Honda Valkyrie Saddlebag Guide
Honda is a name that’s become synonymous with quality, reliability and style. The company got that reputation through their cars and motorcycles, but it’s well known that Honda Motor Company Ltd, prides itself on stamping everything it touches with those values, as well as with that instantly recognizable ‘H.’
That heritage is written all over the Valkyrie series. Each Valkyrie trim might stand out from the others - the smooth lines of the Rune mark its differences from the classic looks of the Tourer, while the Interstate and Standard have their own devoted fans – but each and every one stands out from the crowd.
There are a huge variety of Valkyrie trims – Honda have just announced a new one for 2015. We know Valkyrie riders are just as individual as their bikes: not everyone needs to be able to pack gear for a month on their bikes, but we know some of you do. Valkyrie riders are commuters, tourers, holidaymakers, hobbyists, long distance riders… there’s as many kinds of Valkyrie rider as there are riders. Whatever kind of rider you are, you’ll need saddlebags that suit your life and your bike.
Obviously you know your life and your bike best, but how do you match our products to your needs? These four factors will help you see which Viking Bags will fit in with your life:
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.
Plain VS. Studded
Bike bags come in a variety of styles and most riders will want to match their bags to the style of their bike. The vast majority of our bags some in bothStudded, and Plain, so if your bike has studs you can pick up the theme with a pair of studded saddlebags. All of our studs are rustproof, polished stainless steel.
If you’ve gone for clean smooth lines across your bike already, you can carry on the style with our non-studded bags; their uncluttered silhouettes will match your bike flawlessly.
BUCKLE VS. NO BUCKLE
We offer bags that carry a range of buckle types, all rustproof and all both practical and stylish. However, we also carry a range of bags that are black throughout and don’t have any buckles at all: for example, our Warrior and Spear bags have no buckles or studs, just sleek lines and surfaces.
STANDARD BAGS VS. SHOCK CUT OUT BAGS
Standard bags are typically mounted behind the shock but in front of the turn signal. In some cases, larger bags will extend back of the turn signal, requiring that the signal be relocated. However, you can sometimes get around this by using our quick disconnect system, which will push the bag further away from the body of the bike, usually far enough to accommodate the shocks.
Shock Cut-Out Bags, by comparison, have a rounded mold on the front corner of the bag that shapes the bag to accommodate the shock while resting closer to the bike. This lets you mount the bags very close to the body of the bike, giving a clean –lined look and a custom appearance.
You’ll pay a little more and there will be some loss of bag capacity, but this feature is available in several large bag styles and sizes so space shouldn’t be an issue. If you can’t get a the bag size and style you want on the back of your bike without it, or you like that neat, custom look, Shock Cut-Out bags could be for you.
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.
How much saddlebag are you shopping for? Short journeys normally mean smaller sized bags but some people like to travel light, and some commuters have no choice in how heavy they travel; that work can’t be left behind. Think about the kinds of loads you need to move and go for the upper ends of that when you pick out a bag.
Security represents a set of very personal choices. What one rider feels is overkill another might find barely adequate; one rider might think he has plenty of security while another would feel unsafe at that level. However you feel about this issue, a locking saddlebag strikes most riders as a great idea for a number of reasons. Some of our bags have locks, some don’t. Buy a locking bag from us and we supply individual keys that fit your bag alone. An extra layer of security comes in the form of padlock rings as standard on every bag, though you’ll need to buy the padlock separately.
Viking Bags have locks in one of two places, over the buckle or under it. If the lock is under the buckle, you’ll simply need to lift the buckle to reach it.
However well a bag is padlocked and locked, though, the real question is how determined a thief is to get into your bags. Some will simply cut right through the bag itself; others come equipped with bolt cutters. Again, security’s a very personal choice: Do you feel more secure with locked bags hard mounted to your bike, or with unlocked bags quick-released and in your hand?
If you think your bags might be at risk from more than opportunistic attempts at theft you might find your security needs are best served by our QDS, meaning you can easily remove the bags themselves from the bike. (We also sell some non-locking bags.
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
Our Quick Disconnect System (QDS) is designed to allow you to take bags off your bike in a matter of seconds. QDS does cost a little extra – its $99 through our website – but many riders find the convenience of turning a saddlebag into a carrying bag that quickly makes the extra investment totally worth it. In some cases, QDS speaks to a rider’s security issues too: it’s pretty hard to steal a bag off your bike when it’s in your hotel room, or your office, or your hand.
There’s another benefit to this kit: when it is disconnected, it leaves hardly anything visible on the bike, just a couple of small docking posts. We suggest this kit only for those who buy plain back bags. The kit doesn’t really mesh with Shock Cut-Out bags because the shock cut out isn’t needed: the QDS moves the bag outside the shock anyway, making it an either/or choice. This means if you have a real need for space you can gain some extra capacity by going this route and sticking with plain back bags.
When you buy a saddlebag – any saddlebag – from our website, we provide a hard mount kit with it, free. Providing free mounting hardware is far from standard practice in the saddlebag industry: then again, Viking Bags are far from standard bags.
We always include standard bolts for any manufacturer, and we have plenty that will fit Hondas, but bikes with histories of being customized or in unusual trims may require different bolts. If that’s the case, most hardware stores will be able to give you the bolts you need for just a few dollars.
Unfortunately we can’t carry bolts to fit every trim and custom job of every motorcycle, because of the huge number of combinations out there. The Hard Mount method is by far the most popular method of mounting our bags, and it has the benefit that once they’re on there, you know for sure they’re not going to come off!
Throw Over brackets are a convenient way to mount your saddlebags. Our Throw Over kit is kind of a halfway house between the convenience of the QDS and the certainty and relative unwieldiness of the hard mount setup. The basis of the system is a chrome cradle that sits over the bike, and this is left in place when the bags are removed. If you have any questions regarding the installation process, you can call us: we have over 100 years of motorcycle knowledge and experience between us, and we’re always happy to share it with you!
INSTALLATION & REVIEW VIDEOS
VIKING BAGS MOTORCYCLE SADDLEBAGS
THROW OVER INSTALLATION
VIKING BAGS SADDLEBAG INSTALLATION VIDEO
Hopefully you have found this article interesting and helpful. If you are interested in purchasing saddlebags for your Honda Valkyrie, you can select which Valkyrie model you have and browse through our selection on our Honda Valkyrie 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