Motorcycle Handlebar Bags [ Handling + Pros and Cons ]

do handlebar bags affect handling

The purpose of a handlebar bag is convenience, but it may take some getting used to. A handlebar bag serves as storage when you’re out on your bike – you can put a few things like a map, phone, or documents. However, it could be a hindrance when it is loaded with too many things, when it isn’t the right size for your bike, or when you have a bike that wasn’t built to have one. Before we go into whether a handlebar bag can affect your handling, let’s find out if it is something you need?

Is a Handlebar Bag Essential for Riders?

No one will stop a rider from breaking the law by not having a handlebar bag. No rule mandates it as a necessity; it is strictly the biker’s choice. However, its functionality has attracted many riders and continues to do so.

People that don’t use handlebar bags usually stick to using backpacks or strap bags which can be uncomfortable, not allowing you to enjoy the riding experience as you should. With a handlebar bag, you do not have to put up with having your load weighing on you; you get to give that task to your motorcycle. However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. It is different if you don’t fancy a type of bag, but if you’re open to any kind and carry a lot of stuff when riding, nothing stops you from using a handlebar bag and a tank bag.

So, is a handlebar bag an essential accessory for riders? By all means, it is if you enjoy convenient rides.

Do Handlebar Bags Affect Handling?

handlebar bags and motorcycle handling

Yes, handlebar bags can affect handling but it mainly depends on how you use it. Using a handlebar bag can make you view it as a valuable accessory or an inconvenient interference.

To avoid viewing handlebar bags as an inconvenience, you should never forget that they are storage accessories designed mainly to carry your essentials. You can’t fit the world in it. If you have plans on fitting in a lot, you should go for a big one, but make sure it suits your bike. When you fill it up to the brim, it affects handling.

To ensure it doesn’t affect handling, it is best to know that there are various handlebar bags with different functions. So, you should buy one based on what you need it for. There are handlebar bags designed to carry your small personal items. These are the common ones where you can fit your cell phone, camera, documents, and maps.

Another category is the handlebar bag made for tools. This type is made out of superior leather to avoid being damaged easily by the means, and some have compartments for specific tools, while others don’t. Lastly, we have detachable handlebar bags that can function as everyday bags and are typically bigger than the other two.

Also, the same thing applies when steering. Handlebar bags will not affect steering if you use them appropriately, filling them with the right amount of stuff. If you misuse them, however, they’ll affect your steering as they affect your handling.

Pros of Handlebar Bags

motorcycle handlebar bag

Handlebar bags aren’t a must-have, but their features and practicality are pretty attractive. Its benefits include

  • A comfortable ride. Reiterating, the goal of handlebar bags is convenience. Depending on the size you get, you can fit a good number of things into it, and as long as you use it appropriately, it doesn’t interfere with your ride or bring discomfort. You can entrust your loa to your motorcycle and ride freely.
  • Aesthetically pleasing and practical. Handlebar bags look great on motorcycles, especially when you invest in high-quality ones. They look well placed on handlebars and inches away from the ground, reducing the dirt that gets on them.
  • Ease of access. Thanks to where handlebar bags are installed, you can easily access whatever is on your bike without doing too much.
  • Variations. There is a wide variety of handlebar bags based on size and functionality. Some even come with compartments which is a very convenient feature.
  • Easy installation. Many handlebar bags are easy to install and, in the same vein, easy to remove when it is an obstruction or not in use.
  • It doesn’t limit you. As a person who moves around with a lot of stuff, a handlebar bag can be an excellent addition to your storage accessories. Since it is installed on the handlebar, it leaves most of your motorcycle open to accommodate other accessories. You can still use that saddlebag.

Cons of Handlebar Bags

  • The position a handlebar bag is placed in is a benefit and a disadvantage. In the event of a collision, all the content of the back could easily get damaged.
  • Getting a big handlebar bag is recommended if you have many things you would like to fit in it, but that may block your view of the front wheel. When your view of the front wheel is obstructed, it may be challenging to maneuver when the need arises.
  • Handlebar bags cause this drag effect as you ride, especially on descents: the effect is proportional to the size and content of the bag.
  • With an average of about 3 liters capacity, a handlebar bag is not very big, especially compared to other storage accessories like backpacks and saddlebags.
  • It may be comfortable initially because it could make the handlebars area cluttered, but it is all right when you get used to it.


There are two sides to a coin; there is nothing without flaws. To enjoy this convenient accessory, that is, the handlebar bags, you should make sure not to abuse them but put them to use appropriately. Also, we have provided the pros and cons of handlebar bags to help you decide if it is your cup of tea. If it is, you will be stunned by the variety available, and if it isn’t, there are other means to transport your stuff as you ride!