Over the past nine years, I have taken four major cross-country motorcycle trips, all of them covering well over 11,000 miles. (Read about one of them here: “One Ride, 47 National Parks”.) I am always looking for an easier, more efficient packing system to improve storage and accessibility on the bike. After researching various options, I found the Pakit Rak and Bag for my Honda Gold Wing.
My requirements were simple: 1) the bag needed to be waterproof through torrential downpours; 2) it must not affect the handling of the bike; 3) it should be easy to put on and take off; and 4) it must be secure so I can leave the bag unattended. On my most recent 15,000-mile, 75-day trip (“The Great American Deli Schlep” in the December 2021 issue of Rider), the Pakit Rak and Bag checked all four boxes.
The rack is positioned behind the Gold Wing’s rear tire, just below the trunk, and the rack and bag are narrower than the integrated saddlebags, so it does not create additional wind resistance. The rack is rated for a maximum of 25 pounds, including the bag. The weight limit was never an issue because I store my heavy gear, tools, etc. in the side panniers. The Pakit Rak Bag is my hotel bag, so it holds my clothing, CPAP machine, toiletry kit, and other overnight essentials.
The bag, which measures 21 inches (W) x 12 inches (H) x 11 inches (D), offers 13 gallons (49.2 liters) of storage capacity in the main compartment, which has internal pockets. There’s additional storage in the expandable zippered side pockets, and the bag includes a shoulder strap and a rain cover. When the bag is on the bike, I always use the rain cover to protect it against the elements, dust, dirt, and road grime.
The Pakit Rak can be mounted in two ways: 1) a receiver bracket that attaches directly to the bike’s frame, or 2) a hitch bracket. The hitch brackets are less expensive than the receiver bracket; see the company’s website for pricing based on Gold Wing model/year (GL1200, GL1500, GL1800) and hitch type. For my 2018 Honda Gold Wing, I went with the receiver bracket option ($575). The bracket is made of 18-guage sheet metal and stiffened with tube steel, and the attachment tube is made of 1-x 1-inch structural tube steel. Everything is powdercoated black, and once the hidden frame bracket is installed, you never see it.
The attachment point for the rack is behind the license plate. When the bag is placed on the rack, it can be secured with a metal bar that runs through the bag and locks in place. For the receiver bracket version, a cotter pin secures the rack to the bracket; an optional locking cotter pin provides additional security.
For more information, visit pakitrak.com.