I give a thumbs up on both quality and design. I'm NOT mechanically inclined, but I elected to install them myself, and despite not having all the perfect wrenches, I was able to get them on pretty simply. The left side is a bit of a trick when you try to attach the bottom of the stay to the frame because it's very close quarters. And the Honda instructions tell you to remove the passenger pegs prior to installing. First, unless you have a pneumatic tool with the appropriate high tensile strength hex bit, they are NOT coming off! Second, they do not NEED to come off, although it would make the process a tad easier. But if you watch the video on YouTube that shows you how, he does not remove them on his. I tried for a good hour with every method I knew to turn those hex bolts on the pegs, and they are torqued on but GOOD. But keep his video handy and you too can do it yourself, just pause frequently. One thing I did do wrong was insert the bolts that connect the bracket to the stays inside out, so that the nut is on the exterior and the end of the bolt tends to rub on the top of the bag if I don't manually keep them apart. I suppose at some point I may get ambitious and reverse it. But the video did not make it clear which way they went, and I'm too stupid to know what was right. For the record, the bolt goes inward and the nut goes on the inside.
I've used the bags several times, and they're easy to open and close and latch. I believe them to be real leather and the material seems to be of high quality. And there's about as much room inside as you might expect, and it's mostly useable, whereas some have complained about the useable space in the Corbin bags due to its kidney shaped interior. The bottom is a piece of uncovered plastic, so if you only have a wrench or something, it is going to slide around a lot and the plastic could get scratched up. Might be worth getting some velour or microfiber and cutting it to fit the bottom to give you some softness and less slickness.
If you like the bags, I'd have no qualms ordering them. And if you're even remotely mechanical, you can do it yourself. The Honda instructions are pretty useless, so queue up the video and use it as your visual template.
Another thing - I hear the non-OEM bags and hardware can be a royal pain because they aren't designed to Honda specs, which makes the Honda option so much more desirable for a guy like me who has little mechanical skill.
Thank you for your detailed response. I consider myself of mediocre mechanical ability but I do like to collect tools so I'm sure I have all the correct stuff. I have installed the backrest and cargo rack to my Valkyrie and think that the steel bolts mated to aluminum threads are potentially problematic. But I guess that is what Heli-Coil is for.
So we're throwing the luggage rack into the mix. Nothing you will find in video or print will help you decipher how to install the bags in conjunction with the luggage rack, and the spacers supplied with both the bags and the rack will leave you wondering how on EARTH to use them all. I spent hours trying to figure out a/the proper configuration. The bags went on quite easily, and I thought the luggage rack would be a piece of cake after that. But I found installing the rack after the saddlebags to be next to impossible. I literally spent hours trying to insert the bolts through both the rack and saddlebag hardware and trying to keep the washers and spacers in place with the bolts and holes aligned. I almost wore my fingertips raw before finally giving up and taking it to Honda for the luggage rack install.
I can tell you that you will end up with some extra spacers once it is all done. I could take a picture of the final hardware configuration on my bike if you would find it useful. I had NO idea which piece went inside and which went outside, where they expected me to put two sets of spacers, and how it was all to be configured on each bolt.
May I suggest watching the video at least twice before you embark on the install, so you can have it all in your mind and keep the appropriate tools handy and do the job efficiently. But including the rack in the mix is a whole different ballgame. I'll be keenly interested in hearing how your install goes.
Oh, it was an adventure installing the rack & backrest. A poor design compared to the first generation Valkyrie. There will be a duplication of the spacers with the mounting kit for the saddlebags and the cargo rack/backrest mounting kit. I have Honda's installation instructions saved, so I am good there but I can always use more if you can post photos.
I'll see what I can do tomorrow. I had the installation instructions that came with the saddlebags and the luggage rack, but found them pretty useless. My main issue was, I installed the saddlebags first, then when I went to install the rack, I pulled out the bolt that held the stay on the rail, and the bag dropped down ever so slightly, and no matter what I tried, I couldn't get the holes and the bolt lined up again.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who had fits doing these installations!
Some guys who are into bodybuilding shave their whole bodies from neck to toe. While I don't think he fits in that genre, I could see he had some hair on his upper arms. I really wasn't paying that close attention, being totally focused on the project and not the man. I guess he's just naturally not a hairy guy.
So here's a photo I just took of the forward configuration of my saddlebag mount and luggage rack mount. As you can see, The order from outside to inside is large spacer, saddlebag stay, luggage rack mount, and bolt. This was the final config after Honda installed my luggage rack.