Bags of Fun

Shortly after I got my Harley-Davidson Night Train I realized that I was going to need a way to carry things while riding. Initially I just figured I would get a backpack and put what I needed in that but quickly decided that wearing a backpack was a pain, literally.

As a software developer I seem to have to carry things around a lot. Whether it is my laptop computer, or a series of documents that I have to review I seem to always have something in my briefcase.

The backpack idea I thought was good but quickly learned the weight of a backpack seems to shift at precisely the wrong moment and when temperatures are nearing or over triple digits they can be pretty hot stuck to your back. Besides, can you really look cool riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle while wearing a pink My Little Pony backpack? Hey, you use what you have and I don’t want to talk about why I have a pink My Little Pony backpack.

42c.pngObviously I needed a different way to carry items on my bike. I considered a rear fender rack and the associated bungee cords but I was worried that my laptop and other items may not be as protected as they need to be. I also considered a rack bag but I could not find one that was capable of holding what I needed without looking like a wart on the back of the bike.

I finally decided that saddlebags were my best bet for storing the items I needed while allowing the bike to retain its outlaw look. Well as outlaw as a computer programmer on a motorcycle can look.

I was feeling pretty good making the decision for saddlebags but that feeling didn’t last long when I learned that there were about a million different types and brands of saddlebags. I definitely didn’t anticipate the sheer number of saddlebags that were available.

After several days of research and visiting what seemed like every web site on the Internet I finally decided on a set of bags. I decided on a set of bags from Boss Bags. The reviews I read were very positive and really who could possibly resist a set of bags strong enough that a guy could stand on them without the bags sagging or breaking?

After a series of measurements I selected a set of 36C bags. It seemed a little awkward ordering them, I wasn’t sure if I was going to get a set of motorcycle saddlebags or a leather bra. While on the phone with the salesman he explained what the numbering system meant.

The 36 represents how many cans of beer will fit inside of each bag. That means this set of bags is capable of holding 72 cans of beer if fully loaded. Not only did these bags seem perfect for carrying my laptop and briefcase but on the weekend I could be the most popular guy at the Harley Owners Group if I showed up with 72 cans of beer.

The Boss Bags saddlebags were made of very high quality materials and I loved the quick release system that used compression fittings to get the bags on and off the bike. These bags were the perfect companion giving me the storage option to hold a jacket, my briefcase and my laptop.

Unfortunately at work we change computer manufacturers and the company standardized on a larger laptop. Suddenly the 36C bags were no longer large enough. The depth of the bag was slightly smaller than a 15.4 inch laptop would fit and the tear drop style make the top too small to get a laptop inside. I was once again in the market for a new set of bags.

Given the high quality and workmanship of the Boss Bags I went back to the company and worked with their customer service department to find an appropriate bag that would work for me.

I didn’t want anything too big but given the laptop sizes that are in use today I was forced to go with the 42C bag. I was concerned that these bags would be huge, something I really didn’t want. Boss Bags customer service assured me that the bags were not gigantic and that they felt like I would be happy with them.

The final decision came after Boss Bags offered a money back guarantee if the bags did not work out. That eliminated all fears I had and I placed the order. Like the 36C, the 42C represented the number of beer cans that would fit in the bags so I was now capable of carrying 84 cans of beer. I was quickly becoming the premier beer transportation system for Arizona.

With the larger size, the 42C bags require more than just replacing a couple of fender bolts with quick release posts. These larger bags came with their own mounting plate that has not just the quick release posts on the top but also a lip on the bottom to support the larger bags.

Installation was very easy with a minimum amount of time and tools required to complete. I eagerly mounted the bags then stood back to look over the bike. I was worried it would look like my bike had developed breeder hips but that was not the case at all. It retained the same style and look as it had with the 36C bags in place.

The opening is large enough that I can easily slide my briefcase and my laptop into the bag with room left over. The larger size does not deter bike handling either. The larger bags do make it a tight fit with the rear turn signals but no adjustment was necessary and I didn’t have to relocate the lights like I thought they might.

Overall I have been extremely happy first with the Boss Bags 36C and ultimately with the Boss Bags 42C saddlebags. The leather looks great and with minimal care has remained looking like new despite daily use. If you’re looking for a set of saddlebags for your bike I suggest you try Boss Bags, you won’t regret it.

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