Thursday, June 28, 2012

Luggage for your Royal Enfield? Why not a suitcase?

Why not attach a real vintage suitcase to your Royal Enfield?
Saddlebags or panniers are the traditional luggage of a Royal Enfield motorcycle. But when I jokingly suggested using an ugly milk crate instead, reader Alan LaRue responded that he had tried a more interesting idea: an actual suitcase.

"I mounted a late '40s or early '50s J.C. Higgens suitcase (Sears and Roebuck imitation of a Samsonite) to my Royal Enfield, and got a little bit of negative feedback. But I think it was better than a milk crate. A few guys on the Royal Enfield board suggested that I should have mounted a wicker basket."

Alan did indeed take a ribbing on the Royal Enfield USA Community Forum.

Holds anything but a helmet.
"Friends don't let friends mount old suitcases to their Enfields!" one member joshed. Another suggested that the hidden bolts holding the suitcase to the rack meant that other motorists would continuously expect the suitcase to fall off.

Maybe so, but I happen to think it's a very cool idea. In fact, in 2009, Community Forum member Uncle Ernie made a similar suggestion:

"For the rack, shop Habitat For Humanity, Goodwill, etc. and look for a small olde suitcase and attach it with fender washers."

"Olde" is the key.

I can't find it now, but years ago I saw a vintage picture of a couple traveling the world on their Triumph. The motorcycle was draped with containers, including twin gas cans lashed to the front sides of the crash bars (crash and burn?). One particular touch was a dainty old suitcase attached to the typical Triumph tank rack of the day. It looked great.

Here are some other notions about motorcycle luggage options.

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