Reviewed: Viking AXE Saddlebags

I’ve been meaning to do up a review of the Viking AXE Saddlebags for Sportbikes for a while now, but summer in Newfoundland means trying to fit a year’s worth of activities into three months. Add work, running and rowing into the mix, and I have very little time to ride, other than back and forth to work. I’ve finally found time to a) Install these saddlebags on my TW200, and b) Try them out.

The initial quality of these saddlebags is fantastic. The material is tough and seems like it will be pretty weather-resilient, plus the bags come with rain covers. The zippers are YKK, and the dual-zipper configuration offers easy access to the contents.

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A really cool feature of these saddlebags is that they’re easily expandable! Just unzip the side and you can pack in more stuff.

Another feature that I really like is that the bags themselves don’t attach directly to the bike, they velcro onto mounting “pads” which are attached to the mounting brackets. The great thing about this is that it makes the bags very easy to detach from and reattach to the bike.

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These bags come with a plethora of mounting hardware. However, because I wanted to use these saddlebags on my TW200 dual-purpose (the bags are designed for a sportbike) the installation was a bit more complex. In addition to the supplied mounting brackets, saddlebag mounts had to be fabricated out of copper piping in order to attach the bags securely.

mounting

The exhaust side was more complex, had to figure out a way to keep the bags from touching the muffler.

mounting2

The other side was a little easier.

Once the brackets were attached securely, it was just a matter of affixing the mounting pads to the brackets. This was done by using a soldering iron to burn tiny holes through the pads, then securing the pads to the brackets with twist ties.

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Finally, the bags were attached to the pads with velcro, and secured to the passenger footpegs and rear signal lights using the straps provided.

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I was really surprised by how well the bags fit the lines of the bike. It doesn’t look odd at all. Since the above picture has been taken, the bags have gotten a bit dusty from riding trails. I hope that the textile material will be easy to clean!

I haven’t been able to get away for a weekend trip with these bags yet, but I have been using them for commuting and they’ve been fantastic. I’m able to carry my work clothes, lunch, and rowing clothes with room to spare. The rain covers work wonderfully as well, even in thundershowers.

Stay tuned to find out how these bags fare during a weekend off-roading trip, and also for a video showing the mounting process in detail!

For more information on the bags, please check out this page.

 

 

 

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Posted on August 7, 2016, in Reviews: Bikes, Gear, Books and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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