Most of our one day or weekend rides require little regarding luggage space. But, for an upcoming trip, it became evident that I would need a Himalayan saddle bag stay to figure out a way to load saddle bags onto the bike without fouling with the either the silencer or the rear wheel. I could either buy an existing one or build one from scratch.
This post is part 1 of 2 where I cover:
- size comparison
Once I am back from the tour, I will publish part 2 of 2 with real world usage data based on how the saddlebag stays for the Himalayan performed.
Himalayan saddle bag stay – Purchase experience
Donowyn’s name had been popping up here and there on the Royal Enfield Himalayan Owner;s Group (REHoG) on FaceBook(FB). I purchased the stays from him for the following reasons:
- They were made of Stainless Steel
- They had a flat base, which could be folded. Similar to what I would have designed.
- A few iterations of the product were already completed.
After speaking to Donowyn Rodricks on FB and transferring the money, I did not have to wait long to get the shipment. It was well packed. I had taken along a bungee to get it back home, but as you can see, the entire package fits into a 30-liter backpack without much fuss. Three layers of packaging; clear plastic, tough plastic sheet and bubble wrapping for each of the three main components individually.
Donowyn also followed up with the courier service and me to ensure I got it on time. Very happy with the way shipping was handled.
Himalayan saddle bag stay – Installation
Trial 1 – At home
The first thing I did after getting home after work was to try and install it. I started with the left one. What I noticed was that the hole at the bottom didn’t align. When I tried the other side, I faced a similar issue too. It was getting late in the night and decided to call it a day.
I had a quick chat with Donowyn and eventually decided to take it into a welding shop because:
- modifications to the bottom bracket
- the right side needed longer nuts and bolts
- the rear bracket nuts and bolts weren’t there
Trial 2 – At the garage
This is when I realised the play in the trapezoid cover and the way it sits. Turns out not much was required in terms of modification but for the bottom hole on the stay to be made slightly taller with a drill. Success, without wasting too much time.
There are (at least) two ways to go about a saddle stay.
- You can go wide so that the bags get stretched out giving you the required clearance.
- Or, you can keep it narrow with a flat base which will let the bags sit closer.
I did not want the bike to become wider than it already was since the saddle bags that I own expand horizontally.
Without Himalayan saddle bag stay
This is a stock photo of how the Himalayan looks without stays for reference.
With Himalayan saddle bag stay – Closed
Now how it looks closed. Still within the pegs and handle width.
On another note, it would be good to have some way to tie the stays so that they remain closed when not needed. Will probably use some velcro straps on it.
With Himalayan saddle bag stay – Open
Just as wide as the pegs with the horizontal flaps open. Still not too wide. And the bags will sit in the “L” so should be closer to the motorcycle.
Himalayan Saddle Bag Stay’s Clearance
There seems to be enough clearance over the silencer. As long as I stick to the stock silencer. Good job there.
I definitely will need to reposition or change the indicators. For obvious reasons. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions as to what type of indicators would be great? This is one place where the first type of saddlebag stays scores over this.
Visually it is not very heavy and does not mess up the look too much. I think I can live with it.
You see it when opened. It is almost entirely hidden from view when closed. Being hidden from view is a good thing while commuting within the city.
Not much in terms of cons, but if I were to think of things to improve on the kit, here they are:
- Provide all nuts and bolts in stainless steel. It would be great.
- Proper count of Nuts and Bolts. So that it can be installed at home with minimal running around
- I needed longer bolts for the exhaust side. The ones that came were not enough.
Buy it. However, if you want to wait for real world usage data, I will be testing this over the next 10 days. Will be posting part 2 with my impressions of this in Jan 2017.
Update – 12 February 2017
Part 2 of this review has now been published at Saddlebag stay for Himalayan. Take a look for real world usage review, pros and cons with my final recommendation.
Current StormTrooper Odometer: A tad under 8,000kms.