Just as I had been promised by the fellow who took my order from US Saddlebag, my bags arrived right on time. They were in a huge box sitting on my front porch when I got home from work.
I opened the box and was amazed at how large the bags really are. These were the standard size bags. I was glad I hadn’t gone for it and ordered the “large capacity” bags. The ones I have were advertised as able to hold a 12-pack of cans, on each side! What more could you ask?
I had my dinner and then decided I would go out in the garage and see about installing the bolt-on frames on my Vulcan. I knew it wouldn’t take too long. The next day was going to be nice so I had planned to ride to work. The saddlebags would sure come in handy for carrying my lunch and small e-bay packages to mail on my way as I passed by the local Post Office.
The frames only required removing 2 bolts from each side of the rear fender. I don’t have tools for the bike all organized in a kit yet. So I had to find the right size Allen wrench to fit. They were pretty tight but I finally got them loosened.
I undid one bolt at a time and then installed the spacers along with the new long bolt and the frame. The new bolts required a different size Allen wrench so I had to scrounge a while to find that one. Those 2 sizes were the only ones required for installation.
The second frame went on just as easily. Once everything was tightened it was time to hang each bag on its frame and attach from inside the bag with turn-key fasteners. It really required a lot of force the first time to engage the shaft until it would turn and lock in place. It fits over a rubber grommet so it was a tight fit at first. There are 2 on each bag. In between these is an actual lock with a key that attaches the bag and locks it so it can’t be removed. The key stays with you.
There is a hanging zippered organizer just inside the bag which keeps the locking mechanism out of sight and is a nice place to keep small items, pockets for extra glasses, camera, etc. I love this feature.
Then a Velcro strip goes along the top edge which keeps it pretty water tight and seals it shut. Next the whole bag zips closed with 2 zippers. The outer flap comes over all of this and has 2 quick release fasteners underneath the buckles. I love the heavy leather which encases the whole bag. The inside is a solid, hard plastic which seems pretty resistant to heat.
The bags fit firmly on the frames so there is no vibration or rattling at all. They are very solid, well attached, and have plenty of room for a quick overnight trip. Overall I absolutely LOVE the bags. They look a little wider from the rear than I had wanted, but I have no complaints.
I used them all last weekend every where I went, and they were awesome. I plan to get a couple of small luggage locks to attach to the inside zippers if I leave anything of value in the bags. I haven’t been able to fit my small helmet inside the bags, which would have been great. I highly recommend the US Saddlebag for a quality and sharp looking product. They’ve thought of everything.