WHY :?: just kidding :lol: I like to use a bag that I strap onto the passenger seat. I don't like the look of saddlebags on the meanie.
of course if you are riding two up then my bag idea wont work well. but if you are riding single then the bag on the pillion acts as a backrest for you.
good luck and someone will chime in here soon to help you out :wink:
A couple years ago I bought the Saddlemen Large Drifter Slant Saddlebags. You can find them on the internet at: http://www.saddlemen.com. I didn't like using the straps to attach them to the bike; I thought it looked kind of sloppy and they weren't attached as securely as I would have liked. So I hard bolted it to the fender struts by drilling holes in the back of the saddlebags. (BTW, you will need Kawasaki Fender Struts and brackets for most saddlebags - it will provide a flat surface to mount the saddlebags.)
They fit the bike, were secure, strong and useful. But since I tend to be vain about my bike, I was never quite satisfied with how they looked. They didn't look bad, but something about it bugged me.
Then I bought Kawasaki's saddlebags designed specifically for the Mean Streak - you can see them at their website. I think they fit the bike's looks well. They are rather small, but I find them useful for my purposes.
Sometime I might want to get bigger saddlebags though. I hear very good reviews about Leatherlyke saddlebags. They are very large, strong and are lockable. I thought they might be too big for the bike, but recently I spotted a parked Mean Streak with Leatherlyke bags, and I was really surprised how good they looked.
So, I don't have a clear-cut response to your question - just some ideas based on my experience. One of the things to consider first is what you want the bags for - light stuff like gloves, maps, and other small items, or if you want greater versatility and greater capacity.
Another option if the LeatherLyke bags appeal to you would be the K-Drive bags made for the Mean Streak and Marauder 1600. Like the LeatherLykes, they attach directly to the bike rather than drape over or under the seat. They cannot be removed from the bike without a key. Unfortunately, the lid doesn't lock though. I've only seen them in pictures, but they dont' look bad, and they run about $60 less than the LeatherLykes. Check out http://www.k-drive.com
I have LeatherLyke's on my Meanie and love them. They are strong, secure, hold a ton, and come off or on in about 30 seconds. I can ride with them, or spend 30 seconds to take them of (if I'm slow) and ride without them. They are pretty much water tight (when riding, not swimming) and can actually hold a 12pack with ice if you are so inclined.
You can see how they look here (mine need to be cleaned):
Blackwood - Thanks for posting that picture. Nice bike - (I have the same color). I have a couple questions - when you take off the Leathelyke bags, what remains on the bike - is the the stock fender struts and brackets?
Also, it looks like you have chrome flames on your front forks. I saw them on a bike around here and think they look good. Who makes them?
Your front forks like nice and shiny - did you get chrome covers for your forks?
I had cross country LeatherlLykes on my Vulcan 750. Hold a ton of stuff,(25qt/20lb) easy to ge on or off, lockable, and weather tight ( having been caught ina couple downpours). I just ordered them for my new Meanie.
I have two bags that work well. One is a sissybar bag that sits on the passenger seat and attaches to the passenger backrest/sissybar. The other sits on the rack behind the backrest. Both are quite roomy.
Check out the link below. I just got a set from them with the Phantom brackets, you can take off the bags and you're left with a short "nipple" in the fender struts. They have caps that cover the nipples when the bags are off and they look like silver bullets. Kind of pricey but very good quality and actually made in the USA. You can have the clean look and carry cargo when you need to. They're also warranted for as long as you have them. If they don't have them for the Meanie, I think they can custom build a pair for you. Good luck in your search. http://www.bossbags.com
They are costly. But they're probably the nicest bags out there. The craftsmanship is top notch. I had the VTX C which is also a drag style bike. If I didn't get rid of it I was going to get a Cobra sissy bar with the luggage rack. That way a T bag can be bungeed on when you need it and still have the clean look when the bag is off. I think Leather Lyke also has a removable bag but you'd still be left with the brackets. Take your time and check out all your options. Searching for accessories can be good fun.
MeanieRider, sorry for the late reply, but I don't check this forum often.
When you take off the LeatherLyke bags, all that is left are to 1 1/2 " bolts sticking out of the fender. You barely notice them. There are no other brackets or supports left on the bike with the bags off.
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