(Editor’s note, October 2011: If you like what you see, you make your own scooter bag from this free template. Have fun!)
We bought scooters last summer on a whim; last two of a 2009 model, on super-discount from the dealer and the manufacturer, brand-new from a reputable dealer, road legit, and so very cute (not cute, I mean, rugged!). The only thing that was missing from our new Honda Ruckus(es) was secure under-the-seat storage. This particular model is a more bare-framework kind of bike, so unlike other scooters like the Vespa or Honda Metropolitan, there was no place to store odds and ends you want to bring on your ride (wallet, extra long sleeved shirt, munchies) or any easy way to carry your purchases home. I used a messenger bag last summer with no problems, but make a plan to spend some time making my own under the seat bag before the springtime.
Finding the fabric to use ended up being the hardest part thus far; mesh was preferrable, but tulle options were too fragile, vinyl alternatives didn’t seem especially breathable, and mesh that you would imagine being used to make a sports pinnie or bag to carry soccer balls in was hard to find or obnoxiously colored. I ended up locating what is called “pet mesh” at a local fabric store, and while it’s taut, rigid plastic to the touch, it’s reinforced with woven fabric under that plastic, making it super tough and inexpensive enough to test for the project.
My first steps were to take measurements of the under seat area of the bike:
Note that this first drawing is nowhere near scale, but the measurements I noted are spot-on.
Using the measurements, I made a template for each side of the bag using paper. I added a 1/2″ extra to each and every side of each panel to ensure I had enough room to adjust when it came to sewing the final bag together. Once the paper panels were cut and layed out, I began taping the edges together to make it form a real bag:
I promptly went out to the scooter and tested it out – and sure enough, it fits in the space perfectly!
Next steps involved coming back inside to disassemble my template and cut out pieces of the fabric to match the template, which I did. I’m considering hand-sewing the bag panels together, and then zip-tying them to the bike itself, but I’m open to other recommendations. The hand-sewing and installation will take place in the upcoming weeks once I decide what tough thread/rope to use to do it right!