Secure backpack setup for motorcycle riding

I’ve not owned a car in over 6 years now, and ride only motorcycles. This has made it difficult when it comes to getting out there and riding muni. I really want to get back into it though so I need to problem solve this issue.

It faces several problems. With the main one being how to I get the actual unicycle there as they can be awkward to transport, although not as bad as a mountain bike! My main transport is a 2019 KTM 1090 adventure R. I’d prefer to mount it to my back if possible, as designing a rack for the back of the bike is going to severely interfere with my daily commuting tasks (carrying lots of other gear already strapped to the bike)

I like to ride with a smaller camelbak with just enough space for a mini bike pump, wind breaker, some basic tools and a snack. So how do I strap this comfortably to my back? I would obviously take off one pedal and put it in the pack, but I might have to make some kind of sling specifically designed to hold the unicycle to me securely. It’s going to be for 26-29er unis so it will impede my lane-splitting abilities but I don’t see much way around that. And I can likely strap the helmet right to the back of that setup, even a full-face.

Some of the other problems:
If wearing dedicated motorcycle gear… what to do with the gear once I park? I can lock my helmet to my bike, I could get something to lock my jacket to the bike, so that’s pretty well taken care of. I’d have to wear my muni boots and shinguards and everything instead of real motorcycle protection which is not preferable but I don’t see a lot of other options.

Mostly I’m interested in hearing if anyone has any really good ideas. The easier and simpler this is the better, as I already have so many little things I have to put on and take off and strap on and remove alllll day because I commute over 2-1/2 hours a day through varied temperature ranges. I’d like to find a simple solution. Most of the trails I will do will involve parking at the bottom and hiking up to ride down, so it has to be comfortable enough to hike with as well.

Any help is appreciated my friends.

Hi DaneM
How about a diddy bike trailer or finding some trails that have changing rooms with a locker where you can keep your unicycle and gear stored.
I hope someone comes up with a better idea :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t ride a bike with a unicycle on my back. Have you considered what effect it might have on your body if you came off the bike?

Oh yes, but there’s not going to be any perfect solution I don’t think. It also wouldn’t be the worst thing I’ve had strapped to my back or my bikes before haha. There’s going to be risk involved in whatever solution I come up with. I did think of possibly getting a rugged top box for the back of the bike, locking to store some basic gear in, and then I could probably find a way to make some mounting brackets for a unicycle behind or beside that. But those top boxes are expensive, not that I haven’t had my eye on one for a while though.

Hmm… I sold all my motorcycles a long time ago.

While I think the removing-one-pedal-and-strapping-to-back could work short-term, it really doesn’t seem ideal considering possibility to interfere with riding (I do the same sometimes on a mountain bike in the city but only for short distances) and going long distances of highway speed seems sktechy.

I think some kind of a rear-mounted rack seems like the best option. I have no idea what’s on the market for motorcycle accessories but I would guess there are options. It seems like to me the best would be a dedicated a mount position (2 or 3 bolting positions) on the rear of the motorycle that doesn’t effect daily riding. Then you can bolt a rack onto that only when you need it and strap the muni to that.

I know if I strapped something 6+ kg to my back and tried to ride the Ducati, my back and arms would protest due weight, would need to be an upright seating position.

Have you considered some sort of side mount, I’ve seen surfboards carried on the side of motorbikes such as here, or here.

Get a scooter and ride with it between your legs on the floor boards? That gives you built in storage too :stuck_out_tongue:

I think if you search for a bike wheel bag or bike wheel backpack you’ll find something. I searched bike wheel backpack and found this guy.

This company, 2x2 Cycles, sells bicycle racks, golf bag racks, and BBQ racks for motorcycles. Maybe one of their designs could be modified to carry your unicycle as well as hold a small tour pack or gear box so you can lock up your non-unicycling things?

If you’re set on using a back pack, how about this one from ilequipment? It looks like it may be able to safely carry a unicycle and related gear.

If you’re more of a DIY kind of person, you could look on Craigslist (or any other online market place) for an old external frame pack and make your own. Unfortunately the back pack ideas don’t really allow for safe storage of your other belongings while you’re off unicycling.

Good luck in your search.

I’d suggest something like these Aluminum Panniers. They are lockable and provide space for lashing a uni across the top. Search for “Adventure-Bike hard panniers” to find several options.

panniers are almost always lower than the passenger seat. Meaning you can’t really strap anything across the two of them unless it’s a soft duffel. Maybe just the right size cargo net could hold it down into the seat and hook in. But the panniers are even worse for messing up lane splitting, they’re very wide.

And yes it’s an upright seating position, so when I have large packs on, I just adjust my shoulder straps until its resting on the seat and not putting weight on my back.

Yes it would limit lane splitting but panniers could solve the carrying and secure storage problem. With the boxes installed correctly, a rack on the back and a little custom padding you could strap a 36er on there.

I found some good size pelican cases that are about half the price of a motorcycle specific case. I could take one, replace the backplate with a custom plate for the back of this bike, drill holes for u-bolts as strapping points on the outside, mount the whole thing on + whatever padding and brackets I needed for the uni. That could work. Would be a fun project too. It would be a top case though, not sides.

I did mount a 36er to one of my bikes before, it wasn’t easy but I did do it lol. I’ll have to find the pics

transport and safe store

Wow I used to use a surf rack like shown above with my Ducati and always used a bicycle cable and lock through the pant legs and sleeves of my leathers when I left them for a ride.

I’ve got a good hefty cable lock somewhere I use for camping trips on the moto.

I do still need a way to pack it on my back though for mountain hikes (It’s all mountains out here) I do like the pelican case idea. I’ve been needing a mountable waterproof case with mounting straps, at least to carry my consistent items like bike tools and rain gear.

That surfboard rack got me thinking. I do need pannier racks eventually. I’m sure I could rig up something that mounts to the side of a pannier rack to hold a Uni. Wouldn’t be too bulky.

Still haven’t come up with an elegant and simple hiking solution.

You need a motorbike version of this:


Rok Straps

ROK Straps are all you need to securely mount a unicycle to the back of a motorcycle. I have never owned a car and bring my unis with me everywhere.

The largest wheel size I’ve fitted to the back of my versys 650 is a 29" wheel, and I didn’t have to disassemble it whatsoever

Oh strapping it to the bike is not the issue, I can strap anything to a motorcycle, and I have haha. I’ve even had a 36’er with a spare tire vertical on one of my bikes so I could still lane split.

The point is to find a more elegant solution that isn’t a hassle. As I’m already carrying a full sized duffel + 1 or 2 grocery bag coolers for my weeks worth of food, an ukulele and rock climbing gear. Oh, and I still need to be able to lane split as well since I commute over 2-1/2 hours a day and it significantly cuts down my time and keeps me safe. So just strapping it on top of everything else isn’t really going to cut it. When it comes time to pack up for the week, this process needs to be simplified because the more and more items that get added on… the more it becomes a hassle and the less likely I am to bring it along.

This isn’t the only thing I’m currently working on in regards to more efficient luggage transport. I did just find a good deal on a very large sized waterproof top box which will allow me to keep my permanent items on the bike instead of carrying them around in my backpack every day (motorcycle tools, rain gear, rock climbing gear, etc)

I’m the kind of person that likes to come up with new creative solutions to make life easier. And until I can afford a van conversion and switch over to a smaller dual sport, everything is going to live on my bike with me.

I’ve pretty much got the idea down for a really simple mount to go on the back behind a top box, with the wheel standing vertical on top of the box, and the frame pointing down diagonally towards the ground behind the bike. This still leaves me with a good amount of room in front of the top box, as well as the entire inside of the top box for storage. The unicycle would be a pretty quick on off with 2 straps. The top box has mounting points so I will be able to go across with one loop over the rim and tire where it makes contact with the box, to hold it in place. The other mounting position would be on a plate I will fabricate that extends past the top box on the back of the bike (won’t be doing any 12 o’clock wheelies I guess) and I’m trying to find a good rubber cradle of some kind. I like the kind used on bike racks, but they’re all made to mount on a tube. I just need something I can drill through and mount to a plate. I did think of rubber Y stoppers used for boat trailers, and I’m trying to come up with other items that might be ready-made like that, as the neck of the unicycle or the seatpost will rest against it and be strapped down. Anyone have an idea?

EDIT: Found these portable guitar neck cradles that might work, something like this. Must be weatherproof