In India we always end up carrying things on motorcycle, whether it’s a bottle of soft drink from a retailer or lots of luggage for a long distance ride.
I have often seen riders balancing that little grocery item between legs for a short lived ride to home; this is very wrong. Always tie the load to the machine. If you are going to grocery store to buy items always wear a bag on your shoulders so that you can use it while return. Also one should keep bungee cords handy to strap the extra load to the rear seat.
Now a days there are tank bags available to carry items. Tank bag is the right stuff as it puts the weight where it should be; near the center of gravity of the bike. Also remember nothing comes in the way of steering travel. Those hanging plastic bags on the handle bar may come in the way of the bar movement. Just imagine what happens if the handle bar doesn’t turns far, big trouble isn’t it.
A motorcycle has appropriate places to carry load but it does not includes fenders and front forks. If your motorcycle has a travel trunk (dickey) then you are all set if not always luggage rack along or plastic bags.
While loading saddlebags one should make sure that there is equal amount of weight on both the side. Also make sure that the saddle bags are tight enough to stay, you won’t like your things to be hanging on the muffler. A flying saddle bag is no joke.
Always make sure that you don’t end up carrying much in the travel trunk. The rear axle of a motorcycle is the worst place to carry much weight, unless you have the TVS Max4R. Weight on the rear axle can make the best handling bike to a poor handler. Sacks are great to carry weight but don’t try to carry those industrial potato sack.
When carrying load check the security of the loaded stuff frequently and make sure noting is hanging around. Any thing from your luggage can end up tangling into your rear wheel.
Overall do not carry more than your bike gross vehicle weight rating. You will find this in the owner’s manual of the motorcycle. The total vehicle weight of the motorcycle is inclusive of motorcycle, petrol, oil, rider and the luggage.
Keep carrying, be safe.