Indian Scout Genuine Leather Saddlebags Review

Indian Scout Genuine Leather Saddlebags review

Between the revvy nature of its engine and low-slung stance, the Indian Scout is a solid everyday solo rider. But every now and then, a rider could use a little extra storage space for running errands around town or when traveling longer distances. Indian offers a solution with its easy-on, easy-off Genuine Leather Saddlebags for the Scout.

2016 Indian Scout with Genuine Leather Saddlebags

When it’s time to go exploring on the Scout, the leather saddlebags are a welcome addition.

When we say easy, we mean it. Indian has made installation as painless as possible because there’s already two mounting points in the Scout’s stock rear fender. Simply remove the two hex bolts on the side of the fender, screw the mounting spools into their place, and slide the posts on the back of the saddlebags into the holes on the spools. Then open up the bag, flip the latch down to secure it, and you’re good to go. The only time you’ll need a tool is during the initial installation to remove the hex bolt and to tighten down the ones in the center of the mounting spools. After that, removing the bags is as easy as flipping up the latches and pulling them off. The mount isn’t oversized so it doesn’t detract from the look of the bike without the bag. They do stick out about an inch-and-a-half but it only takes a few minutes to take them off and replace them with the stock bolts which sit flush on the fender.

The mounting spools for the Scout's leather saddlebags bolt right in to preexisting holes.

The mounting spools for the Scout’s leather saddlebags bolt right in to preexisting holes.

The factory Scout saddlebags feature a plastic shell interior while the outside is wrapped in weather-resistant leather. Using hard plastic for the inside helps the bags maintain shape. We’ll vouch for its ability to keep contents dry after getting caught in a couple of summer time storms. On the exterior, the tan leather and dual buckles give the bags a vintage look, as do a couple of shiny Indian headdress medallions. The metal buckles and leather straps are just for show as the real latching system comes in the form of a plastic clasp and nylon strap hidden underneath them. The plastic clasp is quick and convenient to use. There’s also snaps at the front and back of the lid to ensure it doesn’t blow open once a rider’s up to speed.

Indian Scout saddlebags plastic clasp

Beneath the leather strap and buckle of the Scout saddlebags is a plastic clasp and nylon strap that expedites access.

At 4 inches, the Scout Genuine Leather Saddlebags aren’t overly wide. Lengthwise, you’ve got 16 inches to work with. The bottom of the bags are contoured slightly in order to provide a little space between them and the pipes. They’re the perfect size to stuff a riding jacket in and have been useful for carrying cameras and GoPro’s for photo shoots. They’re big enough to hold enough stuff for an overnighter but not big enough for a multi-day trip. There’s also no way to lock them to protect your valuables.

Indian Scout saddlebag latch

Once the mounting spools are in place, removing the Scout’s leather saddlebags is as easy as flipping this latch up and pulling them off.

The Genuine Leather Saddlebags are available in Desert Tan or Black for $999.99 and come with a one-year warranty. The traditional styling complements the Scout well and they rate high for being easy to install and remove. The one hitch is you have to purchase the mounting spools separately for $149.99. Considering the bags already cost a grand you’d think they’d be bundled into the overall package. Granted, they’re not cheap, but the cost becomes easier to swallow every time a rider doesn’t have to throw on a backpack for runs to the store or long day rides.

Indian Motorcycles headdress medallion

Indian headdress medallions add a little style to the factory accessory leather saddlebags.