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Soft Touring Panniers for the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 "Cruiser"

How To Add Soft Touring Panniers to the Royal Enfield Meteor 350

The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is a GREAT cruising motorcycle - rugged, reliable, and ECONOMICAL!

A "cruiser" motorcycle is not always considered a viable model for touring - BUT I disagree! In my opionion, the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 EXACTLY defines "MotorBikePacking" - that is, touring in comfort but with an affordable motorcycle, carrying minimalist gear.

Instead of overpowered (and EXPENSIVE) "adventure bikes", the RE Meteor 350 costs as little as 20% of the popular alternatives! This also includes the luggage requirements. Instead of spending over $1,000 on racks and hard luggage, you can spend as little as $200 to $300 for a complete touring kit, including soft panniers (saddlebags, to some...) and the supporting racks.

This video demonstrates how easy it is to install a set of "pannier rails" to support soft touring luggage for MotorBikePacking:

As shown, the pannier rails bolt into positions that are DESIGNED for soft luggage. The rails are installed permanently and are not cumbersome between tours. When used with soft rear panniers, these rails provide secure mounting points and prevent the luggage from contacting the rear shocks.

I have tested these pannier rails and can vouch for the strength and finish. For a small investment, you can enjoy lightweight, economical motorcycle touring. See for additional content related to economical motorcycle travel!

Why choose soft touring panniers for MotorBikePacking?

This is EASY:

  1. Cost. You can buy a set of soft panniers for less than $200 - or the models shown here for as little as $100.00 from some vendors!

  2. Weight. Soft luggage is the best choice for small motorcycles because the lightweight doesn't negatively affect the handling of the bike. I also don't recommend buying an enormous set of panniers to FORCE you to pack lightly! Bonus tip: Pack your tools in the bottom of the panniers. Not only does this improve the handling of your motorcycle, but the tools (hopefully) will not be touched during your tour - so there is no need to pack them on top of your other gear and clothes.

  3. Size. Along with packing lightly, soft panniers tuck in tighter to the motorcyle. This means less wind resistance and a narrower profile when negotiating traffic or tighter trails. You can compress your kit to minimize the size - which is impossible with hard panniers. I like to add a ROX Strap around my soft panniers to further compress the load and add more stability on rough trails.

  4. Convenience. Simply remove the soft panniers between tours. Or add the panniers for a fast shopping trip. You are not forced to ride around with the saddlebags attached when not needed.

  5. Security. Easily remove the panniers if you are staying in a motel overnight.

  6. Safety. If your tour includes some "adventure riding" on unpaved routes, the soft luggage has a safety advantage. Not only can hard luggage be damaged if you drop your cycle, but hard panniers have the reputation for trapping and injuring the legs, ankles, and feet of riders in a fall.

  7. Waterproof. I prefer the roll-top PVC-coated soft panniers. This is the same design as dry bags designed to float in the bottoms of wet boats. Yes, soft panniers can be punctured, but they can also be easily and effectively patched. Damage and a waterproof seal is much harder to repair on hard aluminum or plastic luggage.

Your style preference for touring panniers for MotorBikePacking is a personal choice. I have toured many thousands of miles - on and off road - with both hard and soft luggage. There are advantages to each. But for the reasons above, my preference is versatile soft touring panniers.

soft touring panniers


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