Storage on a motorcycle can be a problem for a lot of riders. Unless you're on a touring bike, adventure-tourer, or sport-tourer with panniers, you don't have as much space as you would on a car. With that said, many motorcyclists have resorted to ingenious aftermarket solutions to remedy this issue. Either that or just buy a scooter if you need a storage bin for all your stuff.
The top box is one of the most popular accessories for riders in the Philippines. If you're in the market for one, we're here to help you choose the best model for your bike.
Consider the law
Before you run around buying the first top box that catches your eye, you have to take note of the various regulations imposed by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
First, the top box must always be secured to the motorcycle. Doing this almost always involves the use of a bespoke bracket that fits your bike. Second, the top box should only be large enough to fit two full-face helmets and nothing more.
For custom-made top boxes, there are more regulations to follow. It includes registering the top box with the LTO and adhering to a strict size limit of two feet in height, two feet in width, and two feet in length. This limitation exists to protect the rider's ability to see through the rearview mirrors. Failure to follow these directives carries a fine of P5,000. So, it's best to take note of these before you install a top box on your motorcycle.
Check for quality
With the regulations considered, you can begin your search for a viable top box. The first thing to do is look for a reputable manufacturer with a documented history of making good products. Top boxes can be made with different materials, including hard plastics, lightweight metals, and soft fabrics.
If you've landed on an option you like, check if the material is sturdy enough for daily use. Test the locking mechanism and verify if it provides adequate security. Also, make sure it fits your motorcycle and can stay in place at high speeds or over uneven terrain. A good top box has to be tough enough to take whatever you throw at it.
Choose the correct size
Not all top boxes fit every type of bike. You don't want to ride a lightweight scooter with the largest top box around. It could compromise your motorcycle's weight distribution and endanger you on the road.
We've seen several examples of this. There are smaller bikes with large top boxes and front wheels that almost lift off the ground. It's a recipe for disaster, so choose a product that fits your needs without putting you in danger.
Double-check the after-sales service
You might have landed on a nice top box now, but what happens down the road? You have to consider what hundreds or thousands of kilometers can do to the top box. Check if the company provides a warranty period and spare parts replacement program. You never know when a component might fail or when a part might fall off. It's best to be sure, so buy a top box that you're certain will last you a long time.