As you age you tend to see things in a different light. Gift giving over the Holidays was never my thing, nor was giving on birthdays. I was glad to be on the receiving end but seldom gave anyone else gifts. Part of the reason for me not giving was for financial reasons but there was also a level of maturity that I had not yet reached. My father just recently turned 60 and he and I have developed a bond over riding. He rides a Honda Shadow and I ride a Honda 919.
Although our bikes are on different ends of the riding spectrum, we still have that bond and I know riding has brought us closer together. For his 60th birthday I wanted to do something special, I wanted to buy him something that I know he would definitely enjoy, a pair of motorcycle saddlebags.
I already knew where I was purchasing his saddlebags, from Viking Bags, I just didn’t know which style would best fit his Shadow Ace. I have purchased things from Viking Bags and I have never been let down, their selection is limited for the sport bike crowd but their quality classic bike gear is anything but.
Although I am not new to riding, nor new to saddlebags, I knew enough to know that fit is always an issue that concerns anyone buying saddlebags for obvious reasons. I have seen saddlebags installed so poorly that they look unsightly and make the rider uncomfortable as well, I didn’t want this to happen to me. I have even seen saddlebags installed backwards! I have also seen saddlebags that really didn’t fit the look of the bike and just looked out of place. If I was going to do one thing, it was be thorough in my selection process.
The selection process started by looking at the Viking Bags website. I used the drop down menu on the left and selected Honda Saddlebags. After clicking there it brought me to the Honda Motorcycle Saddlebag Page. From there was able to see which models Viking Bags has saddlebags for. This can be a blessing and a curse though, if you don’t know which model you’re looking for you can easily become overwhelmed by the amount of models available. I’m assuming it will probably be easier to stay with the left hand menu and navigate that way. I clicked on the 1100 Shadow section so it can only show me the Shadow models with the 1100 cc engines and further narrow my selection. The next page gave me a listing of all of the saddlebags that Viking Bags has to offer.
If there is one thing I know about my father, it is that I know he’s not a flashy guy. He likes to keep things simple and effective and stays away from the flashy clothes, and accessories. Knowing his tastes, I wanted to look for a pair of saddlebags that would stay in theme with the rest of his clean bike, nothing too flashy. Since he doesn’t have anything studded on this bike up to this point, I wanted to keep that classic look by getting him a pair of saddlebags that were not studded. The last page I looked at was their saddlebags page where I was able to see which all the saddlebags available for my father’s Shadow. I picked the Charger series saddlebags because those have two simple buckles not minimal flash. They were under $200 for the pair with tax and shipping combined so I was happy and so was my father.
The opening of the present was quite a sight. My father had no idea that I was getting him some saddlebags so he was really shocked when he opened his present and saw them there. You should have seen him, he jumped for joy and ran over and gave me a bear hug, one that only a father could. We haven’t had the chance to install them yet but I’m sure that will be yet another bonding experience over the weekend. If there’s one thing that I know we can bond over it’s a passion for motorcycles.