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Viking Saddle Bags

8 posts from 4 voices
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  1. Hacgzav
    #

    Do not buy.

    I bought the Dynamites in August. I have posted here before when someone wanted advice on which saddle bags to buy, and I mentioned that the mounting bolts that came with the bags were of low quality. I went to Lowe's and bought replacement bolts for the bags and used them to mount them to my bike. The bolts that came with the kit were potted bolts, instead of real (hardened and milled) bolts. They broke with just slight pressure upon installation. I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't "over tightened" them when I installed the bags. I suspect the vibrations they would have encountered while riding would have broken them, leaving me to pick up my saddle bags off the side of the road, or worse yet, cause a car accident behind me as they attempt to avoid something falling off my bike, which in this sue-happy country I live in, would have costed me lots of money in litigation.

    Well, in spite of buying better bolts, the bag nearly fell off anyway. One side of the actual mounting bracket broke last night, leaving my left side bag dangling off my bike.

    I guess if you buy $300 bags, you get what you pay for, but still $300 is a lot of f*ing money to me. The real pisser is the bag itself is actually a good bag, just the hardware sucks.

    Anyhow...I'm going to call Viking and complain and send them pictures. I already sent them a review of the bags when I received them, and complained about the mounting hardware (bolts), but never received a response from them. I would not recommend these bags.

    Just wanted to rant.

  2. MigejCojode
    #

    $300 is medium quality bags. IMHO that means that there is no way that these should break and fall off, especially after half a season's use! And honestly how much more would half decent bolts cost them.

    I think you have every right to rant. And by all means give them a phone call.

  3. ASUSMC874
    #

    Thats pretty ridiculous. I just have the bags that came on my bike so they have held up well so far. I would probably lose it if something I spent a good chunk of change on was built well but they skimped on the important stuff.

  4. Hacgzav
    #

    I just got off of the phone with Viking Bags. I swear go God, it sounded like I called someone's house...

    They are sending me a new hardware and mounting kit. I will try the new set, and if I still have a problem, I'm going to attempt a return for refund.

  5. Hacgzav
    #

    Wanted to clarify the installation a bit...

    I bought replacement bolts from Lowe's to replace the bolts that mount the bags to the mounting brackets, but used the supplied bolts to mount the brackets (and bags) to the bike.

    The supplied bolts (M8X1.25) were what snapped. I showed the bolts to my brother-in-law (who is a machinist), and he told me that those bolts were at best a Grade 1 bolt. He said that the vibration that those bolts would see were too much for those bolts, and advised me to get at least Grade 5 bolts, and if I could find Grade 8 bolts to go ahead and get those instead (Grade 8 bolts are used on chassis and suspension parts in the automotive industry).

    I went to Lowe's again, and I did not find any metric Grade 8 bolts, but I did find some equivalent standards in Grade 8. The replacement mounting kit still has not arrived from Viking, but when they do, I don't think the Grade 8 bolts I will be using will snap. I think it more likely that the mounting brackets will break first this time. The mounting bracket itself did break, but I believe it was due to the bag hanging by one bolt for the duration of the ride home...I am going to ask my brother in law to make me some new (stronger) mounting brackets if the replacement ones break again.

  6. MigejCojode
    #

    So other than sub standard mounting systems and equipment, how do you find the bags themselves?

  7. VTvinChic
    #

    I have to agree that they are cheap China crap. I had the Mutazu LN bags, which are basically the same, and they come from the same manufacturer.

    After a short ride, I came home only to find that one of the locks fell apart inside the bag, and must have ridden about 12 miles with the door flapping in the wind. It was a side open style door, so needless to say, I was ticked.

    You certainly get what you pay for with these bags. I have replaced them with the Yammie hard bags, and can say that has been the best add-on (beside the windshield) for the bike. If you want a comparison, look at my gallery photos - you can see the difference between the old and new bags there.

    Forgot to mention...the new bags are so much more spacious and durable. The old ones are made of a very thin ABS plastic - I was afraid to put anything with a little bit of weight in them. They also vibrated considerably because they were so light and the mounting brackets were so far off the side of the bike.

  8. Hacgzav
    #

    I can't comment on Chic's bags, but the Dynamite bags *themselves* are what I consider to be acceptable quality for the money ($299 USD plus shipping).

    The bags are leather-covered fiberglass, so they look like leather bags, but they won't sag. The craftsmanship of the bags is acceptable. The leather is well fitted and attached to the fiberglass. The bullet style latches that keep the lid closed could have been of better quality IMHO. As it were, the bullet style latches serve their intended purpose and keep the bags closed, but the plastic they are made from is rather "thin", so they deform easily, which makes it almost too easy to release them. This is not a real problem, as the faux leather strap/buckle that conceals the latches friction fits in a male/female fashion to a small nub that one could secure with a small pin. I have not had the bags fly open once (yet) at highway speeds, and every time I have arrived at my destination and needed to get in the bags, I find them securely fastened.

    To describe the installation instructions as "horrible" would be a compliment. They were written by someone who wields the English language with the same finesse that an executioner with a dull sword beheads the condemned. Ironically, using the prescribed method to mount the bags left me feeling that I was the said condemned.

    To put it bluntly, you are paying $299 USD for the bags themselves, and will spend approximately $15 USD buying better fasteners at your local home improvement store.

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