Looks and Comfort for a Classic King - Baggers Magazine
01. These are the DCC Smoothies Saddlebags that Dan ordered. The saddlebags are manufactured using a closed mold fiberglass process for a smooth and consistent finish. As you can see, the bags have a very clean and custom appearance and look much different than any other extended saddlebags on the market. As we mentioned before, they come complete with lids, locks, hinges, and necessary hardware, so there’s nothing else you need to buy. The DCC bags are offered in a finished gloss black gel coat or DCC can color-match them to your bike’s paint for an additional cost—Dan had his bags color-matched to his bike’s Brilliant Silver paint scheme.
02. The Smoothies feature recessed, lockable, compression latches. With this flush-mount design and the hidden hinges, it’s easy to see where DCC came up with the name Smoothies.
03. With the latches mounted in the middle of the lids it’s easy to open or close the lids while in the saddle, you simply lift up the latch and turn it, then you can lift up the lid.
04. The Smoothies mount directly to the bike with the stock quick-release saddlebag studs. The inside of the lids feature vacuum-formed lid liners to protect the inner latches and also houses the rubber seal for a tight fit and to keep the inner contents protected from the elements. Here you can see the outward opening hinge system that is hidden inside the bags.
05. The 3¼ inches of extended stretch and not having exposed latches or any other external hardware really give the bags a custom and clean look. And even though the bags are longer and provide more useable storage than Dan’s Classic bags or even stock hard bags for that matter, the Smoothies aren’t so long that they will interfere with Dan’s ground clearance or corning ability.
06. Currently DCC offers cutouts on both saddlebags for true dual exhausts but plan on offering non-cutout versions for 2-into-1 and short pipe exhaust systems. The rear of the bag follows the rear fender tip and the cutouts wrap around the exhaust nicely.
07. Dan compared the storage capability of his stock Classic bags (1.85 cubic feet total) against that of DCC’s bags. He was barely able to fit his leather jacket, chaps, and vest into one of the Classic bags.
08. With the DCC bag’s 2.44 cubic feet of total storage capacity Dan had plenty of room to spare with all that stuff shoved into one of the bags. As a side note, stock H-D hard bags have 2.26 cubic feet of total storage space.
09. To help improve the long haul comfort for him and his wife, Dan ordered one of Saddlemen’s Explorer seats ($619.95 with driver backrest). The seat features Saddlemen’s exclusive SaddleGel. The idea to incorporate the proprietary SaddleGel technology into its seats came from the medical industry. The gel is used for wheel chair pads and hospital beds to prevent bedsores. Saddlemen’s SaddleGel is a molded solid with fluid-like properties that isolate common causes of rider fatigue and discomfort such as engine and road vibration. The gel evenly distributes weight across the seat to help eliminate pressure points at the hipbones and tailbone and improve circulation to eliminate hot spots. Both the rider and passenger portions of the seat feature SaddleGel.
10. Dan ordered the Explorer seat with the rider backrest option. By simply lifting up on the Velcro tab to expose the mounting pocket, Dan can slide in the rider backrest. The height of the backrest can easily be adjusted as well as the fore/aft position of the backrest. The Explorer is covered in a Saddlemen’s SaddleHyde, which offers comfort and a soft leathery feel while withstanding the elements.
11. To make it easier for passengers to get into position, the rider backrest folds forward. Another comfort feature that Saddlemen has incorporated into its seat is the split cushion design, which divides the flat seat support and backrest support into separate surfaces. This allows the rider to sink into the seat portion and ride on the gel without pulling down on the lumbar portion and cramping the riding position.
12. For extra storage for all his wife’s clothing and shoes, Dan got one of Saddlemen’s new Roller Sissybar bags (PN SDP2600, MSRP $169.95). The bag is constructed of UV, water, and weather-resistant 1200 denier Saddle Tuffa and features leather-like vinyl panels. The bag measures 18 inches wide, 21 inches high, 11½ inches deep. With Saddlemen’s new fully adjustable sissybar mounting system, the bag fits over any sissy bar pad, and once properly adjusted to the pad, it doesn’t need to be readjusted.
14. The bag has wheels on the bottom and a retractable handle. It also features a top carry handle, backpack straps, and a shoulder strap. This means when they get to their destination, Dan’s wife has plenty of options to haul the bag from the bike to the room.
15. With its rigid construction the bag holds it’s shape, which makes it easy to stuff the 2,600 cubic inches of storage space to capacity. The bag also has plenty of external pockets, a top pocket office organizer, and lockable zipper pulls for additional and secure storage.
16. Here’s what Dan’s ’06 Road King Classic looked like with the stock seat and saddlebags. While the aftermarket fairing does give the bike a different look…
17. …the addition of the DCC saddlebags really helps change up the look of the bike. Not only do the saddlebags provide more storage space but they also give the bike a more custom look. However, in a mater of minutes Dan could simply swap out the saddlebags and pull off the fairing and have the nostalgic look of his original Road King Classic. The addition of the Saddlemen seat not only slimmed down the overall profile of the bike but also provided plenty of long-distance comfort. In fact Dan says he hardly hears a peep out of his wife when on long trips, which we really find hard to believe.
Depending on what you do, sometimes it doesn’t take much to really change up the look of a bike. Take our friend Dan for example. For the past several years, Dan has been cruising around on his ’06 Road King Classic. A while back he ditched his windshield in favor of a full fairing and rockin’ audio setup. Just by adding a fairing, Dan drastically changed the look of his bike. Dan was content with his new styled bike for a while but like most of us, once again he got restless and when he turned to us for advice our response was, “Saddlebags.”
The tooled leather wrapped saddlebags on the Road King Classic help give the bike a nostalgic look; however, we told Dan that by simply adding some extended hard bags he could really make his bike look completely different. The more Dan thought about it the more he liked the idea because getting some new hard bags meant he’d actually have two bikes in one; the vintage-looking Road King Classic he originally fell in love with and a more modern/custom tourer with stretched bags and bumpin’ beats. While he was researching saddlebags online, Dan’s wife, Tina, let it be known that she wanted a more comfortable ride for herself and more room to store all here shoes on long weekend trips. So Dan broadened his search to include a new seat and a travel bag.
Dan found exactly what he wanted saddlebag-wise on the Dead Center Cycles (DCC) website. Dead Center Cycles offers its Smoothies extended saddlebags for ’93-and-newer FLH and FLHT models. What drew Dan to the DCC saddlebags was that they come complete with lids, locks, and hardware in a gloss black gel-coat finish (MSRP $1,399.99) so he didn’t have to order more parts from his local dealership to complete the swap. Most of the extended aftermarket saddlebags only come with the bottoms so you have to use your stock lids (if you own hard bags) or buy the lids, locks, and hardware separately, which can cost upwards of $600. By purchasing the DCC bags, Dan would have two complete sets of saddlebags.
As for the seat, Dan had heard good things about Saddlemen’s SaddleGel seats so he picked up one of the company’s Explorer seats. Saddlemen also offers a broad selection of travel bags, so while he was ordering his new seat, he ordered a Roller Sissybar bag as well. B
Dead Center Cycles**
deadcentercycles.com | (866) 971 - 3323
saddlemen.com | (800) 397 - 7709