Owning a bike is one thing, but taking care of it and its accessories are a completely different matter altogether. Most bikers, including myself, are of the opinion that a bike reflects the true personality of its owner. This makes all the more important for a biker to keep his bike and its accessories like saddlebags, jackets, chaps, and boots, all at its absolute best. Saddlebags being an indispensable part of a bike must be given special attention when it comes to maintenance. You may ask, do I really think so? Yes absolutely, I own two of the best Honda Shadow Viking Saddlebags and I can tell you from experience that though they protect your belongings from dust and dirt, they need constant care and protection from the elements of nature.
The cleaning process
It’s quite easy to clean Honda Shadow bags, and with periodic care your bags too, like mine, would remain as good as new. One way of maintaining them is to use a quality leather cleaning agent. Remember, some of the chemicals used as cleaning agents may damage your precious bag, so it’s best to test before using them on your bags. The testing process is very simple; apply the cleaning agent on a small piece of leather, leave it to dry in a clean place. If the agent does not damage the leather, apply the same on your saddlebags. After sometime use a conditioner such as linseed oil on the bags. Do not forget, when applying the cleaning agent or the linseed oil, you need to apply it evenly. The best recourse is to use a clean sponge to apply these substances.
After treating the leather with cleaning agent and oil, taper off the cleaning process by polishing the leather saddlebag. It is best to use high quality polish. Your precious bag deserves the best, don’t you think so? Use the polish only on the leather, and keep it off the metal parts. Forces of nature like wind and dust can easily damage the polish, which you so fervently applied. This can be easily prevented by using moisture barrier. Lastly, don’t forget the golden rule, saddlebag cleaning is not a one time process, it’s something which must be done on a periodic basis.
The above given cleaning process is for bikers who want to take care of their bike accessories themselves. It is more of a Saddlebag cleaning self help guide for dummies. So, bikers who want perfection should seek help from experienced professionals.
About the author: Kevin Parker enjoys reading and writing about motorcycles, safety, motorcycle tours along with many other interesting daily topics at Viking bags. Furthermore Kevin Parker has been riding for over 8 years.