Better than Bungees—Rok Straps
It's really a simple idea. Imagine a quality bungee cord that adjusts to virtually any length and which can be adjusted for whatever tension desired. That's exactly what Rok Straps deliver. OK, Rok Straps will not adjust to any length but are available in 12” to 42” (5/8” wide, rated to 55 pounds) and 18” to 60” (1” wide, rated to 100 pounds)—enough range for pretty much any motorcycling needs.
Rok Straps on my Bonneville fully laden for touring with Rok Straps securing my dry bag, containing my sleeping bag and mat, and my tail bag.
A Rok Strap, adjustable from 18” to 60”
Before I discovered Rok Straps, I used regular bungee cords for strapping down the loads on my motorcycles. I would carefully select lengths of cords suitable for each piece of luggage that had to be strapped down on the bike, making sure the resultant tension on the cord would be sufficient for a given load. If my first choice was wrong, I would have to remove it, replace it with something either longer or shorter, then retest. And as I traveled and added or removed stuff on the bike or needed to make adjustments, I would need other lengths of bungees. This resulted in me having many different sizes and having to store any extras in my bags for possible use later as my needs might change.
Now, instead of the need for so many lengths of bungee cords, I can secure my load with just a few Rok Straps. Any of them will do, as the length of each is adjustable, and so I can get the right tension with any of them. No more need for a tangled mess of extra cords in the bottom of my panniers.
Another advantage to Rok Straps is the way they attach to the bike. Rok Straps don't attach using metal hooks like bungees do that can scratch things up and add to the tangle of extras in the bottom of the pannier.Rok Straps have two loop ends, which are secured to the frame or other attachment point by simply passing the standing part around the anchor and passing its other end through the loop.
The Rok Strap end attached to a grip to show clearly how the strap is passed through the eye
The ends of the strap stay attached to the bike's attachment points with the luggage removed, meaning in the morning all that is needed to be done is to replace the luggage, the ends of the Rok Straps are then snapped together, and the tail of the strap pulled to retension the strap as needed. The adjustment buckle works like those on compressions sacks—pull the strap end and it is secure and won't back out of the buckle, but lift the end of the buckle and the strap loosens. I often find myself overnight camping on my bike and need to remove things like my tent and sleeping bag and mat at camp, then remount them the next morning before heading out. With bungees that would meant searching around under the panniers looking for a suitable mounting point every morning. Leaving the straps attached to the bike saves a surprising amount of time and avoids getting road grime on your fingers every morning, as I inevitably do when I reattach bungees.
And here it is attached to the pannier rack on my Bonneville.
This year I travelled over ten thousand miles across the US to the Rocky Mountains, into Canada, and to Pennsylvania fully loaded down with luggage and only used two pairs of Rok Straps. I also used a couple bungees for a light snack cooler on top of my tail bag, but next time will have another pair of Rok Straps just for that. Not bad, three sets of straps for a fully loaded touring bike and more room in the pannier where the extra bungees used to go.
Which brings me to another reason to make the switch to Rok Straps: I have had my two pairs for a few years now and have strapped down all sorts of stuff with them. They have endured day after day of being in the sun, even the snow and rain under tension as I rode around for days on end. Both pairs are still like new. I can't say that for my bungee cords, many of which are ragged and have lost much of their elasticity. Rok Straps are flat braided, high quality, straps that hold up. They also come in many different colors, in case you are a style concious rider, and on Amazon they are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Many touring and adventure riders have already discovered the advantages of Rok Straps. If you have not used them yet, next time you see them in a catalog, online, or in a store pick up a pair. They are not expensive (around $12 to $20 for a pair, depending on adjustment range) and see if you don't throw out all those different length bungeees you used to use.
For more information, visit www.rokstraps.com