? Saddle bags; top open vs side open - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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? Saddle bags; top open vs side open

Was looking at another model; but it has side opening saddle bags and I have top open now and not sure if I am down with the side open models.
Has anyone had both and have an opinion either way?
If you have the side open type do you think they are cool and I shouldn't worry? (Was thinking maybe the side open can handle taller things like as cooler)

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 05:38 PM
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oh ya a cooler, and while you're at it put a bbq in there to fry up a couple t-bones with your beer

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 07:25 PM
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have the Nomad side opening bags , I like them but if it wouldn't be such a pain ( and expense) I would go with the top opening Harley bags.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 09:14 PM
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Yeah,
When I bought my Voyager I was also looking at the Vaquero and one of the several things that swung me to the Voyager was the top open bags (and the trunk) I seem to always have a lot of crap with me when I go ride and you can hold more s**t in the top open bags and while I do not have personal experience with side open bags it just seems if have a lot of little things it would hard to get every thing to stack up while you open and close the side. However if all you carry is like a jacket it probably works pretty well.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 09:36 AM
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I'll go ahead and disagree with those that say the side-opening bags won't hold as much. They're virtually the same size, so it's how you pack/stack things in there. I went on an all-weekend cruise with my Vaquero and had extra stuff and room to spare.

I had top opening bags on my VN800B, and they were OK, and so are the Vaquero's bags. If you're in a tight space, the side-opening bags can be a pain, but I can fit a lot in them. I have the fitted "luggage" for them too, so it's easy to pack everything in them while in my house, walk out, put the luggage in the bags, and go.

My point, boiled down: Don't let side-opening bags dissuade you from a bike you otherwise really like.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 10:05 AM
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Top opening bags, donít require some kind of liner, and are easier access.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 11:07 AM
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Hey,
yeah when it comes down to it both Voyager and Vaquero are the exact same bones motorcycle. It all depends on what style of bike you like. Both bags will work so don't let just the bags decide the bike for you as I said in the post above not just the saddle bags decided the Voyager for me but several different things. Bottom line if you like a cruiser style bike the Vaquero is for you. If you like a touring style bike then the Voyager is the for you. And yes you can put a lot more stuff in the top opening bags on the Voyager than the side open bags on the Vaquero simply because they are not only little bigger cubic inches but you also have a large trunk in between them on the back of the bike.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hardie Har Har...Yeah, I take my lunch to work in a cooler, had a small size but had to settle for for two mini ones to fit in one side bag.
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I love my Nomad, but it doesn't have abs, would like extra headlights and would like the extra gauges on the bars vs tank. Never looked much at the Vaquero before but they kinda caught my eye in considering an upgrade.
Have always added a trunk to the luggage rack on previous Bikes so I could take said small cooler to work then store my helmet upon arrival. Realized when I got the Nomad that a trunk also raises the center of gravity on the bike, plus cost of a nice one, so utilize the bags I had until they weren't enough, but have made it work so far.
Getting kind of old to get the leg over stuff also.
Still cold in Michigan, so dreaming is all I can do for now.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 04:38 PM
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The one thing about my Voyager I was missing, were the clam-shell bags on my previous Nomads. I saw them on the Vaquero, and I really wished they were on the 1700's. They look so nice, and only needed one hand to open. I liked the very positive feel when you clamped the latch. I never had a problem with loading or using them. They had elastic straps, and those held everything in. I thought they felt stronger too.
I bought the bike though, because it was a good deal and I liked everything else. My '06 Road Glide had the old- style, "2 hand use" top loaders (HD fixed that, now). I am pleasantly surprised to find I actually like these top load bags. The domed top-you can pile stuff above the sides, and they still close! These "one handed use" latches work well. My wife and I now think they might be better. I still love the look of the old nomad style, though!
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 11:33 AM
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I've never used side opening bags, but I don't think I would like them. Like stessel, I keep a lot of little stuff in my bags for quick and easy access. Having top opening bags on the Voyager makes it easy to grab what I need quickly.

That said, I would not let side bags keep me from getting a bike that I otherwise liked. I would learn to deal with them. I was actually looking at a new Vaq, but was balking at the price when the dealer showed me the used Voyager I ended up falling in love with and buying.

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