Skip to content
UK's No.1 SHAD Retailer
Free Delivery (Over £50)
Up To 25% Discount

Motorcycle Luggage Blogs

Bike Specific vs Universal Motorcycle Luggage

by Daniel Noble 15 May 2024 0 Comments

SHAD Bike Specific Motorcycle Luggage

Motorcycle Luggage can be categorised into two main types with motorcycle specific luggage and universal luggage each offering a range of options.

The clue to each type is in the name, bike specific luggage is designed and tested to fit each specific model of motorcycle while universal luggage can be mounted to just about any motorbike.

Both offer something very different from the other and it may simply come down to personal preference, but what are the main differences and which is actually the best option for you?

What Are The Pros & Cons Bike Specific Motorcycle Luggage?

SHAD Bike Specific Motorcycle Luggage Rack

SHAD luggage racks are specific to each motorcycle.

Bike specific luggage is designed with each motorcycle in mind and as such, are mounted to the motorbike using fitting kits that are manufactured and tested for each particular model. The benefit of this is the fact that it guarantees a smooth, straightforward fitment and allows the racks and luggage to integrate better with the motorcycle. However, the downside is not only is the luggage more expensive, you will also have the added expense of having to purchase the fitting kit.

The higher cost is for good reason though. While there may be less top box and pannier options as you have to ensure compatibility with your particular motorbike, this is far outweighed by the list of additional features. Take SHAD for example, their top boxes and panniers are available in a range of storage capacities with durable, waterproof structures and include a mounting plate, secure locking systems, ergonomic carry handles while some of their cases can hold one or two full-face helmets.

Sticking with SHAD, attention turns to the bike specific motorcycle tank bags. The beauty here is SHAD’s innovative click system tank bag fitting kits which fit to each model of motorbike and allow tank bags to be simply slotted into place and locked to the tank in a matter of seconds. This is the ideal alternative to the use of the cumbersome straps and magnets required for other bags on the market.v

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Universal Motorcycle Luggage?

As the name suggests, universal luggage is the opposite of bike specific luggage in the sense that it can essentially be fitted to any motorcycle. The upside of this is it can be mounted to existing locations on the motorbike and saves you from having to go to the expense of an additional fitting kit. However, the negative is some bikes may not have anywhere to mount the luggage or may need the stock racks that were installed by the motorcycle’s manufacturer.

To put it plainly, universal top boxes and panniers tend to be rather basic, offering the bare minimum. They often omit the likes of waterproof protection, locking, and ergonomic handles found in the bike specific luggage cases. Additionally, with the lack of a fitting kit, universal panniers are likely to be throwovers which are less secure, more susceptible to theft and may move around meaning they constantly have to be repositioned.

As for universal motorcycle tank bags, unlike SHAD’s bags, they will not offer the convenient installation, locking directly to the motorbike and usually require the use of straps and magnets which are more cumbersome and time-consuming than the streamlined click system kits.

How Do Bike Specific & Universal Motorcycle Luggage Compare?

Feature SHAD Bike Specific Luggage Universal Luggage
Mounting Framework Required  
Guaranteed Fitment  
Locking System Included  
Ergonomic Carry Handles  


Now that the pros and cons of both bike specific and universal motorcycle luggage have been weighed up and the two luggage types have been directly compared, which actually presents the best option?

In all honesty, it really depends on personal preference. If you would like the most cost-effective option then universal luggage is your winner. However, if you would like guaranteed fitment with your motorcycle, waterproof protection and security locking but don’t mind spending that bit extra, then SHAD’s bike specific luggage is the best option for you.

Prev Post
Next Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

View Product

Edit Option
Product Launch Notification
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items