How to Carry Groceries On a Motorcycle

How to Carry Groceries On a Motorcycle

This article gives you ideas on how to carry groceries assuming (i) you can create carrying capacity and (ii) you cannot.

You can easily carry groceries on a motorcycle by installing carrying capacity such as saddle bags or top case. Even a tank or rear bag can carry small amounts of groceries. Alternatively, you can hang groceries on the handle or the rear if you do not wish to build such capacity.

However, given how cheap some of these bags are, and how much convenience they can bring, I don’t see why any rider will not want them. This is especially so if motorcycle is your only transport option.

Below are detailed ideas and recommendations on how to carry groceries on a motorcycle.

  • Section A suggests ideas on how to create carrying capacity
  • Section B suggest ideas if you only want to use existing parts of the motorcycle to carry groceries.


A. How to create carrying capacity

I suggest 3 simple ways to create carrying capacity.


1. Cargo Nets

Cargo nets is the cheapest way to create capacity on your motorcycle. They are also very flexible. You can use one to carry groceries of any shape and size. See the picture below for example of cargo net carrying a large amount of groceries including cans of beers.

cargo net motorcycle


If you are carrying so much effort, you will also need straps to hold the groceries down.Β  The best straps are the rok straps.

As for cargo nets, the one I recommend is from Powertye (Click to check prices on Aamzon).

PowerTye 50152 cargo netHere is what I liked about this particular cargo net:

πŸ‘€ No stuff falling through due to small holes

πŸ’ͺ HUGE capacity for groceries as itΒ  can stretch to over 30′

πŸ•° Very stable even over long hours or distances

🏍 No permanent stretching – no matter how much I extend it, the network always come back to its original sizing

The only downside to this great product is the hooks. They are made of plastic and are quite bulky.Β  As such, you might have problems finding places on your bike to hook these to.

There are different colors to choose from. Black is the smallest size. Orange is the biggest and also the most stretchable. If you need to carry a lot of groceries, I suggest getting the orange color one.

One weakness of cargo nets is that they have no protection. If it rains for example, your groceries will definitely be drenched. This is why there is a second option you can consider.


2. Saddle bags

If you like something that can protect the groceries and doesn’t need any effort to put things in, saddle bags are a great option. You install them once and using them afterward become a breeze.

The images below show how much capacity you can have (note: images not mine)

saddle bag for groceries

saddle bag for groceries 2


Compared to the cargo net, they have a more defined capacity. You cannot carry more than what they are meant to. Hence, before buying them, consider how much you need to carry on a regular basis.

My favorite saddle bags is from Nelson-Rigg.

Nelson-Rigg rear pannierHere is what I liked about them:

πŸ’ͺ Capacity is around 30 liters per bag so 60 in total. Power!

β˜”οΈ Waterproof material to ensure groceries will not get wet

πŸ˜€ Easy to install. 4 quick release buckle and straps is all that is need.

πŸ”¨ All hardware is made of aluminum instead of plastic. This makes them more durable.

The thing that be improve is the positioning of the velcro. I feel they are positioned to far in such that when you expand the bags, the velcros feel very stretched. Hence, during the journey, they will most likely give way.

However, if you are overloading the bags, this will not be an issue.

Cost wise, this is going to cost much more than the cargo net. If you like your groceries to be 100% dry, then this will be a worthwhile investment.


3. Top case

The final option is the top case. Get this if you do not want to spend as much money as the saddle bags and if you need only a smaller grocery storage.Β  It is also more secured.

top case groceries


The brand I recommend is the Emgo 72-32440.

Emgo 72-32440Here is what I like:

πŸ’ͺ Spacious for its category of product

β˜”οΈ Waterproof – groceries remain dry after 30 mins of being in the rain

πŸ” Secured with locks. This means you can even keep something like a second helmet without worrying about being stolen.

🀟🏻 Detachable case means you can move the groceries to the house without taking them out one by one

Among the three options, a top case is the most complicated to install. However, if you follow the manual and youtube video, it is not an impossible task.


B. How to create carry groceries without capacity

In this section, I will give some workable ideas for those who just want to keep their bikes as it is.

  1. Hang the groceries off the seat – Take care that they will not touch the exhaust. If not, the plastic bags will melt and you will lose your groceries.
  2. Within jacket – If it is just one or two items, you can store them in front of your jacket, assuming you have one.
  3. Second passenger – Get a second person to go with you. He or she can then carry around 4-6 grocery bags using their hands.

Do not hang anything around your handle bar as they will interfere with your steering. This is dangerous and might also violate certain regulations. Unfortunately, I see this happen all the time.



Very often, riders underestimated how much motorcycles can carry. By either creating capacity or using some imagination, carrying groceries on a motorcycle is very doable and practical.

However, do not carry things too far. For example, I have seen riders carrying guitars or ladder using their bikes. Doing so might lead to accidents or violation of your driving regulations, not to mention being a danger to others.

As long as you practice some common sense thinking, motorcycles can be a great logistic machine.


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