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Waterproof Motorcycle Luggage: Keeping Your Gear Dry on the Road

Waterproof Motorcycle Luggage: Keeping Your Gear Dry on the Road

An age-old inconvenient truth is starting your day with wet gloves. Well, let’s look at keeping your gear dry, then praying for no rains or pushing your luck!

Ever heard of the story of Elsie and Oliver? No? Well, the story talks about the concept of focusing on what can be controlled, our reactions and responses to uncertainties, rather than trying to control external events beyond our influence. Like a ride in the rain!

With all your stuff packed and strapped to your motorcycle, you prepare yourself for the ride. As you look up, the clouds look heavy. Something tells you that you and your gear are going to be all wet shortly. Sure enough, the drizzle turns into heavy thunderstorms and you haven’t even crossed the 100km mark. It penetrates so hard that part of you wants to call it quits and stop at a café. But part of you doesn't listen, while it focuses on the twists and turns.

So, how do you navigate the rains and still keep your gear as dry as possible for maximum comfort and safety? How do you refine your waterproofing strategy to ensure that whilst the rain may fall, it won’t ruin your plan to stay dry? Well, let’s see…

Firstly, invest in motorcycle luggage specifically designed to be waterproof. Look for materials like PVC, nylon, or vinyl that have waterproof coatings or welded seams. Waterproof saddlebags, tail bags, or tank bags are ideal options. Don’t know where to look for these gears? Well, head to www.reisemoto.com and all your questions will be answered: right from tool bags to tails bags and beyond.

Now, I’m a huge fan of dry bags – they have become a part of my touring kit to a point where I never leave for a ride without one, even if I have no particular use for it at the time. Hence, there have been times when I’ve gone camping and the rain gods have blessed the soil with abundance of water. Here’s where the bags “cover” my packed clothes and keep them dry and secured for the evening. No matter what the weather does to them throughout the day, I always have a pack of clean, dry clothes to change into when I pitch a tent.

Another way to ride dry is using waterproof inserts or liners inside your dry bags or using bags made of durable waterproof materials inside your luggage to keep your gear protected from water. However, it doesn’t mean that you can throw your stuff in, zip it and ride. Nope! Placing your gear inside waterproof bags or containers within your luggage adds an extra layer of protection against water seepage, especially if your luggage is only water-resistant rather than fully waterproof.

Also, while you may have panniers who may give you the impression that the water will not seep in, think again. This is where pannier liners come in to save your day.

They provide a second layer of protection against the water seeping or penetrating through the tiny cracks and gaps that the panniers have accumulated over the years.

Let’s also look at rain covers! Of course, many motorcycle luggage sets come with rain covers. Ensure these covers are readily accessible and fit securely over your luggage. Use them when riding in wet conditions to shield your gear from rain and splashes.

Now, these are waterproofing materials and like everything else, they also wear down over time. Hence, they are rarely found, but to regularly condition your waterproof motorcycle luggage, use waterproofing treatments or sealants as needed. Do check that all the seals, zippers and closures on your luggage are in good condition and functioning properly. Even a small gap or loose zipper can allow water to seep in.

Now, seals fall inefficient in case of expansion or when overused. Hence, avoiding packing the luggage to full can compromise its ability to remain sealed against water. This also means that leaving some space for items to move around is also a good idea which does not let the seams or zippers live under pressure.

I also have a habit of reading the rain direction and positioning the waterproof luggage on-the-go. Secure your luggage properly to your motorcycle. Ensure it is mounted securely and positioned to minimise exposure to direct rain or road spray.

What is it? Let’s not forget to carry a compact, quick-drying towel or cloth to dry off items if needed. In the end, sure, you can’t control the rain, but you can certainly control the ability to deal with it when it happens.


- Vishal Joshi , Expert Motorcyclist & Blogger

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