For the cross-country rider, the biggest drawback of riding a motorcycle is the lack of cargo space. On a motorcycle, you can’t exactly carry much, even if you have a set of saddlebags. So, what’s the solution for high storage needs?
Enter the motorcycle trunk. The best motorcycle trunks will allow you to haul more gear, and keep all your supplies organized, so you can plan out your next trip and bring along all the clothes, tools, food, and other gear you need. If you’ve never purchased a trunk before, then you can use my guide to find the perfect model for your ride, based on your storage needs, bike type, and budget.
I’ve also reviewed many of the leading trunks on the market, narrowing it down to six that every motorcyclist will love. Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each trunk, how it rated, and important spec information.
Motorcycle Trunks Comparison Chart
AUTOINBOX Universal Motorcycle Rear Top Box Tail Trunk
My top choice is the latest model by Autoinbox. This trunk has a storage capacity of forty-seven liters, so it can fit a couple of open face helmets or a single full-face helmet. The trunk itself is made out of heavy-duty ABS plastic, which can handle plenty of wear and tear on the road. The trunk also comes with an instruction booklet and the necessary mounting hardware. The included hardware makes installing the trunk a cinch.
For added safety when you’re riding at night, the trunk also comes equipped with built-in LED taillights, which will increase your visibility in low light conditions.
Additionally, this model features a lock and two keys, so you can stop off for a bite to eat, lock up your gear and/or helmet, and not worry that a thief will make off with your belongings.
- LED taillights
- Large storage capacity
- Made out of ABS plastic
- Includes mounting hardware
- Easy installation
- Lock with two keys
- Not compatible with all models
- Only available in one color
This trunk offers plenty of storage space and comes with everything you need in a trunk you can use for a weekend adventure. The durable ABS plastic design, combined with the large storage capacity are both reasons why this model landed at the top of the list. This is a universal style trunk, so it won’t offer the same perfect fit that you’ll get with a custom or model-specific trunk, but for most rides, it fits well and rests securely in place.
TCMT HR3 King Pack Trunk
This model by TCMT is specifically designed for Harley touring bikes. This means it won’t work for any other style of touring bike, but if you have a Harley, you can get a great look and custom fit for an affordable price. This model is currently available in seven color options and is made out of ABS plastic. Aside from its durable design, it also has a reputation for easy installation, although the mounting hardware is designed for a permanent installation, so the trunk cannot easily be removed. This is a huge plus for the serious rider who is looking for a model that offers more protection. Additionally, the trunk also comes with a heavy-duty lock and two keys, for top-of-the-line security.
- Easy to install
- Includes lock and two keys
- Seven color options
- Large storage capacity
- Perfect for Harley riders
- Will only fit Harley touring bikes
- Steep price
While the price is high, considering this model is designed specifically for Harleys, many riders will find that it’s worth every penny. It’s also priced more affordably compared to trunks produced by the manufacturer. With seven color options to choose from, you can purchase a model that will complement your bike’s paint job, giving it a custom look at a price that’s affordable.
XFMT LED King Tour Pack
This aftermarket trunk is designed for Harley touring models only, so you won’t be able to use it for a Sportster or another type of road bike, but if you have a Harley, you’ll want to swoop this model up. Offered at a fraction of the price that you’ll find Harley brand trunks going for, this trunk comes with one brake taillight a durable ABS plastic construction, and a clean look that will complement your ride. Unfortunately, this model is only available in black. Additionally, you’ll have to purchase the mounting hardware separately, which may be a drawback for some buyers on a budget.
- Large storage capacity
- Easy to install
- Compatible with Harley touring bikes
- Low price
- Does not include mounting hardware
- Only available in black
This trunk is a steal for the price. If you’ve been shopping around for a new trunk for your Harley, you’ll be impressed with this aftermarket model’s overall quality and durability, not to mention the lower price. The included brake light will improve your visibility at night, for safer riding, while the model-specific fit will give your bike a classic look that’s clean and stylish.
Ego Bike Motorcycle Trunk
This model features an upholstered backrest and a steel top rack that allows you to bring along more gear. The spacious trunk can store up to two full-size helmets and some extra supplies. For added protection, the trunk also has a lock and comes with two keys. The molded backrest provides some added comfort for your passenger, so they can lean back, relax, and enjoy the ride. This model will work well for most bikes, but because it’s not model specific, it won’t provide the custom look that some riders are searching for.
- Mounting hardware included
- Includes lock and two keys
- Steel top rack
- Durable design
- Only available in one color
- The bike must already have a luggage rack to install this trunk
Before you buy, you’ll need to first determine whether or not this model will work for your bike. Additionally, while the trunk comes with mounting hardware, you can only install this trunk if your bike has a luggage rack. If your bike doesn’t, you may need to have the trunk professionally installed. Overall, this universal trunk will be a great addition to your bike, if you’re looking for a trunk that’s secure, spacious, durable, and loaded with some nice extras. Overall, this trunk is a steal for the price.
MMG Motorcycle Touring Tail Trunk
This trunk is designed for both motorcycles and scooters. It’s made out of heavy-duty plastic and includes mounting hardware, a lock, and two keys. The trunk has a storage capacity of fifty-one liters, so it can easily hold up to two full-face helmets. This model is universal, so it’ll fit a wide range of bikes and scooters, at a price that won’t hit your wallet too hard. While the trunk doesn’t come with rear taillights, the large red rear reflector does help to make you highly visible if you’re riding in low-light conditions.
- Can hold up to two full-face helmets
- Easy to install
- Large storage capacity
- Includes mounting hardware
- Clean look
- Universal fit
- Available only in black
- Does not come equipped with taillights
If you’re looking for a universal trunk for your motorcycle or scooter, one that can store enough gear for a weekend of riding, then this model is a great choice. It’s durable, includes easy to install mounting hardware, and offers more than enough storage space for most riders. Of course, it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles you’ll get with a custom model or a model-specific trunk, but the basic design, clean look, and low price, is enough to get most riders to hit that buy now button.
Comie Motorcycle Tour Tail Box Trunk
This trunk by Comie features a spacious design that can accommodate up to two full-face helmets. The trunk itself has a storage capacity of forty-eight liters and comes with a comfortable backrest that your passenger will appreciate. This model also comes with mounting hardware, a lock, two keys, and a storage rack. The trunk is easy to install using the included hardware. The trunk is removable, so you can bring it indoors when you’re riding cross country and spending a night in a hotel, stopping for a bite to eat, shopping, or whenever you need to leave your bike unattended. The drawback here is that since the trunk is easy to remove, it makes it more vulnerable to theft.
- Includes hardware
- Lock and keys
- Large storage capacity
- Removable design makes the trunk vulnerable to theft
- Base is weak
The base of the trunk isn’t made out of the same thick ABS plastic that the rest of the trunk is. Instead, it’s made out of a thinner plastic, which can crack and break with regular use. For the price, this trunk is still a great deal, but if you’re looking for a model that’s tough and can handle long cross-country trips, then you’ll definitely want to pass this trunk on by.
Motorcycle Trunks Buyer’s Guide
Motorcycle trunks are available in a variety of sizes. Some models come equipped with backrests, so you can ensure your passenger is comfortable and has plenty of back support for those longer rides. Other models will have taillights, to help improve your visibility at night or in other low light conditions. Without a trunk, traveling across the country on your bike can be a total nightmare.
If you’re planning a motorcycle trip, then installing a trunk will allow you to bring along all your essential gear including food, drinks, clothing, tools, and other supplies. While you may be able to get by with a couple of saddlebags and a backpack, this arrangement can make it difficult to balance when you’re cornering or riding at faster speeds. A trunk will keep your center of gravity low, so balancing won’t even be an issue.
Basically, a trunk is the ultimate way to haul all the gear you need on your bike.
This buyer’s guide will go over the benefits of using a bike trunk, the must-have features to look for, and other important information you need to know that can help you choose a trunk, such as:
- Storage capacity
- Mounting hardware
- Mounting options
- Trunk size
- Internal material-Liner
Before I dive into the different features to choose from, first, let’s learn more about the benefits of using a motorcycle trunk.
Benefits of Motorcycle Trunks
- The biggest benefit of bike trunks is they allow you to haul more gear. When you ride a motorcycle, you’ll have limited storage capacity. With a trunk, you can carry more when you ride.
- Whether you’re traveling across the country or across town, you need a trunk that can protect your gear. Soft trunks will come equipped with a waterproof coating that will keep the interior of the trunk nice and dry. Hard-sided trunks feature a waterproof design that will also protect your belongings from the elements.
- Most trunks come equipped with a lock. This means you won’t have to worry about your belongings getting stolen if you decide to pull over for a quick bite.
Types of Motorcycle Trunks
On your search for the right bike trunk, you’ll come across a few different style options, including:
These trunks will work with most makes and models of motorcycles, but if you don’t choose carefully, you may end up with one that’s cheap and takes away from your bike’s aesthetics. You also don’t want to buy a trunk that’s too bulky for your bike. If you have a sportster, you don’t want a massive trunk that’s a better fit for a large touring model, such as the CVO Road Glide by Harley. Additionally, since a universal trunk is designed to work with all types of bikes, this means it probably won’t fit your bike like a glove, like a custom or model-specific trunk can.
These trunks are designed by major bike manufacturers. If you want to go with a model-specific trunk, you’ll obviously want to match it to the make and model of your bike. These trunks have a reputation for better quality and a more durable design. They also come equipped with better mounting hardware and can include extra features such as internal lining.
Buying a custom trunk is the more expensive option, but if you want a trunk that will perfectly match your bike’s paint job and one that can complement your bike, it’s the way to go. These trunks are designed by local fabricators and are usually permanently mounted to a bike, which may be a drawback for some potential buyers. The biggest advantage to having a custom trunk made is purely aesthetic. Most experienced riders will recommend shopping around for a model-specific trunk since some are removable and tend to be more affordable.
Soft Versus Hard-Shell Trunks
You’ll also need to choose between a soft-sided trunk and a hard-shell. Soft trunks are made out of durable material such as nylon and are more affordable and easier to attach and remove. However, soft-sided models don’t offer the same level of security that a hard-shell trunk does.
Higher priced hard-shell trunks have an exterior that’s made out of metal and are available in the color of your choice, whereas low-priced trunks are usually made out of ABS plastic. While ABS plastic is impressively durable, it’s nowhere near as strong as metal.
For a motorcycle rider, deciding on the type of luggage system to use can be pretty tricky and a difficult decision for the rider who travels cross-country. Both hard and soft trunks have their advantages and disadvantages. When you’re trying to decide on which type of luggage system to use, you need to take into consideration how much gear you need to haul, how long you need to store it, the weather conditions you may encounter, security needs, and weight distribution.
I’ve focused mainly on hard trunks in this buyer’s guide because they offer the best security and have a reputation for durability. These trunks are built tough, can handle a fall off a bike, and they come with a lock, so you can secure your belongings without having to worry that someone is going to take off with your stuff when you stop for a bite to eat. There are also no straps to deal with, fear of your gear getting soaked by the rain, and some trunks can easily be removed so you can bring it indoors if you’re staying at a hotel for the night.
However, if you’re on a tight budget, the high prices that some of these trunks are going for can really hit your wallet hard. Aside from price, you’ll also have to worry about the added weight of the trunk itself, in addition to your gear. If you’ve never ridden with someone on the back of your bike, then you’re probably not used to this type of extra weight, which can make it difficult for some riders to balance. These trunks can weigh anywhere from five to twenty pounds.
Soft trunks are a better choice for the day rider and short trips. These trunks are easy to attach and more affordable than hard trunks. They can also be removed, so you can bring them indoors when you’re staying overnight somewhere, or you don’t want to leave it outside when you’ve stopped off for a bite to eat. However, these trunks don’t offer the same level of security that hard models do. They can be cut open with a sharp knife, so even if the trunk comes with a lock, it won’t matter if there’s a determined thief armed with a knife or boxcutter. Additionally, many of these bags are not designed for inclement weather use, so you’ll also have to worry about your bags getting wet, and your belongings, in the event you get caught up in a downpour.
Trunks come with a wide range of features to choose from. Some are purely aesthetic, while others are intended for safety purposes and can keep your gear safe in the event of a motorcycle accident.
Now that you know more about the different options available, I’ll go over what features to look for, so you can be sure you end up with a great-looking trunk that’s both functional and offers a look that’s class all the way.
You need a trunk that matches your ride. If the trunk doesn’t match, your bike won’t have a pro, customized look. Not all trunks you’ll come across are available in a variety of colors. In fact, many manufacturers only have a couple of color options to choose from. Make sure you take the time and shop around to find a trunk that will complement the look and style of your bike.
Storage capacity will be one of the most important features you’ll come across. The size of the trunk you buy will have a lot to do with the size and style of your bike, your storage needs, and your budget.
A trunk should be easy to install and remove. This will allow you to bring the trunk indoors, when you’re done riding for the day and inclement weather is coming.
Obviously, you need a trunk that comes with top-of-the-line mounting hardware, which will ensure your trunk remains securely in place as you ride. Low-priced trunks often come with hardware, but in most cases, you’ll need to upgrade it to something more durable. Top-of-the-line trunks will come with durable, steel mounting hardware that will make installing the trunk fast and easy, while ensuring your trunk remains secured and safe, even when you’re riding in inclement weather or at high speeds.
How you mount the trunk will depend on the type of bike you ride and the trunk you buy. Of course, first, you’ll need to ensure that the trunk is compatible with your bike’s setup. Next, you’ll need to consider whether you want a trunk you can permanently install or a model that’s removable. Both types have their pros and cons. To start, a trunk that’s permanently installed will be more secure and cannot be carried off by a thief. However, these models are more difficult to install, are more expensive, and tend to add a lot of weight to your bike, so it can make motorcycle cornering more challenging for the beginner. Permanently installed trunks cannot be easily removed. A removable trunk is more convenient for some riders and can be brought inside when you’re dealing with inclement weather. These trunks are often more affordable and easier to install. However, they’re not as sturdy as permanently installed trunks which means one could potentially fly off the back of your bike at higher speeds. Additionally, because they don’t have a heavy-duty installation process, they’re also more vulnerable to theft.
As I mentioned earlier, you’ll find model-specific and universal trunks. The model-specific trunks are designed for mounting on a specific model of motorcycle. You can find these model-specific options from aftermarket sellers and directly through the manufacturer. Keep in mind, aftermarket sellers tend to offer these trunks at a more affordable price. If you’re on a tight budget, you can opt for a universal trunk, however, they won’t offer the same type of perfect fit that you’ll get from a model-specific trunk.
The size of the trunk you purchase depends on how much gear you want to haul. If you only need to carry a few personal items, a smaller trunk should suit your needs. Medium sized trunks can hold a helmet and a few personal items. Large trunks can provide enough storage space for a weekend of riding.
You’ll also want to pay attention to the type of material that’s on the inside of the trunk. Low-priced models usually don’t have any type of lining material. The lining material is what cushions and protects your gear. If the trunk you buy doesn’t come with a liner you’ll just get the trunk itself, with a hard interior and nothing that can provide an extra level of protection to any fragile personal items. If you purchase a trunk that doesn’t come with a liner, you can usually buy one for that particular model directly from the manufacturer. Of course, if you’re on a tight budget, then you’ll need to take this extra expense into consideration before you buy.
Most models will come equipped with hard plastic reflectors or a reflective strip or two. These reflectors are usually red and are intended to make you more visible on the road in low-light conditions.
You’ll also come across trunks that are equipped with lights. These lights are usually wired to a motorcycle’s own lights and turn on when you use one of your blinkers or hit the brakes.
A backrest is a nice extra and one that will provide much-needed back support for the passenger. Backrests are commonly found on higher-priced trunks. If you don’t normally ride with a passenger, then this extra feature won’t be a big deal, but if you do, then your passenger will definitely appreciate this extra support.
Racks are also found on higher-priced models and allow you to attach more gear to the surface, via a bungee cord. These racks are usually built tough and will definitely come in handy for those longer rides or trips to the store.
Your budget will be one of the major factors that will determine which type of trunk you purchase. The price of a trunk will depend on its size, the material it’s made out of, the type, and any features it may have. Typically, hard-shell trunks are more expensive than soft-sided models. The cost of a trunk can also be higher if it comes with a liner or backrest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Motorcycles Have Storage Compartments?
Motorcycles have very few storage options, which is why it’s recommended that motorcyclists wear a backpack, purchase saddlebags, or buy a trunk for higher storage needs.
What are the Bags on Motorcycles Called?
The bags on a motorcycle are referred to as a pannier and can be carried in pairs either attached to the sides of a bike or slung over the back
Do Motorcycles Have Trunks?
No. But you can purchase a trunk, one that’s model-specific, which will give your bike a custom look, while allowing you to bring along all the gear you need for a longer ride or a weekend trip.
How Do You Carry Groceries on a Motorcycle?
You’ll need to purchase saddlebags or a trunk. Even with a trunk or saddlebags, you may not be able to store all the groceries you need. But if you need to pick up a bag or two, a trunk is a great option.
The best motorcycle trunks will provide the type of storage space you need for those long trips on the road. The model you choose should be durable, mounted securely, and should fit your bike perfectly. Of course, not all models are created equal, which can make it difficult to find the perfect model for your ride. This buyer’s guide and the list of the top-selling models on the market will help you find the perfect trunk for your bike, so you can bring along all the gear you need for a day ride or a week-long outdoor adventure.