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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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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.
Most folks report eliminating or seriously mitigating exhaust heat just by wrapping the pipes, which can be done UNDER the head shields, so you can't even tell it's been done!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yeah I've read a lot of threads about wrapping the pipes. I would probably be going with a V&H full pipe anyway if I went with the Vaquero. I like the lines of the V&H over the stock pipes.

Things I do like about the Vaquero is that the price offers me more money left over for add-ons. Exhaust, programmer, lights, speakers/amp, and perhaps seat. All that and I'd still come in cheaper than the Victory, especially if I found a slightly used one this fall to start with.

Still doing a lot or research and weighing the options at this point.
 

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Yeah I've read a lot of threads about wrapping the pipes. I would probably be going with a V&H full pipe anyway if I went with the Vaquero. I like the lines of the V&H over the stock pipes.

Things I do like about the Vaquero is that the price offers me more money left over for add-ons. Exhaust, programmer, lights, speakers/amp, and perhaps seat. All that and I'd still come in cheaper than the Victory, especially if I found a slightly used one this fall to start with.

Still doing a lot or research and weighing the options at this point.
Justin, I was weighing these options myself in October 2011. I was torn between the Cross Country and the Vaquero. The $7-8,000 price difference was the deciding factor for me. I have had my Vaquero 20 months now and it has 20,000 miles. I live in Orlando, Fl and don't think the exhaust heat is a big deal. I installed a trailer hitch and pull two different trailers, a cargo trailer for shopping, etc and a camper trailer for travel/camping. The Vaquero has no problem pulling my fully loaded camper weighing 550 lbs, and riding two up. The bottom line is I have absolutely no regrets in my decision to buy the Vaquero.
 

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Yesterday I rode a 100 miles in a thunderstorm to get home and my saddlebags didn't leak at all, everything was dry as could be. But my left glove box with my ipod wrapped in a bandana did leak a little cause the bandana was just a little damp.
 

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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.
I have a '12 Concours and the Vaquero's touring brother, the Voyager. Both great bikes, but coming from a Busa you will enjoy the power and handling of the Concours so much more. The Voyager does have top loading bags so no issues with water at all.

I wouldn't discount the yami though just because of a 5 speed. It is all about the ratios and how far they are spaced out.
 

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For the first time in my life i shopped around and researched before i bought my Vaquero . i test drove the cross country and didnt like it. i thought it was hotter on my legs than the vaquero. Also the vaquero did a better job in the wind dept. with the lowers. in my opinion the vaquero had a nicer ride , the dealer for the victory wouldnt budge on the price, and the kawa dealer had my baby with $3000 off and after negotiations i walked away owing less than i did with my 2006 honda vtx ..wich came with nothing.( a no brainer). being said, i wrapped the pipes added some highway pegs and a new sheild and tri oval pipes, aux lights and im golden .. RAIN FOLLOWS THIS BIKE LIKE A CURSE .. the only issue is i have to stop and take my iphone out of the glove box and put it in the saddle bag.. never had water in there yet even after washing her. Dont get me wrong , the victory is a nice bike and well built. but the resale value on them are awful . plus the vaquero has a lot of plug and play options , very easy bike to work on. sorry for writing to much but i love the vaquero.. :D
 

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For the first time in my life i shopped around and researched before i bought my Vaquero . i test drove the cross country and didnt like it. i thought it was hotter on my legs than the vaquero. Also the vaquero did a better job in the wind dept. with the lowers. in my opinion the vaquero had a nicer ride , the dealer for the victory wouldnt budge on the price, and the kawa dealer had my baby with $3000 off and after negotiations i walked away owing less than i did with my 2006 honda vtx ..wich came with nothing.( a no brainer). being said, i wrapped the pipes added some highway pegs and a new sheild and tri oval pipes, aux lights and im golden .. RAIN FOLLOWS THIS BIKE LIKE A CURSE .. the only issue is i have to stop and take my iphone out of the glove box and put it in the saddle bag.. never had water in there yet even after washing her. Dont get me wrong , the victory is a nice bike and well built. but the resale value on them are awful . plus the vaquero has a lot of plug and play options , very easy bike to work on. sorry for writing to much but i love the vaquero.. :D
My sentiments exactly!
 

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For the first time in my life i shopped around and researched before i bought my Vaquero . i test drove the cross country and didnt like it. i thought it was hotter on my legs than the vaquero. Also the vaquero did a better job in the wind dept. with the lowers. in my opinion the vaquero had a nicer ride , the dealer for the victory wouldnt budge on the price, and the kawa dealer had my baby with $3000 off and after negotiations i walked away owing less than i did with my 2006 honda vtx ..wich came with nothing.( a no brainer). being said, i wrapped the pipes added some highway pegs and a new sheild and tri oval pipes, aux lights and im golden .. RAIN FOLLOWS THIS BIKE LIKE A CURSE .. the only issue is i have to stop and take my iphone out of the glove box and put it in the saddle bag.. never had water in there yet even after washing her. Dont get me wrong , the victory is a nice bike and well built. but the resale value on them are awful . plus the vaquero has a lot of plug and play options , very easy bike to work on. sorry for writing to much but i love the vaquero.. :D
I second that! :good:
 
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