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Reader Review: SW-MOTECH Legend Gear LC Saddlebags

Quick-release retro styled canvas panniers for a vintage look and modern convenience

By Gosia Paszczuk, Naugatuck, Connecticut
11/1/2020

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags gosia 2019 triumph bonneville speedmaster
The retro styled SW-MOTECH Legend gear canvas LC bags compliment Gosia's 2019 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster.

Whether going for a quick ride with the girls, or a weekend getaway, one thing I have been missing on my 2019 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster is storage. You can ask my friend Kathy, my bag friend. Don’t lie to yourselves my bagless friends, you too have a Kathy. I swear, she bought her Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special with a trunk so that I have somewhere to put my stuff. I admit it, I use her for her bags shamelessly. Over the years, she has transported my countless belongings, some of which best remain nameless. Kathy is a good friend and she just got a whole lot more space in her own bags because this girl got herself some saddlebags! Not just any saddlebags, these are the saddlebags to get for a retro styled bike—SW-MOTECH Legend Gear side bags.


People often assume my bike is vintage so, naturally, I didn’t want just any ol’ bags. I searched high and low and decided to give these classy looking SW-MOTECH canvas panniers a try. While these motorcycle bags are also available in the LS (Legend Gear Bag Strap) throw-over version using the SLS (Side Legend Gear Strap), I opted for the quick-release hard mounted set up. SW-MOTECH developed the Side Bag System SLC (Side Legend Gear Carrier) consisting of a bike specific rack and the universal LC (Legend Gear Carrier) side bags that mount securely to the rack using a quick-lock system. If you have two motorcycles, you might even consider getting two racks so you can easily use the bags on both bikes.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags over the shoulder
The SW-MOTECH Legend Gear side bags are easily removed from the bike and carried inside for easy loading and unloading as demonstrated here by moto babe Melinda Peterson. The optional shoulder strap (LA4) costs $29.95 and makes carrying a heavy bag easier.

The rack is available for a wide variety of motorcycles but the LS throw-over version is an option if you can’t find a rack made specifically for your bike. The LC bags are available as left or right, small (9.8 liters) or large (13.5 liters) with two color choices: brown/black or black. For a more retro look, I went with the brown/black option in large on both sides—the perfect accessory for my British Stallion.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags parts
Shown here is the SW-MOTECH Legend Gear side bag system LC which includes the mounting brackets and hardware for my 2019 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. It costs $529.95 for the whole SLC system with the large bags.

Stylishly packaged in soft burlap sacks, the bags give off vintage vibes right out of the box. The installation is a breeze and includes hardware and directions specific to your motorcycle. (Some companies make “universal hardware kits” that make installation very difficult.)

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags brackets
The hardware included with each bag for the Triumph Speedmaster is a black bracket (SW-MOTECH calls this a side carrier), six screws, three spacers, three guide bolts, and a lock bolt. The bracket will vary in shape based on the model of bike you have but the guide pins will align just right to accept the universal LC bag.

For installation, I had to supply blue liquid threadlocker, Allen keys (4mm, 5mm, 8mm) and Torx wrenches (T40 and T50). The guide bolts screw into the bracket and become the mechanism by which the bag attaches to the bracket. For the Triumph Speedmaster, three screws replace existing screws on the bike’s rear fender strut that the sissybar attaches to. The thick spacers are used between the bracket and the sissybar for a flush mount.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags install brackets triumph bonneville
The side carrier installation is easy and it only took about a half hour, and that's with a coffee break!

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags brackets installed
I love the clean line look of motorcycles without luggage. I appreciate how the installed SW-MOTECH bracket does not take away from the Triumph’s overall design and the black finish complements the smooth look.

The bag’s quick-lock system is made of glass fiber reinforced polyamide which is a strong, lightweight plastic. The plastic piece that is attached to the canvas bag slides right onto the two docking points and lock in place. It only takes a few seconds to put the bag on or take it off.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags quicklock bag
The strong plastic hooks on the back of the bag fit securely into the docking hardware.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags quick lock bag
The lever on the back of the bag then locks the bag in place.

With such an easy mounting process and brackets that are barely noticeable, I can promptly go back to a clean look for a quick scoot around town. What more can I ask? The bags are there when I need them and off when I don’t.

The Legend Gear bags are made of Napalon synthetic leather and waxed canvas. While the waxed canvas provides water resistance, an inner lining included with the bag is waterproof in case of a downpour. To close the bag, you just seal the two top edges together with the Velcro strips and roll the top down. Then it fastens securely with the three aluminum buckles that slide to fasten. Be mindful of the location of the middle strap when opening the bag as it flips over the bracket and could scratch the bike.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags bag straps clasp bracket
The straps with their aluminum slide fasteners adjust to accommodate the fullness of the bag and anything you may want to strap on top of the bag.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags yoga mat bungees
I used just the two straps on the bag to securely attach a yoga mat to the top. No additional bungees needed.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags inside interior
With 13.5 liters of storage in these large bags, there’s plenty of room to stuff enough inside the bags for a long weekend. There are no pockets, just one main compartment. The tan piece of material you see here is just made to cover the exposed hardware.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags camp supplies
Getting ready for a long weekend getaway, I am able to stuff everything you see here in the two bags: three shirts, two long sleeve shirts, two pairs of jeans, two leggings, a summer dress, sweatshirt, flip flops, undergarments, towel, toiletries, rain gear, tools, first aid kit, water, a Thermos, snacks, gloves, and some other essentials.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags triumph cruiser standard
Since the saddlebags are more like a sac, there are no rigid sides to constrain you from stuffing them. The canvas conforms to the shape of the contents so that you can fit more with room to spare.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags top triumph bonneville speedmasterseat
You can see here how the bags expand to fit your contents. The bag on the left has nothing in it while the one on the right is filled. When empty, the bags maintain their shape due to how they are attached to the side carrier, but they do look better with some items inside.

Going camping? When filled, the top of the bags are level with the pillion seat making it the perfect surface for strapping your camping gear. Conveniently secure your additional luggage to the bracket or canvas loops on the saddlebags.

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags triumph speedmaster loaded
In addition to the filled bags, the following gear is included in the green bag on top: tent, sleeping bag, chair, yoga mat and a cot (this moto babe doesn't sleep on the ground—well, not until the cot collapses in the middle of the night, that is.) And thanks to the bracket and canvas loops on the bags, all it took was two carabiner spring clips and the straps of the green bag to securely strap it all on. No additional straps needed!

reader review sw-motech legend gear saddlebags triumph speedmaster installed scenic
Like the SW-MOTECH leg bags we reviewed here, the LC bags utilize the M.O.L.L.E. system to attach additional bags. Here’s my Triumph Speedmaster with LC bags and the SW-MOTECH LA1 accessory bag attached to the front part of the bag.

The Legend Gear bags do not lock, so it’s best to take your valuables with you. Knowing that it takes seconds to detach, I am a little nervous about someone walking away with my bag and everything inside of it. Luckily, SW-MOTECH has thought of that as well. An extra $18 will get you a cable lock which secures the bag onto the bracket. Also, a shoulder strap (LA4) for an additional $30 clips onto the bag for easy carrying.

Pulling out of the dealership and rolling that very first mile on my odometer was thrilling and I knew I couldn’t get just any bags for this special motorcycle. As Kathy will tell you, I had been holding off to find just the right bags for the Triumph. That quest has been fulfilled and my backpack stuffing days are over. Now, I shall stuff saddlebags instead. Ride safe my fellow moto babes!

For more information visit SW-MOTECH.com.

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Review: SW-MOTECH Leg Bags
Saddlebags, Luggage, and Racks Reviews


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