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Tank bag and Saddlebags
July 7, 2008
In preparation for a trip to a family reunion in Cordele, GA this weekend (approx. 300 mile one way), I purchased a tank bag from RideNow Powersports.
I found that they were on close out sale for $29.99, regularly $89.99, search their site for CMB 300
The brand is Nelson Rigg. They are also offering them on e-bay but they clip you another $6-8 for handling, I guess that covers e-bay costs. Shipping to me through the Arizona warehouse was about $9 and I did have to pay tax as they have dealerships in Florida. They only have this one color left. Of course if you were buying the new model you would have a selection of color combinations. It seems to be a well made bag and comes with a lifetime warrantee although I'm not sure what would happen to them unless, perhaps, the zippers fail.
The bag is magnetic mount and looks like this when collapsed. It comes with a removable map pouch which appears to be rain proof. I'll let you know how that works out.
This is what it looks like when expanded. For a short (5'6") rider like me the height in this configuration places the bag just about to the chin of my helmet. I probably won't fill it that high.
It comes with a tether that doubles as a carrying strap if needed.
The map pouch expands.
And it comes with a water proof inner liner for the main compartment.
Removal is a breeze and the handle makes it easy to carry in should you stop to eat or such, there by making it easy to secure.
For my trip to the Barber Vintage Festival in October, 08, I needed more storage. To address this I purchased a set of saddle bags from New Enough, now doing business as MotorcycleGear.com
Check under their Street Parts and Accessories in the Luggage section.
The bags that I bought were Nelson Rigg brand and the model was CL-950 Deluxe. I decided on Nelson Rigg because of their "no hassle" lifetime warrantee. They are also cheaper than comparable Cortech bags.
My initial concern was if they could be adapted to the Thruxton. I cannot say enough about this company's customer service. Their website has lots of information about their products, far more than the manufacture's site usually has. Using size information that I got from New Enough's product review I measured, as best I could, and determined that I would probably have to position the front top strap on my seat with the rear centered on the cowl.
I called New Enough and spoke to one of their sales reps. The first thing he asked was what kind of bike I was going to mount them on. Upon hearing that it was a Thruxton he cautioned me about space limitations. I acknowledged that I had considered that and the probability of having to place the bags forward. The next thing that he mentioned was that they had reports of wear to the bags from the shocks and upper mounts on the Triumphs. After thinking about that for a moment I decided that I would probably just reinforce the bags there with a piece of leather.
Finally he mentioned the possibility that the bags might interfere with my legs. This had not occurred to me so gave me pause. His next suggestion came as a surprise. That was that I consider ordering both the bags that I wanted and a smaller pair offered. This would allow me to compare the two for fitment and I could return the pair that I didn't need. Shipping to me would be free, I would only have to pay shipping back for the unused pair. He advised that as long as they came back in original condition, returning them would be no problem.
This sounded like a good solution as time was beginning to grow a little short. I could have just made my best guess and returned the larger bags if they did not work, ordering the smaller bags at that point. This would have had the effect of my not having to lose the shipping back if it worked out the first time. But, at that point, I needed to make my decision.
As it turned out, the larger bags fit fine.
Thruxtopotmus!! The bags definitely are not real sporty but they carry a ton of stuff. My packing list consisted of 7 each, T-shirts, underwear, and sox. One pair each, levies and shoes. A couple of ball caps, toiletries, a couple of cleaning towels, and a dirty laundry bag. In addition the outer four pockets contained hardware such as chain lube, flat fix, cable lock, a few tools, extra gloves, water and such. Like I said, I never learned to travel light.
Something else that I did was to add lights. I have to admit that they do look tacky being stuck on there like that but I felt I needed something as the bags covered up my rear turn signals and side marker lights. The lights have a plug that connects them at the rear for ease of removal so R&R is not a problem. They are attached with Velcro and can be removed just by pulling them off leaving the bags with only the fuzzy side of the Velcro on them. This might not be something that others would choose to do or even need to do if the stock fender and lights were retained but I was glad that I had them on my return trip as I spent about three hours in the dark Sunday night.
As you can see, I end up partly sitting on the front strap. This is not uncomfortable and I hardly notice it.
Both sides have anchor straps which I attached here. On the bags, just above this point, there are also catches that can be used to attach a tail bag is one so desires.
And, in the rear there is a strap which I pass under the rear fender. All the straps have quick disconnect catches for easy removal.
The bags were on the bike for four days of travel, approximately 1300 miles. You can see the wear patterns. At the top is the shock bolt, just below that is the collar at the top of the shock. And at the bottom it looks like the spring was pinching the edge of the soft rubber pad. While this damage is not severe, I can see how after a couple of years of use the pad would be shredded. If I use the bags enough, I will cover these areas with leather pads to improve durability.
Once removed from the bike, the bags can be carried like luggage. One problem that I did experience was finding something to hold on to when lifting the bags off the bike. Just picking the bags straight up allows them to slide along everything on the way up as the bottom edges tend to swing inward due to the weight they are carrying. There aren't any handles or grab points on the outside of the bags. I solved this by opening the right outside pocket zipper and getting a grip on the pocket there to swing the right bag out and clear. When the bike is on the side stand, this seems to work pretty well due to the lean to the left. Not a big problem, just a minor annoyance. At that point you set them down on the ground, close the zipper, and pick them up as pictured above.
All in all, the bags did their job very well and I am glad I bought them.
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