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Inputs for a custom made saddle bag

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  • Inputs for a custom made saddle bag

    Guys, I'm going to get a pair of saddle bags, & other luggage custom made for my Gladi. I found Cramster Colt inadequate in few aspects. Actually I dont own Colt/ havent tried it on my bike at all. I'm going only by a comparo of features Colt has to offer.
    Right now, I'd desire:
    1. 100% water proofness.
    2. Slightly more carrying capacity.
    3. Split the saddle bags, and carry them as duffel bags / back packs. Felt very much essential, since many a time, we'll have to park our bikes, & cart the bags around. I've seen Pranesh sweating out at Hoggenakal, & read the inconvenience caused to Prabhu during the Kumaraparvata trek. IIRC, SpeedPujary has made a post somewhere too, on Cramster bags.
    4. An optional extra bag, that could be mounted on the rear set, much like the tank bag at the front.

    Well, if I get the bag made right, it would beat the only choice in the market by miles. We could get few more made. and have a try-before-you-buy option. I'm presuming that this bag would fit on any upswept exhaust bikes, esp ZMA, R15, F16.

    I request you guys to come up with ideas, reviews and post on this thread. Please help me with this, & make this an worthwhile effort for me . BTW I'm visiting the bag maker this weekend with specs.
    Inputs on other luggage, & other riding gear, rain gear is welcome too.

    Cheers!
    Kaveriappa
    Kaveriappa
    _________
    I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    - Robert McCloskey

  • #2
    Query Approved.
    :)

    Comment


    • #3
      This is what I could think of -
      We need a three bag set with a detachable belt , adequate pockets , zippers , water-proofing.Each should have straps to make it a bag pack.Except for making them big , should have zippers for extending the bag (like we have in tank bag) .

      will post more if I get any more ideas
      sigpicThe Moto Cafe - India's first bike theme cafe @ Chandni Chowk

      The Moto Cafe video -
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XztkK4ej2U

      My Youtube channel

      http://www.youtube.com/user/niksdevil666

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      • #4
        I have a locally made tankbag, i myself designed it, and asked a bag maker to make it. Turned out good. It's a simple bag, nothing fancy, but does the job perfectly.

        I'll give one suggestion, don't take two bags and sow them together. It will never be as strong as a custom made one with heavy cloth. Rather design the bags such that they will be made by one long piece of cloth.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you niks_devil666, animeher.
          @niks_devil666, Three bag set makes sense.
          I'll give one suggestion, don't take two bags and sow them together.
          @animeher, ^ point taken. This bag maker started out making hand crafted saddle bags for Bulleteers, & Alpine climbing luggage in the mid 90's. Have built quite a rep for themselves. Most important, they are willing to listen. So I'd like to pour out with the best of the ideas, in getting it done. I'm certain that, even a worst job, will beat the current ones in the market by miles.
          Last edited by TomSawyer; 06-12-2009, 10:27 PM. Reason: beat the current ones
          Kaveriappa
          _________
          I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
          - Robert McCloskey

          Comment


          • #6
            I did one simple mod on my saddle bag which has helped me greatly for carrying those. On each part of the saddle bag, (ie the two bags) I have sown a handle, so for carrying that bag, I just lift the bag by those handles, thus making it behave like a suitcase. Add some external pockets for the last moment additions like papers etc.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by animeher View Post
              I did one simple mod on my saddle bag which has helped me greatly for carrying those. On each part of the saddle bag, (ie the two bags) I have sown a handle, so for carrying that bag, I just lift the bag by those handles, thus making it behave like a suitcase. Add some external pockets for the last moment additions like papers etc.
              Did you get this made in pune? from where , can you guide me , and the cost & time involved ?
              sigpicThe Moto Cafe - India's first bike theme cafe @ Chandni Chowk

              The Moto Cafe video -
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XztkK4ej2U

              My Youtube channel

              http://www.youtube.com/user/niksdevil666

              Comment


              • #8
                The optional bag to be mounted on the rearseat is called Tailbag and would be like in the following:

                motorcycle tailbag - Google Image Search

                It is very easy to get a custom tailbag and any waterproof duffel bag would make a good tailbag. However, the difference would be in the way it would get mounted on the seat since the only generic option is to use bungee cords. Generally, the tailbag would have lower mounting hooks that would hook up to studs on the tailgrip/tailpanels. Most Indian bikes do not have these studs on them.

                Instead, my thoughts would go to what is called as rearbag.

                http://www.1stradardetectors.com/ass..._Rear_Bag1.jpg

                http://www.saddlemen.com/store/index...oducts_id=7099

                http://www.saddlemen.com/store/index...oducts_id=7098

                This would serve the purpose of saddle bags, and act as duffel bags as well. Mind you, the bag is not bent on the side, it is designed that way to come a little lower than the main central part.

                Some smaller ones... (note the mounting bungee cords are below the bags for easy mounting on the seat)

                http://www.newenoughhp.com/luggage/t..._tail_bag.html

                http://www.newenoughhp.com/luggage/t..._tail_bag.html

                http://www.newenoughhp.com/luggage/s...seat_pack.html

                http://www.webbikeworld.com/motorcyc...nsit-recon.htm

                If u can explain the lower mounting cords according to the design of ur bike to ur bagmaker, i am sure u can get a good custom waterproof tailbag made. That should serve the purpose while u get ur saddle bags sorted out.

                More inputs later.

                Prajwal
                Last edited by prajwalkashyap; 06-15-2009, 12:29 PM.
                www.youtube.com/user/prajwalkashyap

                Comment


                • #9
                  I also had plans long back to drive till Ambur and get custom leather saddle bags done for my bike. Ruled out later.

                  @Tom- What is your ratio of utility vs style. If its style then go for custom ones or get one imported. Otherwise I wud suggest an idea which will cost u 100 bucks.
                  (I think i am telling this 100th time) Get the elastic net which normally people put it over the back seat for God knows wat reason. You can put that net over the saree guard and inside u can put anything u want, even a back pack. The elastic is very strong due to the network and can hold up a lot of weight.
                  The saree guard's horizontal lining can be used for hooking the net.Since there are multiple linings, u can put the hook on any level to suit the size of stuffu want to put.
                  For me, I have carried stuffs ranging from small backpack(camera bag) to big strolleys (23 kgs) , carpet ,a CPU, skybags etc. in that net. if u can wait I'll try to share the pics tomoro.
                  I am Hyper-Linked .. Click Me !

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Speed Pujari View Post
                    I also had plans long back to drive till Ambur and get custom leather saddle bags done for my bike. Ruled out later.

                    @Tom- What is your ratio of utility vs style. If its style then go for custom ones or get one imported. Otherwise I wud suggest an idea which will cost u 100 bucks.
                    (I think i am telling this 100th time) Get the elastic net which normally people put it over the back seat for God knows wat reason. You can put that net over the saree guard and inside u can put anything u want, even a back pack. The elastic is very strong due to the network and can hold up a lot of weight.
                    The saree guard's horizontal lining can be used for hooking the net.Since there are multiple linings, u can put the hook on any level to suit the size of stuffu want to put.
                    For me, I have carried stuffs ranging from small backpack(camera bag) to big strolleys (23 kgs) , carpet ,a CPU, skybags etc. in that net. if u can wait I'll try to share the pics tomoro.

                    I have used ur idea and its hardly utility in value. For starters, its not waterproof and cannot be used for portability of the luggage. Besides, taking and placing things in and out of the bag while it is tightly tied down by the bungee net is hardly utilitarian in value and is only more irritating.

                    I would not recommend ur idea for what the OP has posted for.

                    Prajwal
                    www.youtube.com/user/prajwalkashyap

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Prajwal, SP.
                      @SP, Not ruling out your idea either. Sounds good for grocery & shopping runs in the neighbourhood. Considering long haul, I may have to fit a saree guard on the right too , to balance the mass.

                      @Prajwal, the tail bag is cool; But like you said, skillful bungeeing a back pack would still suffice.
                      Saddle bag provides an advantage over a tail bag, in keeping the CG low. Or not , since we haul a pillion too.

                      My need boils down to:
                      easily mount / unmount
                      easy to carry around.
                      Water proofness.
                      40 lts capacity at the least.
                      I' m now wondering if its really worth the effort to custom make a saddle bag, or play safe & get Cramster colt.
                      Kaveriappa
                      _________
                      I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
                      - Robert McCloskey

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        No offense meant to SP from me.

                        @Tom: Saddlebags are not portable and will not be easy to carry around. Its not meant for that. The tailbag is made just for that purpose. Besides, no bag can be 100% waterproof as long as there are stitches involved. I will not include Kreiga's and Ortliebusa's but they come at a very high price. The best thing is to get a normal bag and get a waterproof cover made from J. C. Road.

                        ============================
                        My need boils down to:
                        easily mount / unmount: Saddlebags are meant for mounting before a trip and unmounting after it. Not frequently in between.
                        easy to carry around. Get a Tailbag and get backstraps fitted like in the links.
                        Water proofness. - Get a raincover made from J.C. Road for about 100bucks
                        40 lts capacity at the least. - A tailtrunk would have that much capacity, not saddlebags.
                        I' m now wondering if its really worth the effort to custom make a saddle bag, or play safe & get Cramster colt. Nope, not worth it. Custom made stuff have always been expensive to design and produce. Play safe and shop from one of the links. They r by far much better than the Cramsters.

                        Or just buy a Tata Ace truck..............
                        =========================

                        Cheers!

                        Prajwal
                        www.youtube.com/user/prajwalkashyap

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by prajwalkashyap View Post
                          I have used ur idea and its hardly utility in value. For starters, its not waterproof and cannot be used for portability of the luggage. Besides, taking and placing things in and out of the bag while it is tightly tied down by the bungee net is hardly utilitarian in value and is only more irritating.
                          I would not recommend ur idea for what the OP has posted for.
                          Prajwal
                          The problem with saddle bags it affects you handling, specially if the weight is not adjusted properly. Bike move the side where wight is more.When you take couple of poth holes it moves even if you tigh it ver hard. Stopping to change this becoems irritating to me.Then your top speed reduces. Its aint comfartable takign curves. All these based on experience from cramster. And be ready to get scratches on the bike while using a cramster. Or you got to keep extra cloth , again headache.And its not that difficult to remove the chords/nets it just matter of 5-10 secs max

                          I prefer backbags tied with bungee nets rather than cramster. You can get a decent big bag for 500 bugs. Then I used my bike cover to wrap it to protect from rain and dust (mulituse). Backbags are always better to carry compared to cramsters. Specially if we go for trekk and all.
                          But if its for a log ride for more than a week then no other choice saddle bags + a rain cover from SP road
                          Last edited by Rockkyyy; 06-16-2009, 02:05 PM.
                          U.S on FZ6

                          Wayanad- LEH 09 - Coorg - Muthathi - Bye Bye 2008 - First G2G - 07

                          Photography

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                          • #14
                            Go for a custom saddlebag. And don't waterproof the saddlebags themselves. It'll be a very tough affair. You can't guarantee if it will be 100% waterproof, and any little damage will allow water to go in and ruin everything.

                            You can get a saddlebag made which is slightly wider and taller than the cramster colt. The way to have it tall, yet not have it touch the silencer is to have the bridge (that goes over your seat) be about at 80% of the saddlebag's height (On the colt, it's at 100% - right at the top). You can also have it slightly wider. Even wider by an inch and a half will give you plenty of volume (provided you are comfortable with the extra width, and don't intend to cut through city traffic). I've checked with extra width and IMO, that's a fair area to expand by an inch easily. We've covered width and height here.

                            Coming to length (from mid-seat to tail), break your bag for about 70-80% closed space (like in colt), and keep the last rear bit for very large pockets which are part cloth, part mesh, yet strong. You can use this for everything from tools, extra fuel, oil, chappals, rain coat, wet clothes when you got wet while not riding, xyz, all things that you don't want to mix with your dry clothes. You want easy access to them and you don't want to open all your luggage (possibly the clothes compartment) in a bad state (say, when its raining and you need to get your tools, spare tube, xyz out)

                            For waterproofing, google for something called 'foldbags'. These are 100% submersible waterproof bags mostly used by kayakers. The bag is like a sack, with two strips at the opening, you fold over and over and then buckle them. It's a simple design which is both air-tight (hence dustproof) and waterproof. Put all your luggage/clothes in two foldbags and put the fold bags into your saddlebags. That's the best waterproofing solution for indian rains. So, you can save on layering your saddlebag (which will take most of the abuse on any tour).

                            You can also add loops. You'll find them on the colt too, for fixing waterbottles. They are beside the main carry handle on the top. In your bag, expand them. The strap should be thick (2 inches) and about 25 inches in length. This is enough to hold two full sized sleeping bags on either side if required. You can also have a thin 3-part strap on the sides of the saddlebag running along the length. They need not be long, so they are best used to carry thinner items like tripod, waterbottle etc.

                            For the tail, if it has to be pillion friendly, then you'll need to get a base plate made that'll mount behind the grabrail, above the tail. Strong, and mounted to the grabrail bolt (don't fix it to the grabrail itself), and for extra strength, could run all the way to the shock absorber mount on the chassis. Don't plan on having a lot of weight at the tail. If you need to mount a bag with fasteners on the rear seat, you can loop it through the main handles of the saddlebag (like on the colt) without the need for bungee nets.

                            --(edit)--
                            Too much text, so here's a pic. The blue bags on top are foldbags. A bigger loop there will allow you to have even a sleeping bags/additional luggage there.



                            ---
                            Just remembered, Vivek Sharma (viveksh) had mounted a RE carrier on his karizma, and carried two full sized backpacks on each side. He toured Spiti with his wife with that setup. Ideal for trekkers. The carrier is a solid mount, so the bike can be left parked anywhere. Rider+pillion can carry a backpack each and roam the earth, n back to their bike. Damn, no old threads.. viveksh could shed more light.
                            PraveenKM has a box made around his cramster colt (and that has now stood some real abuse). Check that thread too..

                            Maximum inspiration -> ADVRider. The most creative guys at luggage handling.
                            Last edited by HydroXidE; 06-16-2009, 02:22 PM.
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/sprotor/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by prajwalkashyap View Post
                              Besides, no bag can be 100% waterproof as long as there are stitches involved.
                              ^+1. Even with 100% water proof material, water seeps in through the seams. There is a laser seam sealing technology, which makes the seam seem seamless . Again this hi-tech drives up the cost, and except high end mfrs, most dont trouble themselves.
                              Conclusion: 100% waterproof luggage is only a fantasy.

                              Bungeeing down a 30-40L back pack appears cost effective. Couple it with a rain cover & it does the job. But then tying down luggage is an art. I had a tough time on a 250k ride :
                              Bag kept slipping off the seat & dangled to the side.
                              Losing balancing on the hills - twisties, not worth it at all.
                              The bungee cord loses it tension, just over a day's ride.
                              Quick retreival of - camera, phone, wallet.. not possible with a backpack.
                              Like Hydroxide highlighted, No mesh pockets for rags, chappals, bottles, wet socks..
                              For a two day roundtrip: a 30L Backpack is ok. Long haul touring demands saddle bags + back pack + fold bags + RE racks ....

                              Originally posted by Rockkyyy View Post
                              The problem with saddle bags it affects you handling
                              ^+1. I've never tried saddle bags, but wondering if the bag clings to the bike when leaning, or dangles vertical like a pendulum. But again bungee nets may lose tension & sag. Bag might slide off.

                              @HydroXidE - Nice eyeopener ideas there, no comments . & the picture is worth 1000 words.

                              Originally posted by prajwalkashyap View Post
                              Or just buy a Tata Ace truck
                              LOL. Over all the fuss about saddle bags, I was thinking of:
                              Kaveriappa
                              _________
                              I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
                              - Robert McCloskey

                              Comment

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