Okay, here are the crazy details to installing the saddle bags:
The install process should be very quick, if everything goes according to plan. The install is pretty simple even though there are a lot of bolts, nuts, rubber washers and stuff.
Of course, nothing ever goes according to plan for me!
Please understand that I am not a professional mechanic. But, I do have a one year certificate in "Diesel Technology" from the local community college and I have been working on mechanical things my entire life and I have tons of really nice tools.
So, the basic part of the install went fine. You remove panels, plugs, footpegs and stuff like that. For me, the left stay (This is what the saddle bag is attached to. It looks like a big rectangular loop of metal.) went together very well. All of the holes lines up.
The right stay was 3/4 inch out of alignment. I suppose most people who buy accessories have their dealer install them. I did what probably every dealer out there would do. I stood on top of the stay and bent it to (almost) the right position. Then as I tightened up the bolts the stay went to the proper position.
The hardware is very nice. There is a lot of careful thought applied to this design. It is totally rubber isolated from the frame.
The saddle bag tops open easily but they are difficult to close because the inside part of the top needs to go between the bracket and the grab handle. If you just drop the lid it will not fall into the right position.
The bags appear to have a belt latch system for closure but underneath the belt latch is a plastic clip. I think that is a pretty good idea and it makes the bags look pretty elegant.
If you do get the lid aligned properly, there is a cool magnetic latch that clicks. It is located in the front (?) of the bags, so it serves no structural purpose, but the click at least lets you know the top is closed properly.
To me, there is a ton of room between the bags and the bike. I do not have any experience with saddle bags so maybe they are all like that. Now that I have saddle bags on my bike I will certainly pay atttention to other bikes to see how their saddle bags are mounted.
Because I had to bend one of the stays a bit, I think the right saddle bag is aimed out a little more than the left saddle bag. I will see if anyone notices this. If nobody says anything then I will accept it.
For $950 I really expected a better experience.
If you do get saddle bags I would highly encourage you to install them yourself. There are tons of places where the bike can get scratched up from careless handling. Plus, if your stays are aligned wrong I guess you can ask for a replacement. I should have done that but at that moment I was very mad and I forced it to fit. This is obviously not the ideal way to do things.
I have no idea how the bags will old up to UV rays, rain, dirt, bugs and all that. There are no care instructions included. For what they cost I really want to keep them in nice condition.
The saddle bags hold a decent amount of stuff but are rated for just 10 pounds of goodies in each bag.
I will try to post better pictures tomorrow when the sun is out.
Here are some lousy pictures from the rear.