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Waiting for happy hour
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3,059 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Cheap Soft Bags/Saddlebags on a 900 Custom...not really a review

I wanted to try out some saddlebags on my 900 Custom. I needed a little storage and I wanted to hide some of that "small diameter rear wheel look". I really had no idea what kind of bags to get so I browsed eBay. I found some for a $37.95 "buy it now". They said they were 12X15X5 and 100% cowhide leather. "Totally adjustable and no brackets needed" they said. Water resistant but not water proof. I thought at that price I couldn't go wrong right? So I ordered them and they came in today. Not being a patient person I had to go to the garage and try them on for size. They fit perfectly as far as I can tell. They have a tie off on the back side to tie off "loosely" I assume, to the rear swing arm. They are very stiff so I don't really see that any brackets would be needed. They are plain jane and that's what I wanted. I know nothing about leather but outside looks good, inside has cut marks. Beef cow leather, I don't know??? The finish and color is good but mine have a couple of blemishes but I think that was from shipment, no big deal. The box was totalled and it's raining bad here, thanks UPS for crushing the box and leaving out all day in the rain, a holes!

Bottom line is they appear to be worth the price and fit the Custom well. I'd like to find a way to mount them to fender braces so the flap between can be eliminated so the flap doesn't do paint damage. Mine is a fair weather bike so it's probably not a big deal, I just think it would look better. Time well tell how they hold up, if nothing else at least I know these are the correct size if I need to get different bags in the future. Here's some pics. Forgive me because it's night, raining and my garage is a disaster area. :oops:





1 el-cheapo Walmart tool bag on the risers and a set of $40.00 eBay saddlebags...all the storage I need (I hope)
 

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Estancia Meritage
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1,523 Posts
Not bad....although those style of bags are not "me"....
I have river road bags on my 900. They said they were adjustable too but I don't like the middle yoke part. Plus, it scratches up the paint.
I didn't fool around and got the easy brackets. The neat thing about them is if you decide on different bags, no biggie...just mount the bracket to the new set of bags. Plus, when I wash my bike, it takes about 10 seconds to take off the bags. Yeah they are overpriced but I do like the convenience.

Lucky...
 

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Doc, I need a road trip!
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1,398 Posts
Looks good for that price indeed! But like Elmer Fudd would say, "be veewee veewee careful, cuz they will damage the paint easily, even if a tie down rubs a tiny bit or the bag itself, it will take the paint off to a bare metal. Buy some crome brackets and then you won't have to worry. Not bad for the price you paid though!!
 

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Waiting for happy hour
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Discussion Starter #6
Looks good for that price indeed! But like Elmer Fudd would say, "be veewee veewee careful, cuz they will damage the paint easily, even if a tie down rubs a tiny bit or the bag itself, it will take the paint off to a bare metal. Buy some crome brackets and then you won't have to worry. Not bad for the price you paid though!!
You mean "bare plastic" LOL :lol:
 

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Patriot Guardian
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28,016 Posts
it will take the paint off to a bare metal.
OR plastic in the case of the 900 ;)

Seriously though, some plastic attached to the fender will prevent abrasion. 3M makes a material that is often used on the leading edges of vehicles and fender flares, but really, anything will work. The adhesive does not have to be that strong.
You could pick up a pack of PDA face protectors and stick them onto the fender to protect it.

The ties on the bags really are not designed for the swingarm. They are intended to be tied to bag support brackets. Without them, the bags will fly up at highway speed, and they may fall into the wheel... though I think the 900's upper swingarm will prevent that.

Just make sure that you have full suspension travel if you tie to the swingarm... it would suck to go over a speed bump a little too fast and rip the tie out.
 

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Waiting for happy hour
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Discussion Starter #8
Ok, now since it's morning I pulled the bike outside to get a better look at these bags. Each one has a metal loop on the back with a leather tie down. The only thing is there is not much close to tie to on the Custom. On the rt side you can run something down the the brake line retaining loop but the is nothing on the lt side to tie to. My first thought is that I could saw out an aluminum bracket to bolt onto the upper belt guard (which would require washers or spacers between the guard and the bracket). This is not to scale, but it would have to look something like this:



But I really want to do away with the center flap anyway so I will probably make a "T" brace to go behind the bag and bolt it directly to the rear fender supports with longer bolts and spacers. I know for sure I'm not buying $145.00 easy brackets for $40.00 bags. They should be easy to remove but I probably won't be taking them off anyway. The braces would be similar to this:

 

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Waiting for happy hour
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Discussion Starter #9
We made a couple of saddlebag mounting brackets at work the other day. Similar to the image above, but we had to weld round spacers on the back side where it bolts up to the fender. It appears that these brackets will work fine. I just have to find some longer bolts. The next step will be cutting the bags. The leather is really hard so I think I may use my band saw with a fine blade. I'll post pics when I get them mounted.
 

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Does anyone read these?
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173 Posts
I think they look great. The size fits the Custom well. Are these used, or can you provide a link to buy them from E-Bay?
 

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Waiting for happy hour
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Discussion Starter #12
Bags look great. I love a value. Oh. Is that a Shelby in the background?
Sort of, see this:
http://www.kawasakimotorcycle.org/forum/off-topic/60724-ford-mustangs-i-have-eleanor-bullitt.html

I think they look great. The size fits the Custom well. Are these used, or can you provide a link to buy them from E-Bay?
New, here's a link to their eBay store:

eBay Store - Moto-DirectUSA-com: Leather Motorcycle Bags: New Motorcycle Leather Saddlebag Travel Saddle Bag 4051
 

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Patriot Guardian
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28,016 Posts
I think those will work beautifully.

If you want to cut off the bridge and bolt them directly to the fender, I would also recommend putting a strip on the inside upper edge of the bag that runs end to end, so the bag is sandwiched between this strip and your mount... that'll keep the front and rear ends of the bag from sagging when loaded.
 

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Wannabeabigbike Owner
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745 Posts
River Road

Not bad....although those style of bags are not "me"....
I have river road bags on my 900. They said they were adjustable too but I don't like the middle yoke part. Plus, it scratches up the paint.
I didn't fool around and got the easy brackets. The neat thing about them is if you decide on different bags, no biggie...just mount the bracket to the new set of bags. Plus, when I wash my bike, it takes about 10 seconds to take off the bags. Yeah they are overpriced but I do like the convenience.

Lucky...
I have those and I put a neopreme (SP?) piece that was made from a wetsuit under it! Also stuff available at most Honda shops that are for fastening stiff to (has a couple small D rings at the ends) Not a scratch since, AND it holds it FIRMLY in place without sliding regardless of the weight balance.
 
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