Here is a complete review on the motorcycle saddlebags that I purchased from Viking Bags. I’m mainly doing this review because of all the negative press they get on the forums and blogs due to their supposedly lack of quality and other things mentioned. I am a firm supporter of Viking Bags and am no way affiliated with them at all. After purchasing these bags, I believe all the negative press they get has to be done by their competitors who can’t beat their prices or value.
If you’re done any research on your bikes saddlebags, it’s easy to see and be skeptical about Viking Bags prices. They charged me $159.99 for the VLX large bags, where as at the dealership the same or similar saddlebags would run up to $1,000. This is the type of that thing that gets people mad.
Fortunately, I purchased a VTX large warrior saddlebag for my Honda VTX. Let’s start the review at the moment I placed the order to be critical of this company. After placing the order for my particular saddlebags on their website, I was able to get a email confirmation and shipping notice within 2 business days. I ordered my saddlebags on Tuesday and they were at my doorstep the following Monday. The saddlebags come in a plain box, with only the model marking on the box. The quick disconnect kit came in a separate brown box and was quite heavy, due to the metal steel construction of the brackets.
Opening the plain brown boxes, I was very pleased to find the saddlebags nicely protected and packed inside the box. They were double wrapped and protected as to not allow any scuffs during transit. Good thinking on the companies part. The included mounting hardware was squeezed into the box and shrink wrapped to ensure it doesn’t come out and damage the bags. The hardware did look a little bit flimsy and not top quality to me, but good thing I got the quick release brackets. The bags looked top quality, I love how sturdy they are compared to regular leather ones. The material used to make the bags are a synthetic leather and some type of hard plastic blend. Love how it doesn’t sag under use and can carry a larger load. Very easy and convenient to wipe down clean after a ride. The quick disconnect was nicely packed with instructions and bolts. The bolts were a little higher quality than the included stuff.
Installation wasn’t the easiest thing to do. You have to use the cut out that they include with the bags to drill and find the correct positioning on your saddlebags. Once you drill in the actual bags, you’ll mount them and make sure they fit well. The key is to take your time and not rush things. I made sure they sat how I wanted twice before actually drilling. Some people have problem with installation because they’re not mechanically inclined. It isn’t that difficult, you just have to take your time and mark things out. Make sure theres 2” of clearance from any pipes as well. Once I got the holes drilled, mounting the bags were a breeze on the quick release brackets. They just hook and hang right on. If you made sure to measure everything out correctly, you’ll have no problem with this step. Don’t forget to try to make sure everything clears and the saddlebag has clearance to open the lid.
The end result is pretty clean to me. The quick release brackets stick the bags out quite a bit, about 3” total. I don’t mind but can understand if some people do. The turn signals kinda help cover up the gap so it isn’t a big deal to me. Viking did a great job with these bags and design so I can’t find much to complain about. I would say that it is sometimes difficult to open up the saddlebag and lid sometimes. Theres Velcro all around to ensure a waterproof seal, it makes it hard to keep all the Velcro from sticking. The bags are also very convenient because they have a locking feature. Great deal for the price, no complaints here. They did a great job on the price point and bags. They’re ideal for anyone who doesn’t want to pay full price. There’s so much heresay online on forums and all over random blogs. I find that a lot of people who are unsatisfied don’t do their do diligence when making a purchase. You’re getting the most bang for the buck here, but you’ll also have to do some of the work. I can see how some get frustrated, I admit I wouldn’t be happy with the included hardware as well. It’s kind of a catch 22, you get the free hardware but shouldn’t expect too much from it.