This thing grows! Always click this HOME button to ensure you see the most recent SC posts!

To see older posts, you can either use the date selector in the Blog Archive (RH side), or just click through using the Older Posts link at the bottom of each page.

Friday, December 2, 2011

T-Bags Motorcycle Gear - Follow up

T-Bags Top Roll on the Joker.....Debi too!

Sometimes I just gotta pass out the Gold Stars, and this is one of those times. Back in early 2010 when I was putting together gear to go on the road, my neighbor John mentioned that I should look at T-Bags for luggage requirements, and so I did. If for no other reason, John's a Marine officer, and those guys should never be ignored....never.

So I shopped around, finding out there were a lot of cheaper alternatives, but nothing really looked like it matched the quality, and since I was going on the road for a long time and a lot of miles, I didn't want any junk. And yeah, I didn't want to face John if a bargain bag I found ejected all my stuff on some dark Louisiana back road.

So I ended up buying T-Bags Super T with a top roll. I was totally impressed when it arrived. Obviously very high floppy canvas/fake leather like some I saw and it seemed like it would do the job. Again, not cheap, but I needed it to hold up.

And off I went from Alexandria, Virginia to who knows where....... 

3,139 miles later, through a lot of heat, drenching rain, and repeated loading and unloading, the Super T held up, and was easily one of the best pieces of equipment I could have bought for the ride. First class construction, it held up to the abuse, and kept my stuff dry. And I didn't lose any socks in Louisiana unless you count when I had to leave that little town in a hurry......But that's another story.

Loaded to the max....

Got some stickers on it from one of my stops!

There actually was one hiccup. After turning back from New Orleans, following the shore of the gulf, I stopped in Pensacola for a break. While stretching my legs, I noticed that one of the zippers on the backpack had pulled loose. I guess it was because I was stretching it to the limit while repeatedly pulling it over the sissy bar pad when I loaded up each day. I bungied things together temporarily, and later paid a shoe repair place to replace the zipper, but it broke again as soon as I stretched it back over the bar. 

So I gave up on trying to fix the zipper, assuming it would just pull out again. I needed to keep things tight, so I thought about lacing it up like a shoe. That sounded good, but poking holes in the material proved to be damn near impossible. I tried heating up the end of a 1/4" bolt, and it worked! I melted holes every inch or so on both sides, top to bottom. Then laced the pieces together with black rawhide I got from a craft store, using a piece of dowel I found to tie off the end. Worked like a charm and looked pretty cool too!

Of course, this little repair project kept me out of the bars, and out of trouble, for the night..... Damn!

Lace job! 

And no negative comments about the T-Bag zippers, by the way, at least not from me. I'm not complaining. I'm very sure these zippers weren't designed to be pulled and stressed the way I was using 'em, and I didn't finally break mine until about 2,000 miles into the trip. These got stretched and pulled once a day, every day, for a couple weeks before they came loose. Everything else held up like a champ!

Time passes.....

It turns out that the T-Bags Top Roll has gotten a lot more miles on it that the bigger backpack piece, and the roll bag alone was probably worth the price. I've sure gotten a lotta use out of it. It's almost always on one of my bikes, and holds just enough for a day ride or an overnighter, assuming the Girls of Azle aren't with you. And it's constantly being switched between bikes. I'd be lost without it, and it keeps from having to put those detachable saddlebags on. I just can't get used to saddlebags. Too may years on choppers, I reckon.

In Shenandoah, Virginia....

...and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania!

But all that ain't what this post was really about. I'm writing to give Shelly at T-Bags Customer Service a shout-out for outstanding customer service. See, the other day, when I was remounting the roll bag for the eleventy-third time, one of the snaps cracked. Yikes! I gotta have my bag. I'll bet those snaps have been snapped and unsnapped a million f'n times. High mileage on those puppies.

Snapped snap

Fortunately the other half of it held just fine, but the next day I decided to take a chance. I sent an email to T-Bags Customer service address and got an almost instant response from Shelly who offered free replacements if I gave her the part numbers. One more email later and SHAZAM, spare parts, including a couple extras, were in my mailbox, and Shelly gets rave reviews for being prompt, helpful, and taking good care of her customers. Reminds me of Dawn at DK Customs! Sisters? Cousins?

  Lots of spares, and FREE!

So thanks to T-Bags for making an awesome set of luggage that has been on lots and lots of rides, and to Shelly for doing a great job taking care of a customer. And thanks to my neighbor John for the tip about T-Bags, and for his service in the USMC!!!!

While I'm at it, those thanks also extend to Chuck, USMC retired; Daniele, US Army; and Brian, USMC. They're all in the Gettysburg photo. And if I missed anyone that serves our country, thanks to you too!

Beats buying from some copycat outfit in Asia that sells their crap on eBay and won't support it. Think about that when you're shopping......I do.