Finally

I've been holding off blogging about my new order just in case things ended up with me being disappointed. As of today, I can gladly say that I'm far from disappointed. As much as I would love this to be a review of the installation, it's going to have to be a review of the shipping. The weather out there is crappy and I don't have the tools nor the time

Today I received my order from Tsukayu.

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As you can see, it was well packaged. The box itself took a few knocks and was actually broke open in a couple of spots, but it was wrapped in plastic so nothing actually went through the box.

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The items were wrapped in a double layer of foam wrap as well as being encased and separated with styrofoam sheets.

I'm always nervous about unwrapping things like this. I hate seeing things so nicely wrapped only to discover that it still didn't protect it. We all know what the mail is like. No matter how many stickers you put on there announcing that it's fragile, there is always someone who just doesn't care.

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Much to my delight, there wasn't a mark on them.

They were covered in dust and bits of foam, but that was nothing a good polishing rag couldn't take care of. I am thoroughly impressed with the finish of these saddle bags. They have a mirror finish with no imperfections at all. I'll have to coat them with a few layers of wax to make sure they are well protected.

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The details really make these worth it. The new latch style they are using really looks nice. it used to be a barrel style that was set into the case itself. The new chrome latch helps keep the lid closed tightly and really looks nice against the black.

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One of the big selling points for me was the felt lining. In comparison, the National Cycle saddle bags cost twice as much and don't come with any kind of lining. The rubber seal looks pretty sturdy and will definitely get tested out with the weather around the Maritimes.

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The prop seems sturdy and holds the cover up quite nicely. It locks solid and doesn't flex either. As of right now I have to release the prop lock myself. I'm guessing that's just because it's new and a little stiff. It doesn't bother me either way as long as it keeps the cover up.

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The only thing that really bothers me is the plastic hinge on the rear. It's black, so it doesn't show up that much, but I would rather it be chrome. I'm afraid that this type of plastic may not weather well and could quickly become discoloured. I may replace them with chrome hinges myself, but I have other things that are a higher priority than that.

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The mounting hardware was wrapped in bubble wrap and foam wrap which in turn was surrounded by a styrofoam box which was, again, wrapped in foam wrap. Each of them was placed inside a saddle bag. I have to hand it to the packers, short of being dropped from a plane, nothing was going to happen to the mounts.

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The mounting hardware is quite different then what I'm used to seeing. Apparently they are designed to keep the cases as close to the bike as possible. The metal is quite thick and sturdy, but I have to wonder if they are strong enough to support the cases. In my searches for information on the internet I never encountered one complaint about this type of mount, so I'm guessing I won't have any issues. Besides, you aren't supposed to overload your saddlebags for safety reasons.

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Last, but certainly not least, is the bag-O-parts. In here are all the little things you need to make sure the cases stay on the bike. A very good thing indeed. As you can see, there are keys in there. The locks on the latches are very real and will only open with those keys. I figured they would be the "pretend" locks that you can get, where almost any key will open them. I have one of those locks on my Kawasaki's gas cap. I could use my house key to open it. I'm not quite sure if you can tell, but they supply three keys for the cases. That is very handy for a forgetful person such as myself. One key will stay home, one will be with me and one will be with Joey. As you can tell, I've had experience with "misplacing" keys.

All in all, I am not disappointed with choosing Tsukayu. Total cost for the cases came to $643.31CAD ($539.00USD) and it took approximately 25 days (from order date to delivery date) for me to receive them. I know that seems to be a long time, but you have to keep in mind they came from Hong Kong.

In comparison; the National Cycle Cruiserliner Saddlebags are $649.99USD and you have to buy the mounting hardware separately for $229.95USD. Not including duty (which can be high and you can't get away without it paying now) that's $879.94USD ($1001.37CAD)...yikes. And that's without felt lining and an actual chromed latch.

I know the Cruiserliner Saddlebags would be easier to install and I know that National Cycle is a great name, but I just can't justify that much for a set of hard saddlebags. And no, I wasn't about to buy soft ones. Soft bags just aren't my style and some of them are just as expensive as the Tsukayu ones I now have.

I also have to compliment the staff. Mavis and Yoko (the two I dealt with) were more then willing to answer any questions and were very prompt with all replies. Tsukayu was probably the friendliest and most helpful online dealer I've every had the pleasure of communicating with.

Now the bad news. I'm not going to have time to mount them anytime soon. I'm back into my weekend rotations at work and it will be a month before I have actual weekends again. It has to be done on the weekend due to the fact that my Dad has all the cool tools and this is definitely not a one man job. So, the next installment of this review will come at a later date and will be more detailed with just as many pictures...if not more. For the time being I'll just watch the snow melt...or accumulate...*sigh*

24 comments:

Lucky said...

Woah man! Those are some of the sweetest looking saddlebags I've ever seen. Much more shapely than the HD sidecases, but not overly bulbous like the ones by Corbin. The wait to install them must be awful, eh?

Cheers,
Lucky

Giest said...

lucky: Yeah, sexy aren't they? The cases are suppose to mount close to the bike so it's just going to add more curves to Selene. You can certainly bet that it's killing me. I have them sitting on the couch and all I can do is stare at them. I won't let anyone else on the couch either...hehe.

Vinod said...

Nice looking hardbags. Is there any drilling involved to mounth those?

Giest said...

vinod: Aye, thar be drillin involved. That's the only downfall of having universal mounting brackets for them. On the plus side, it gives me a chance to make sure they fit right and are in a good position on the bike. Can you believe that my work place has blocked the domain of your new blog? Ugh...

Biker Betty said...

Playing catch up. I can't believe I haven't been around for almost a month!?! Yikes.

Those a gorgeous saddle saddlebags!!! Selene will be looking fine with those installed. Saddlebags sure are handy to have.

Happy Travels,
Betty :)

Jetmech said...

I just ordered these bags myself, and am In Canada as well. The company assured me that the price I saw was the price I payed. I asked about duties and what not and was told not to worry. Is this true? We just pay the U.S price plus the conversion?

Giest said...

Hey, jetmech. Thanks for dropping by. They are correct. I'm looking at my CBSA Postal Import Form and there is no charge for duty at all. On the other hand you will still have to pay taxes and such. My bill states a charge for GST/HST and a handling fee. In total this came to $24.11. So, you can expect some fees, but no duty fees.

Jetmech said...

Thanks for your reply. Your out on the east coast correct? I think you get dinged with that HST tax. Ontario does not have HST....I think....I hope? I just hope I don't get a nasty surprise at the door. Are you happy with
the way they look on your bike?

Giest said...

jetmech: Yup, I'm on the east coast and I don't think you get hit with HST either, but don't quote me on that ;)
I love the bags and they look great on the Sabre. The lines match perfectly and they almost look like were made for her. I'm still getting compliments from people about the looks. As a matter of fact, today one of the people from the dealership where I purchased the bike commented on how great they looked.
What are you mounting them on?

Jetmech said...

I'm putting them on a 2003 1100 V STAR Classic. They really caught my eye and had the "Thats what I'm looking for" factor to it when I saw them. To be quite honest, I could not justify spending upwards of $1500.00 to $2000.00 on hard bags from Yamaha or any other vendor for that matter. I can't get over the cost of some of the stuff out there. How can one justify spending almost a third the cost of a bike on simple components? Here you have a machine with an engine and multiple moving components, complex electronics, tires, formed metal,....for around the $7000 to $8000 range, then you go drop two grand on empty bags????

Now that my rant is over....how does that HST thing work anyway?

Jetmech said...

I knew this was to good to be true. I just contacted Canada Border Services, and was told that I would be subject to a %14 duty plus GST & PST. Thats a %28 kick in the face. Guess I'll be cancelling my order.

Giest said...

Yeah, they would look good on the V Star. Oh and I totally agree with you on the cost of some after market things you can get for bikes.
Not sure what to tell you about the duty thing. All I know is that I wasn't charged duty at all. The most thing I had to pay was the $24.11 for handling and taxes. It has to do with the way they ship them and how much they claim them to be worth.

Jetmech said...

Well they assured me that I wiuld pay no duty, I hope there right, because Canada customs says otherwise, allthough you and I should be paying the same I would think

Giest said...

Yeah, we should pay the same. There is no difference for duty when it comes to provinces. It honestly didn't matter to me. They were the cheapest and best looking bags I could find. National Cycle was the only other one in the running and they were a cool 1200 bucks. There is no was I was going to spend that much.

Jetmech said...

Yes they are by far the nicest Ive seen I only hope that the company knows what there talking about. I've been dealing with Shirley. At least thats whos responding to my email's. Wish there was a phone number

Jetmech said...

Sorry to bug you again. What was the price on your invoice from the manufacturer? By chance was it listed for $200.00 on the customs doc's?

Giest said...

Don't be silly, jetmech. You aren't bugging at all. They listed a value of $100 on the customs documentation.

Jetmech said...

Ahh, thats how they did it. Thanks so much for your help. At the Bags listed value, the price would be upwards of $800.00 with the tarrif. But hey, how can one be upset at that....I mean we don't pay anywhere near enough tax in Canada.....it's such ashame $100.00 bills don't have room for stamps or else I'd be sending them to ottawa as well.

Giest said...

LOL. No problem at all, jetmech. I'm only too glad to help out. I can see where your concern over the duty would come into play. That would be a little pricey. ;) Would love to see pictures once you get them mounted!

Jetmech said...

Will do. Your bike looks fabulous by the way. I've found the Bags from an internet supplier. Theres some options that will enable me to get them at a much leaner rate. really want these bags, there's just nothing out there that catches my eye like those ones. How are they holding up by he way? I've heard some concerns of cracking around the mounting holes...but this goes for all hard bags. Just wondering if your seeing this on your bags?

Giest said...

Why thank you very much, Selene thanks you as well. ;)
The bags are holding up great and I have no complaints. They are perfectly water proof (I've ridden in some pretty hard rain), solid, and very tough. In early June I dropped the bike and the saddle bag held the bike up without cracking. There were some major gouges, but the bag was still in perfect working order.
Details here: http://1road2wheels.blogspot.com/2007/06/update.html
I was worried about the cracking myself, but have seen no signs of it. There are some things that I will be changing in the coming riding year though. The rubber grommets are kind of crappy and will be replaced and the spacers are starting to rust. These don't have to be replaced, but I'm just picky. I also want to replace or polish the bolts, but most likely I'll replace them.

Jetmech said...

Hi again. I finnaly got the bags. I found them online from a place in Miami. They were cheaper and had free shipping to within the U.S. I'm not far from the border so I went over and picked them up...no duty or tax so it worked out perfect. I installed them but am going to remove them, there to far forward on the V Star in order to not hit the turn signals. Going to have to mod the lights. Now I have 4 unnecesary holes to contend with. How close are your bags to your exhaust pipe? I'd like to get mine a little lower but Im worried about the heat.

Giest said...

Good to hear you got the bags. Mine are about an inch above the pipes. There is barely enough room for me to slide my hand through. I had the bags off the other day and there is no heat damage at all. Even after the bike has been running all day, there is very little heat noticeable inside the bag.

Jetmech said...

Finally got the bags installed. They look fantastic. I had to fill the original holes with epoxy and fibreglass, then repaint tand wetsand the mounting side of the bag. The repair turned out perfect. Now I'm in the process of installing smaller LED turn signals. It's the only way I could get the bags farther back. Hows the riding season out your way? Weather take a turn yet? It looks like we may have a bit of an extension in the season here in Southern Ontario. I have to admit I'm a fair weather rider, I don't ride much when it's down around 10 degrees, and certainly not at all when it gets below that.