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yes i saw the pics...the also said the bags were made of ABS plastic....wich if that is the case...painting them will be harder than if they had paint on em to begin with.
If you wanted to paint them a different color to more match your bike, you could wet sand them with some fine grit sand paper to scuff them up enough for a coat of primer to hold, let that dry, then hit it with at least one more coat of primer then a few coats of paint and top it all off with a few coats of clear coat, give'em a light sanding for a nice smooth finish, wax and buff them and they should come out looking really nice.

Just my 2 cents :smiley_th
 

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Those bags look great by the way Sloppy, thinking of doing the same my self.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Thanks! Hey, I still check this thread from time to time incase anyone asks any more questions. So, feel free to ask me if you have any. -Sloppy.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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Hey Sloppybfst, I have put links to this thread for at least half a dozen guys looking for good info on bags or installation, including two in the past two days. It`s an excellent resource for anyone about to tackle this mod for the first time. If/when I ever put on some better bags , I will be back for a refresher course.
 

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Adventuregeek
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Hey, I wanted to thank you for this GREAT photo thread. You inspired me to go Mutazu GA on my ride. I also used the Kawa support kit, and it was worth every penny. I got them installed last week, and have made a couple grocery runs already. LOVE 'EM! I'm not posting pix yet, 'cuz it looks too much like yours. I'm planning to add lift handles, maybe some striping or decals - I'll post pix if that works out.

Optional extra: I cut a cheap duffel bag in half, then sewed ends shut or additional drawstrings to make two smaller bags for use as liners in the hard cases. They help keep my cargo clean, and I can simply pull the bags out when I get the groceries home. When I want to fill them to the top, the drawstring closure helps keep my load out of the lock and from sticking out the sides when closing. Cheap and easy.

Thanks again SloppyB!
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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Since others are starting to catch on to the fact that these black GA hardbags compliment our bike so well, I wanted to add other info about these bags that should also be food for thought.

Since adding these same black GA bags to my bike a while back, I have been in 2 separate crashes, each affecting one of the bags.

The point I'm trying to make here is the fact that these "hard" bags also afford you (and the bike) some additional protection in a crash. These bags did a fine job of absorbing the impact they experienced, but managed to stay basically intact--preventing damage to adjacent bike parts. The bags also helped keep the bike off me, preventing more extensive injuries.

"Soft" saddlebags simply don't bring this same level of protection to the table.

These Mutazu brand hardbags are also lockable, which is great peace of mind for a brief visit inside a store or restaurant.

To match the red pin striping on my bike's fuel tank, I added red pin striping on the top portion of both bags. This makes the bags look (to a casual observer) like they were (almost) factory installed.

Hope some of this helps...:smiley_th
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Theauhawk, did you also use the Kawasaki saddlebag supports? What the heck were you doing to have two accidents, one on each side!? Were these parking lot tipovers? The vast majority of accidents happen at less than 30 MPH. 60 MPH+ crashes are statistically very rare despite what people think about bikes. It's sad that you've put the bags through two crash tests, but it's comforting to hear that they minimized other damage to the bike. How bad are they? Did they crack, indent or just scrape?

Tiki Mon, I'm glad I inspired you and perhaps others too, and I'm very pleased that you "LOVE 'EM!". Since posting my original pictures I've added one 1"x4" red reflector to the outer sides of each of my bags, just below where the lid meets the bags and towards the rear of them, to liven them up a little.

Guys, post a picture or two of your own bags, inspire me!

:worthless

Thanks -Sloppy
 

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Drive less, ride more...
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Well Sloppy, to answer your questions...

Yes, I also used the Kaw saddlebag supports. Other supports would surely involve more effort and time to get a good fit and look.

My most recent crash was posted here in a thread back in September (http://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12642). Earlier, in another crash I was rear-ended by an inattentive cager the day b4 last Thanksgiving, during lunchtime (I was right in front of him, at high noon, with perfect visibility and good weather conditions). The bike landed on the left saddlebag. I landed on my feet; later X-rays showed that I had no real injuries in this accident.

Moral to the last crash: if the bike is in any real turn, locking up the front wheel then will result in a low-side crash. To help prevent this condition, either ride a bike with anti-lock brakes, or regularly practice using the Vulcan's brakes in "panic" situations (but in a straight path). This poses a real dilemma for us bikers if we are in a curve (especially a curve to the right) and need to stop quickly; we of course won't always have the luxury of time and space needed to stand the bike up straight in order to brake hard. In a curve to the right, this can easily put us in the path of any oncoming traffic.

Moral to the earlier crash: if you make a turn, be sure and use your bike's turn signals. This is especially true if you think no one is behind you but you are still in "busy" traffic conditions....:BLAM:

Moral from both crashes: dress for the crash--NOT the ride. Your overall level of conspicuity must compete with a cager's cell phone, so plan accordingly. Be sure you also wear gear that will protect you not just from impact, but also from road rash (i.e., wear crash-ready cover apparel for arms, legs, etc). Without boots that offer excellent ankle protection, I would instead have been in the hospital from the second crash (instead of just a sprained ankle). Boots that offer excellent toe protection kept me from serious injury in the earlier crash, as I'm pretty sure the offender ran over my left foot.

Why all this? Well, if you ride often enough and long enough, STUFF HAPPENS....:doh:

In both cases, the GA saddlebags fractured, but remained basically intact. In both cases, the bike would have suffered more extensive damage without these hard bags.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Yikes, sorry about all that. I thought you were going to say something like you were riding fast and dangerous. It really sucks when other people cause your accidents. I was rear ended once too by 86 y/o man in a 76 Chevy Nova and I was stopped in traffic in daylight as well, but that was before the VN750.

So they cracked huh? Think they are repairable or are the cracks hardly noticeable? At $115 a pair if you could certainly replace them with new ones and still be ahead cost-wise of some of the other hard saddlebags sets out there. I assume the Kawasaki bag supports are in good shape.

-Sloppy
 

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At Least I Can Spell!
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What about these same hard bags with other bag supports, using the Mutazu mounting hardware? I can't justify spending 135 bucks for supports plus new bags.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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What about these same hard bags with other bag supports, using the Mutazu mounting hardware? I can't justify spending 135 bucks for supports plus new bags.
I kind of feel the same way. I think what it boils down to is what is more valuable to you; your time or your money?
I`m sure the Mutazu mounting hardware will work just fine. It may take more of your time to measure and fit the parts and bags though. So you pay your money and make your choice.

If you are a hoarder like me, there may be some strap metal suitable for the job out in the junk pile. Getting grommets and a few bolts, nuts and washers will only be a few $$ more. Check out these pictures with mounting instructions for the Mutazu mounting hardware, for ideas on fabricating your own.

http://www.mutazu.com/images/hard saddlebags/mounting instruction/INSTRUCTION Pictures.pdf
 

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Hey Sloppy, I will be doing these bags come spring. I have saddlemen bags now. They are not 100% leather and the darn straps are cracking. They're just not going to wear well over time. I was wondering what specific hardware you used for the lower frame connection. The one with the loop around the frame with a bolt through the eye and bag.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Jabarry, I think I used these http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=139498-37672-881298&lpage=none and held them on with a very short screw with a nut that had a nylon insert. The two upper mounting bolts through the Mutazu bags support pretty much all of the weight, this little lower strap was so the bags wouldn't have any outward flap when the bike rode over bumps.

Before installing the bags I envisioned the bags over time starting to show stress around the upper mounting bolts if there was a lot of movement, so I used the large steel washers that came with the Kawasaki F&S bag supports and sandwiched in eight rubber washers behind each steel washer to further isolate the bags from vibration. I think these were ones I used http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=136606-37672-880376&lpage=none

Like I said in my initial post, I like chrome and I was too lazy to make my own bag supports. :) Besides the obvious benefits of using the Kawasaki bag supports there's another plus - The bag supports make really nice bungee cord mounting locations between the bag and the bike for when you want to strap things to the rear seat.

Good luck with your build, take lots of measurements before you drill anything and feel free to post pics too!

-Sloppy
 

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My wife is going to buy the saddlebags for me for my birthday. I found some supports on ebay http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Kawasaki-Vulcan-VN-750-Saddle-Bag-Support-Brackets_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem35a4df80baQQitemZ230399377594QQptZMotorcyclesQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories that are cheaper, and look just a good as the fire and steel supports. As far as the turn signal relocation bracket, I'm going to make my own from the directions Sloppy posted earlier in this thread. Not going to get them chromed though because of the cost. I plan on either just painting them an aluminum color or the same factory gloss black that my fenders are.

I like the relocation bracket that Lance makes, but I want to keep my helmet locks, so I'm going with the same design sloppy has on his.
 

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Jabarry, I think I used these http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=139498-37672-881298&lpage=none and held them on with a very short screw with a nut that had a nylon insert. The two upper mounting bolts through the Mutazu bags support pretty much all of the weight, this little lower strap was so the bags wouldn't have any outward flap when the bike rode over bumps.

Before installing the bags I envisioned the bags over time starting to show stress around the upper mounting bolts if there was a lot of movement, so I used the large steel washers that came with the Kawasaki F&S bag supports and sandwiched in eight rubber washers behind each steel washer to further isolate the bags from vibration. I think these were ones I used http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=136606-37672-880376&lpage=none

Like I said in my initial post, I like chrome and I was too lazy to make my own bag supports. :) Besides the obvious benefits of using the Kawasaki bag supports there's another plus - The bag supports make really nice bungee cord mounting locations between the bag and the bike for when you want to strap things to the rear seat.

Good luck with your build, take lots of measurements before you drill anything and feel free to post pics too!

-Sloppy
Thanks for the info!!!

My current bags use the Kawasaki bag supports so I'm set to go there. Thanks for the tip on the washers too. Yeah, measure twice and then take a break while someone else checks your measurements and then come back and measure again. I have measured wrong twice in a row before and taking a break will break the wrong train of thought.... hopefully :BLAM:

What I've started to think about is something to make the hinges/hinge plates look nicer. Maybe just crome acorn bolts or something simple. I will post pics. If it is a mild enough winter, like the predictions, I may do this sometime this winter instead of waiting until spring.

Again, many thanks Sloppy for finding/leading the way on this great addition!
 

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At Least I Can Spell!
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I found some supports on ebay that are cheaper, and look just a good as the fire and steel supports.
I have those exact supports as well. They're not as long as the kawi supports, but do the job. Of course, I hate the cheapo bags I have.

SO... if you get the hard bags and those supports together I'd REALLY be interested in the project!
 

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I have those exact supports as well. They're not as long as the kawi supports, but do the job. Of course, I hate the cheapo bags I have.

SO... if you get the hard bags and those supports together I'd REALLY be interested in the project!
I've decided to go ahead and make my own bag supports and the relocation brackets. I know :worthless, so I'll get pics up, with details, as soon as I can.
 

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At Least I Can Spell!
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I've decided to go ahead and make my own bag supports and the relocation brackets.
NOOOOOO!! I'm not handy like that. I need it eeeeeeasy.
I don't work in or have pals in a machine shop, don't have welding gear, metal shaping equipment, band saws, laser beams or anything else beyond regular tools.

Ok - rant over. I look forward to your pictures.
 

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I will be putting the f/s supports and ga hardbags on my bike. thanks for the pics and step by step!
 
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