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post #1 of 20 Old 10-23-2012, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: PA
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soft saddle bag question

I am about to buy a set of saddle bags for by 2011 650 V Strom, I have read a bit about soft bags on the V Strom forums, so my question is I am interested in the Nelson Rigg CL850 bags they claim to have some support in them to sort of keep their shape, I am looking for some input on the integrity of some brands that keep their shape the best, not concerned about fading, i read alot about that, I am looking for a pair of soft bags that won't look like crap and start sagging ect, am I asking too much for soft bags, I am trying to avoid the 400 to 600 dollar hard bag cost.

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post #2 of 20 Old 10-23-2012, 11:47 PM
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Location: Sarasota, FL
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soft saddle bag question

I've had these bags for about 3 years. They fit a VStrom like they were designed for the bike. They have faded over the years (don't care) and have held their shape very well. They also stay in place at all speeds. On trips, I use dry bags to pack all my stuff in because the included covers don't keep things dry. They come on and off the bike in seconds. A great product priced right.
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post #3 of 20 Old 10-23-2012, 11:58 PM
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Location: north central Texas
Posts: 332
soft bags

i've been quite satisfied w/ my ORTLIEB luggage

they come in black & yellow, like mine

they are WATERPROOF, i've ridden in some real heavy rains & my stuff has stayed dry

i use common cloth grocery bags as liners

here's the link:

View Ortlieb Products \\ Motorcycle Bags at

hope this muddles your quest

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post #4 of 20 Old 10-24-2012, 12:08 AM
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Location: Central California
Posts: 86
Soft Bags

I have a set of Cortech Sport Saddlebags #82-332 with a Cortech Tri-bag Tail Bag. I used them mounted over the seat for a trip from California to Iowa & back this summer and they worked very good. I did not have to use any rack or brackets with them. They mount good, tight, and secure and go on & off easily. They are a little asymmetrical due to the exhaust. The bags set over the pipe heat guard & no problems with that either. I think you can see them installed in my photo.

Keep The Rubber Side Down!
2006 DL650
2013 WR450F
2004 DRZ435S
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post #5 of 20 Old 10-24-2012, 12:34 AM
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Location: Plainfield, IL
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I have had the Cl-850 bags on my bike for a few months now using a Dan Vessel bracket on the left side. I second most of what Dave C3 / C5 said - they hold shape well and don't move around even at interstate speeds. I have not tried them out in any serious rain yet, but they aren't advertised as waterproof so I'm ok with that. The bags themselves seem to be of pretty decent quality and I expect to get a good couple of years worth of commuting use out of them.

I did have a problem with the bags when I first got them and had to engage customer service right off the bat. While they did eventually get it all straightened out correctly it was an extremely long and painful process that has significantly reduced the odds that I will ever purchase from them again.

2007 DL650
2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 500 - sold for the wee
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post #6 of 20 Old 10-24-2012, 02:22 AM
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I can't help with those bags, but my Dirt Bagz are pictured in this thread:

You can see that they sag a bit.

2007 Yamaha XJR1300

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1979-2008 - Riding on forever
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post #7 of 20 Old 11-25-2012, 10:12 AM
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Location: Deeth,NV
Posts: 60
soft bags

I have been using soft bags for 3 years when touring as I like them better than my OEM hard bags. They are from Rev Pack and hold their shape plus are water proof. If the wife buys more items than we can carry,we just mail a box home. They are not cheap but good quality never is. I would buy them agan.
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post #8 of 20 Old 11-25-2012, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sub-Arctic, New Hampshire
Posts: 98
Those Nelson-Rigg bags

I have those bags, and another N-R set. They keep their shape by a stiff plastic sheet insert that runs along bottom & end. I bought these, barely used, on eBay or Craigslist, and they were in fine shape = a bargain compared to hard bags (which I've had on other machines). For waterproofing, these came with inner bags, sort-of like Sealines. Other, earlier, models had a too-big-to-lug-around-conveniently external cover. Personally, I'd go with a good inner bag. I have a Dan Vesel add-on tube (I don't think it's really a 'bracket') on the port side. They can be detached without fuss. Being a wilderness-denizen, I guess I don't have to worry about theft. They cannot be locked.

I was caught, away from the bike, in a torrential (we're talking bathtub-onto-your-head, continuously) rain and strong windstorm in early September, which lifted the Wee from it's sidestand and "Crunch!" onto it's starboard side. If I'd had hard bags, the result would have required replacement.

Since so many of the moto-journalists are in love with Honda's new NC700X, have you noted how much Big Red wants for a pair of saddlebags? $949.85, with mounts. Almost a THOUSAND dollars? I find that ridiculous, but others may have deeper pockets.
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-25-2012, 08:14 PM
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Location: Utah
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I liked the Nelson-rigg Bags when I had them. The plastic in the bag holding the form was firm. Material did begin to fade and at one point began to tear. I had a seamstress fix that for me. My issue was mounting the bags, above seat , below seat velcro strap. I also bought a luggage rack for my wee to keep the bag out from under my seat.
Served me well for over a year, I then went to Bestem Hard Luggage.

FB MEMBER #133 - 2008 Wee
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-25-2012, 11:21 PM
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Location: Dry Shitties, WA
Posts: 107
I got Givi bags with my bike. They have some semi-hard plastic sewn in to keep the shape. The plastic has curled up a bit, and a seam started splitting due to stress. I riveted and glued it all back together no problem. Soft bags are soft. If they aren't full, they sag. If they are stuffed full and pulled tight, they get stressed.

If you want a defined shape probably should get hard bags.

Tiger 800
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