Viking Saddlebags? Good or bad? - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Viking Saddlebags? Good or bad?

I was getting ready to purchase a set of Viking saddlebags, when I came across Amazon.com reviews. They have such a poor overall review, that it looks like Amazon has dropped Viking products! Also, one of the comments says Viking doesn't allow negative reviews on their website.



Then there's this:


https://www.trustpilot.com/review/vi...?languages=all


Too many negative reviews. I know the overall says 4 stars, but the bad ones are really bad! Anyone have alternative bags they like. I'd like to permanently install. I've seen the video on youtube about installing Viking bags, and I have a real problem having to drill my own holes when they're already supposed to be made for a Rebel 300/500. Many many reviews saying install instructions are worthless.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 05:19 PM
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I love my viking bags. They feel and look like good quality, and really compliment the look of the rebels. Yes you need to drill your own holes, but really isn't difficult at all. Only takes about 20 minutes max, and that's taking your time.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Did you have to go buy new bolts? A lot of reviews say the bolts provided are the wrong size.


And what size are your bags?

Last edited by Ohio Newbie; 10-02-2018 at 08:34 PM.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-02-2018, 10:35 PM
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Did you have to go buy new bolts? A lot of reviews say the bolts provided are the wrong size.


And what size are your bags?
Yeah, I did a write up a while back. I believe the bolts they supplied were the wrong thread and length for our bikes. I believe they were 1" and we need 1.5". I can dig up my old response if you need specifics. But the bolts cost around $2 at the hardware store.

Mine are size medium.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 11:37 AM
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I was researching on the Viking website this week and it looks like they now offer bags that are specific to the Rebels. I'm guessing they should fit properly if they advertise them under the specific bike.


So now my question is, which one of these do you think would fit comfortably and still be able to haul a passenger around? I realize that the Rebels aren't a huge bike by any means, but surely one of them should work out well enough that you can have them and still tote around your lovely wife (or significant other).

Any thoughts?

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Even though they list them as specific to Rebels....I think you have to drill your own holes. Which to me is not very specific. I think they use the term specific to indicate they will fit...but you have to drill your own holes. And also being 'specific' they mean the bags are altered to fit around the rear shock springs.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-03-2018, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcnatt211 View Post
I was researching on the Viking website this week and it looks like they now offer bags that are specific to the Rebels. I'm guessing they should fit properly if they advertise them under the specific bike.


So now my question is, which one of these do you think would fit comfortably and still be able to haul a passenger around? I realize that the Rebels aren't a huge bike by any means, but surely one of them should work out well enough that you can have them and still tote around your lovely wife (or significant other).

Any thoughts?
When I bought mine they were advertised as rebel specific...drilling was still needed. I think all their bags need to be drilled.

The size mediums works with a passenger, but that's the largest I'd go if you plan on having someone on the back.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 06:24 AM
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They should say compatible rather than specific for the 300. I'd say they are universal. It is true the bolts are not the right threads. I believe they are imperial and you would need metric. 8 x 1.25 x however long you need. I think I picked up 80mm. They are very nice bags but I had a terrible time installing them on my wife's 300ABS.

My issues with them:
They can be used as throw over or fender mount. They came with the throw over mounts pre-drilled and attached, so when they're removed, you already have holes to fix.

We didn't get the fender seat so they looked better sitting a little lower and not extending up past the fender too much. This means you have to use spacers that come with the install kit. You have to mount them far enough off the fender so they don't crash on the brake on the muffler side. You also have to take care where you position the support arm to make sure that also doesn't crash. And don't forget the bike moves down when you sit on it and/or hit bumps on the road. The brake doesn't move so you either have to position them high enough not to crash or use the spacers to get them far enough out to miss it. If you use the spacers, you need to make sure the support arm is high enough not to crash also. I didn't think about the support arms and had to readjust the position, so more holes to fix.

In the installation video, they show that you just put the bag against the fender and mark the holes. The bag doesn't fit against the fender. When you hold it up, the shock cutout isn't deep enough to allow the bag to hit the fender. I put bolts in fender and used that to mark the bag. It worked, but not as precisely as marking directly from the holes would have been and I had to enlarge the holes a bit from being a little off.

I've never mounted saddle bags, so these may be things that are commonplace for someone who's done it before. The instructions say nothing about the issues I had installing them and a little warning about the gotchas would have been nice. The bolts I got were extra long because I didn't want to have to go back to the hardware store. I figured I'd just cut them down to size when I figured out the proper length. Since I had to use the spacers, the extra long bolts worked without cutting them.

I don't know if the 300 is different from the 300ABS as far as the brake size and position, so you may have an easier time with them. They are very nice bags, but the install at least for me, was not as cut and dry as their videos make it look.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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They should say compatible rather than specific for the 300. I'd say they are universal. It is true the bolts are not the right threads. I believe they are imperial and you would need metric. 8 x 1.25 x however long you need. I think I picked up 80mm.

I've read about wrong bolts before. I'm confused about the bolt threads. I would think all that matters is the nut matching....but when people say they're the wrong thread...that leads me to believe the fender hole is threaded. Otherwise you could use any bolt that fit through the fender hole. Is this true?


With all the confusion/issues about fenders, bolts, drilling holes and making sure it doesn't hit the brake and muffler...I think I'm going to use a backpack for a while. (and maybe permanently) Let's face it...it's a single cylinder 300, it's rather buzzy and whiny at highway speeds..I won't be doing a lot of long distance traveling with this bike, if any. If I ever do transition into longer trips, chances are, I'll get a different bike. Then I'll revisit the saddlebags.


At this point, all I really wanted was something to put a small amount of groceries in. (Grocery store is 2 miles away) ...or carry a change of clothes and a toiletry bag. I can do that with a backpack.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 08:43 AM
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Yes, there's some type of threaded connection built into the fender. It's not really that the fender itself is threaded, but I imagine some kind of u-style clip on nut or something like you'd see on a car.

Don't get me wrong. They are nice bags if you can deal with the install and a whole lot better than backpacking everything.

Others have said they didn't have any issues at all with the install. It may have just been my own inexperience getting in the way here. Their pics look like they have them installed farther back than I do. I couldn't move them back any farther because the bolt pattern ended up being in the shock cutout area.

I think if you did get them, you'd be armed with the knowledge of my failures to help you out. Here's a pic that partially shows them on the wife's ride. (and my fishing rod holders on mine)
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