Motorcycle carry — it’s far more difficult to ride while armed than to drive while armed (though it’s easier than doing so atop a unicycle). Here are some suggestions from a motor jock who knows what he’s talking about.
Guns, fast cars, big trucks, and motorcycles always seem to go together. When carrying a weapon every day, most use their own personal setup. But when using a motorcycle the EDC can change, especially since there are different types of 2 wheel transportation.
This article will deal only with handguns. So let’s see what types are available and what may work best for you.
Outside the Waistband
As a former Motor Officer, I have carried this way for over five years daily. This method of carry is comfortable and provides easy access to your weapon. However, as a private citizen who is out and about it can cause some issues.
1. Depending on the state you are in it may be considered illegal to carry in this way; a concealed carry permit may be needed.
2. If you don’t wear a concealed carry garment like a vest, jacket, etc. this will undoubtedly cause someone to call the police on you. Some people think of bikers, especially people on cruisers, as outlaws. So seeing a biker on a Harley with a weapon on full display may cause the general public to think of you as a member of an Outlaw Motorcycle gang.
3. Your weapon will become very filthy. The elements take their toll on an exposed weapon. Road grime, sweat, rain are just a few of the things that can get on and into your weapon. Exposed hammer guns, without a proper cover, could get debris between the hammer and firing pin.
4. If you go down on your gun side and don’t have a heavy leather holster, be prepared for some serious road rash or possible weapon loss.
Appendix Carry and Inside the Waistband
This has become one of the most preferred carry methods of everyday people. Appendix carry can also be very comfortable on a motorcycle where you sit in a more upright posture. Inside the waistband will also need to be covered. Appendix carry is generally covered by a shirt. But be aware that the shirt can lift, exposing the weapon. Either a light or heavy jacket should provide enough weight to conceal the weapon.
The type of motorcycle will determine whether you want to appendix carry. As I said, a cruiser-type motorcycle will be comfortable to carry appendix, but for a sport bike that requires you to lay over the tank it probably isn’t realistic. And you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that jumping dirt hills with an appendix rig probably won’t be too much fun.
At my department helicopter pilots and the occasional investigator wear shoulder holsters, but I haven’t come across a motorcycle rider wearing one yet. I’ve used one in the Marine Corps before, and I know they can be easy to wear and provide good retention. I don’t have a use for one, but you may. About every type of motorcycle rider can easily use this type holster. The main drawback, I believe, would again be allowing your weapon to be exposed to the motoring public.
This method can be used by just about everyone. By carrying a weapon in a vest with a durable built-in holster, you can conquer several concerns at once: concealment, weapon retention, weapon care, and comfort.
Riding a dirt bike with a chest rig set up is a very nice setup. I’ve seen a nice chest rig bag that carried a weapon and spare mags, light, etc. Or try out the new rig from Black Point Tactical. They make a product called the Outback Chest System, a low profile lightweight rig that can be worn over a light jacket or concealed underneath. Either way, it seems to be a great piece of gear for the rider.
It does sound cool to do the Terminator thing with a shotgun openly strapped to the bike. Realistic? No. But carrying your weapon in a bag or hard case attached to your motorcycle can take weight off you and allow you be a little more carefree in your riding. You can stuff all kinds of things in your bags. But, long trips require more gear to be hauled around. If you don’t have a carrying setup for your weapon that resides in your bag, believe me when I say that “contents may shift in flight.”
So if your unholstered weapon was laying on the top of your saddlebag when you started, it might well work its way to the bottom by the end. Nothing like trying to dig it out and hoping you don’t hit the trigger. Or if you leave it unsecured on top of your gear in the saddlebag, and you go down or hit a hard bump, the weapon gets ejected. The other downside is that you can dismount and forget your weapon is in the bag. The weapon could be stolen, or you need it and don’t have it.
However you carry, be sure to think about what type of carry will suit your needs. Long trips, types of motorcycle, body size and comfort all play a part in the decision-making process.
Some hyperlinks in this article may contain affiliate links. If you use them to make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. It’s just one way to Back the Bang. #backthebang
You know what you need and how you like to carry. So be safe, plan ahead and keep the rubber side down.
If you wish to cite, syndicate, or curate our material, please be so kind as to read our Terms and Conditions.
Breach-Bang & CLEAR!