Year Round Saddlebags
First, the bags arrived in four days, which floored me. Though I did have to pay an extra 40 bucks import duty for leather goods, the total including shipping still only came to around the price you would pay in Japan for ONE bag of similar size and quality.
More delight than surprise on opening the package – I have bought a few things from Fox Creek Leather and always found them exactly as described. Thick, supple, high-quality leather, solid rivets and zippers. (Incidentally, I would have loved to have had bronze or brass fittings if that had been an option). The extra Velcro-closed side flaps are a stroke of genius.
I ride an hour to work all year round, and we have every combination of weather here – hot and dry, cold and dry, hot and wet, cold and wet, so though the leather appeared rich and well nourished, I gave the bags an extra feed of mink oil before fitting. I had to unlace them and widen the yoke to fit over the shocks, which are a tad fatter than the stock ones. I also rigged up a little rubber strap around the base of the shock (a couple of bits from my hardware store) this hooks to the D-ring on the back of each bag.
They are so solid that I doubt they would flap around even when empty, but I don’t want to wait till my first expressway trip to find out. The yoke fits neatly under the seat, which holds it tight enough to stop it slipping around.
I wasn’t sure about putting bags on a Sportster – thought it would spoil the lean shape, but I have to say, I think they look great!
So I can finally do away with the backpack I have been using. Most days I will only have my bike lock, lunchbox and rain suit, but each bag will comfortably hold a couple of six-packs with room to spare, and I reckon combined with a sissy-bar bag, I will be able to carry enough gear for a weekend trip.
Pete from Tokyo, Japan