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Guide To Motorcycle Luggage Materials

by Daniel Noble 26 Jun 2024 0 Comments
Guide To Motorcycle SHAD Luggage Materials

Deciphering the world of motorcycle luggage can be a tricky task at the best of times and that is simply because there are so many options.

Before selecting a new top box or panniers, there are a number of aspects to consider before narrowing down the options. With everything from brands, sizes, styles and anything in between, there is certainly no shortage of options and while that is not a bad problem to have, when you take the various motorbike luggage materials into account it can be easy to become bogged down.

It is doubtful anyone will part with their hard-earned dough for new luggage to then use it and realise it’s not what they need before splashing out on a different product. At the end of the day, it’s likely going to be with you for a while and for that reason, it would be advisable to make an educated decision the first time around.

So, for anyone taking note of that, here is a guide to the types of motorcycle luggage materials, what they have to offer and when to use them.

What Are The Different Types Of Motorcycle Luggage Materials?

Not only is motorcycle luggage offered by various brands in an array of shapes and sizes, it is designed and manufactured using a number of different materials. Each material serves a different purpose and has something very different to offer in comparison to their counterparts.

Take SHAD’s motorcycle top boxes and panniers for example, they are produced using three rather contrasting materials and within each, there are multiple motorbike luggage case options. The SHAD luggage material options consist of:

ABS Plastic - This is the most common motorbike luggage type with a wide variety of shapes and sizes adding up to a total of 30 different top boxes and four sets of panniers in SHAD’s range. As quality products at reasonable prices, the ABS cases are the best value for money options on the market.

Aluminium - The most robust and durable motorcycle luggage available, aluminium top boxes and panniers are considered to be a more premium option. Unlike plastic luggage, the aluminium structure is not going to crack upon impact or if dropped, however, there are significantly fewer options despite often being available in the choice of two colours.

Polyester - Otherwise known as ‘soft luggage’, the polyester material has the fewest options of all the luggage in SHAD’s repertoire. Although they are lightweight whilst still being durable, polyester motorcycle rear cases and side cases are impact-resistant but this sometimes comes at a cost, sacrificing the ability to offer a waterproof structure.

What Are The Pros and Cons Of Each Material?

ABS Plastic:

Pros Cons
Waterproof More Susceptible to Impacts
Wide Range Of Options Likely To crack If dropped


 Pros Cons
Waterproof Heaviest Material
Robust & Durable Premium Price
Most Secure Luggage Option


Pros Cons
Impact Resistant May Not Be Waterproof
Lightweight Not As Secure
Flexible To Adjust To cargo


When Is Best To Use Each Motorcycle Luggage Material?

While they boast different features and come in a range of shapes and sizes, your choice of motorcycle luggage material should ultimately depend on what you intend to use it for. Each of the three materials create luggage cases that lend themselves to particular use cases.

ABS Plastic and aluminium motorbike luggage are essentially interchangeable and can be used in a number of scenarios and for various riding types, lending themselves to everything from daily use right through to longer motorcycle tours. However, aluminium is without doubt the better option when it comes to commuting, particularly in the city. This is simply because the square shape is better suited to carrying laptops and other essentials for the work day while the extra secure structure cannot be undervalued when parking out in the open.

For contrast, the polyester style luggage is ideal for adventure and off-road riding due to being more impact-resistant and the fact that it is not going to crack or dent in the event of a drop or a fall, a high possibility when riding on different terrains. Moreover, it should be low on the pecking order for commuting due to the lack of security and/or waterproof protection.

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