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Avid motorcyclist & freelance writer, specializing in motorcycles & motorcycle related topics, with a healthy dose of good humor, good vibes & general advice on simply being a good person.
Showing posts with label Fat Boy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fat Boy. Show all posts

Saturday, May 4, 2024

MotoReview- Viking Bag’s Dagr Sissy Bar Bag

MotoReview- Viking Bags’ Dagr Sissy Bar Bag

Well, MotoReaders, as promised, I humbly submit to you, my review of the Viking Bags 22L Dagr sissy bar bag! 

Okay, first off- in the interest of FULL disclosure- I did not buy this bag, I do not work for Viking Bags, I am not related to anyone (that I know of) that works for Viking Bags and I do not own any stock in Viking Bags, nor will I benefit from a positive review of, or suffer from a negative review of, this bag (or any other items I review on my site). That said, let’s get to it, shall we?

Initial impression

 When I arrived home from work today, I was excited to see a decent sized brown box, waiting for me at my driveway. I anxiously picked it up and noticed that it had a little heft to it… again, a wave of pleasant surprise and satisfaction washed over me. Once inside, I opened the box to find a nice sized bag wrapped in a clear plastic bag that was tied. Had it been raining, I’m confident that the cardboard box’s contents would have been safe and dry inside. After plucking the bag out of the box and unwrapping it like an impatient child at Christmas, I removed the hefty, well made and very sturdy bag from it’s plastic cocoon. 

I, gratuitously, decided that the best place to take some photos of the bag was on my work bench, where I’ve been working on resurrecting the MotoWriter Dyna, which, if you haven’t heard (or, read about here on the site, yet… click the link here —>>) I crashed a few months back. Yes, I must also admit that the MotoWriter wall sign, that my good friend Nick over at The Wood Shop made for me, makes for a nice background detail… again, I know it’s gratuitous, but hey, I’m grown and I do what I want! 

Digging in

Hearing a distinct rattle when handling the bag, I feverishly began unzipping the compartments to see what goodies the bag contained. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the two side pockets are big. Not, “hold a pair of jeans” big, but definitely “keep your phone, GPS, keys, wallet, Snicker bars, and maybe even some miscellaneous H-D poker chips or challenge coins” big. The best part is, that there are two of them and they are equally large, not like some of those bags that have the random sized compartments that make no real sense. The main compartment held the culprits of the rattling sound- a rain cover, a shoulder strap and two (2) smaller straps for tying the bag to your bike in, probably, any way that you might want. 

In this photo, I’ve got them propped open with a marker (on one side) and a roll of painter’s tape (on the other side). The main compartment is big and has plenty of room for a couple of pairs of socks, underwear and maybe a t-shirt or two if you pack them tight enough (disclaimer- I wear a size large t-shirt, so I can make it work… if you’re bigger than that, it might get tricky for you). Viking also claims that the bag will hold “31 cans”… but I’ve yet to try that, as I’m more of a bourbon man. The “flap” (if you can even call it that) opens up and it has two detachable straps on either side to keep it from flopping open and dumping it’s contents. They are adjustable, so if you only want it to open a little bit, you can. If you want it to open all the way, adjust them out or simply unclip them. I, very loosely, refer to the flap as a “flap” because it doesn’t “flap” at all. There isn’t anything on this bag that is “flappy”, actually. The “flap” is very well made and semi-rigid to keep the contents of the bag safe, while helping to maintain the bag’s shape. On the inside, it has a mesh, zipper close, compartment that could be used for any small items you don’t want falling out of, or getting mixed up in, the main compartment. Did I mention the security? No? Well, I will. The main compartment can be closed and secured with a small padlock- think, “TSA approved.” It won’t keep anyone from stealing your bag, but it will prevent anyone from rooting through your bag and gawking at your weird under britches that have the hearts printed on them. 

Inside the main compartment is another zipper that runs along the entire inner wall. Snooping around and unzipping it, reveals the inner plastic “wall” that gives rigidity to the outside of the bag and maintains the overall shape. The plastic is thick, maybe 3/16” or just a tiny bit thinner and its made of a nice flexible ABS plastic that really looks like it can take a beating without shattering or cracking. The top of the bag has a sewn-in, and riveted, nylon strap handle that has a plastic “comfort strap” (that’s what I’m calling it… maybe the folks at Viking Bags can use that). The handle is well made and will, no doubt, be able to easily hold up to all of the weight that can be crammed into this bag- be it 31 cans of your favorite beverage, or all of those “heart” boxers that your aunt Susie gave you for your birthday.

The intelligent design didn’t stop at the back of the bag either. The strap to attach it to the sissy bar is wide and thick and will easily fit over most sissy bars (or back rests for you folks that are offended by the word “sissy”). It comes with something that, if I’m being honest, I’ve never seen before- two vertical, and removable, metal rods. The rods are used to adjust for the width of your bike’s sissy bar- a very cool feature and one that was very well planned and, from what I can tell so far, very well executed. There are D rings on the rear of the bag that can be used with the straps provided, to secure the bag to your bike, or, convert the bag into a backpack! Very cool! 

Overall Thoughts

My overall first impression of the Dagr bag is that it is very well made. It has what I like to call “smart engineering and design” all throughout. It’s obvious that whoever designed this bag, did so intentionally. The name, Dagr, is an old Norse word meaning, basically, “day” and that’s exactly what this bag is perfect for (although, I can see myself using it on overnight trips, too). 

Quality is top notch- the stitching is sturdy and the materials are very nice- a mix of nylon rip-stop and a rugged, rubber composite that blends very well into the design, making this bag not only functional, but attractive. The size is perfect for holding a variety of necessities on a road trip- sunglasses (and reading glasses for those of us who are getting a little older these days), sunscreen, gloves, snacks, and whatever else you want, or need, to bring along to make your trip a little better. 

While the MotoWriter Road King has big, cavernous saddlebags and a detachable trunk for my longer trips, I plan on using this bag on the MotoWriter Street Bob, once it’s put back together and ready for road trippin’ again, that is.

Durability, longevity and affordability 

I can’t, personally, speak on affordability, as I didn’t actually buy this bag, but I can tell you that, for the msrp of $69.99, and a current promotion (as of today) of $59.41, I think it’s a steal. This is a bag that you will keep from bike to bike until your significant other or one of your kids (or grandkids) decide to “appropriate” it for their own use. It looks good and is well made. 

As for the durability or the longevity of the bag, I obviously won’t be able to speak on this yet, either, as I just got this thing today. I will honestly be surprised if it doesn’t outlast some of my other gear (and maybe even one of my bikes), but I’ll do a proper follow-up review in 6 months, and another one at a year, to give you some updates on it, in case you’re still not convinced. 

Final thoughts

I’ll leave you with this to ponder- how much do you spend at the coffee shop every month? How much do you spend on fast food? How much do you give to your co-workers’ kids that are always selling cookies or doing some other kind of fund raisers? If you’re an average person, I’d be willing to bet that you could buy two of these bags a month, every month, for what you spend in coffee and fast food alone. So, why not take a chance and get a bag that will, absolutely, last longer than all those McBurgers and Starspressos. Go check out Viking Bags (by clicking the link at the top right of this page) or by clicking here and check out what they have to offer. 

Instead of spending a hundred bucks a month for some overpriced drinks or some, potentially cold, fries that will only give you joy, happiness or satisfaction for a few moments, take a break from the drive-thru line for a few weeks and buy yourself a bag that, I suspect, will give you years of service. Hell, what’s the worst that could happen? If you only use it for one year’s worth of road trips, it will still have given you more use than those deep fried fart sticks and that chalky ass, coffee flavored, sugar water. Make your coffee at home and brown bag your lunch for a month and get something that will actually bring you some joy- the Viking Bags Dagr sissy bar bag. (<<— shameless plug, but click the link and check it out for yourself!)

Now, I better get back to working on the MotoWriter Street Bob, so I can put this bag to good use before the next review!

Until next time, MotoReaders… ride safe and make good choices!

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Nobody Said It Would Be Easy...

 Nobody Said It Would Be Easy...

...and if they did, they lied. 

We've all met those people that seem to have it easy, all of the time. Those folks that try something for the first time and just seem to master it immediately; those people that always seem to be the ones that find a $20 bill while walking on the sidewalk or that always seem to catch all the green lights when driving through traffic. They never have to work as hard as others or suffer the same frustrations. I read something a while back from my friends over at Go Fast Don't Die and they said it like this- "comparison is the thief of joy." I read that a few times and just, let it sink in. 

Comparison is the thief of joy. 

Comparison truly is the thief of joy.

As human animals in this crazy jungle of our own creation, we are always looking at others and comparing. We compare our successes, we compare our houses, we compare our financial situations and on, and on, and on. 




Instincts, Built Right In

We can't help ourselves... it's instinctive. I won't get into the science of it, but basically, at the core of it, we are at the top of the evolutionary food chain and we know it, so we are always looking at those around us that pose the most competition to our dominance. Like I said... it's science. 

But what happens when you compare yourselves to someone else? If you're doing better than them, then you feel dominant... as if you're succeeding at life, more than them. You no longer see them as a threat; you feel dominant. But, what happens when you compare yourself to someone who is doing better than you? You, instinctively, see them as a threat. But a threat to what? We have evolved to the point where food is readily available for all of us. For the vast majority of the world's population, shelter is readily available. So, if your neighbor has a nicer car, or a bigger house... how in the hell is he a threat to you? 

Bottom line- he's not. 

Turns out, you are you're own worst enemy when you are constantly comparing yourself to others. So, what's the solution? If it's instinctive, then can't it be inferred that it's out of our control? Let me pose this question to you- if, it is instinctive and we can't control the instincts to compete... or compare... why can't we do it in a way that is actually constructive? Why can't we compete against ourselves? Is there some rule that we have to compare ourselves to our neighbor's success, or can we compare our own progress today against our own progress from yesterday, then strive for a better result tomorrow?

Comparison is the thief of joy... mainly because we are doing it wrong. We need to compare ourselves against ourselves. 

Let me ask you this- when you first straddled a motorcycle... as in... literally, the very first time... didn't you have to learn how to ride it? Each time you mounted up on that machine, didn't you get better and better with each subsequent ride? If you have had your job for a while, didn't you start in an entry-level position (or at least, something close to it)? If you just started your job, don't you hope to advance? Just like learning to walk required learning fundamental building blocks, so does each step you take in life. We've all heard the old adage of "you've got to learn to crawl before you walk... then after you learn to walk, you can learn to run." It's all about taking small steps in order to be able to make long strides, toward our own individual success.

Building Blocks

I'm not talking about the toys that kids have... but, rather, learning fundamental, foundational, skills that help you to build to your goals. Come to think of it, the concept is the same. When you buy your kid that Lego builder (go ahead and click the link... yes, it's a Harley), you open the box to find a bag filled with what seems like 1,000 tiny little square blocks. You have to start out with a clear plan, then figure out what goes where, and in what order, then build it, piece by piece, until you reach the goal. The goal in the case of the toy, is the chunky looking toy that resembles a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy motorcycle; the goal in your life, could be, well... just about anything. Want a new job? Figure out a plan to get it. Do you need a specialized education or do you need to learn a specialized skill? Make a plan to learn it. Do you want to get a promotion? What is required for the position?  What skills, experience, education or knowledge do you need to meet the qualifications? 

This next part is key.

Once you establish a plan, work your ass off. Then, work your ass off some more. You have to earn it. You have to want it enough to be willing to make the sacrifices, learn the skills, gain the experience and, in the case of a new job or a promotion, you have to prove yourself to be the best candidate for the job. Very little things in life worth having, come easily. Even if it comes easily, you still have to work hard to keep it. How many people have won a lottery jackpot, only to find themselves broke a few years later? It's because they didn't make the sacrifices to keep their newfound wealth. They got rich quick (without having to earn it), then didn't limit their spending, invest their winnings or do anything at all to maintain their money. Ever see a really wealthy person squandering their money on frivolities? You may be able to point out the occasional professional athlete or musician... but, for the vast majority of those people who had to work, and work hard, for their wealth... you rarely see them piss it away on silly things like boats, luxury cars or enormous mansions (at least, not until they are so wealthy that they are making money faster than they can spend it). 

Remember this- wealth found is wealth lost, but wealth earned is wealth kept.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this- if you want something in life, you have to earn it. If it's worth having, it should come with some difficulty. After all, if you don't have to earn it, you're probably not going to appreciate it once you have it. The harder that you work to earn something, the more you will appreciate having it, because you'll know, first hand, how hard it was to get. 

So go out there and work, MotoReaders. Work hard, be successful and don't forget to...

Ride Safe and Make Good Choices.