Chase Harper Grand Millennium Saddlebags for Motorcycles

Yes, you can have leather bags _ and _ carry a lot of stuff with plenty of handy features. From the December 2002 issue of _ Motorcycle Cruiser _ magazine. By _ Art Friedman.

Removable saddlebags create a minor challenge for cruisers. You must choose between traditionally styled leather (or leather-like) bags that typically don't hold a lot or seal well. Or buy the dowdy but roomier and weather-resistant textile bags, which usually have more functional features.

I want big, versatile, tough bags, and Chase Harper's 3300s and 3465s are my favorites. They hold plenty, have smaller compartments to organize stuff, and mount readily on most motorcycles. Among Chase Harper's 10 or so styles are saddlebags designed specifically for cruisers, but they lack the roominess and features of the bigger 3300s. Fortunately, there's also a leather version of the larger bags, the Grand Millennium 3300 bags. These are about 15 x 12 x 8 inches for a capacity of about 30 liters per side. The GMs use black leather for the tops and outer sides. The inner sides (against the bike) are covered with fleece, and the rest is tough Cordura nylon. A removable 12 x 8 x 2 inch leather pouch attaches to the front of each bag. The bags top-load with long flaps closed by two zippers. A two-inch-deep zipped pocket covers the outer face of each bag. Other features include plastic stiffeners, black plastic bungee-anchor rings on the tops, two carrying handles per bag, and reflective striping.

Each bag has a pair of two-inch-wide straps that run across the bike, over or under the saddle. Hook-and-loop material fastens to the corresponding strap from the other bag, permitting height adjustment. Each bag anchors front and rear with a strap and loop joined by a plastic buckle. The loop wraps around whatever solid point is handy, then snaps to the adjustable strap with the buckle. To remove the bags, simply unsnap the buckles and lift. The loops can be left on the bike. (Tape them if you are worried about losing them.) As always, guards are recommended to keep the bags out of the wheel. The most likely consequence of sloppy mounting is damage to the bags. Fortunately CH offers a lifetime warranty. If they fall off, the firm will repair them.

The GMs hold a lot and are easy to access. The pouches and side pockets enable you to organize gear. The bags are not waterproof, though they stay dry in light, short rain and keep out the grime that accumulates at a bike's rear end. CH also sells rain covers ($30 per pair). We wish that the tops had some sort of lock to deter casual theft. The Grand Millennium bags sell for $325. If you don't need leather, the Cordura nylon twins sell for $190. Matching leather tail bags sell for $210 with leather tankbags priced from $210 to $230.

Chase Harper
(805) 965-7977
www.ChaseHarper.com

For additional evaluations of, comparisons of, and shopping advice for motorcycle gear and accessories, see the Accessories and Gear section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.

Chase Harper's Millennium bags offer lots of pouches and pockets, easy mounting and plenty of packing space.