Long-distance motorcycle trips-be they cross-country or just for the weekend-are very rewarding. That is if you are prepared. I was to embark on a 1,200-mile voyage with a '10 Victory Cross Roads with my wife so I needed more storage!
T-Bags, located in Irvine, California, has been making motorcycle luggage since 1990. And because the passenger backrest pad on the Cross Roads is very wide, the patented T-Bags slipover backrest design that's utilized on most of its bags wouldn't quite work. I noticed the Dakota bag ($240.95), which is advertised for Harley-Davidson dressers with Tour-Pak luggage racks. Since the Tour-Pak rack and the Victory luggage rack I had on the Cross Roads were comparable in size, I gave it a try and sure enough it fit perfectly. The Dakota is made of ballistic nylon with a fade-resistant UV treatment and measures 26 inches wide by 12 inches deep and 11 1/2 inches tall with a storing capacity of 2.3 cubic feet. The nylon exterior is insulated with 1/2 inch closed cell foam that's stuffed in between the nylon to retain the shape when not in use. One of the coolest features of the Dakota is that the side bags zip off to be utilized as backpacks for sightseeing, etc. There are six quick-release tie straps that secured the bag down to the luggage rack; I wondered if the bag would shift when the wind kicked up or when coming in hot in the corners, but it didn't budge. The bag is also fitted with two 1-quart water bottle holders that a passenger can easily access during the ride. All in all, the Dakota is awesome!
Airhawk Seat Pads
To also aid in the comfort of the trip, I ordered the Airhawk 2 Medium Cruiser Seating System ($99.95) and the Airhawk 2 Cruiser Pillion Seating System ($91.95) for my wife. Let's just say, we could ride for days with these pads, and we did! It's simply inflated with air (like a balloon) via a valve that locks/unlocks to hold/release air in seconds.
Airhawk, in Belleville, Illinois, is a subsidiary of the Roho Group that develops seat pads for wheelchair users who get pressure point sores from sitting for long periods of time. The Airhawk seat pad utilizes the same Shape Fitting Technology, which is made up of multiple air pockets that distribute weight evenly to provide that floating-on-air effect.
The insert material (actual air pockets) is made of lightweight, rugged polyurethane construction and the rider system measures 14 inches deep by 14 inches wide; the Pillion measures 11 inches deep and 9 inches wide. The covers are made of a stretch polyester material on top with three-layer knit polyester construction on the sides, which is breathable to circulate air. The bottom, which rests on the seat, features a fluid-proof, no-skid base that wasn't affected by rain and didn't slip around when wet. It's simple to inflate (turn valve on pad counterclockwise to unlock, blow in air with mouth, and lock by turning clockwise). You only need enough air so that you don't bottom out. If you overinflate, the pad will not be comfortable. It took a few tries to get it just right, but once I achieved the right amount of inflation, it was like sitting on a cloud.
T-Bags | (800) 957-6288 | tbags.com
Airhawk | (800) 851-3449 | airhawk.net
Quality of Product *****
Ease of Installation *****
Ease of Use *****