There are some things that are plain and simple. One is that if you can take more stuff with you, you will. I have this problem when riding, maybe that is why my backpack/tool bag weighs more than 20 pounds. And I hate that.
But I’ve found a solution, sort of. Giant Loop makes really cool products that allow you to carry more stuff on your dirt or adventure bike. I’ve used a number of its bags now and have come away impressed with each one. They all serve a different purpose—or should I say, allow you to carry a different amount of stuff. The Coyote Saddlebag ($329), the company’s wraparound/rackless pannier-type bag, is the most simplistic way to add luggage to a dirt bike, 30 liters of it. It straps to the subframe arms and attaches to the back fender, or to a rack like the Pro Moto Billet rack. It takes just a couple of minutes to install and only a minute to remove, and in testing it never came loose or flopped around one bit. It mounts above and away from the muffler, but Giant Loop also has a muffler shield if your pack is close enough to need it. There are cinch straps to tighten up the load in the bags and a couple of smaller stuff sacks included with it. Then there is learning to pack your stuff in the bag and getting the heavy stuff low and toward the front of the bag. Additional straps are sewn in to attach items like a sleeping bag and an air mattress or small tent on the outside.Another solution to carrying some stuff is the Fandango Tank Bag ($164). Nothing new in concept, the Giant Loop bag is specifically designed to quickly and easily mount to a dirt bike and just as easily remove with a simple cinch-strap setup. The bags are built from Bomb Shell “trucker’s tarp” material, and it feels and acts tough, ditto for the zippers—tough. The multi-compartment tank bag has a see-through top pocket for maps and easily stuffs away a jacket, a hat, a camera and some snacks. Even a spare set of goggles. The bag comes with a kit to seam seal it so that it becomes waterproof as well. And for fueling, you just unzip it and it flops off to the side. Depending on the bike, you can and will feel it when standing and it does sort of invade your space, but it carries stuff you might need, too.
Or you can try the Buckin’ Roll Tank Bag ($125); it works on some larger tanks with air vents and has three pouches for stuff. Mine carries tire irons and flat fixing supplies, a camera and extra gloves, and lightens up the load on my back.But the best part about the tank bags is that there is no extra racking attached to the bike and the bags come off so simply it only takes a few seconds to go from loaded to being light and race-ready. The price is very fair considering the quality and they easily fit a number of bikes, so they will be useful for a long time. If any sort of bike camping or adventuring into the backcountry with supplies is your thing, these bags deserve some consideration. —Jimmy Lewis