Versatility and Functionality

Last year, I took a 3-day road trip on my Triumph Bonneville, packing light with only a backpack and a tail bag rig for the bike. I’d only had the tail bag a few months, having purchased it from a local motorcycle accessories shop. On the return trip home, up in the north Georgia mountains, one of the under seat Velcro straps suddenly ripped in half, and nearly sheared the second strap as well, sliding the whole bag immediately over to the right side of the bike. I felt the immediate weight shift, and quickly got off the road. With a fuel station (thankfully) right across the street, I pulled into the parking lot, bag still dangling off the right side, only to realize how close I had come to those ripped straps wrapping up in my rear wheel or worse, tangling in my chain.

That could have turned very ugly.

A kind old gent in a rusty pickup witnessed my dilemma, and offered a set of bungee straps to get me home. Very grateful for that Good Samaritan.

I determined then to invest in a set of throw-over saddlebags upon my return.
I discovered and ordered a set of Nelson-Rigg CL-950 Deluxe bags from, and they arrived within days. My first concern, even over the features, was securability, if I may invent a word. I had to know that the system would not fail me out on the road, nor would it endanger my life in the case of a said failure. In the more than a year that I’ve owned the set, I’ve found that these bags don’t disappoint.

With hook & loop snaps fore and aft on both bags, I found cinching them to the bike to be quite straightforward- wrap and snap the front clips via the frame, and wrap/snap the rear clips around the turn signals, being sure to leave some slack on each. I’ve kept the bags on the bike for weeks, even months at a time, and they have not so much as budged. And yet when I need to remove them, all that is required involves unsnapping the four buckles front and rear, and the bags slide right off. I’ve unsnapped the bags before and just slung them over my shoulder for hotel check-ins, gear checks at events, etc. Very versatile.

Speaking of versatility, the Nelson-Rigg CL-950 bags utilize several features I really like. First of all, they are double zipper, top loading access. Within, there are several pockets with Velcro or zipper access to store paperwork, small electronic devices, and toiletries, among other things. The bags hold 5.25 gallons per side, with another zipped out pocket for more capacity. They are adjustable across the seat as well, secured together with wide, tough Velcro straps. Mine haven’t torn, become misshapen, or developed holes anywhere. These bags are very well made, I must say.

Nelson-Rigg paid attention to detail with these bags as well. Their overall solid shape allows for use on a wide variety of motorcycles with low or upswept exhausts, incorporate no-scuff protective panels against the bike, have heat-resistant bottom panels for protection from hot pipes, and are manufactured with UV-treated Tri-Max ballistic nylon and reflective piping strips. The bags even include two waterproof moisture covers, which I had to employ for a few hours of hard rain on a trip this past summer. They worked- my contents stayed dry, thankfully.

On a road trip with my road bros, or out on my own, these bags are perfect.
Overall, I’m quite happy with these Nelson-Rigg CL-950 Deluxe bags. Best set of throw-overs I’ve ever owned, so far. Versatile, functional, tough, weather-resistant, and quite affordable, not to mention securable. I’m glad to have a bike luggage set that I can trust. Given what happened with my previous setup, these give much confidence. Their CL Deluxe series are all great luggage systems. Note: Different models may only be available at different times.
Find the current full line of Nelson-Rigg gear here-


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