Saddle Bags/Boxes: Storage Compartment Attached at the Side of the Motorcycle

A storage compartment attached at the side of a motorcycle, commonly known as saddle bags or saddle boxes, serves as a convenient solution for riders needing extra cargo space. These compartments are typically mounted on either side of the motorcycle, providing storage for items such as tools, documents, or personal belongings. Saddle bags come in various shapes and sizes, ranging from sleek and compact designs to larger, more spacious options, allowing riders to choose according to their storage needs and aesthetic preferences.

Functionally, saddle bags enhance the practicality of motorcycles by offering a secure and easily accessible storage solution while on the road. Riders can store essential items within arm’s reach, eliminating the need for bulky backpacks or external cargo carriers. Additionally, the symmetrical placement of saddle bags helps maintain the motorcycle’s balance and stability, ensuring a smooth and comfortable riding experience even with added cargo. Overall, saddle bags are a versatile accessory that combines functionality with style, enhancing the convenience and utility of motorcycle travel.

saddle bags boxes storage attached to motorcycles

What are Saddle Boxes/Bags

Saddle boxes or bags are storage compartments attached to one or both sides of motorcycles, providing additional cargo space for riders. Typically made of durable materials like leather, nylon, or hard plastic, these compartments come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate different storage needs. 

Though they are considered as motorcycle accessories, saddle bags and boxes are typically designed such that riders can have a space for bulky cargoes while maintaining balance and stability. They are available in various shapes and sizes and are designed to be symmetrically placed on the sides for both function and style. Dimensions of saddle boxes and bags are also covered by the guidelines set by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), ensuring they do not exceed 14 inches from the sides of the obstruction of the rider’s view.


Saddle boxes and bags aren’t only for aesthetics. Sure, it comes in various designs which are generally pleasing to the eye, but it is also quite functional, which prompts many motorcycle riders to use them. There are numerous benefits to using saddle box/bags and some of them are as follows:

  • Enhanced storage capacity for carrying essentials during rides.
  • Improved organization and accessibility of items while on the road.
  • Enhanced aesthetic appeal, with options available to complement various motorcycle styles.

Guidelines for LTO Registration 

Aside from the LTO guidelines, a saddle bag or box that is also specifically designed for motorcycles must also be approved by the DTI. It may not be the subject of inspection, registration, or apprehension as this accessory is securely attached to the motorcycle but is not installed higher than the seat of the motorcycle. However, custom-built boxes or bags are always subject to inspection and registration, as mandated by an LTO memorandum dated March 15, 2016 entitled, ‘Guidelines on Inspection and Apprehension Relative to Motorcycle Top Boxes and Saddle Bags.’ 

For custom saddle bags or boxes, here are the LTO guidelines for registration and design:

  • The bags or boxes must be securely attached to the motorcycle.
  • Installation of saddle bags must not be higher than the seat of the motorcycle.
  • The size of the bags or boxes shall not exceed 14 inches from the sides of the motorcycle.
  • The length of the bags or boxes must not exceed or protrude from the tail end of the motorcycle.


To register custom-made saddle bags or boxes, owners must pay a fee of P280.00 at the LTO office closest to them.

Penalties for Unregistered Saddle Boxes or Bags

Custom saddle boxes or bags require LTO registration as per the LTO memorandum. Failure to do so may result in apprehension and a penalty of P5,000 for violations, as stipulated in DOTC Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 2014-01 Section 11-D (Motor Vehicle Operating Without or With Defective/Improper/ Unauthorized Accessories, Devices, Equipment and Parts). Violators may only be apprehended by LTO officers or by the LTO’s deputized agents.

Suspension of Registration Requirement

Thanks to this hefty penalty, the memorandum has been met with controversies and protests that in 2022, the LTO registration requirement for saddle boxes or bags has been put on hold/suspended. The suspension, according to the relevant authorities, comes as a result of ongoing review and potential revision of the existing guidelines by the LTO

As of writing, enforcement of the memorandum has been temporarily suspended, providing motorcycle owners with additional time to ensure compliance with any updated regulations. The agency didn’t provide a timeline whatsoever, so the suspension on apprehension will likely remain in effect until the LTO finalizes the changes to the existing memorandum. 

Video: Motorcycle Top Box and Saddle Box

Traffic enforcers, the LTO, and the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) have a habit of suddenly enforcing regulations that many motorcycle owners are not aware of. It’s best to get educated about what they can legally install on their rides. Not knowing can be expensive. 


Saddle boxes or bags offer riders convenient storage solutions while adhering to specific guidelines set by the LTO. It can be quite risky to have one if it doesn’t satisfy the LTO requirement for such, hence, the need to register custom-made saddle boxes/bags. Failure to register these accessories can result in hefty penalties, underscoring the importance of compliance with regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, these same hefty penalties also resulted in the suspension of the registration requirements in 2022. To date, the use of saddle boxes/bags remains unrestrained, but rest assured, we’ll keep you posted if and when the LTO releases new updates on the matter. 

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