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Newbie here!

  • August 28, 2011 6:39 AM PDT
     Hey Im new to riding but love it ! Just got a 535 Virago as my first bike! Looking to find the best type of saddle bags for my bike, I like to ride it to work and need to carry uniform and would like to take it on trips. I have joined the CMA and excited about riding with them.
    • 130 posts
    August 28, 2011 7:07 AM PDT
     We've used Saddlemen throw-overs on a couple of bikes. They're not expensive and you can get them big enough to hold a full-face helmet.  We trim the yoke to accommodate fender or seat brackets and install the seat over them, that way, no one can walk off with them.
    Check into some saddlebag stays, as well.  They keep the bags from sagging into the wheel.

    VT600 Honda


    VT600 With Mexican saddlebags
    • 567 posts
    August 28, 2011 10:58 AM PDT
    FiddleMike gave you a really good suggestion for the bags. One thing you wanna watch for with the bags is whether they fit around your rear turn signals or anything else that might protrude from your bike. On a bike I used to have, I purchased a pretty cheap set of River Road (throw over) bags from a local shop. They weren't overly huge or anything and easily fit the bike. Actually, I think the Cobra saddlebag guards ended up costing more than the bags did. You'll want some fitted for your bike to keep the saddlebags from rubbing up against your rear wheel or drivetrain.
    Another thing to consider would be whether or not the bags are decently water tight. Mine weren't and if'n I got caught in a rainstorm, some water would get into the bag. I protected most of the stuff in the bag by putting items in zip lock bags.
    When you install the bags on your bike, make sure they do not rest on or touch you pipes. That will burn up the bottom of the bag. If you have pipes on just one side of your bike, always keep the heavier stuff in the bag on the other side of the bike.
    Most all bags will have some way to secure the bags against the saddlebag guards to keep them from flopping in the breeze. Depending on how they attach to the guards, you might wanna consider zip ties as added security.
    Here's a photo of the bags I had on my old Boulevard ....

    • Moderator
    • 15441 posts
    August 28, 2011 1:35 PM PDT
    Welcome and there is good advice above this post. We put Saddleman bags with the brackets to prevent them getting caught up in the wheel. They worked beautifully on many trips and every day rides as well.
    • 5412 posts
    August 29, 2011 9:43 AM PDT
    Hi Jen and welcome to the site. I like the throw over idea that fiddlemike had. Once the seat is back on they look like they were made for it, and you can take them off easily when you don't need 'em and want the sleek look.
    • Moderator
    • 13254 posts
    August 30, 2011 1:34 PM PDT
    Hello from Pennsylvania's north coast.
  • August 31, 2011 12:01 AM PDT
    Hey Rev ! Bout time you morph over her to cf from fb...welcome.....Oh Ya I'm Randy Schroeder on fb....
    Yer gonna love this site cause thau aint nothing here but real bikers/people that care.....
    RandyJoe...Ride Strong...
    • 86 posts
    August 31, 2011 12:39 PM PDT
    Welcome zxchic from the Central Valley of California and welcome to biking.
    • 6 posts
    September 1, 2011 12:36 PM PDT
    Swamps of South Central NY here

    Will put in a plug for Chase-Harper luggage - Bought a used set and could not find buckles to mate - Contacted them & they installed new buckles gratis