Written by Michael B. 4/3/2017
VUZ pronounced (voose-goose) saddle bags.
Now that I’ve started putting some serious miles on the bike and have gotten used to the seat and gotten rid of that stock windshield. It’s time to start planning my big trip!
This one will take me to Los Angles to see my nephew graduate from USC! My planned route will take me there in a little over 1600 miles. The way back I will meander, so that will be around 2000 miles making my trip total 3600 miles! My time frame?? 5-6 days.
With that said, I needed some panniers. Unlike the previous bike, I wanted to save weight and go with soft bags. There are a ton of bags out there. From the very simple non-adv style ($100+)to the uber technical straps-everywhere bomb-proof bags($300+). I’m skewing towards the adventure style, but a little less “strappy.” Clean lines yet adv spec. Oh yeah and cheap. like under $150.
Fleabay and Shamazon tabs everywhere on my work screens and laptop screens. I’m reading reviews, watching videos and having late-nite iphone sessions. I was feeling like going used, but my wife said, “Quit being cheap and just buy new stuff.” Ok, Ok… I landed on Nelson Rigg. I read reviews (mostly good) and start watching the bay for deals. They are running at a $120 average. Sounds like a great deal.
As I’m about to pull the trigger on Nelsons, I do one more search and I land on a brand. VUZ. Voose – sounds like goose.
A little about VUZ:
The company started out of the need for good quality bags for the budget minded adventure riders. VUZ saw an opportunity in the market to develop quality products with a more urban and adventure style but still be able to sell at a price customers could value. They are a direct to manufacture brand which means they develop and test their own products. These guys are new… Like really new…. Like 2 weeks old new. Check them out here: vuzmoto.com
So I bought a set for $99!! … A few days later, a box was waiting on me at the door.
Initial impressions: material quality and nuisances
When I opened box and removed the saddlebags from the packaging, they had a very cool matte-black finish with the visible “VUZ” logo screen printed on the side. Another thing I noticed was the compression valve. It’s situated prominently on the side, so when you have the 24 liter bags packed and rolled closed, you have the added ability to release the valve and securely compress the bags. One of my thoughts on the valve placement is that it could be damaged in the event of a fall. Maybe install it on the rear facing side of the bag. This will be further addressed on the extended trip review a month from now.
Back to the bags themselves… I must say they appear and feel durable. The heat welded seams of the PVC tarpaulin material feel tight and the stitching on the webbing to the attachment points feel sturdy. The buckles feel thick and strong. I feel like I could put one of my kids in a bag and carry her around without the fear of them breaking or coming undone.
Mounting them to the bike:
According to the site: “The VUZ Dry Saddlebags attach to most any adventure and dual sport bikes, including classic and modern scramblers with a high exhaust.”
Right out of the box you can sling them over your seat and clip them to any mounting point on the bike. Open one of the bags you’ll find an assortment of straps to use with any setup you have. The were easily mounted on my DIY vario rack adapters.
The main straps that secure the bags to each other and over the seat (as a pair or individually) are two inch wide 24″ long single stitched Velcro straps. I’ll probably go back and add another line of stitching and a box “x” so I know that over time the Velcro won’t pull away from the strap material itself.
Mounting was easy. I chose the “single” bag setup for now. The thick neoprene backer helps protect the bags from friction wear when riding on terrain while mounted and fully loaded on racks.
The test ride…. Give me a few days.