How much do Vaquero saddlebags leak? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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How much do Vaquero saddlebags leak?

I sold my bike last week and the Vaquero is one of three options I'm looking at as a replacement. The bike seems like a great option but I heard the saddlebags aren't entirely waterproof because they are side loading. Just wondering how much they leak in the rain or when you wash the bike. I heard there were waterproof bags/liners to buy, but that kinda sounds like a pain in the butt. Just looking for a little input on the bags. After dealing with soft bags on my sportbike for the past 10 years I was hoping for some saddlebags that I didn't have to worry about water with.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 08:00 PM
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Mine has seen minimal rain and water. Been caught in a rain shower a time or two and haven't had any water. I'm not going to say they are submersible or anything but they seem like they'd do pretty darn good in the rain for a longer period of time. So, yeah, I'm no help

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 08:25 PM
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Have ridden my 2011 Vaquero in light to major downpours of rain, the saddlebags stay basically dry, just a small amount of leakage just one time.

It is the two glove boxes in the fairing that really leak, I put weather stripping on them, cut down on water getting in and less squeaking too.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 09:50 PM
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I've been in more downpours than I care to count, can't say I've ever noticed any water in the bags on the other end. As far as the internal bags go (which I still plan on getting), the big thing there is organizing your stuff and being able to just grab the bag and go - beach, hotel room, whatever.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-25-2013, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Bear View Post
I've been in more downpours than I care to count, can't say I've ever noticed any water in the bags on the other end. As far as the internal bags go (which I still plan on getting), the big thing there is organizing your stuff and being able to just grab the bag and go - beach, hotel room, whatever.
+1 and they are useful for that, too! I found some that fit my saddlebags and boy are they nice. They are also nice for being able to take OUT, like up to your hotel room or something.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 07:43 AM
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I have been in many torrential down pours and had to park the bike in some heavy wind as well. There was very little to no leaking heck they are sealed well enough that I left a wet rag in there from wiping down the bike and it was still very wet 3 days later.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 08:04 AM
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I'm a freak who likes riding in the rain. The only time I've noticed water in the saddlebags has been when I did something silly like let a rag hang out a bit and get caught in the door.

Other than that, no issues with any of the other compartments either.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 08:43 AM Thread Starter
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Well that's all some pretty encouraging info. I was worried they would be much worse than what everyone here is telling me. Thanks for the input guys.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 10:30 AM
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Mind if we find out what the other 2 options you are looking at? We may be able to provide some other input as well and heck I am just curious as I looked for a little while before I bought my Vaq.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-26-2013, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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I'm coming off of a Hayabusa that I was using mostly as a sport touring machine. Put 54,000 miles on that thing. Last summer I did a 10 day, 4500 mile trip from Nebraska to southern California.

I really need a bike that doesn't have a chain drive and has some kind of hard luggage. It needs to have factory cruise control, or at least be able to install an aftermarket cruise relatively easy. Most of the time I'll be using the bike as a touring machine. Usually take 2 or 3 multiday trips throughout the summer. Ride mostly with Harley or BMW guys.

I would say the Victory Cross Country is at the top of my list, but comes with a hefty price tag. The Vaquero is a better priced option in the same bagger category. I did test rides on both last summer and both felt good on the short 15 mile rides. The downsides the Vaquero seems to have compared to the Victory would be the exhaust heat (which can be dealt with and improved), the smaller side loading bags, and the overall build quality seems just a tad lower. But the lower price seems to make these differences a little easier to deal with.

My other option was to stay with an actual sport touring bike. I was looking at the Kawi Concours. No cruise control, but has aftermarket options that doesn't seem to difficult to install. Good sized luggage and still friendly ergos. Just saw yesterday that the new 2013 FJR1300 actually comes with factory cruise so now I might throw that in the mix even though it only has a 5 speed transmission.

If I go with a bagger instead of a sport touring bike I know I might miss the HP a little bit, but I've dealt with enough cops in my time, so slowing down a bit and just cruising doesn't sound to bad. Having a radio for 500-600 mile days is really tempting. I had a cruiser before my Busa that I got along well with, but just wan't at that point in my life where I was ready to sit behind a windscreen all day. I'm inching closer to 40 and my body is wanting some better ergos than the Busa could offer.
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