Reviews

Best Motorcycle Handlebar Bags: Enhance Your Storage

The best motorcycle handlebar bags offer convenience while enhancing your comfort

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BY Alice Musyoka / LAST UPDATED ON June 1, 2021

Whether you’re cruising or commuting on your motorcycle, the last thing you need is a bag that gets in the way of your comfort or affects your control. You need a bag that can hold your items and allow you to concentrate on riding. The more focused you are, the safer you’ll be. Motorcycle handlebar bags offer great storage for your tools and personal items. Some of them have enough space for important documents. Check out the best motorcycle handlebar bags available.

Best Overall
Dowco Willie & Max Motorcycle Tool Pouch
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Summary
Summary

This tool pouch will turn heads with its eagle embellishment and its three-strand braids. Its 2.5-liter capacity makes it a handy bag for carrying essential items such as keys, your driver’s license, cellphone, and sunglasses.

Pros
Pros
  • This fork bag is made from synthetic leather and maintains its shape even in hot weather
  • It is reinforced with plastic for shape retention
  • It has chrome buckles at the front that lock well to protect your items
Cons
Cons
  • It is smaller than the average motorcycle handlebar bag
  • It is also not water resistant
  • After a few months of use, it may start losing its color
Best Overall
Dowco Willie & Max Motorcycle Tool Pouch
Best Value
Kemimoto Motorcycle Fork Bag
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Summary
Summary

This motorcycle handlebar bag can carry your small personal effects. It features high-quality stitching and buckles that are designed like skulls. You can secure it to different parts of your motorcycle. 

Pros
Pros
  • The quick-release buckles allow you to easily open and close the bag
  • The side flaps partially protect your items from bad weather and from falling out
  • The tool pouch can fit on most motorcycles as its back straps are removable and adjustable
Cons
Cons
  • The straps that hold the front clasps are not adjustable and limit the bag’s storage capacity
  • The bag may scratch the motorcycle’s paint
  • The buckles get damaged easily
Best Value
Kemimoto Motorcycle Fork Bag
Honorable Mention
Allstate Leather Motorcycle Storage Bag
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Summary
Summary

This bag has a unique design that blends functionality with style. The manufacturer has used 100% genuine black cowhide leather to make it durable. Its black color makes it a great accessory for any motorcycle.

Pros
Pros
  • Its black braid trim adds to its uniqueness
  • The straps allow you to attach it to your bike’s handlebars or front forks 
  • The zipper makes it easy for you to access your items
  • The heavy-duty velcro closure prevents your items from falling
Cons
Cons
  • The bag does not hold shape unless it’s stuffed 
  • It is only strong enough to hold a wallet and a phone, not tools
  • It is flimsy and quite soft
Honorable Mention
Allstate Leather Motorcycle Storage Bag

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Motorcycle Handlebar Bags

  • Comfortable riding. Carrying a bag on your back or waist might affect your focus. If you want to experience the thrill of riding a motorcycle, you must be comfortable. A motorcycle handlebar bag holds your personal items and is easily accessible. It gives you the freedom you need to control your motorcycle. 
  • Extra storage. Motorcycle handlebar bags come in various sizes. You can always get a bigger bag if you feel your current one does not serve its purpose well.
  • Keep items safe. Most of the things you carry are valuable, so it’s important to keep them safe. The best motorcycle handlebar bags are made out of genuine leather and have buckles to keep your items protected. Some bags are small and can be detached from the bike. When you stop, you can remove the bag and carry it with you. 
  • Style statement. When you invest in a high-quality fork bag, you make a style statement. The bag shows your attention to detail and your unique style. You may even get compliments.

Types of Motorcycle Handlebar Bags

Tool Bags

Your motorcycle is a machine, and machines break down. A motorcycle tool bag stores basic repair tools you may need in an emergency. These bags are not big and are constructed out of superior leather because of the weight of the tools they carry. Some have sections meant for specific tools, while others have one main storage space. 

Personal Item Bags

If you normally carry small, important personal items, these bags are the best storage option. They might feature compartments to separate your stuff. Some bags even have specific sections for cell phones. Some have adjustable straps and can be installed at the front or back of a motorcycle.

Detachable Carry Bags

These bags are bigger than other bags and can be used as everyday bags. They can hold documents and bigger items like tire accessories. Due to their size, it is common to see the bags used for outdoor activities such as hiking. You can detach the bag from your motorcycle and carry it on your shoulder.

Top Brands

Dowco Powersports

Dowco Powersports was founded in 1922. Initially a tent manufacturer, the company has grown to become one of the most recognizable producers of motorcycle accessories. Under its parent company, Redline Plastics, Dowco has innovated motorcycle handlebar bags such as the Dowco Willie & Max Handlebar Bag. 

Chase Harper USA 

Like most American business giants, Chase Harper USA started in a garage in Santa Barbara, California. It was established in 1979 with a focus on motorcycle accessories. Over the years, the company has grown in leaps and bounds because it focuses on clients’ needs to come up with products such as the Chase Harper 10300 Barrel Bag

Giant Loop

Giant Loop is a young yet recognizable brand that was founded in Oregon in 2008. A popular manufacturer of motorcycle accessories, it creates products for extreme sports, snowmobiles, and snow bikes. Products such as the Giant Loop ZHB Handlebar Bag have made it a permanent fixture in bike riding competitions.  

Motorcycle Handlebar Bag Pricing

  • $10-$20: For the first-time buyer, this is a great place to start. There are many options, and the bags are spacious enough to carry small personal items. They are made of quality leather. 
  • $20-$40: In this category, you will find higher-capacity bags. The bags on the higher side of the price range may have some decorations that enhance their aesthetics. 
  • $40-$60: If you want a bag made of high-quality leather with more storage and great detailing, look in this price range. The bags are usually made from reputable brands with top grain leather and have extra pockets. 
  • $60-$100: Here’s where you’ll find bags made by big brands. They offer more storage and are made of full-grain leather. Most of these bags are waterproof.

Key Features

Material

This is the most important thing to look at when buying a motorcycle handlebar bag. These bags are either made from leather or fabric. If you prefer leather, you can choose between synthetic leather and genuine leather. Synthetic leather is inexpensive, while real leather is higher quality. Both materials can be treated so they are waterproof. If you’re on a tight budget, get a bag made of fabric. But if you plan on carrying items such as bank cards and smartphones, we don’t recommend it. 

Size

A bag’s capacity determines how useful it is. If you usually carry small personal items, you only need a small bag that is slightly bigger than a waist bag. However, if you plan on carrying tools, important documents, and bigger items, invest in a bag with more storage. You can also get a handlebar bag with compartments.

Security

Security features ensure your items stay safe. Some motorcycle handlebar bags come with pull tabs where you can put a lock. Most bags come with buckles and straps, but these only ensure your items stay inside the bag. Bags that have zippers are better than those with buckles. For your peace of mind, get a bag with security features.

Other Considerations

  • Detachment: While all motorbike handlebar bags are detachable, some are meant to be carried in your hands. Others have long straps and can be carried on your shoulder. If you get a bag that’s big enough, it can also serve as a travel bag. 
  • Design: Some handlebar bags have a classic rectangular box design, while others are designed in the shape of a barrel. The design of a bag usually affects its storage capacity, so choose carefully. 

Best Motorcycle Handlebar Bags Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Willie and Max Dowco Motorcycle Tool Pouch

The brand Willie & Max is synonymous with high-quality motorcycle gear. This bag proves why the brand is so popular. From its gold eagle embellishment to its three-strand braids, it looks like a biker’s handlebar bag. It’s made of artificial leather and closes at the front with two chrome buckles. 


If you own several bikes, you won’t have a problem mounting this bag as it has a universal fit. It can carry up to 2.5 liters, which is approximately 5.51 pounds. You can put tire accessories inside it, and it won’t fall apart. The strong mounting straps on its back ensure it stays in place. 


However, not all of its features please us. It is smaller than most motorcycle handlebar bags and isn’t waterproof. And after a few months of use, it may start to lose its color.

Best Value
Kemimoto Motorcycle Fork Bag

This bag looks like a classic motorcycle handlebar bag. It has studs in different areas that improve its overall structure and make it look stylish. You can mount it in different areas of your motorbike: the handlebar, the front fork, the sissy bar, or the side frame. The side flaps ensure your stuff stays dry if it starts to rain. 


If quick access to your items is something you prioritize in a handlebar bag, you’ll love this bag. Quick-release buckles let you open and close it fast. It is a great bag for carrying small items like keys, sunglasses, a driver's license, a hairbrush, and a cell phone. Its back straps are adjustable and removable.


However, a few things need improvement. It would be great if the front buckles were adjustable so the bag could close even when it’s extra full. The manufacturer also needs to make the buckles stronger. The bag has a tendency to scratch paint, likely because of the studs.

A Classic Design
Allstate Leather Motorcycle Storage Bag

The first thing that strikes you about this bag is its simplistic design. The leather has a smooth finish which makes the bag appealing. The manufacturer has used 100% genuine cowhide leather to make the bag very durable. Using its two straps, you can mount it on your bike’s handlebars or front forks. You can also use zip ties to secure the bag. The braid trim completes its look.


You’ll never have to worry about your items falling out as the manufacturer has included a zipper and a velcro closure. Once you close the flap, the velcro connects and you don’t have to press it. This makes it easy to carry delicate items.


However, the bag has a few faults. Unless you stuff it, it won’t hold shape. It is also fragile and can only hold a phone, a wallet, and items that are not heavy. It is not designed to last.

Best Vintage Look
The Vintage Stuff Leather Handlebar Bag

We like the Vintage Stuff Leather Handlebar Bag because it's made of genuine goat leather and it fits on most motorcycles. It's available in black, brown, and tan brown and features two leather buckle straps. The bag is weather-resistant and can be mounted in a variety of areas, including on the handlebar, sissy bar, or luggage rack.


This classic-looking leather bike bag will soften over time and the color will also deepen. It is large enough to fit items such as a water bottle, cell phone, tools, and even a quart of oil. It measures approximately 10 inches wide by 4 inches tall by 3.5 inches deep. Users report that the leather is soft and pliable, yet it's robust enough to last a long time.


One downside is that the pre-punched holes in the straps may be haphazardly punched. It may also be a little small for some users.

Honorable Mention
Chase Harper USA BC Barrel Bag

The Chase Harper USA BC Barrel Bag is a great option because it holds so many essentials. It's made in America, has a 3.5-liter capacity, and measures 9.5 inches long by 4.75 inches wide by 4.75 inches high. This weather-resistant bag features a urethane-coated ballistic nylon exterior. It's also available in a wide range of colors, including black, blue, pink, and red.


The bag has a universal fit and adjustable loop mounting system, so it should fit most bikes. It comes with a lightweight HDPE thermoplastic insert to keep it stiff and to maintain its shape. Other features include securing web loops, a full-length zipper, and a quick-access pocket within the main compartment that is great for holding a cell phone. Users report that it's easy to install, it's well made, and it’s easy to attach almost anywhere on your bike.


However, there have been some complaints that the straps are a little small. Also, it may flap around a bit in the wind because it only has two straps.

Tips

  • If you want your leather bag to last, only take it with you when you’re sure there’s no chance of rain. Leather loses its shape when it comes to direct contact with water. When cleaning the bag, use warm water and dish soap or a leather conditioner and moisturizer.
  • You can buy handlebar bags and mount them on other parts of your motorcycle to increase storage capacity. Get bigger bags and secure them to the front fork, the sissy bar, or the side frame. For long-distance travel, consider saddlebags that can be mounted on the bike’s sides or tank bags.  
  • When you’re storing your motorcycle handlebar bag, air dry it completely before storage. Also, open the straps and the buckles so the impressions are released. The bag won’t have permanent creases in unwanted areas.

FAQs

Q: Will all motorcycle handlebar bags fit on my handlebar?

A: Most motorcycle handlebar bags have a universal fit. They have adjustable straps for easy installation. However, some are smaller or bigger than average and only fit specific bikes. 

Q: How do I clean a leather motorcycle bag?

A: Cleaning synthetic leather is simple. Use a cloth dipped in warm soapy water to wipe down the bag. For extra shine, use a conditioner afterward. Do not put the bag in water. If your bag is made of real leather, clean it with a leather conditioner and protectant.

Q: Are motorcycle handlebar bags machine-washable?

A: Unless the manufacturer has indicated that the bag is machine-washable, clean it by hand. Use a mild detergent to wash it and no harsh chemicals. Some manufacturers provide cleaning instructions for their bags. 

Final Thoughts

For its simplicity and usefulness, we give the nod to the Dowco Willie & Max Motorcycle Tool Pouch. Unlike most motorcycle handlebar bags, it is made from real leather. It also protects your items whenever it rains or snows. 

But if you want to spend less on a quality bag, get the Kemimoto Motorcycle Fork Bag instead.