Houston to Fairbanks RT
Here is my review of this bag after traveling from Houston to Fairbanks and back -+/- 14000 miles. The good news is that this bag made it back, mostly in tact but compromised for sure. I was confident in the final status of this bag to ride with it safely secured (altho’ I was always concerned) back to home.
Both of the “D” Rings (just below the mesh side pockets on each side) let go on the same day traveling from Dawson Creek to Muncho Lake, Northern Rockies B, BC, Canada, with only one short 15 km hard packed gravel road section and a torrential summer thunderstorm pelting rain…. I felt the bag shift entering the parking lot at the Great Rockies Lodge, and when checking it, I found both “D” rings pulled out. Fortunately there is another set of “D” Rings near the front the bag that were a backup. These were much more difficult to clip onto/off of every day, but could be facilitated by opening the saddlebags for better access.
The bag is moderately water resistant, but seeps more than leaks, especially at the zipper area. Never a real problem on this trip, but I should have possibly thought about W/P covers for it…
The bottom sides (below the mesh sidepockets) of the bag would pick up wetness from light rains as well as heavier rains showers, possibly due to spray from the front tire?
The bag was a good size, and it turned out that by the ending of the trip, I had it down to everything in one bag, except things like boots, gloves, tools, 2 gas cans that were permanent residents of the saddlebags. Spare helmet, documents, BU glasses, go pro, seatback, rags, water in the tour pack.
The bag is awkward to handle off the bike, and it needs two hefty handles on the top instead of one. I used the extra luggage straps on top until one of the buckles broke while carrying it to my accommodation. Even the backpack straps didn’t work out for me. Find a baggage cart at your hotel!
The back buckle, centered just under the slim lateral pocket, broke twice, I was able to rob a couple of buckles for off of the other straps. Thanks goodness that all were able to match up.
That being said, would I use this bag on another such – or even shorter trip?
No, it is too far gone (compromised) to trust it any farther. It gets wet from the split seams where the “D” Rings pulled out during some rough roads during the AlCan’s summer repair programs. Rightly so, as that’s the only time to make repair progress. Over all the AlCan Hiway is fair to good, with chance of meatballs…
If Saddleman would make some improvements, I would consider buying another. Overall, Saddleman makes a nice piece of motorcycle specific baggage.
However, it was big, awkward, held all of everything in one, provided a good back rest, thermal pocket held my metal insulated drink cup – cold or hot – for a long time. It needs a double zipper installed in the inner lid mesh pocket. It could be reshaped (widened) to fit the shape of the FLTRU tour pack speakers, and therefore a bit shorter. My opinion only as a user.