How To Carry A Concealed Carry Gun On A Motorcycle

[nextpage title=”Page 1″ ]How To Carry A Concealed Carry Gun On A Motorcycle

There’s no “one size fits all” approach to riding a motorcycle with a concealed carry pistol.  A lot of how you can learn to be comfortable riding a motorcycle with your CC pistol is taking a look at how you’re situated on the bike.

The three basic seating configurations (with a lot of varying extremes) are:

  • Forward leaning
  • Upright
  • Backward leaning

Depending on your motorcycle ride style, this will change where you can fit a concealed carry pistol in your waistband.  And overall, we do recommend you ride with an Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster that offers high-retention.  Wherever you wind up holstering, make sure it’s in a place that will stay with you no matter where the bike goes.

1. Forward Leaning Motorcycle Concealed Carry Styles (Racing, etc.)

Forward Leaning Motorcycle Concealed Carry Styles (Racing, etc.)

Motorcycles that require you to maintain a strong forward leaning position can make it tricky to keep it on an Inside the Waistband (IWB) concealed carry holster.  For these situations, if you’re able to get a pocket holster and fit it to the inside chest of your jacket, you can reasonably guarantee it’s secured.


The only other available space is behind the back in a radical 5 o’clock or 6 o’clock position.  In terms of concealed carry holster placement, this isn’t particularly ideal.  Unfortunately, it will print heavily depending on how you ride.  It’s also not in the most secure location for high speed and sharp maneuvering.
If you think you’ll be traveling at a fast rate of speed and making sharp turns, secure your pistol in a pocket holster secured within the chest pocket of a thick motorcycle jacket.[/nextpage]

[nextpage title=”Page 2″ ]

2. Upright Motorcycle Concealed Carry Styles (Touring, etc.)

Upright Motorcycle Concealed Carry Styles (Touring, etc.)

With an upright seating arrangement, you have a wide degree of choices.  Ideally, the most comfortable for an IWB holster will usually be within a 4 to 5 o’clock (around the kidney) or strong-side carry (3 o’clock).  Because of where your legs are aligned, appendix carry isn’t much of an option.


If you’re bringing a passenger along for the ride, have them straddle you as they normally would and just give them a heads up as to where your firearm is situated.  No matter where they are, they shouldn’t be situated in any way, shape or form so their body crosses the muzzle of the gun.  That shouldn’t be too difficult given the above recommendations.

3. Backwards Leaning Motorcycles (Custom Choppers, etc.)

Some motorcycles can put you almost in a fully reclined position.  Th

Backwards Leaning Motorcycles (Custom Choppers, etc.)

is allows you to reasonably attempt an appendix carry depending on the size of your gun.  If that’s not comfortable, try a strong-side carry.  For this riding style, that’s the ideal position for an inside the waistband holster.
Alternate suggestions are like the forward leaning motorcycle tips – pocket holster within the chest pocket of your jacket.  If that’s not possible, always ensure it’s locked into a high retention holster.

4. Final Considerations For Motorcycle CCW

Final Considerations For Motorcycle CCW

Your riding style, your motorcycle, your gun – your rules.  That said, whenever possible always try to ensure that your firearm is kept in either a pocket holster within a zipped coat pocket OR a high-retention kydex or leather IWB holster.  This ensures positive pressure is applied to the firearm in a safe manner.

Here’s a few other brief suggestions:

  • Always secure the trigger guard inside a holster of some kind.
  • Always keep the firearm on your person unless you plan on locking it in a cargo box.
  • Never wear a holster that lets your gun flag other drivers (or your passenger).
  • Ankle holsters aren’t helpful for motorcycle rides.
  • Try out different positions until you find one (or two) that work best with your riding style.

If you have any other suggestions for motorcycle concealed carriers, tell us in the comments section below.


$599.99 (Reg.$ 799.99)
No Code Needed
Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

Sig Sauer P365 9mm Pistol 12 Rd RTT Tacpac, Coyote

The award-winning P365 has redefined the micro-compact pistol category, quickly becoming one of the most coveted firearms in the industry.

$449.99 (Reg. $549.99)
No Code Needed
Smith & Wesson M&p Shield Ez 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black - 12436

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield EZ 9mm Pistol With Manual Safety, Black

The next evolution of the M&P Shield EZ pistol, the M&P9 Shield EZ encompasses all of the M&P Shield EZ features, now in the powerful 9mm caliber.

No Code Needed
3 Pack Of Blem Psa Stealth Ar-15 Lowers

3 Pack Of BLEM PSA Stealth AR-15 Lowers

These forged lowers are quality made using material is 7075-T6 and are marked "CAL MULTI" to accommodate most builds. The finish is Black Hardcoat Anodize per MIL-8625 Type 3 class 2.

1 2 3 17
Previous articleBlackPoint Tactical Leather Wing OTW Hybrid Holster Review
Next articleBeretta 1301 Tactical Shotgun Review
Luke McCoy is the founder of USA Carry. In 2007, he launched USA Carry to provide concealed carry information and a community for those with concealed carry permits and firearm enthusiasts.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
james lagnese

Then there’s interstate travel, which really wasn’t addressed here. My AZ permit is good most places, but I hit a wall at the Jersey border and I still have to avoid Illinois and Ohio is duty to inform..That said, a couple ways not mentioned were shoulder rig and cross draw. Either might work better than IWB and be more comfortable on the bike. May be a custom holster/pocket in a leather jacket? I’d love to hear what others do.

Billy Gilbert

I do carry cross draw always! On bike or not!


Cross draw is good, especially when driving a car.


Ready access to the firearm can be an issue, however many of my clients find that with forward leaning bike, Compression Tee-shirts (we sell Packin Tee) or belly bands work well. For upright and rearward leaning bikes where a leather vest is appropriate attire, a leather vest with snap ambidextrous pockets that snap shut, and have a holster Velcro into position (can carry a full 1911) works well. This provide quick easy access without risk of brandishing. We sell the Roma leather line for this style of carry. with high customer satisfaction.

james lagnese

Not sure what bike type has to do with appropriate attire other than ATGATT. I don’t subscribe to cultural memes in terms of riding gear. I am not a weekend pirate, nor half-assed dayglo astronaut nor a power ranger. I do wear gear though and ride a BMW, but I am not a fan of a particular brand.


Quite a bit James. Really a matter of comfort, the impact of vibration and the amount of body motion.

In an environment like So. Cal. where were based, the riding style of different types of bikes plays a role in how some riders carry. My clients who ride sport bikes, often wear full leathers. these leathers tend to be worn tighter than cruising bikes. Just as importantly they are leaning down against the tanks. A gun in the appendix position is uncomfortable. Frequently these clients will choose a belly band or compression t-shirt. Most don’t want the gun on the waist, especially those that have experienced laying a bike down. The hips and waist take a lot of abuse, and bruising. Both of the preferred carry methods can be slow to access depending on how they are employed.

The concern with gun location is similar for cruising bikes, and yes there are a lot of weekend pirates here in So. Cal. Riding a big bike on the 405 Fwy isn’t that much fun. So the carry options are a little more wide open than the sport bikes. Here pockets, vests, Sticky Holsters, belly bands all find use.

Of course legal concealed carry in California is fairly rare. At last count there are only 75,000 permits in the whole state but the number is growing.

What we all know is that a rider will eventually go down. That couple of pounds of polymer and steel can be painful if not worn carefully, when that happens.

For background I run the largest concealed carry shop in Southern California. At the same time I am located within 20 miles of four of the most popular bike attractions in the region. Santiago Canyon Road, Cooks Corner, Ortega Hwy, Hell’s Kitchen. Add the guys from Camp Pendleton and we have a lot of riders.

james lagnese

I live in AZ, do open or concealed carry is possible, but I prefer concealed. That said, I ride a RT, so it’s straight up UJM style riding. My concern is more of what’s the best way to do it travelling interstate. CA doesn’t reciprocate with AZ or probably any other state, but I guess that’s their problem. As nice as the riding and weather is, I try to avoid it.


Rational decision. Even exposing your CCW permit here are grounds for losing it. Were crazy. Love AZ but only in the cooler months. Spring Training. Wish we had a U.S. Egg here and La Piazza Al Forno

james lagnese

It’s miserable now, but the winter is to die for. I am from NY and spent 9 years in Iowa. Much less desirable winters there and less desirable gun laws in NY.


The only bike that I currently own in my old age is a 1977 Yamaha RD400 with low bars. It’s not exactly a racing position but it certainly isn’t fully upright either. When I ride, I carry my SIG P938 in a Sneaky Pete holster. I can barely even tell that it’s there, I don’t have to worry about printing, and, in my opinion, it’s as accessible as it would be if it was in an IWB holster. And, with my gut, it’s a heck of a lot more comfortable.

Jeff Coder

There is a 4th position that isn’t talked about in this article. I keep a Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in a concealed holster inside my vest. It is very comfortable and it doesn’t print.

Carol Odell

Here is something to pay attention , a great opportunity for work for those who want to use their free time to make money using their computers… I have been doing this since last two years and I am making 40 to 70 dollars per hour … In the last week I have made 12,245 for almost 18 hours sitting ….

?There are no special skills required just basic typing and an internet connection ….

?There are no time constraints … You may do this any time when you are free ….

?Here is what I’ve been doing….

< ->>w­w­w­.­y­o­u­c­a­n­a­l­s­o­c­h­a­n­g­e­y­o­u­r­f­a­t­e­l­i­k­e­o­t­h­e­r­s­a­r­e­.­b­l­o­g­s­p­o­t­.­c­o­m >



Here in Virginia, open carry is legal for anyone who can legally own a firearm, so I see a lot of bikers just open carrying. OWB kydex and shoulder holsters that carry the gun upright are both popular.

james lagnese

Open carry is legal here in AZ too.


I’ve always liked AZ. Been to Mesa/Phoenix areas several times. Been looking for a good job out there so I can relocate for a couple of years now.


I carry one easy when i ride my motor cycle.

Dave Kathrens

I carry an XD45 with a CQC retention holster on my side and have had no problem riding my Harley.

Byron Scott

I’ve always carried on my motorcycle , Galco duty holster , shoulder rig , concealed carry vest , etc . It’s never been a problem , no more so than carrying a wallet ….

Melissa Robi

Here is how you can get paid for working few hours a week from comfort of your home>Visit my disqus profile for more info


why waste people’s time?


Shut up, stupid.

Berry J Griffin

Consider what happens to the gun when you crash. (I know, we don’t plan on crashing, but it does happen.) My father-in-law crashed with a jackass type rig with a smith 59. The gun stayed in the holster but one of the magazines was lost from the other side. I have such a rig, and sometime use it because of the thumb break that adds a little more retention.
Another crash consideration is what to you. A small of the back holster could do some real damage to your back if you fall on it from a big crash, like a high side. I wear a back protector but I don’t want to test what will happen if I land on the gun from a few feet in the air.


The article does not mention options for the person riding in the sidecar, which could be an important consideration for some riders.