Motorcycle top box buying guide: 8 Things to keep in mind

Exceeding the size limit set by the LTO will result in a fine
by Aris Ilagan for TopBikes.ph | Jul 20, 2020
PHOTO: Givi

Now that you own a motorbike and have spent quite a number of kilometers with it, you’ve realized the many different ways it can serve you. From a mere commuter that takes you from point A to B, it has also become a daily companion that can take you to your office, favorite hangout, weekend destination, and little kid’s school.

Taking these roles will certainly require the two-wheeler to have additional cargo space. And this is when the top box starts to look like an important add-on to your stallion. So, you start checking out motorcycle accessories shops online, only to end up dazed and confused due to the endless options available on the market. They come in different shapes, sizes, and designs, so choosing one for your motorbike is not an easy task.

Other than the factors we mentioned, it’s important to note that there is an existing regulation from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) with regard to the proper use and installation of a motorcycle top box. Violating the provisions—like failure to register the top box with the LTO, or exceeding the size limit—will mean paying a hefty penalty of P5,000.

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Beyond considering aesthetics and functionality, you must be conscious of the dimensions of the aftermarket accessory to avoid trouble. Consider these eight useful tips in choosing a top box:

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1) Correct size

The LTO clearly states that top boxes must not exceed the measurement limit of two feet in height and two feet in width. That’s more than enough to accommodate two full-size helmets and other personal belongings like jacket and extra shirts.

2) Locking mechanism

We’re pretty sure that some things you’ll be taking with you on your motorbike are of value. When choosing a top box, double-check the integrity of its locking system. Make sure it cannot be opened simply by using a hairpin.

3) Mounting structure

This aftermarket accessory, after all, is attached to the motorbike. It’s important that a top box is properly mounted and securely bolted to either the passenger handrail or the rear rack.

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4) Good craftsmanship

Top boxes are made of different materials—hard plastic, aluminum, or even expandable soft cases. Check if the materials used are prone to corrosion or ripping, or have little resistance to heat. Nothing beats a top box that can take any form of beating.

5) Extra features

If you think top boxes are just simple, square-shaped storage units and nothing else, you’re wrong. Some have secret pockets and straps to hold things inside. There are models that have pin lights to help you search for items when darkness sets in.

6) Availability of spare parts and warranty packages

Let’s face it—top boxes have parts that wear out in the long run. Why buy brand-new if you can replace these worn-out components? There are reputable top0box brands that offer not only replacement parts, but also warranty packages for their products.

7) Maximum load capacity

Top boxes are not created equal. Check out the maximum load capacities of the model you want before deciding whether to buy it or not. You might be needing one that can take a heavier load.

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8) Price

After considering the factors we’ve mentioned, make sure you get a good bargain. Don’t rush yourself when window-shopping for a top box. You’ll be surprised to know there are more choices available on the local market than you previously thought. Stop, think, and breathe.

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopBikes.ph. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Givi
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