Taking that great American road trip is the dream for most motorcycle riders. Just picture it: you, a Harley Davidson, and route 66. There’s nothing quite like that feeling of freedom when you’re out on the open road.
But when taking a long trip, there’s always an issue. Yep, you guessed it; we’re talking about storage. We love motorcycles, but often there just isn’t space to carry everything we need.
What’s the solution?
You need an awesome piece of luggage, of course! That’s why we decided to check out some of the best motorcycle trunks currently on the market to help you find the perfect option for your next big ride.
So, let’s hit the road and go through them…
- 1 Top 8 Best Motorcycle Trunks for the Money in 2021 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Shad – D0B26100 SH26 Top Case, Matte Black – Best Mid Range Motorcycle Trunk
- 1.2 2 Kuryakyn 5281 Momentum Hitchhiker Motorcycle Travel Luggage – Best Soft Motorcycle Trunk
- 1.3 3 Emgo 72-32440 Travel Trunk – Best Budget Motorcycle Trunk
- 1.4 4 Nelson Rigg NR-300 Route 1 Traveler Tour Trunk Bag – Best Large Capacity Motorcycle Trunk
- 1.5 5 Nelson Rigg CL-1060-ST2 Black Commuter Tour Motorcycle Tail/Seat Bag – Best All Weather Motorcycle Trunk
- 1.6 6 Saddlemen 3503-0054 Desperado Express Tail Bag Black – Best Leather Motorcycle Trunk
- 1.7 7 Motorcycle Seat Tail Bag Backpack Dual Use Motorcycle Waterproof Helmet Bag – Best Sports Motorcycle Trunk
- 1.8 8 FY Black Hard Saddle Bag Trunk Luggage w/Lights for Honda Motorcycle Cruiser – Best Pannier Motorcycle Trunk
- 2 Best Motorcycle Trunks Buying Guide
- 3 Looking for more great geat for your ride?
- 4 So, what are the Best Motorcycle Trunks?
Top 8 Best Motorcycle Trunks for the Money in 2021 Reviews
1 Shad – D0B26100 SH26 Top Case, Matte Black – Best Mid Range Motorcycle Trunk
Whole lotta junk in the trunk
Up first, we have a motorcycle hard trunk. Made by the well-respected Shad brand, this tail box is a sturdy piece of kit. The tough plastic shell will keep your gear safe from harm and prevent damage in the event of a fall.
How much room does it have?
There’s just about enough space for a medium to large helmet in here. It measures roughly 14 by 12 by 16 inches. It’s a little small for those extra-large, full-face lids, but riders with smaller noggins should have no problem at all.
And if you’re not using it for a helmet, then there’s ample capacity! It’s amazing how much can be squeezed in. Use it to store your gear when off the bike or as a way to carry everything you need on vacation.
Is it easy to attach?
A motorcycle top box almost always needs a mounting rack. It can’t just be fitted directly to the bike. You need a couple of tools and hardware to get it to stay on.
Happily, that’s all included here. It comes with a mounting kit that’s the right size for just about any bike. No extra screws are needed; everything we want is right here.
And how about safety?
Your possessions will be totally secure thanks to Shad’s quick-release locking system. And it’s not just for your things; this bad boy can help keep you safe too! It has a reflective panel on the back for extra visibility at night.
OK, it isn’t the cheapest storage option around. But we think it’s worth it! It’s sturdy, it’s spacious, and it’s easy to install. What a great way to start our review of the best motorcycle trunks!
- Hard shell.
- Fast installation.
- A little pricy.
2 Kuryakyn 5281 Momentum Hitchhiker Motorcycle Travel Luggage – Best Soft Motorcycle Trunk
That’s my bag, baby
Our next entry is a soft motorcycle top case. Thanks to its lightweight construction, this one is incredibly portable. And with its handy, low-profile strap, it couldn’t be easier to carry it off the bike during a rest stop.
But does soft mean it isn’t strong?
Absolutely not! This here is one tough little trunk. It’s constructed from a 1200 textile, meaning it’s totally resistant to scratches, scrapes, and tears; in fact, it’s one of the most durable soft cases for motorcycles you can buy.
Not only that, this material holds its own in the rain too. It’s weather resistant, meaning water should just roll right off, leaving your stuff safe and dry. Plus, it’s UV rated, so it won’t fade in the sun.
What if it’s really heavy rain?
That’s material should remain impervious. But if not, don’t worry! We have a backup; included is a helpful rain cover with its own pocket for storage.
And speaking of pockets, there are plenty on offer here. In addition to that roomy main compartment, there are separate rider and passenger-facing water bottle pouches as well. Add to that some small nooks for bungee cords, and that makes for a seriously impressive selection of storage spaces.
Quality like this must be expensive, right?
Not really! This is actually very reasonably priced. For standards like these, we’d expect a much higher cost.
Of course, as it’s a soft bag, fragile items could get damaged in an accident. But that’s the only downside we can see. Overall, this is a fantastic option and would make a welcome addition on any road trip.
- Great selection of pockets.
- Durable material.
- Potentially less sturdy than a hard case.
3 Emgo 72-32440 Travel Trunk – Best Budget Motorcycle Trunk
Papa’s got a brand new bag
One for the bargain hunters now! This is a budget-friendly option.
But does it trade quality for cost?
Let’s start with the construction. This time we get ABS plastic. It’s pretty tough and durable, without adding too much weight to the back of the bike.
The mounting plate is made of plastic, too. While that ABS is great for the trunk, it’s not the best material for the rack. Yes, it’s fairly rigid, but it could have problems with buckling if there are a lot of heavy items in the trunk.
What about the capacity?
It’s pretty great! There’s more than enough space in here. It’ll hold a fairly large helmet with a couple of other bits and bobs besides. You can even fit an entire 12 pack of beer in, making it the perfect choice for a party run!
Whatever you chose to carry is kept safe by a substantial lock. And unlike many other motorcycle tail cases, that lock has a button rather than a flap. This means the ‘tongue’ that holds it shut is released easily, allowing for quick opening of the box.
Are there any safety features for the rider?
Yes, there’s a red piece of reflective plastic on the back. It’s quite small, but it will help you to be seen on a dark night. That button we mentioned earlier is red, too, for a little extra visibility.
There’s a lot to like here. There’s plenty of room inside, and that lock is strong and secure. It’s just a pity that the flimsy mounting rack lets it down.
- Easy on the wallet.
- Decent capacity.
- Safety features.
- Weak mount.
4 Nelson Rigg NR-300 Route 1 Traveler Tour Trunk Bag – Best Large Capacity Motorcycle Trunk
Bag it up
Now for a motorcycle tour pack from Nelson Rigg! Surely everyone has heard of this iconic brand. Since 1972 they’ve been producing first-rate motorcycle accessories right here in the good old U.S. of A.
Can this trunk live up to their reputation?
This another soft option. But despite that, it’s still pretty rigid. Not only is the material rigorous and hardy, but it’s also backed up by solid piping for added durability.
However, it isn’t completely inflexible. In fact, this bag can be expanded or condensed down depending on your needs. No matter what you’re carrying, this bag can be adjusted to fit.
Is it big enough?
As it was originally made with large touring bikes in mind, this is an incredibly roomy option. Even when unexpanded, here’s space in here for two full-face helmets. And once it’s enlarged to use its full potential, we get a whopping three extra inches in capacity!
It has plenty of choice when it comes to storage as well. That large interior is supported by three outer pockets too. Incredibly spacious, these offer easy access to items you might need on the move, such as water bottles, maps, or phones.
And what about protection?
Remember that piping we mentioned earlier? It’s reflective, for high visibility at night. Plus, the U.V. protected bag has a rain cover to keep things dry in inclement weather.
We love this trunk! The only downside here is the price. This one is a little tough on the old purse strings!
But maybe we get what we pay for?
- Top-notch construction.
- Great capacity.
- Range of pockets.
- Slightly expensive.
5 Nelson Rigg CL-1060-ST2 Black Commuter Tour Motorcycle Tail/Seat Bag – Best All Weather Motorcycle Trunk
Pop the trunk
We get the best of both worlds with our next best motorcycle luggage box. Not sure whether to chose a hard case or soft top? No problem, this trunk has you covered.
Here we get a semi-rigid structure. The sides and base are made from a soft UltraMax fabric, which incorporates a stiffness to form a firm wall. Then there’s harder molded lid with unyielding Fibertech accents.
Built for the road…
That lid is also covered in UltraMax material. This fabric serves two purposes. It’s hardy enough to prevent any rips and tears, and it offers awesome UV protection as well.
It also stands up pretty well against bad weather. But in case of emergencies, there’s a rain cover too. 100% waterproof, it guarantees that your possessions will be kept safe and dry.
Traveling with everything but the kitchen sink?
Don’t worry; there’s space for it all! Collapsed, this bag can hold up to 24.78 liters. However, if needed, then it can be expanded further to take an enormous 33.04 liters, enough for even the largest full-face helmet!
And inside, we get a couple of self-fastening straps. These stretchy pieces of elastic hold everything in place. No matter what the bag is filled with, the risk of damage to your items is minimal.
This sounds too good to be true! Is it?
Not really! This case is a great all-rounder. Not only does it protect your items, but it protects you too with a combination of reflective piping and back strip.
All that, and while it’s not the cheapest around, considering the quality on offer, it comes at a reasonable price.
- Incredible construction
- Easy to mount.
- High-vis features.
- Hard on the purse strings.
6 Saddlemen 3503-0054 Desperado Express Tail Bag Black – Best Leather Motorcycle Trunk
Pack your bags
Now for a leather motorcycle trunk. With its retro vibes, this one just screams old-school cool. It’s sure to look the part on any Royal Enfield Bullet or Triumph Bonneville.
That stylish leather is enhanced by some stunning metal accents. Around the seams, we find studs that give it a tough, classic look. The buckles are finished with chrome, meaning that not only do they look great, but they’re also sturdy.
But buckles are fiddly, right?
Not this time! Hiding beneath them are a couple of quick-release buttons. Simply press down, and the trunk will open with absolutely no fuss or difficulty.
And those buckles are attached to some seriously strong straps. The leather really does the job here. It’s also reinforced by plastic panels, which give it an extra layer of strength.
Is a mounting rack included?
No, but unusually, that doesn’t matter. You see, this trunk has a variety of ways to stay on the bike. Yes, you could buy a mount, but it can also be attached to a sissy bar or even just to the passenger seat.
As it has a range of D-rings, there are several different options for an anchor point. And if you do choose to bind it to the sissy bar, a handy strap is included. For other mounting points, you’ll need to buy a couple of bungee cords, but most of us have those lying around anyway, don’t we?
So, is it as good as it looks?
We think so! However, a product as stylish as this doesn’t come cheap. This isn’t easy on the bank account!
- Time-honored style.
- Attachment options.
- Pretty expensive.
7 Motorcycle Seat Tail Bag Backpack Dual Use Motorcycle Waterproof Helmet Bag – Best Sports Motorcycle Trunk
The penultimate option in our quest to find the best motorcycle trunks is this tail bag from JFC Racing. With its sleek lines, this one is a sporty little number. It has an up-to-date, modern feel about it, ideal for most contemporary road bikes.
Manufactured from PU leather, it’s capable of doing the job in any circumstances. Rain won’t be an issue as it promises water resistance. Plus, it’s roomy, with enough capacity for a full-face helmet.
That’s not all…
As well as that spacious main compartment, we get a couple of other storage options. There’s a small outer pocket with enough space for a phone or wallet. Then there are elasticated cords which are perfect for holding a jacket, towel, or water bottle in place.
And the best part?
This isn’t just a motorcycle tail bag. It doubles up as a backpack too! Most trunks do not have this feature, so that handy shoulder strap is a real bonus. Of course, there are other straps as well. We get two buckled strips that hold it on the bike. There’s also another one that keeps a rain cover in place for riding in really rough conditions.
We were also impressed by the high-vis panels on this bag. There are two wide, reflective bars, one on either side. They ensure that other road users will see you, even in low light.
Is there a downside?
We’re struggling to find one! This really is a great all-rounder. And at a wallet-friendly price, too.
- Two-in-one tail bag and rucksack.
- Great reflective features.
- Fantastic price.
- We’ll get back to you on that!
8 FY Black Hard Saddle Bag Trunk Luggage w/Lights for Honda Motorcycle Cruiser – Best Pannier Motorcycle Trunk
Riding side saddle
Finally, we come to these pannier trunks. Unlike the others in our review, these don’t go on the back of the bike. Instead, they’re attached to either side, using the included metal brackets.
Be careful, though! Those brackets are useful to have, but they aren’t particularly sturdy. We’d recommend doing a couple of modifications; otherwise, you might end up losing your trunks mid-ride!
OK… but are the panniers themselves tough enough?
You betcha. They’re made from ABS plastic, which is super lightweight. At just 13 pounds, you’ll barely even know they’re there. But that doesn’t mean they’re weak. That plastic is pretty robust. They might get a few scratches if you have a fall, but they should protect your belongings well.
That ABS has another benefit, too. As it’s hard, it’s almost completely impervious to the weather. There’s almost no chance of any moisture sneaking in, giving you total peace of mind on the ride.
Are they secure?
Absolutely. Each one comes with a tenacious lock. They also have heavy-duty hinges, making it almost impossible for a would-be thief to break in.
Plus, they come with an important safety element. Each one has a turning light installed in the back. This is a huge advantage, though it does make installation a little trickier as they need to be wired in.
How big are they?
Unfortunately, we’re slightly let down when it comes to capacity. There just isn’t much room here. If you’re looking for a space to store your helmet, this isn’t it.
So, there are positives and negatives. But we can see far more positives! If you’re a cruiser rider who just needs to carry a few things, these could be one of the best motorbike trunks for you!
- Strong plastic.
- Safe and secure.
- Lacks space.
- Weak brackets.
Best Motorcycle Trunks Buying Guide
Choosing the right trunk is a tricky business. There’s more to think about than you might expect. So, what should you look for when buying a storage solution for your hog?
What do you plan to put in it?
Capacity is incredibly important. We have to make sure there’s enough space for everything we need. Whether taking a long trip or just doing a grocery run, make sure the bag you pick has enough room.
This is where expandable bags can come in handy. When compressed, they sit unobtrusively on the back of the motorcycle. Then when necessary, they can be opened up to take a full-face helmet.
It’s also nice to get a couple of different options for storage. One large compartment is great, but it’s better to have a couple of pockets too. It doesn’t need a massive number of them; just one or two should do the trick.
How’s the weather?
If you’re riding in an area prone to heavy rain, then you’ll want the trunk to have water-resistant properties. It should have a rain cover, too. Plus, we want some kind of U.V. protection that will prevent the color from fading.
And it has to have a strong fastening. You don’t want any water seeping through the zip, do you? Pick one with a well-covered opening for an extra line of defense against the weather.
Then there’s installation…
How is the truck attached to the bike? Most top boxes will need a mount. Check whether you’ll need to buy one or not to avoid disappointment after purchase.
However, we reviewed one or two that could be fixed in place without the rack. If this is the case, then take a look at your bike and see where it can be strapped on. You might also need to buy a few bungee cords, if you don’t already have them, for your own peace of mind.
Hard box or soft case?
They both have their benefits and drawbacks. A hard, plastic trunk will probably do a better job of protecting your stuff in a crash. However, a soft bag is far easier to carry, especially if you’re lucky enough to find one with shoulder straps.
Whichever one you go for, it needs to have some safety elements. Reflective strips or panels are the way to go here. We’d choose light grey or white over dark red, as they’re more likely to be seen during the day as well as at night.
Motorcycle gear is expensive; there’s no getting around it! Sure, no one wants to spend a lot of money, but don’t be afraid of paying slightly more than you might want to, to get a higher quality product.
Looking for more great geat for your ride?
We’ve got loads of practical, high-quality biker accessories that is well worth checking out! For bikers looking for full cover against the elements, take a look at our reviews of the Best Motorcycle Riding Suit, the Best Heated Motorcycle Gear, or the Best Motorcycle Goggles you can buy in 2021?
Then to keep your bike in tip-top condition, check out our comprehensive reviews of the Best Motorcycle Tire Changers, the Best Motorcycle Battery Chargers, the Best Motorcycle Chain Lubes, the Best Motorcycle Cleaners, our Best Motorcycle Covers Review, and the Best Rust Prevention currently on the market.
Or, do you wanna take your ride to the next level? If so, head on over to our reviews of the Best Motorcycle Handlebar Speakers, the Best Motorcycle Radios, the Best Motorcycle GPS Trackers, or the Best Motorcycle Seat Pads for you and your bike!
So, what are the Best Motorcycle Trunks?
Here it is, folks, the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The winner in our search for the best trunks for motorcycles is the…
This one almost seemed too good to be true. Awesome capacity, hardy construction, and stunning good looks, all at a very reasonable price? Surely not! But trust us, this trunk really does have it all.
And combined with its possibilities as a backpack, it was clear that this one had to come out ahead of its competitors.
So, happy riding, folks!