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I've been in the market for some saddlebags to put on my Hammer, and recently came across some surprisingly inexpensive, leather-covered hard bags from a company by the name of Viking. Having done some research, I've seen some mixed reviews: some appreciate how durable the craftsmanship of the bags, themselves appears to be, and don't mind that they needed to do a bit of extra work to mount them. Others hate that the fasteners that come in the mounting kits are absolute crap, requiring a trip to the hardware store to replace, and others yet seem to have ruin afoul of some bad customer service (while some report good experiences, although not with the former customers' offending sales rep). I'm almost of a mind to try my luck, but before I do, I thought I should see if anyone here has had any experience with Viking Bags and can say whether it's worth saving a hundred and a half bucks or so to order a pair.

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Viking Bags

I have Viking bags (actually these are large enough that Viking calls them 'Luggage') on my M50 Boulevard. They're super easy to mount, they're sturdy and some of their models are lockable. Plus I don't think they have anything over $250. Most common size saddlebags are in the $150 range. I like mine. I've got over 12000 miles on them and the Mojave sun hasn't faded them yet.
 

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Iron Bags start at $900
http://www.ironbags.com/freedombag.phtml

Viking's largest leather bags (I'm going to order these shortly) are $280
http://www.vikingbags.com/victory-kingpin-trianon-motorcycle-saddlebags-7100-prd1.htm

Tsukayu leather wrapped hard bags (I have these now) are $611 to $690
http://www.tsukayu.com/LeatherSeries.htm

So... for $900 and up, the Iron Bags had better give me head every morning and make me a sandwich every night. You could buy BOTH the Tsukayu AND the Viking bags for the price of the Iron Bags...

The Tsukayus are looking rough... but they are the old real leather ones... and they're 6 years old. They have endured everything from 12 hours days in the rain to drag racing in the 100 degree heat. They don't owe me anything.



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Discussion Starter #6
I have Viking bags (actually these are large enough that Viking calls them 'Luggage') on my M50 Boulevard. They're super easy to mount, they're sturdy and some of their models are lockable. Plus I don't think they have anything over $250. Most common size saddlebags are in the $150 range. I like mine. I've got over 12000 miles on them and the Mojave sun hasn't faded them yet.
Thanks, I was hoping someone could comment on their longevity, too; looking durable and actually being durable are two different things.
 

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i had got a set of viking bags to put on my ole ladys 8 ball she likes them for the price i think they r worth it and the shipment was very quick
 

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I bought a set of Viking bags and put them on my Kingpin. I have since traded it, and I only had them on a couple months. After about 2 weeks I could not get them to lock. I never really looked into why as it wasn't that big a deal to me, but they did seem to have cheap lock hardware. The bags seemed solid otherwise. The ones I bought said they would fit on my Kingpin but not with the hardware they provided.. I ended up getting the Quick disconnect brackets.

I also found it odd that they send me two bags and each had a different lock. So two more keys to keep up with.
 

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I have Viking Bags on my Judge. Mounting was not that bad, but they are small compared to the Trax bags on my Tiger. Viking's hold 3000 CI or 49 liters, the Trax hold 74 liters. The Vikings look good & are definitely waterproof. Having two separate keys is a pain & the key locks on the bags are worthless in any case. The latch on the back of each bag is drilled from a small padlock which I will make use of on trips. I had some plugs missing & called customer service, still have not received them, ended up using Duct tape to seal the holes...
 

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Silver spoon

I had the silver spoon bags on my 1300 V star for 30K miles before selling it. I used an easy bracket mount instead of the one they send with the bags. The held up very well and as far as I know the next owner is still using them.
 

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I've been in the market for some saddlebags to put on my Hammer, and recently came across some surprisingly inexpensive, leather-covered hard bags from a company by the name of Viking. Having done some research, I've seen some mixed reviews: some appreciate how durable the craftsmanship of the bags, themselves appears to be, and don't mind that they needed to do a bit of extra work to mount them. Others hate that the fasteners that come in the mounting kits are absolute crap, requiring a trip to the hardware store to replace, and others yet seem to have ruin afoul of some bad customer service (while some report good experiences, although not with the former customers' offending sales rep). I'm almost of a mind to try my luck, but before I do, I thought I should see if anyone here has had any experience with Viking Bags and can say whether it's worth saving a hundred and a half bucks or so to order a pair.

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Any reason you are not entertaining purchasing the Victory bags? I have the same year and bike as yours and shopped around quite a bit, but with few exceptions found little that I thought would look good on the bike and follow the lines of the bike other than the OEM bags, which I have purchased but yet to install. I purchased them with quick releases so I don't have to have them on unless I am in need of them. There was one bag that I thought had the correct lines. It was the victory hammer prima bags from Viking. They have others that they place in the victory group of bags. Good luck with the purchase.cheers
 

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Iron Bags start at $900
http://www.ironbags.com/freedombag.phtml

Viking's largest leather bags (I'm going to order these shortly) are $280
http://www.vikingbags.com/victory-kingpin-trianon-motorcycle-saddlebags-7100-prd1.htm

Tsukayu leather wrapped hard bags (I have these now) are $611 to $690
http://www.tsukayu.com/LeatherSeries.htm

So... for $900 and up, the Iron Bags had better give me head every morning and make me a sandwich every night. You could buy BOTH the Tsukayu AND the Viking bags for the price of the Iron Bags...

The Tsukayus are looking rough... but they are the old real leather ones... and they're 6 years old. They have endured everything from 12 hours days in the rain to drag racing in the 100 degree heat. They don't owe me anything.



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"Premium" leather bags made out of 10-12oz leather are typically expensive and partly because they're made in the states.

One alternative is Leatherworks. Look pretty nice and less than ironbags.
http://www.leatherworksinc.com/leather-motorcycle-products/leather-motorcycle-saddlebags/
Been trying to decide on one that would look cool on a High-Ball, which is kinda hard. The Indian head nickel pieces are a nice touch. I scored a tool bag on eBay coming soon.

US Saddlebag is another. I like their springer bag style with the flap lid.


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I've had a pair of Viking bags for a few years. Note that the bags are NOT leather. Their website says "Viking Leather", which is actually just vinyl.

The back side of the bags is just plastic, mine happened to be white plastic that they painted black.

Construction isn't bad, but it ain't great either. They look fine from 10 feet away, but up close it's not the same quality as OEM or one of the custom makers. The "free mounting hardware" is really crappy. Welds broke while trying to mount them up. I ended up buying EZ brackets instead.

Customer service is a joke. I couldn't get the guy to reply, couldn't get shipping info, until the day I sent him a message saying I was denying the charge on my credit card. Then magically he has time to respond, and says "oh, they should ship tomorrow". I got home that day and they were already at my house.

They ship direct from Pakistan.

Would I buy them again? Bluntly, no. Buying good bags used off eBay or a forum member is a better bet.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Any reason you are not entertaining purchasing the Victory bags? I have the same year and bike as yours and shopped around quite a bit, but with few exceptions found little that I thought would look good on the bike and follow the lines of the bike other than the OEM bags, which I have purchased but yet to install. I purchased them with quick releases so I don't have to have them on unless I am in need of them. There was one bag that I thought had the correct lines. It was the victory hammer prima bags from Viking. They have others that they place in the victory group of bags. Good luck with the purchase.cheers
Price is really the only reason. I'd have gladly bought OEM, because I agree: they look best on the Hammer. I'd just rather spend $150 than $900 if I get 'em new, or maybe $500, which is the lowest price I've seen for used OEMs on Ebay.

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I have been looking for bags for my Highball and it is tough! I want real leather with out any chrome except maybe the buckles.. All black including the buckles and distressed leather would be ideal. I bought a Bikers Friend which is awesome if it's just me heading out for a few days. I got the medium large and it fits a tonne of stuff.


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When I think of bags for a High-Ball, I keep coming back to Leatherworks.. I love their look and they're certainly some serious leather. Similar to US Saddlebags look, their model 119 is another option. Kind of a "springer classic" type of bag.

I also like that their bags are so customizable.. Bungee straps or extended straps over the top of the bag are very nice from experience to strap down a jacket, etc.

http://www.leatherworksinc.com/119-leather-saddlebags/





Something like this one might look cool on a HB also in a retro utilitarian minimalist kinda way:


Also, it appears Leatherneck Jim's bags I think are actually Leatherworks bags.. I could be wrong. Same bags with different names.

I can tell you though, on Ironbags.. The leather and assembly to be completely firm and solid bag.. I've seen nothing that comes close. The back was I think a big slap of fiberglass, shaped to fit as close as possible to the bike. They were heavy, overbuilt and rock solid. Hermann Oak leather... The ones I had was pretty much like the finest horse saddle I've ever seen.

You could load them down with bowling balls, as is part of his design. No plastic wall liners.. They maintain shape completely. They weren't meant for a 15lb limit like Harley bags by no means. Max (the owner and sole craftsman (helluva nice guy), carries his tools.. Like a whole bunch of tools, in his bags. At the time I bought mine, he was rolling on a Road King with bags he built for it to replace the hard bags, which he also sells, same quality as all their bags.

They're crazy expensive, but you'll know you bought pretty much the best damn leather saddlebags possible. The hardware he supplied with mine was also bulletproof and probably sturdier than the struts on the bike themselves.

But yeah, they're a grand. Understandibly out of a lot of budgets for such a thing. And a minor thing.. He's not making setups specifically for Victory. I wish he did. I've thought if I were reeeeally serious, a guy could do fiberglass molds of the side profiles of the bike, send to him and he could build a bag to fit the steel-frame profile. Then he'd have a template for pretty much all the steel-frame Vics.

My old bike from his website. These were the largest.. I'd step down for my High-Ball.
 
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