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Honda Shadow Saddlebag Guide

Honda Shadow Saddlebag Guide

The Honda Shadow was brought into existence by Honda Motorcycles to fill a growing need in the American market for fun and reliable motorcycles. Originally, Honda was only able to import 700cc and smaller models due to high cost of importing bikes with engines larger than 700cc’s. However, in the early 1980’s, the import fees were waived and this allowed Honda to bring 1100cc cruiser motorcycles into the American market. Today, the Honda Shadow has settled comfortably into the sporty 745cc, liquid cooled machines that are currently sold.

Viking Bags saddlebags are an excellent complement to the Shadow’s sleek styling and classic cruiser lines. From the retro style of the AERO to the modern blacked-out look of the Phantom, Viking Bags are the perfect storage solution for your Shadow. The Shadow is a true biker’s ride and Viking Bags understands that Shadow owners want to get these machines out on the road where they thrive. From the person fighting traffic on their daily commute to the back road explorer, Viking Bags are the perfect fit for your Shadow.

It’s important to understand 4 major reasons we believe can help you in your decision to find saddlebags for your Honda Shadow.

It’s important to understand 4 major reasons we believe can help you in your decision to find saddlebags for your Honda Shadow.



Do you want to compliment the classic lines of the AERO? Are you looking to match the blacked out simplicity of the Phantom? Are you a fan of buckles or not? Do you want options on where they open? Do you want the bags to fit snugly around the shocks or to sit on top?


Are you looking to become a member of the Iron Butt association or do you need a place to store some extra clothes?


Do you need bags that lock or not? Viking Bags are innovators in the field with our secure personal keys


Are you looking for a permanent bag mounted or a set you can throw over for a quick weekend ride?


Bags come in a variety of different styles. Most riders will want the bags that will match best with their bike. The majority of our bags come in two styles, plain or studded. If your bike already has studs, you can keep the theme going by adding a pair of Studded Saddlebags. All Viking Bags studs are rust proof, polished, and stainless steel. Non-studded or Plain bags are very clean themselves and can keep the clean look throughout.

Non Buckle
shock cut out


rc duna plain bag vs studded style

Plain VS. Studded

Honda Shadow bags come in as many diverse styles as the Shadow models themselves. Viking Bags understand the need for bags to fit the differing styles within the Shadow lineup and we have designed these bags with the Shadow owners in mind. The Charger, Warrior, and Thor would be the best fitting models for your bike. In addition, we offer a Shock Cut Out option to our bags for a closer and sleeker fit.

Viking Bags gives you the option of having Studded or Plainbags. Studded bags would complement the more classic cruiser look while plain bags are more stripped down and raw. Our polished studs are stainless steel which means no nasty looking rust, so you can show off your flair without worry. In contrast, our plain bags have chrome buckles for those seeking a more modern look. Our plain bags will give you that pure motorcycle feel that fits well on the Shadow models. Blacked-out bikes project a no nonsense approach to motorcycling and the Warrior and Spear bags give you the storage without drawing any uninvited attention. Depending on your personal preference and need, we offer bags with a cut out for the shocks and some without.

buckle vs. nobuckle


For the Shadow owners who want storage without all the shiny extras, our Warrior and Spear bags are the perfect solution. For those Shadow owners who want to keep that blacked out look, we have bags without any buckles or studs. All the possible options to choose from doesn’t just end on the front of our bags, we also offer plain back or shock cut out options to further customize our Viking bags to your ride.

rc dyna plain back vs shock cutout


Our plain back bags for the Shadow will save you a few dollars over the Shock Cut Out models and are typically mounted between the rear of the shock and the rear turn signals. If a larger capacity bag is what you decide you need, it might be necessary to get a turn signal relocation kit for a perfect fit. For those who don’t want to do any turn signal relocation, the Quick Disconnect System is the perfect option because this system extends the bags outside of the shock.

The Shock Cut Out bags are molded to fit the contour of the shocks which gives the bags a tighter fit to the bike. This helps to clean up the look of the bike, especially for those who want a less traditional look. Because of the specialized fitment of the Shock Cut Out bags, the prices are a little higher than the standard bags. The clean look provided by these bags is worth any difference in price. With such a sleek profile, a little storage space is sacrificed. To address the issue of volume, we offer several bigger bags from which you can choose

rc dyna plain back vs shock cutout

Hard VS. Soft

We also offer bags that are completely blacked out without any buckle. Take a look at our Warrior and Spear bags. They are two options for bags that have no shiny buckles or studs.




Viking Bags make and sell over 200 styles and sizes of saddlebags worldwide, making us the largest saddlebag manufacturer around the globe. This allows us to provide you with the greatest selection of bags from small to extra-large. With our entire available inventory, searching all our options can be both time consuming and a little confusing. We have made navigating our site very user friendly. The left hand side of the webpage will help you filter out the bags that will not fit your bike and find the best bags for the model Shadow you own.





Shadow owners are as diverse as the bikes they own and we understand that with that individuality comes differing security needs. Viking Bags have two different locking options, one on the top of the bag and the other right under the buckle, to best fit your security needs. Most Viking Bags have the option of placing a padlock for extra security when needed. For our customers who like the added security of being able to take their bags easily off the bike to securely store them indoors, our QDS system is the best options for keeping valuables safe. We understand that many bikers need storage space and an affordable price. For them our non-locking bags would be the best option. Viking Bags does recommend that you not leave any valuables in your bags overnight.




Now that you have decided which bag will fit your bike better the next step is to choose the right mounting hardware.

There are 3 types of mounting hardware’s available to you and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

1- Quick Disconnect System (QDS)
2- Hard Mount Kit
3- Throw Over Kit

1. Quick Disconnect system
2. Hard mount kit
3. Throw over kit



rc dyna removed qds brackets


Viking Bag’s standard plain backed bags are what we recommend you purchase if you are looking at installing the Quick Disconnect System (QDS). This system moves the bags outside the bike about 2 inches which makes the necessity for any shock cutout useless. The QDS system is the ideal accessory for the rider who needs added security both at home and while out on the road. An added bonus to the QDS system is the convenience of quickly removing the bags for maintenance and cleaning. The QDS is perfect for the rider who doesn’t want the look of bags while on shorter trips, yet still needs a quick and easy way to mount bags when they are needed.

rc dyna hard mount brackets


For the rider looking for a more permanent solution, the Hard Mount Kit, which comes standard with all Viking Bag purchases, is exactly what you need. This kit is a very sturdy and secure way of mounting your bags to your Shadow. The mounting brackets are not as easily removed as the QDS system but the added stability and security will be beneficial to you. With the bags locked, it is very difficult to get them off the bike; however, there are only a total of four bolts that need removed if you decide to detach the bags yourself.

rc dyna throw over brackets


Throw Over bags have been around since the 1950’s and while they have vastly improved over the years, their simple functionality and ease of use has not. Viking Bag’s Throw Over line use a simple yoke mounted under the seat and hardware that extends on either side of the fender. The bag is easily fastened to the metal frame and ready for use. This is a temporary option and is best used for those Shadow owners who infrequently mount bags or have problems with fitment. The Throw Over option is usually reserved for select smaller bags since the larger bags need a more secure and stable mounting option.








Hopefully you have found this article interesting and helpful. If you are interested in purchasing saddlebags for your Honda Shadow, you can select which Shadow model you have and browse through our selection on our Honda Shadow saddlebag page. If you have any questions please contact us, one of our motorcycle luggage experts will be happy to assist you. For further information, Contact Us