Motorcycle categories exist for a reason, but that doesn’t mean you need a different bike for every occasion. While by no means will we stop you from buying multiple bikes, so long as it puts a mile-wide grin on your face and sparks joy in your heart, we’re also all about making the most of what you’ve got. If that means going on a thousand-mile tour aboard a sportbike, then we’ll do our best to help make that as enjoyable and pain-free for you as possible.

Of course, touring and adventure bikes exist for a reason, and that’s to cover long distances in comfort and practicality. Going on multi-day rides usually means that you’ll have lots of luggage in tow, and these bikes are equipped straight out of the factory with luggage accessories, or at least come predisposed to accommodate them. But what if your steed of choice is a sportbike or a naked bike? By no means should you bow out of a long-distance ride just because you think your bike can’t handle it. Indeed, with some creative thinking, you can transform your sportbike into a capable long-distance tourer.

With all that being said, let’s take a look at five quick and easy ways you can add some precious storage to your trusty sport or naked bike.

Tank Bags

Five Easy Ways To Add Storage To A Sport Or Naked Bike

Givi tank bag installed on a Triumph Trident 660. 

Tank bags have long been a favorite among commuters and tourers alike, and they provide a small amount of storage for items that need quick and easy access. As such, they’re an accessory you can leave on your bike pretty much every time you ride. Some brands such as SW Motech have much bigger tank bags that can fit quite a lot of stuff, however, if you’re riding a sportbike, you may want to ensure that these large tank bags don’t get in the way when cornering or tucking in on the highway.

For naked bike riders, tank bags are the perfect go-to solution for extra storage. They don’t really get in the way as these bikes have a much more upright seating position. When paired with other easy-install accessories, tank bags can easily transform your bike into a capable long-distance tourer.

Tail Bags

Five Easy Ways To Add Storage To A Sport Or Naked Bike

The 20-liter tail bag I frequently use when touring on my motorcycle.

Tail bags present themselves as yet another easy-install luggage accessory. Unlike tank bags, tail bags don’t get in the way of the rider’s ergonomics, and so these usually come in much bigger capacities for you to store even more stuff. Brands like Kriega make some of the best tail bags with large capacities all the way up to a combined 50 liters. Best of all, they’re easy to install and can be removed with just a few straps.

Personally, I tend to gravitate towards tail bags as they offer me the most convenience and comfort when I go out on long rides. Not only do they offer tons of storage, they also make a pretty good backrest for when I’m taking a break on the side of the road. The straps that tie them down onto the bike can also be used to secure other items such as a water bottle and smaller bags with quick-access items such as rain gear or snacks.

The Good Old Backpack

Five Easy Ways To Add Storage To A Sport Or Naked Bike

When it comes to keeping things simple, they don't get much better than the good old backpack. 

It’s often said that the simplest solution is the best solution, and you could argue that the same is true when it comes to motorcycle luggage. Simply throwing a backpack on and hitting the road has been the go-to of many motorcyclists looking to go the distance, and today, with all the ergonomically optimized, motorcycle-specific backpacks on the market, this is truer than ever before.

I recently went on a four-day trip to the southernmost tip of the island of Luzon here in the Philippines, and had nothing more than my trusty Kriega Trail 18 strapped on my back. I rode my Yamaha MT-07 for more than 1,600 kilometers (about a thousand miles), and I hardly felt any strain on my back, even after 10 hours of non-stop riding. As such, the ultimate luggage solution for long-distance touring might just be as simple as a backpack. But hey, that’s just me, and you may have different preferences as a rider, so it’s best to keep an open mind to all the other available options.

Straps And Tiedowns

Five Easy Ways To Add Storage To A Sport Or Naked Bike

Rok Straps allow you to attach pretty much anything on any type of bike.

If you have lots of stuff that you want to carry and just want to throw them onto the back of your motorcycle and hit the road, then straps and tiedowns just might be your best bet. There are some pretty good systems out there such as those from Rok Straps which securely attach onto your bike’s frame or passenger foot pegs. These nifty straps can tie pretty much anything onto your bike and do so pretty darn well.

Straps are ideal if you store all your stuff in a big duffel bag and mount it transversely to the centerline of the motorcycle. This means you can tension the straps evenly, and the likelihood of your bag saying goodbye to you in the middle of a ride is next to zero. In essence, products like Rok Straps allow you to turn any old bag into a tail pack for a fraction of the price of a fancy tail pack system like that of Kriega.

Soft Luggage

Five Easy Ways To Add Storage To A Sport Or Naked Bike

SW Motech's range of soft luggage accessories installed on a Yamaha YZF-R7.

If you’re really adamant about transforming your sport or naked bike into a touring machine, then you may want to consider installing luggage racks on either the back or on the sides. While you could install a top case or panniers, there’s no denying that these really ruin the sleek and sporty look of the bike. As such, I recommend going for soft luggage that mounts perfectly onto these luggage racks. Brands like SW-Motech and Hepco & Becker make luggage racks compatible with all sorts of bikes designed specifically for soft luggage.

Of course, there’s always the option of fabricating your own racks and brackets – something that requires a bit of technical know-how. But hey, few things are more satisfying than a triumphant DIY project, right?

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