Introduction: Universal Motorcycle/Sportbike Pizza Carrying Bag
Okay, so first is first, since I imagine most of the people who clicked on this just want to see pictures.
Well, there you go.
Now that that's out of the way, let me give anyone interested some detail.
If you actually clicked on this, then I bet you've wished there was a half decent way to do this at least a dozen times before. Apparently, there isn't really any easy way to carry a pizza on a motorcycle in general, but especially on a sport bike. Who would've guessed. Not counting on the tank held by your elbows of course... . I got tired of looking on Google for the past year or two, and there wasn't any commercially available solution for it. At least nothing you could put on or take off in a minute or two, and certainly nothing that didn't look ridiculous, too big, or too expensive.
I'm not exactly sure what made me think this would work, but I just kinda bought a pizza bag a couple of weeks ago thinking I might just be able to mod it to work, and apparently I was able to do so with a bit of creativity, a jig saw and a sewing machine.Yup, motorcyclists can sew, too. I had it done in about a day or two. Maybe 5 or 6 hours in total, perhaps a few more. Most of the time it was just deciding what to do, or letting the wood sealer dry.
As the pictures show, the outcome was awesome. Looks kinda huge, but that's because it's supposed to fit two 20" pizzas. You might want to use a smaller bag. I did some "quality control" going for a Costco 18" pizza and it fits perfectly. I'm not sure if two 18" pizzas would fit, but certainly two of anything smaller would. If a 20" pizza would fit depends more on the box. The bag I decided to use was this one - New Star 50110 Insulated Pizza Delivery Bag, 22 by 22 by 5-Inch, Red. For about twenty bucks shipped it wasn't expensive if the project didn't work out, and I'd have a pizza bag regardless so it didn't sound like a bad bet.
Regrettably I didn't take complete, step-by-step DIY style pictures at the time of construction, but it shouldn't be impossible for anyone with some basic DIY skills to copy with some inspiration.
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Step 1: What's Needed
Now let's start with the DIY of sorts. If nothing else, because I wish someone would have posted something like this online for me to copy when I was thinking about making this. It's pretty weird that so many people have asked how to carry a pizza on a motorcycle, but no one seems have posted a half decent solution to do so. At least not for sportbikes.
If you want to do this you're going to need:
- Pizza Bag - 20$
- 5mm board - 6$
- Jigsaw or any other suitable saw
- Wood Sealer (Optional)
- Router with rounding bit (Optional)
Anyways, here we go.
The first step is to buy the bag. The bag I used is the New Star 50110 Insulated Pizza Delivery Bag, 22 by 22 by 5-Inch, Red. Even in hindsight it looks like the best bag for the money (19$ shipped at the time of writing) mostly because of the reflective interior which keeps the pizza hot without adding weight or bulk. If you see another bag you like more, or in another color or size, it should serve just about the same. I doubt there is a big difference between most bags. None of the cheap bags seem to be rigid on their own, or have insulation on the sides or the flap. All of them seem to have insulation on the top and bottom (including this one), vents, and are mostly water resistant, but that's about it.
The next step is to buy some wood to make the base. I used this: Underlayment (Common: 5.0 mm x 2 ft. x 4 ft.; Actual: 0.189 in. x 23.75 in. x 47.75 in.). For 5.99$ it's extremely lightweight and pretty rigid. For the price it's perfect. And it's probably more than twice as big as you need if you make any mistakes.
Regarding the strap, either Nylon, Polyester or Propylene would be suitable depending on the desired color, price, and preferences. I purchased them on Ebay. Regarding the buckle, make sure it's the type that keeps the strap from slipping on at least one side (like most backpacks have). That way it keeps the strap at the proper length.
To cut the wood a Jig saw is probably ideal, but either a circular saw or hand saw would work, too.
A seam ripper is used to open the seams without damaging the fabric. When it comes to sewing, a decent sewing machine makes this project a lot quicker. I personally recommend the Singer 9960, but the one you or your GF, BF or parents already have abandoned in the closet should work just as well. If not, the sewing can be done by hand or with a SpeedyStitcher on the thicker parts.
I personally used a router to soften the bottom edge of the wood, since the sharp 90 degree angle might have damaged the bag in the long run. Not necessary, but preferable. If not a wooden file can be used just as good.
Ok, to the next step!
Step 2: Take Care of the Wood Plataform
Measure your bag and cut the wood to size. If anything oversize it and trim as necessary. Snip off a bit from the corners so they don't poke through the bags material (look at the corners in the picture). I personally used a router to round off the edge that would face down in the bag so it wouldn't damage the bag with the sharp 90 degree edge, or at least so the board would be less noticeable. It was worth the extra effort, but if you don't have access to a router it probably isn't necessary.
Finally, I applied a sealer to the wood since I imagine it might eventually get wet if I clean the bag, or take on odors or whatever. Probably not necessary either but for 5$ you can do it and have extra sealer for any other project.
I only took a bad pic of this step since at this point I had no idea if the project would actually turn out okay. Here you can see the board after cutting with the sealer drying.
Step 3: Remove the Original Badge, and Add Your Own, or Velcro (Optional)
While I was deciding what the I was gonna do, I removed the ugly "Food..." something or other branding badge the bag came with (it doesn't appear in the item listing) and attached some Velcro so I could put on a USA flag badge I had laying around, or whatever else I felt like. Nothing like patriotism, motorcycles and pizza.
Step 4: Start Sewing
Now the sewing starts!
Put some thread in the sewing machine (or thread your hand sewing needle). The color will depend on the bag and method used. Use the smallest needle you can get away with to avoid damaging the bag.
Draw a straight line with chalk or a pencil a centimeter or so in front of the bottom foam with a straight edge. This line will mark the sewing so the foam or board doesn't move forward into the flap during use. It's easier and looks better with a sewing machine, but it can be done by hand if needed. Just sew a straight stitch with thread matching the color of your bag.
If using a sewing machine, use a smaller needle (70 or so, to not damage the material) with different top and bottom thread to match the color of each side of the bag. Use a longer stitch length (3-4mm) so you don't weaken the material. That way the stitch is virtually unnoticeable. You might need a roller foot if the the material sticks to the regular foot.
Step 5: Insert the Wood Board Into the Bag
Now you have to get into the ugly part.
Rip open the bottom-rear seam using the seam ripper. Carefully. There are two different stitches you're going to have to open. Do it without damaging the material since you'll be using the same holes later on.
After that, install the board. If you rounded off the edges, insert the board with the rounded side edges down. Then seal the bottom side of the bag up again. It's best to do this by hand using the same holes the original stitches went through to not further damage the material.
Now you have to reattach the black "edge" of the bag. With a sewing machine, managing the rigid, large bag can be a pain but it isn't too hard to do. You can also do it by hand if necessary or if you want.
Now the bag stays rigid on it's own. That's pretty much the most important step, and the main feature needed to be able to use it on the rear seat of a sport bike with very little surface holding it in place.
Step 6: Add Loops
I wish I could say the worst is over, but adding the loops was the largest pain for me since you're sewing through 3 or 4 layers of the bag's material, plus 4 or so layers of webbing if I remember right. It's time consuming to do by hand, and on a consumer sewing machine it jams every few tries. How easy or hard this is depends more on you and how you're doing it. I used a Brother CS-6000i, which is a great budget sewing machine but simply isn't designed for heavy duty materials.
Basically you have to rip the seams on the bottom side of the bag in the four places where the carry straps are. You only have to rip enough to "tuck" in the webbing on both the top and bottom to make the loops you can see in the pictures. Then just sew it up again, and reinforce it well (I did two rows of stitches) so the previous stitch you cut doesn't come loose, and so the elastic cords pulling on the bag doesn't damage the loop or the bag. It doesn't have to look pretty, but it can be done more or less quickly with a decent sewing machine.
Just as a note, I placed the loops for the bungee cords where the original strap reinforcements were in order to make the attachment points as strong as possible, but you may want to place the loops somewhere else if the attachment points for your motorcycle make a different position more suitable.
Step 7: Make Bottom Strap
If you've reached this point, the worst has passed. Now you only have to sew an adjustable strap with a quick release buckle. I used 1" webbing and a buckle I already had. You can use other sizes of webbing or buckles as desired, or none at all if your bike seat is big enough
The purpose of this is to keep the bag attached to the bike if both elastic fail. With this strap, the bag will bounce around the rear seat, and the pizza will end up pretty much useless, but the bag will most likely not fall off the bike and shouldn't get damaged either (hopefully). The straps total length is probably somewhere around 25-30", but that will depend on the width of your rear seat and it's design. Just overestimate the number and cut if it ever turns into a problem. If you don't know how to make straps or install quick releases, there are plenty of videos on Instructable, Youtube or tutorials online. It's probably the easiest part of the project.
Step 8: And Voilà! You've Got a Pizza Bag!
Once that's done, the bag's mods are finished! Give it a try, make sure it works properly and modify if necessary. Since everything is adjustable this should work on most bikes with a rear seat.
While riding it feels rock solid. I purposely made it so it slides a bit forward, so it constantly applies light pressure on your back so you know it's there and hasn't moved. It stays centered almost perfectly in use, and after a few minutes I had no feeling whatsoever that it was going to fall off. Even if the elastic cords were to fail, the pizza bag wouldn't fall off thanks to the bottom strap. It would just tilt the bag and the pizza would get messy, but besides that it wouldn't be anything tragic.
On the way back from a test ride I would have loved to see what it looked like to see a pizza-toting sport bike taking a nice lean rushing through an amber light. :) Functionally, I'm surprised with how well it works given how little insulation the bag had. The bag has a reflective silver material all around, and foam insulation on the top and bottom. There are also vents on the side so the pizza doesn't get too humid. When I tried it the first time, I was pretty impressed with the fact that the pizza was too hot to eat when I pulled it out of the bag. I've never had that happen before with a cheap 5$ Little Caesars Hot N' Ready! So the idea was definitely worth it.
This project isn't for everyone, but if you ride a motorcycle, have basic sewing skills, and think it's a cool project, it might be worth your time. It was an interesting solution to an interesting problem. Even if people don't copy it, I'm sure a lot of people wished there was a bag like this available commercially.
Anyways, if nothing else I hope you guys found this useful.
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