Saddlebags, Pouches, and Helmet Locks

Touring on a motorcycle, storage can be a challenge, especially if you are riding two-up. We have added a few gadgets, like saddlebags and pouches, to help us gain some handy storage space.


The Saddlebags

Harley Davidson has option saddlebags made to fit on the rear fenders on either side of the seat. They are vinyl-wrapped rigid side bags, with luggage capacity of 700 cubic inches. They are a little pricey at $419.95 plus installation. We had the dealership install them because there was some drilling into the body, and I wasn’t comfortable about doing the installation myself. Contoured to fit comfortably under the passenger’s legs, the passenger can access them while riding but not so much for the rider. The saddlebags do not have locks on them but they are removable. Saddlebags are secured to the fender with a locking pin. They can be removed and taken into the motel or locked in the trunk or tour-pack.

The Pouches

I need reading glasses and behind the ear hearing aids. When I take off my helmet my hearings aids tend to come out while removing the helmet. I wanted a place to store my hearing aid container and extra batteries. My glasses I only use for reading and I like to carry them in my shirt collar if I don’t have a shirt with pockets. More than once we have taken off without me securing my glasses, and I needed to grab them before losing them and handing them back to Minnie to secure for me.

So, I came up with a solution to the problem. The lower firings, on pre-water cooled heads, had a small storage space in the top part of the lower firing. Newer motorcycles, with the Water-cooled heads, don’t have that storage space, it is being taken up by cooling system equipment. Harley Davidson does make a glove box door pouch, but they are small. Harley Davidson does make a small pouch that looks like a little backpack. I bought two of these to mount on the covers to give me access to them while riding. Now if I forget to my glasses before taking off I can easily slip them off and stick them into one of the pouches. I also have a place to store my hearing aid box. There is not much storage space in them but every little bit helps.

Lower cover
Lower cover
Lower left cover with Harley bag installed
Lower right cover with Harley bag installed








Helmet Locks

Our first helmet lock

What to do with your helmet when you stop and you have to leave your motorcycle unattended. For the most part it’s not much of an issue, but there are times you want to secure your helmet. The tour-pack and the trunk are good places to store the helmets, if they are empty.  There are several types of helmet locks out there, some are better than others. The one we have used in the past is a short cable with a loop on each end and a locking carabiner.

This setup works well if we are wearing our jackets and want to leave them on the motorcycle with the helmet. We would run the cable thru the sleeve of the jacket and attach the cable to the handlebar to secure it. I wear a full-face helmet. Minnie use to wear a 3/4 helmet. My helmet I could run the cable thru the face shield, but Minnie’s’ we couldn’t do that, we had to run it thru one of the D-rings on the helmet strap,  That system works well enough but it’s a little cumbersome.

Reda Helmet Lock

I found these at Harley dealership the other day and found this helmet lock.

Security is a concern to Minnie, she likes to  keep things locked up, which is a good thing I know. But sometimes, if we are not going to be too far away from the motorcycle, I get a little lax on locking the helmets up, because I’m in  hurry. I do lock the tour-pack and the trunk, so this system is a fast and easy way. The system works by pushing in on the spring-loaded pin on the cable of the red ball end of the cable, remove the red ball, run the cable thru the helmet strap D-ring, slide the red ball back onto the cable, slide the red ball back onto the cable, the spring-loaded pin locks the ball in place,then open the tour-pack or saddlebag, insert the red ball, and close the lid and lock it.

Here is a pictures of how it looks on “Little Rose”. We can have both helmets secured here at the back, or one can put on the seat.

Helmet locked to tout pack using the Reda lock
Helmet on the seat and locked to the tour pack

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