Motorcycle Luggage Guide - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Ultimate Motorcycle Luggage Guide, where we're committed to making sure your touring experience is more about the thrill of the ride and less about wrestling with rogue luggage.

Choosing the right luggage for your motorcycle touring adventures is more than just a matter of style; it's a question of functionality, safety, and overall riding enjoyment. The right luggage can make your journey smoother, more comfortable, and, let's face it, a whole lot cooler.

motorcycle luggage

Hard Luggage: Panniers and Side Cases

What are Hard Luggage Panniers or Side Cases?

Hard panniers and side cases are often used interchangeably in motorcycle lingo and are a popular pick for those in search of sturdy and secure on-the-road storage. Typically crafted from durable materials such as aluminium, reinforced polymer, or composite blends, these panniers provide top-notch protection against weather and would-be thieves. The rigid design not only keeps its shape but also integrates seamlessly with the bike, feeling like an extension rather than an add-on. While their solid construction makes for easy packing, there's no stretching them to fit in that last-minute extra item. For added peace of mind, most hard panniers come with integrated locking mechanisms.

Givi Panniers
Givi Panniers
Givi Panniers


  • Durability: Made from tough materials like aluminium or reinforced polymers, hard panniers are highly durable.
  • Security: Integrated locking mechanisms provide an added layer of security.
  • Weather Resistance: Built to withstand the elements, offering protection against rain, wind, and minor impacts.
  • Fixed Shape: They hold their shape, making them easier to pack and unpack.
  • Sturdiness: Their rigid construction gives a feel of being an integral part of the bike, adding to the overall sturdiness.


  • Weight: The materials can add significant weight to your bike.
  • Cost: High-quality models can be expensive.
  • Flexibility: Their rigid structure limits overpacking.

Top Pick:

GIVI V35NT Monokey Panniers (Pair) - 70 Litre

The Givi V35NT Tech pannier cases offer a blend of practicality and style, designed to meet the needs of discerning riders. Sold as a pair, these cases stand out with their reflectors on the tail, adding a sleek finishing touch to their appearance. Each case boasts a 34-litre capacity, ample room to fit a full-face helmet, and even features an internal elastic belt to stabilise your belongings. The cases come with Givi's innovative Monokey system, allowing for effortless locking and attachment using just one key.

In addition to their functional design, these pannier cases also offer peace of mind with a two-year guarantee. The Monokey system not only ensures secure attachment but also simplifies the locking process, making your journeys smoother. And if you're looking for a way to more easily transport your luggage off the bike, there's also the option to add a pair of GIVI T443 Inner Bags, which fit perfectly within the pannier cases. These features make the Givi V35NT Tech panniers an excellent choice for both style-conscious and pragmatic riders.

*These cases can be mounted only with Givi Side Case Racks For Monokey V35 Side Cases which are sold separately.

Final Thoughts

In summary, hard-case panniers are a must-have for riders embarking on long journeys where durability and security are paramount. Built from robust materials like aluminium or reinforced polymers, these panniers offer an unmatched level of protection from both the elements and potential thieves. Features like integrated locking mechanisms further add to their appeal. While they might be a heavier option and more of an investment upfront, the peace of mind they offer, especially on long trips, makes them worth every penny. In essence, for the dedicated tourer or adventurer, hard-case panniers are less of an accessory and more of an essential component that feels like an integral part of the bike.

Top Boxes

Conveniently mounted on the rear of the bike, these boxes provide generous storage capacity while still offering easy access and secure locking mechanisms. Their somewhat boxy design, often made from durable materials like reinforced plastic or aluminium, is what allows for this expansive storage, making them ideal for longer trips or for riders who need to carry a lot of gear. Designed to withstand both weather and wear, top boxes can be an indispensable addition to your motorcycle, especially when complemented by side panniers for even more cargo options.

Top Box
Top Box
Top Box


  • Large Volume: Typically offer the most storage space among all motorcycle luggage options.
  • Keeps Bike Narrow: A top box maintains your bike's slim profile, aiding in easier navigation through tight spots and congested areas.
  • Secure: Usually come with integrated locking mechanisms for added security.
  • Convenient Access: Easy to reach, as they are mounted directly behind the rider.
  • Durability: Often made from hard-wearing materials that are weather-resistant.
  • Modular: Can be used in conjunction with panniers for maximum storage capacity.


  • Aerodynamic Impact: At higher speeds a top box can create aerodynamic issues that result in losing front wheel traction.
  • Weight Distribution: May affect the bike's centre of gravity if overloaded.
  • Visual Appeal: Some riders find top boxes don't match their bike's aesthetics.
  • Cost: High-quality models with added features can be pricey.
  • Accessibility: Can be more difficult to reach when fully geared up or when carrying a passenger.

Top Pick:

Givi V47 Top Case

Givi's hard cases are the culmination of over two decades of innovation and expertise in motorcycle accessories. These luggage solutions have been designed with meticulous attention to detail to seamlessly integrate with specific sport-touring models. The brand offers advanced locking systems—Monokey and Monolock—that provide easy and secure attachment, opening, and removal of the cases, all possible with just a single key. Monokey is Givi's premium range, offering a more robust mount, feature-rich options, and high-quality construction, further complemented by a matt black finish with a carbon look top cover.

Although both Monokey and Monolock systems offer secure storage, they have different specialities and construction features. Monokey cases are the more versatile option, capable of serving as both top cases and side cases, thanks to their sturdier build and mounting system. On the flip side, Monolock cases are intended to function solely as top cases due to their specific construction features. Both types are designed to carry a maximum load of 10 kg and have enough interior space to accommodate two full-face helmets. Whether you opt for the Monokey or Monolock system, Givi's hard cases promise a technologically advanced and satisfying solution for all your sport-touring luggage needs.

* Requires bike-specific adapter plate sold separately.

Final Thoughts

In sum, top boxes are a popular choice for riders who require substantial storage without compromising much on aerodynamics or balance in everyday use. They offer easy access to your gear and usually provide the largest storage capacity among motorcycle luggage options. However, they aren't without their drawbacks. One of the major concerns is the aerodynamic stability at higher speeds. A top box can disrupt the airflow around the bike, creating a drag that shifts the centre of gravity upwards and rearwards. This can potentially lead to reduced front-wheel traction, making the bike less stable. So while a top box is an excellent choice for those extensive touring adventures, it's worth remembering that they might not be ideal for everyone, especially those who like to push the speed limit.

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The Right Luggage for the Right Job - Summary

  • Hard Panniers:

    If security and weather resistance are top concerns, these are your go-to. They lock securely and offer robust protection, but remember, they're rigid; they won't accommodate that extra pair of socks.

  • Top Boxes:

    If you're going for volume, nothing beats a top box. Just be cautious at higher speeds, as it could affect aerodynamics and front-wheel traction.

  • Soft Bags:

    Lightweight and flexible, these are perfect for smaller items and offer a good compromise between space and manoeuvrability.

Back to Part 1 → Soft Luggage

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Fun Facts

Did you know the world's longest motorcycle was over 26 meters long. It was presented and measured at Lakhota lake, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India, on 22 January 2014. The bike was more than 4 m (13 ft) longer than the previous record holder's.

To ensure that his super-stretched motorcycle would be able to perform like a conventional motorbike, the constructor rode it along a road for 100 m (328 ft) without putting his feet down.

Tip of the week:

Never grab the front brake; squeeze it!

Grabbing the front brake abruptly can cause the front wheel to lock, as it doesn't allow time for the bike's weight to shift forward.This significantly reduces the front tyre's grip on the road and may result in loss of control, posing a serious risk of an accident.

Did you know?

The aerodynamic drag on a motorcycle can increase by up to 40% just by the rider sitting upright instead of in a tucked position. It's a wind-resistance thing—like trying to walk through a pool vs. gliding through it!

Photo of the week

motorcycle camping
Motorcycle Camping

Forget the fuss of hotels; discover the liberating joy of motorcycle camping with us, and elevate your road trips from memorable to absolutely legendary!

Having the camping gear with you grants the freedom to decide where and how you want to spend your nights, including the option of choosing a hotel bed if desired. Though it's common to camp every day due to the desire for fresh air and the outdoors when you're prepared.

motorcycle camping

Reading List:

Joke of the week

What's a motorcycle's least favourite game?

Hide and squeak!

Riding Techniques

Ready to elevate your skills from basic riding to mastering the road? This guide aims to do just that by uncovering crucial riding techniques that will boost your confidence, safety and enjoyment on the tarmac. But we're not stopping at mere tips and tricks; we're going the extra mile.

riding techniques

Best Deals on Arai Helmets

Looking for a top-notch Arai helmet without breaking the bank? You're in luck!

Get your noggin' protected in style with killer deals from:

10 Reasons Why You Should Ride a Motorcycle

Riding a motorcycle is like savouring a five-star Michelin meal when you're absolutely famished. It's an experience that not only satisfies an immediate craving but also leaves a lasting impression. Just like that first bite of an extraordinary dish makes you forget the world around you, so does the initial twist of the throttle. Your focus narrows to the sensation of the bike, the road, and the rhythm of your breathing. It's an immediate way to bring mindfulness into your day.

motorcycle luggage

So next time you feel weighed down by the demands of life, remember that your two-wheeled 'Michelin experience' awaits you. One session on the road can recalibrate your mood quicker than you can say 'Michelin star.' It's the sort of lifelong journey that never disappoints, always offering new flavours for your soul to relish.

Givi T443D Pannier Inner Bags

riding techniques

Buy with confidence from: