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Reviewed by: Drew Snyder (sappho7136)
Reviewed for: 2001 1500 Valkyrie Standard
Used for: > 1 year
Overall Rating: 5
Ease of install: 5
Would buy again: yes
I am updating this review to reflect the new style, zip-off bags I just got and HARD MOUNTED TO THE BIKE. A lot of reviewers talk about hard mounting, but none of them really expand on how they did it. And maybe some of my fellow readers out there will appreciate the time I've taken to do so. HARD MOUNTING: Usually you don't/can't hard mount soft-sided bags--unless you reinforce them. The removable neoprene backing provides an excellent buffer for securing the Easy Brackets to the bags. I used Lexan (a composite plastic that is very strong and lighter than metal, available at Home Depot) which I cut using a jigsaw to a little smaller than the size of the bag. I then secured the 4 corners with button cap alan bolts, fender washers (1.5"--2 per bolt), and lock nuts. I drilled through the leather bag, the Lexan and the neoprene and ran the bolt all the way through with a fender washer on either side. I then did the same with the Easy Bracket bolts. I have the bolt heads on the inside of the bage so there aren't any sharp surfaces to damage gear (yes, it is possible to secure the lock nuts on the Easy Bracket on the exterior--facing the biked--it's just more difficult to tighten the nut where the locking arm of the bracket is--use needle-nose pliers). Although at first glance the bolts don't quite seem long enough, but they'll make it all the way through the neoprene and the Easy Bracket with room to spare to fully secure the lock nut. As far as placement, I took another reviewer's suggestion and placed a 2x4 on the exhaust pipe and then set the bag on top of the 2x4 and marked the bracket. As of right now, the placement looks great. B/c these bags can droop a little (although, mostly when they're traditionally mounted b/c the backing droops over the bracket) I am a little concerned about whether the distance was enough. However, I think it's going to be just fine as they haven't yet after a couple months in the Central Florida sun/heat. If that changes, I'll be sure to update. The result was a solid mount on the biggest bag on the market that looks great and lasts forever (the old-style of the same bag I had on my VTX for 3 years and they were still in great shape). FOR MORE ON THE REDESIGN R/R HAS MADE SINCE THE FIRST PAIR I PURCHASED, SEE MY REVIEW ON THE ZIP-OFF STYLE OF THE SAME BAG. ORIGINAL REVIEW: Finally found the bags I've been looking for. These are great. Plenty of room, you'll soon find great use for the side pockets. The straps that River Road sends with these bags to attach to a bracket are all but useless. I Zip-Tied mine on and although it negates the removability of the bag from the bike, the stability of the bag against the bike is unparalleled to any other brand. These don't move at all, even at high speed. For VTX1300R owners: they sit low and are long. The Cobra brackets are too small for the best fit. The Big Bike Parts bracket is much better and keeps it off the pipes (even with after-market, Vance & Hines pipes) but if you own a 2007 or later, see my review about the BBP bracket bolt problems. Make sure to keep these off the pipes and they just fit without moving stock turn signals (would definitely have to move signals if owning the VTX1300C).
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