Honda VTX Saddlebag Guide
Honda’s VTX model is the Honda voted most likely to succeed with classic tourer fans; it’s a big, powerful bike that draws eyes on the road and off, and it exemplifies both Honda’s commitment to quality, style, and reliability, and the company’s unique selling point for tourer fans: the 1800cc V8 that makes the VTX one of the most agile and comfortable rides in its class. That doesn’t mean the VTX 1300 loses anything by comparison: it may be for fans of a smaller bike, but it’s still a refined ride that doesn’t skimp on muscle.
If you’re a VTX owner, or you’re planning to become one, Viking Bags knows you’ll want bags fit for your bike. They’ll need to be bags in the same league as your VTX, bags that come in a range of styles, sizes and modifications that means they’ll perform for you whatever you use your VTX for; bags that look the part – whatever your tastes – and go on performing right alongside your VTX, right down the road. They’ll need to be Viking bags.
It’s important to understand 4 major reasons we believe can help you in your decision to find saddlebags for your Honda VTX.
We carry over 200 styles and sizes of saddlebags. That makes us the largest producer of saddlebags in the world. But what makes us the best is that we know that each VTX owner needs something different. A rider who commutes to work down the beach roads of Long Beach needs a different set up from someone who’s planning a month-long ride through Wisconsin. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a holidaymaker, a daily commuter or a hobby rider, we know you need saddlebags that fit your life as well as your bike.
Of course, you know best about your life and your bike; but how should you go about matching your needs up with our products? Think about these four factors as you decide which Viking bag is right for you:
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
What looks good? It’s a totally personal decision, in clothes, pictures, and maybe even more so in motorcycles and accessories. We have saddlebags that open away from the bike or towards it, that are mounted over the shocks or in front of them. We have bags with and without buckles, with studs and with smooth, sleek lines, bags with locks and bags without them. Sometimes your decision has to be functional, but there’s also a lot of times when the only real question is: what do you like?
Most riders will want to match the style of their bags to the style of their bike. The vast majority of Viking bags come in Studded and non-studdedPlain versions, meaning you can pick up the theme on your bike with your bags – or contrast with it if you prefer. All our studs are rustproof, polished stainless steel, so if you go with studs they’ll keep looking great for years. If you prefer a sleeker line for your bags, go with our non-studded option for a clean silhouette that leaves your bike the center of attention.
STANDARD BAGS VS. SHOCK CUT OUT BAGS
The standard way to mount saddlebags is dictated by the shape of the back of the bike; you’ll mount it behind the shock and in front of the turn signal. But sometimes that isn’t possible with certain bags. In those cases, you might want to try a Shock Cut-Out bag. These have a rounded mold on the front corner of the bag, allowing it to be fitted to the bike around the shock. Some riders prefer to use our Quick Disconnect System (QDS) which, besides convenience, allows you to mount the bag proud of the shocks. Sometimes that isn’t appropriate, though, and some riders like the smooth, frame-hugging ‘custom’ look of the Shock Cut-Out bag.
Shock Cut-Out bags are slightly more expensive, and there’s inevitably some loss of capacity to accommodate the mold, but this feature is available in several large bag sizes and styles, so you should still end up with plenty of room. If you can’t get the bag you want on your bike any other way, or if you ride a custom bike and want the look of custom bags at a fraction of the cost, Shock Cut-Out bags could be the way to go.
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 to you plan on needing? If you use your bike for professional purposes you might not have any say in how much equipment you need to carry; conversely, some people pack more for a day than others do for a fortnight. This is another highly individual decision. We recommend thinking about how much you’ll normally need to carry and leaving yourself a little extra space in there.
At Viking Bags, you’ll find the world’s largest selection of saddlebags. We carry bags in small, medium, large and extra large sizes, and if you’re not sure what that means in terms of your needs, don’t worry; our bag size filter makes finding the right choice easy. You pick your price point, size, backside and even your preferred mount type, and we return a list of possible options that make it simple to find what you’re looking for.
We have bags with locks, and bags that don’t have locks. If you choose one of our locking bags you’ll receive an individual key with it that fits your bag alone. An extra layer of security comes in the form of the padlock ring fitted as standard to every one of our bags, though you’ll have to buy the padlock separately.
Security is also a very personal choice, and it depends on your circumstances and on how you feel. Do you feel more secure leaving your locked bags hard mounted to your bike, or carrying your unlocked bags in your hand?
The level of security you need depends on your lifestyle, your neighborhood and the types of places you plan to ride – and it depends on the level of security you feel you need. Gauging the amount of security that’s appropriate for you is something you’re the best placed to do, but we can provide you with the options from which to make that decision.
Most riders find a bag with a lock to be a good idea. Viking bags have locks in two places, over the buckles or under them. On a bag with a lock under the buckle, you simply raise the buckle to find the lock. Every Viking bag features a padlock ring too, though we don’t sell padlocks.
However well locked and padlocked a bag is, though, it’s the same question as with houses: how determined is the thief to get in? If it’s an opportunistic thing, a padlock might keep your belongings safe. A determined professional criminal will get through whatever it seems worth getting through, so if you routinely put thousands of dollars’ worth of professional equipment like sound gear, cameras or computers in your saddlebags, it might be time to rethink security in terms of just moving the bags out of harm’s way. That would most likely mean using our QDS system, which is fast enough that you won’t have to think twice about just grabbing your bags and taking them into gas stations or rest stops, so you can always keep them by you. We also sell some non-locking bags, in case you feel that locks are redundant or you want to trade off the cost of QDS against locks you feel you won’t use.
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 is designed so that you can take bags off your bike or re-attach them in a few seconds. QDS does run slightly above other mounting hardware in terms of cost; it’s $114.99 through our website, but many riders find that the extra investment pays off in convenience. Security is a common reason for choosing the QDS too; in areas where bags left on a bike are a target for thieves or even vandals, the best defense is sometimes to remove the bags. Sometimes the tipping factor will be that QDS lets you fit a plain back bag that would otherwise interfere with a bike’s shocks or other hardware by setting the bag out slightly from the body of the bike. That’s why we suggest this kit isn’t used with Shock Cut-Out bags; the shock cut-out isn’t needed and the bags are mounted in the wrong place for it to be used, so it looks strange.
One final benefit to this piece of kit: When the bags are disconnected from the bike, there’s no sign they were ever there apart from a couple of small docking posts. That means you can convert your bike from a motorcycle that has saddlebags to one that doesn’t, for a different type of riding, more or less immediately, and make the switch back just as fast.
Whenever you buy a saddlebag from our website, we provide a hard mount kit as part of the package, for free. We’ll always include standard bolts for any manufacturer, and we can cover production models of most bikes from most manufacturers, including Honda. In case of customized bikes, though, you might need a visit to a hardware store to get your own bolts. It’s a matter of a few dollars, but we simply can’t stock bolts for every possible model and trim of bike out there.
Providing free mounting hardware is not standard practice in the saddlebag industry, but we’re pretty sure our customer service and our product are far from ordinary too!
The Hard Mount is by far the most popular of our mounting systems, and it comes with the benefit that the bags won’t be coming off without a spanner, so you’ll never have any cause to worry that they might somehow come loose.
Throw Over brackets are something of a middle ground between QDS and Hard Mount. They’re built on a chrome cradle that sits astride your bike, and that cradle remains in place when your bags are removed. As a result, it’s a less either/or proposition than either QDS or Hard Mount; even when your bags are off, it still looks like you have saddlebags, but it’s much easier to remove them than a Hard Mount system would allow. If you have any questions about the installation process, why not call us? Between us, we have over 100 years worth of motorcycle know-how and we’re always happy to share!
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