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Discussion Starter #1
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/vikingbags.com?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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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I think you guys are making it sound a lot more difficult than it really is. Honestly took me about 20 minutes total for both saddlebags. Hardest part is just lining up one bag to the fender and marking where to drill. Then just use it as a stencil for the other bag.

Other than that and getting different bolts it really isn't too big of a deal. I use mine for grocery stops and a couple longer trips.

Another option if you're still not comfortable installing the saddlebags is to get a tail bag and rear rack.

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Maybe so, and I said it may have been my inexperience getting in the way. That said though, I'm pretty mechanical and normally wouldn't think I'd have any issue with something like this. In my case following the directions caused more problems. For example, they show the support arms going pretty much straight down following the shock cutout in their installation diagram. If you do that, the forward arm will crash on the brake even with the spacers installed. I could have installed the bags higher on the fender, but I don't think it would look as good. I don't have a fender seat, so they'd have to stick up into no where land in order to get up high enough not to crash without the spacers. Also, the higher up you mount them, the bag has to be pushed forward in order to keep the mount on the back of the bag and away from the shock cutout.

I agree that one of the hardest things was lining up the first bag. The shock cutout isn't deep enough for the bag to touch the fender to accurately mark the hole positions. Marking and installing the second bag and finding new bolts were not an issue at all. Well, I guess I had some trouble with the bolts, but only because Home Depot only carries the type of bolts with threads that go not quite half way up and I wanted full threads so I could cut them to length if needed. So the bolts ultimately came from the local Ace Hardware. I keep forgetting about that store. They pack a whole lot 'o stuff in those little stores.

If I end up doing it again, it won't be nearly as difficult as the first time, knowing what I know now. But to market these as being made for the Rebel is a little disingenuous IMO. They are universal with some assembly required as they say :) No way I'd do it 20 minutes though. Even on a second go 'round.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I think you guys are making it sound a lot more difficult than it really is. Honestly took me about 20 minutes total for both saddlebags. Hardest part is just lining up one bag to the fender and marking where to drill. Then just use it as a stencil for the other bag.

Other than that and getting different bolts it really isn't too big of a deal. I use mine for grocery stops and a couple longer trips.

You're probably right. I'm the son of a mechanical engineer. I picked up some skills over the years working with dad. I'll probably just buy them in the spring. I've got a rear fender rack being delivered. So I can put additional stuff on that too.
 

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Just have checked a few things with a customer support:

  1. They don't ship internationally.
  2. You required to drill holes in the saddlebags, even with plastic saddlebags.
  3. Once you drill holes - you lose the warranty.
  4. Warranty is for 30 days.
  5. You can return it within 30 days as long as product is not damaged in anyway
 

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so basically to install the bags they're no longer warrantied. awesome product LOL.
I get not returning them once you've installed, but to not warranty a defect that could still occur.. bleh :(
 

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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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How on earth did you install those bags with the two brothers muffler? I just received the same viking bags and have no idea where to start. My TB muffler is attached to the passanger foot peg and I see yours is not. Not much room to install those bags. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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How on earth did you install those bags with the two brothers muffler? I just received the same viking bags and have no idea where to start. My TB muffler is attached to the passanger foot peg and I see yours is not. Not much room to install those bags. Any help would be appreciated.
Late response but I've put the passenger foot peg back on the bike w/ the TBR exhaust and still have no issues w/ the saddlebag and TBR combo. Only had the passenger bracket off because I was eager to take the photo at the time.

My viking bag top sits flush with the height of the rear fender, did you drop your bags too low maybe?
 

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Viking Saddlebags - UK - Universal fit

Hey all

I want to get some Viking Saddlebags for my Honda Rebel 500 but they don't ship to the UK. There is a UK distributor (motorcyclehouse.co.uk) but they don't have the Rebel 500 specific bags, only the universal version. Due to the universal version not having the shock cutout, I'm wondering if I would need to go for the medium size rather than the large, to ensure they fit. Has anyone on here tried fitting the large universal slanted bags to their Rebel 300/500, if so, how did they fit and do you have any pics?

Thanks

Andy
 

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Hey all

I want to get some Viking Saddlebags for my Honda Rebel 500 but they don't ship to the UK. There is a UK distributor (motorcyclehouse.co.uk) but they don't have the Rebel 500 specific bags, only the universal version. Due to the universal version not having the shock cutout, I'm wondering if I would need to go for the medium size rather than the large, to ensure they fit. Has anyone on here tried fitting the large universal slanted bags to their Rebel 300/500, if so, how did they fit and do you have any pics?

Thanks

Andy
The Viking Website for the USA has a chat feature and you can ask them a question about fit.

Kenny G
 
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