•  
  •  
Viking Saddle Bag Review – Honda Valkyrie

Viking Saddle Bag Review – Honda Valkyrie

 

One of the first things I wanted to get on my 1999 Honda Valkyrie after taking ownership was a good set of hard saddle bags.  Since I commute to work and carry my laptop to and from work I needed saddle bags that I could lock and have relative security of my belongings while the Valk was unattended.

As I started to research potential bags for this installation I was amazed at how much saddle bags cost.  You can easily spend well over $1,000 dollars for a set of lockable saddle bags. One company that kept rising to the top in my research was Viking Bags. Not only did Viking offer a ton of choices, they also had great prices.  The retail price for the Lamellar Slanted Leather Covered Motorcycle Hard Saddlebags is only $355.00 at the time of this post. The Lamellar bags seemed to offer everything I was looking for, they were large, lockable and as a bonus were a leather covered hard bag so I would not have the additional cost of getting them painted for my install. Another nice feature of the bags from Viking is a universal mounting kit is included at no additional cost.

I ordered the bags and shipping was very quick from Viking.  With in a couple of days of the order the bags were at my front door ready to be installed.  I set aside some time on a Saturday morning to get my new Viking Bags installed.

Install:

The mounting hardware that is included with the Viking bags includes 4 upright posts, 2 cross members and various nuts and bolts to get everything snug and tight. The kit is called a “universal” install kit and maybe it does work on most bikes but such was my luck that the included bolts were not long enough for my install. Multiple trips to various hardware stores finally netted me the necessary hardware to complete my install.  If you plan on using the free universal mount kit from Viking, keep in mind that some hardware may not be applicable to your particular install.

The mounts themselves seem to be well made and allow for an install that keep the bags fairly tight to the sides of the Valkyrie.  I really like the look of how the bags fit on the bike.  Viking bags also makes a quick release mount for an additional fee, if you are so inclined.  It does appear from the photos on Vikings web site that the quick release will cause the bags to stick out a little further from the sides than the universal kit.  Since I have no plans to take the bags off and it offered a tighter install I chose to go with the free universal kit.

The Bags:

Overall I am really happy with the Viking Bags so far.  They look great on the bike and really compliment the lines of the rear fender.  I appreciate the fact that the hinge is designed so that the lid stays open on it’s own making it much easier to get stuff in and out of the saddle bags.

In the couple of weeks of ownership I have scraped my boot across the top of the bags a couple of times getting on or off the bike.  Since they are covered bags the scrape mark came right out using some mink oil or leather lotion.

One problem with the bags is the lock.  Viking does not provide matching locks for the bags so you will need to carry two keys, one for each bag.  It seems Viking could make life much easier for us by providing matching locks for a set of bags.

There is a pretty decent amount of room in these bags.  I am able to carry my 15 inch laptop in a laptop case in one of the saddlebags.  However gone are the days of fitting a fullface helmet in the panniers like I was able to do on my FJR.  These bags while roomy are no match for a fullface Shoei helmet.  :)

Conclusion:

For the price these bags cannot be beat.  For under $400 bucks you can have a nice looking set of lockable saddle bags that would easily cost $1000 – $1500 elsewhere. I can highly recommend this set of bags to any prospective owner in need of lockable storage for their motorcycle.

Make sure and check out all the other types of bags that Viking has to offer if this particular application does not meet your needs.  If you have any experience with Viking Bags leave us a comment below and let us know how it went.

5 thoughts on “Viking Saddle Bag Review – Honda Valkyrie

  1. Kevin,

    Nice Valk! I have a 2003 Valk and have a couple questions.

    1.) Can the Lamellar Bags be mounted any lower? I often ride with my passenger seat off and would like the bags even with the top of the fender.
    2.) Do you have any pics of the bags on the Valk without the rear seat on?
    3.) Do the bags ride pretty stable? Or do they bounce around or seem flimsy?
    4.) Any issue or concerns with the new bags? (locking mechanisms, strength, durability, etc.)

    Great pics by the way!

    Thanks in advance,

    Darren
    ASMI Rescue Rider

    • Richard Pawlowski

      Darren,
      With regards to your first question, I installed them about 2-3 inches above the pipes and the top of the bag is more or less flush with the fender.
      I didn’t remove the seat to measure, so I could be bit off (either way).
      Anyway, Viking recommends at least one inch pipe clearance, so you would be OK.

      Richard

  2. Richard Pawlowski

    Hi Kevin,
    I am looking for bags for my 1998 Valkyrie standard and came across your posts about your newly acquired Valk and the Viking bags. Well written and with very useful info.
    You made me decide to go the Viking way. They look very nice and elegant.
    How hard was it to locate the drilling points?

    I am in Ontario, so all I can do for the next two-three months is to look at my beauty, patiently sitting in the garage (It’s been an awfully cold winter here), but my mind is already on the road.

    Best wishes from up north.

    Richard

    • Hey Richard,

      I wouldn’t say it is hard to locate the drilling points but it is the most important part of the install. I actually had someone hold the bags so I could eyeball it and I measured from the exhaust to the bottom of the bag to make sure they were level.

      Once one side is drilled you can line both bags up and use the drilled bag as a template for the undrilled bag. Just line the bags and mark through the drilled holes on to the other bag.

      I am still really happy with the bags, they look good on the bike and the lines on the back of the bag blend well with the rear fender.

      Come back and let us know your thoughts once yours are installed.

      Kevin

      • Richard Pawlowski

        Hi Kevin,
        I finally installed the bags and indeed, they look very nice.
        I used the existing mounting brackets that my original Hondaline bags were attached to, which worked well (I didn’t have to use any Viking mounting hardware). So, I had to drill four holes in each bag and use appropriate metric bolts to attach them.
        I placed the bags as far back, as I thought was optimal and left about an inch clearance between them and the signal lights.
        I am ready to hit the roads!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.