Thursday, March 19, 2009

New bags

When I got my Dyna, I thought it was just fine the way it was – no extra bits hanging off and just a tiny rack that was as much cosmetic as functional. I was content… until I spent a couple of days riding with my brother who had enough secure storage on his Road King for his rain suit, his jacket when it got hot, his lock, his spare gloves, a few tools, a case of beer, a couple of bags of Doritos, and every issue of HOG Magazine going back to the last century. I, on the other hand, had my crap strapped on to every surface I wasn’t actually sitting on, and had him ride behind to pick up the stuff that would periodically squeeze out from under the 100 or so yards of bungee cord and bounce onto the highway. At the next gas stop all the various and sundry items would be returned, tied down again (hopefully better this time) and we’d continue riding.
It didn’t take much of that before bags rose to the top of the must-have list.
Now anyone who has been through this will know that there are at least 500 saddlebag  manufacturers out there, every one of them with the absolute best product(!) at the very best price(!). But it didn’t take much research to discover that anything that was a) well made; and b) looked good would not only break the bank, but put a pretty serious dent in the spousal relationship as well.
“$1,000?!?”
“Uh, yeah, but they’re really good bags.”
“What have you got to carry that’s worth $1,000?”
Well, since she put it that way…
So it’s on to Craig’s List and Kijiji looking for deals. Forget eBay – it’s pretty much nothing but dealers these days. “Buy now” the ads say. Well I can go to my local dealer bagsto do that. Auctions are becoming rare as hen’s teeth on that once famous auction house unless one gets really, really lucky.
But you can still find deals on the other two, and I did – a gently used set of H-D bags for about a third the cost of brand new. So one man’s customizing project became another man’s thrift shop and now I can carry my own beer!

2 comments:

  1. Yes I think I spent $400 on my new HD saddle bags for my Dyna plus several more hundred on the hardware that would make them detachable as well as the backrest. The backrest with luggage rack ran another $300. All big money but necesary to do any real traveling.

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  2. Yeah, the tab can sure run up fast. And I'm tired of buying cheap only to have to replace them a year or two later.

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