Motorcycle Top Cases: Regulations, Standards, and Laws

Do you work with cargo transportation using your motorcycle? Then, you need to be aware of the laws, norms, and regulations regarding the use of motorcycle top cases!

The truth is that currently, the services provided by motorcyclists and motorcycle couriers have gained significant importance, being widely recognized as a constantly expanding sector.

Although it is not a recent field, these professionals have gained more visibility during and after periods of social isolation.

Because of this, government agencies have established a series of norms and guidelines for motorcycle top cases, regulations that define the appropriate way to use this accessory.

This regulation is necessary because these compartments function as if they were a trunk in cars. Thus, being an additional component, they can significantly influence the performance and stability of the motorcycle.

So, how about understanding what the rules are for using motorcycle top cases?

Not all motorcycle top cases are the same

The first aspect we need to clarify, especially if you are thinking of working as a motorcycle courier, is that not every motorcycle top case is the same.

There are different models on the market, each with specific characteristics, using different materials, and having variations in weight and purpose.

It’s worth noting that, within this range, there are more environmentally conscious models, with manufacturing that includes recyclable materials. At iCbras, for example, the top cases reuse raw materials, allowing us to maintain product quality and take care of the planet simultaneously.

Returning to discussing the differences in motorcycle top cases, on the market, we find two main types: “cargo top cases” and “top boxes.”

Although there is no strict differentiation, top boxes often exhibit smaller and more compact dimensions. Additionally, these accessories typically incorporate fixed reflectors and automatic locking systems, requiring only the use of a key for opening.

Cargo top cases, on the other hand, are more extensive and play a frequent role in delivery tasks. Despite their essentially square-box nature, the variety of models offers different capacities and configurations.

In this sense, we can consider another type, which is side cases. Usually made of aluminum, they are widely adopted by motorcyclists traveling long distances and needing space to carry their belongings.

Regulations for motorcycle cargo transport

Alright, let’s talk about the regulations for motorcycle top cases. You may already know, but transporting cargo on a motorcycle requires the rider to select top case models that align with the size and capacity of the motorcycle in question.

This choice is crucial since the addition of a component like a top case can result in instability and difficulties in driving.

Another aspect to consider is that, even with the availability of larger top cases, the motorcyclist must be attentive to the weight of the load to be transported. This is because excess weight can not only affect drivability but also compromise the effectiveness of braking and suspension systems.

Now, if you intend to deliver specific goods, extra regulations need to be observed.

Motorcycle couriers are allowed to transport gas cylinders weighing up to 13 kg and water jugs with a maximum capacity of 20 liters. However, to fulfill this task, it is necessary to use a sidecar, a lateral compartment attached to the motorcycle.

Motorcycle top cases: regulations according to CONTRAN

The National Traffic Council (CONTRAN) is the entity responsible for regulating various elements in road transport – including motorcycle top cases.

It is important to keep in mind that CONTRAN does not only regulate top cases but also any device that enables cargo transportation, such as racks, bags, side cases, and panniers.

CONTRAN allows the installation of motorcycle top cases. However, this installation must be done in accordance with the limits and conditions stipulated by manufacturers.

As for specific rules for regulating motorcycle top cases according to CONTRAN:

    • The maximum width of the top case can be 60 cm, provided it does not exceed the distance between the internal ends of the mirrors. The length should not exceed the size of the rear part of the vehicle. Additionally, the maximum height allowed is 70 cm from the central base.
    • In the case of racks, they must be proportional to the dimensions of the cargo to be transported. This implies that the top case should not exceed the width and length limits of the rack.
    • Regarding side cases, bags, or panniers, the width cannot exceed the dimensions of the motorcycle itself, measured between the end of the handlebar or brake and clutch levers. The length should be equal to or smaller than the rear ends of the vehicle, and the height should not exceed the seat height.
    • Devices and loads cannot hinder the correct use of the rearview mirrors. If the load device partially occupies the seat, it is not allowed to transport passengers. The rider must also remain visible to drivers of other vehicles on the road.
    • All top cases must include reflective strips that ensure the visibility of the vehicle both during the day and at night.

    What happens if I don’t comply with the regulations?

    When it comes to motorcycle top cases, if you do not comply with CONTRAN regulations, you are subject to penalties and administrative measures.

    In this regard, penalties and administrative measures may include:

    1. Fines, which can vary depending on the severity of the infraction.
    2. Points that may be added to the driver’s National Driver’s License (CNH).
    3. In more serious cases of infractions, the vehicle may be seized by traffic authorities.
    4. In addition to fines and vehicle seizure, administrative measures may be taken, such as the temporary suspension of the right to drive.

    Therefore, it is extremely important to comply with the regulations established by CONTRAN, both regarding motorcycle top cases and other traffic rules.

    A tip is to choose top case brands that take all these criteria into account, such as iCbras models.

    If you have any doubts about the best top case for your motorcycle, know that our team can provide guidance via WhatsApp. This way, you have more security and ensure compliance with the rules.

    Remember that these measures aim to ensure the safety of the rider, passengers, and other road users, as well as promote a safer and more organized traffic environment.

    In other words, it’s worth paying attention and making a conscious choice of a top case!