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08-21-2016, 11:24 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-21-2016, 11:48 AM by Wraven612.)
vstar 950 and viking bags
I have been looking for some saddlebags for my 2011 950 and viking bags seemed like a good choice. The website is pretty well thought out. It allows you to select your bag and see it on your bike in most cases. Buyers also have the opportunity to post pics there. There are installation videos for both the hard mount and the throw over option both of which are included in the purchase. I decided on the ultimate shape bag for the teardrop design and the lock for a little more security.

Purchase and inspection:

Purchase was smooth. The shipping was fast and the packaging was nice. No instructions or packing slip anywhere to be found, but I had seen the mounting video online so I thought I'd refer to that. The bags came with the throw over option already installed. I found later during the installation that the holes drilled for the throw over option wouldn't line up with the bikes mounting locations for the hard mount option. This leaves you with two holes in each of these "waterproof" bags that you have to plug up and hope for the best. Why not just let me choose my option for mounting since they were both included? Also, the mounting hardware was different from the one shown on the video. I contacted Viking and they said I had the right hardware and the reason it changed was the belt drive would hit the old hardware. The bags were sturdy plastic covered in some really nice leather. They add velcro all around the bottom lip of the bag to keep it closed which kind of makes it a pain in the ass to close or open cause that stuff catches. When opening and closing the velcro keeps catching and getting stuck. No matter how I close the bags the velcro on the back side shows below the bag top. Just poor workmanship I suppose.


Now, there were no instructions, but the site had a mounting video so I figured it couldn't be that hard. When I went to mount the bags I noticed there were no washers. The bolts fasten through the bags and into the fender through the existing holes for mounting a backrest. I was worried about drawing the bolt tight and having that bolt bite into the plastic and tearing a hole. I ended up getting some wide fender washers to put on the inside of the bag. The installation video online showed different hardware and there was none in the package so I contacted Viking and they sent instructions by email. Instructions were clear. At one point they tell you to find the desired location and mark the holes to be drilled and then lay the bags back to back to transfer the holes after drilling. Well, when you lay the bags back to back and try to open one you can't get them open far enough to see so you have to feel for the holes to make your mark. I'm not crazy about the bags opening toward the bike, but it is necessary because of the shape I decided on. I think all saddlebags should open away from the bike because when opening them toward the bike they hit the fender or seat and won't open all the way. Have a friend hold the bags to mark the holes and get some masking tape to hold that trim piece in place on the fender when trying to mount the bags.

Installation took about an hour and a half because I didn't have all the tools available and washers weren't included. You'll need a metric socket set, allen wrench to get the trim off the fender, drill with 3/8 bit, stubby screwdriver with large phillips head or square tip, masking tape helps, white charcoal pencil to mark holes and some patience if you're doing it alone.

Here's a pic:

08-21-2016, 11:53 AM,
vstar 950 and viking bags
I have Viking and really had no problems. Drilled the holes and used washers. Plugs came with it to fill in extra holes. They sent me free easy brackets because the brackets they sent do hit the belt guard. They must have had enough complaints that they know this now. Yes the velcrow is a pain sometimes but over time you get use to it. I road in a heavy rain before and no water got in the bags. They are nice bags and I would buy again. I have a 2012 950.

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