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Book Bags


My friends, son is 15 and in 10th grade. Yes he has his own motorcycle and his lisence. He wants to start riding his bike to school.

However, the problem with that is the fact that at his school there are NO lockers. They must carry all of their books to class and home each day. We weighed his bookbag and it weighs 53 pounds. For him to carry it on his back while riding is not a good idea. If he takes a sharp turn and it swings to the side...... well, that wouldn't be a good thing.

Other than saddlebags (which he really doesn't want on his bike, but will put them on if we can't think of something else) does anyone have any bright suggestions for him?

There are magnetic tank bags. Not sure that will hold all the books but it might. I had a plywood box with a strip of metal across the bottom and pointed down on both sides to hook over the shock bolts for support. A metal lug on front and back for tie downs to run up and across on their way to the other side. Easy to remove. Less than 10 seconds. You can put a hinged top and padlock on it also to stash your helmet for those quick early getaways from school.

A magnetic tankbag ain't gonna hold 53 pounds! Not even close!

Marney, the best thing your son can do is either buy some saddlebags or a top case mounted rigidly to the bike's frame for that sort of weight. There are no other safe solutions, except using umpteen bungee cords on the existing bookbag which will take forever to get on and off.

Incidentally, as far as wearing the backpack whn he rides, the weight shifting if he takes a corner shouldn't be your biggest concern - how about if he falls off and lands on his back, and the books aren't packed exactly straight? Say he lands on a sharp corner of the book's
hardcover, say right on his spine? Not a good idea.

Lastly, and this gets filed in the common sense section, did you know that many public schools have actually banned motorcycles in their lots due to the high rate of accidents there? Your son may be a proficient rider, but he's going to be surrounded by lots of testosterone-fueled young men and lots of teeny bopper young girls, all gleefully clueness as to how to drive, and most likely very distracted. They're all going to live forever, you know. ;-) You sure you want him riding in that environment?
I hadn't even thought of him landing on the books! That is a really scary thought! Right now it looks like he is going to have to go with the saddlebags.

As far as riding in the high school traffic, I am not very concerned about that for a couple of reasons. First, my husband rides by that way on his way to work. One of the conditions of him being allowed to ride is that he must leave when his dad does. That means he will be arriving at school 45 minutes before school actually begins. He also is in ROTC and is on the rifle team. That means that he doesn't leave school until after 5:00 in the evening. By then the traffic isn't much of an issue. Well, at least not what it would be at 3:30. If not for those two conditions, there is absolutely NO WAY he would be riding his bike to school. A high school parking lot at the end of the school day is not a safe place for anyone.
Put on a sissy bar with a backrest, then bungie cord the backpack to the passenger seat using the backrest to wrap the backpack shoulder straps around. Most good backpacks have a waist strap now with quick connectors. Or get one of those bungie net thingies. With bungie cords and a will, there is always a way. I used to strap my Gibson Bass guitar onto my Honda 350, resting it on one of the passenger pegs, so I could ride my bike to band practice on nice days! Use some good old Yankee ingenuity.

If he has a sissy bar, bungy it to the sissy bar. Otherwise, bungy net it to the seat and don't be afraid to use a little twine as additional security.

How about a t-bag? Does his bike have a sissy bar that he can bungee his bookbag to?

One of the large t-bags might work!! I bet his bookbag would fit inside the large one. Off to check measurements.

First, I think it is ridiculous that the students don't have lockers and that they are expected to carry all their books everyday. Assuming your son already has a backpack. I would do as John suggested. I don't carry this much weight, but I could manage it. For my commute to work I have a backpack which I sit on the pillion seat and wrap the shoulder straps around the sissy bar pad. I then secure the bag using bungee cords to the luggage rack tubes. I always use two or more cords… there is security in numbers.

Getting back to the book issue… Hasn't the school considered the problems associated with carrying this much weight each day and between classes? I would tell the school that lockers are important. BTW, Many years ago (70's) I used to appropriate a second copy of each book and have one in my locker and one at home. I am sure this would be difficult to get away with nowadays but it was great for me. I only had to carry one spiral notebook home.