Hard Saddlebags Guide - Seven Great Ideas

By Chris Scarborough

First, the bad news - hard saddlebags aren't as marketable as they used to be, but the good news is that there are still a lot of these bags available to choose from. These manufacturers even offer matching brackets so that you can install the saddlebag with ease.

If you are looking for a hard saddlebag then you should look for three features: the bags should be waterproof, should be lockable and detachable. You also want to pay attention to the bag's size. This is something you may wish to consider. You have to remember that you get less space with stiffer internal lining and that you cannot expand a hard bag, unlike a soft one.

Here is a brief outline of hard saddlebags:

Auburn Leather Legend Bags - You will recognize these bags easily as they are black in color and made of American cowhide, and come in bolt-on and throw-over variations. Steel rivets with zinc plating and seams that are both lock-stitched and stress-riveted give these bags an exquisite touch. They have a hard back and their interiors are reinforced with ABS and HDPE plastic. The size of these bags is 12 inches by 13.5 inches by 6 inches.

Boss Bags - Boss Bags combine top-of-the-line leather with interiors lined with tougher plastic reinforcing. You can go for ordinary black leather or choose the trimming of your choice. They have lockable lids and quick-release buckle straps. A fiberglass mounting system comes as standard with the bags.

Patriot Hardbags - If you're searching for great style and great fit, then look no further. These bags hold up to 35 liters and measure 26 inches by 9.5 inches by 14.5 inches. Their side-mounting units are made of fiberglass. An additional feature is a watertight gasket seal that keeps rain water from entering.

Corbin Beetle Bags - These are bags that are perfectly shaped to fit onto any motorbike. That way, issues on snug fit become a thing of the past. They are constructed from Fibertech which lends to their smooth appearance. Their sizes may vary but their capacity is around 30 liters per bag.

Givi Luggage Cruiser - Polypropelene is the material used to make Givi's bags, which also go by the name Cruiser bags. These are smaller bags as they carry only up to 21 liters, with measurements of 16.7 inches by 13.7 inches by 7.7 inches. Like many others, they have side-mounting units, but the fact that they come in pairs makes them unique. The good thing is that they are easy to carry around with different finishes to select from.

National Cycle Cruiseliner Saddlebags - Created from high-density polymer, these are heavy-duty bags that practically cannot be dented. While the standard glossy black finish is available, you can choose as well from a variety of colors. Measurement would be a fairly large 24.5 inches by 14 inches by 7.5 inches.

Saddlemen Desperado Saddlebags - Last but not the least, consider these hard bags if you want the stiffeners to hold up even if you're not using them. They come in several shapes, with each shape meant for a specific bike model.

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