at each end of the strap allow you to loop the strap itself around something solid on the bike so you know that each end fixing is as strong as the strap itself. And no damage to paint or metal finishes...
Secondly, each strap comes in two parts with a quick-release buckle in the middle, allowing them to separate to loop around the bike at each end. Not only this it is also really easy to fit them over your luggage or release your kit when you get to your destination. You can then do them back up again to leave them on the bike ready for the next trip.
Related: Best motorcycle luggage racks
They also include an adjustable buckle so that you can get the tension on each strap just right; there is an elasticated section in each so that you can’t over-tighten them but they retain some of the springiness that users of the older bungee cords are familiar with.
This helps reduce strain on the ends, allows some movement in the luggage and some flex in the whole kit while on the move, reducing strain on the ends.
In use, they are dead easy to use. Admittedly they involve a bit more fitting than simply pulling a cord over and hooking it on but then, often with that kind of cord, the length may not be right and you’re looking for a solid bit of the bike to fix to get the right tension or go looking for a shorter or longer cord.
Because the ROK straps have a length adjuster, then they are always ready for whatever fitting you can get access to.
Also, once they are on the bike they can generally stay there. If you’re not running with any luggage, then you can pull the straps tight, tie up the spare length and they are there for when you need them and look a lot neater than normal cords. When you do need them, just loosen them off, unclip them, pull them over the luggage and clip-on then pull tight and away you go.
No fuss, no worries over scratching paintwork or the hook coming off and taking an eye out (possibly the most dad-like thing I have ever written) and no concerns over the luggage still being there when you get to your destination.
They are available in three sizes: light-duty 12mm-wide straps that are 71cm long; medium-duty 16mm-wide straps that are 106cm long and heavy-duty 25mm-wide straps that reach a maximum of 152cm. Their prices are so reasonable that I have a set of each and this covered everything from a small rucksack for commuting to a full rollbag for a long trip away.
Having used ROK straps, I will never go back to a hooked bungee cord again.
Secure looped ends
Quick-release securing buckles
Adjustable length and tension