Review by Reg Kittrelle
[This RideTek LidHauler and LidSak Review was originally published in American Rider magazine]
Give me the space to pack it, and I’ll take along enough stuff to shame the quartermaster of a small frigate. Which is just one of the reasons I love the big Harley baggers—stuff space. The more I carry, the more I seem to want to carry.
Abetting my self-indulgence is any number of companies providing all manners of bags, packs and created space. Some of the simplest products to use come from RideTek, in particular their LidHauler and LidSak. One of the advantages offered to aftermarket companies is the nature of many Harley-Davidson components, which haven’t changed since the dawn of man or, in the case of the FL saddlebags, since 1993. This fact has allowed RideTek to develop form-fitting saddlebag-lid covers that fit every FLT and FLH model made since that year. Called LidHaulers, these weather-resistant black vinyl covers have attached 1.5-inch-wide, 38-inch-long nylon straps with D-ring closures. Once attached to the bag lids, the LidHaulers allow you to securely hold jackets, sleeping bags, tents or anything that spans the 12 inches between the straps. When not in use the straps are simply fed into the bags themselves.
The LidHaulers attach to the bag lids via hook-and-loop strips applied to six locations on the lid’s underside. Follow the directions carefully and the LidHaulers will stay tight and in place. The lids clamp down on the edges of the LidHaulers to help maintain their security and take the strain off the hook-and-loop. The downside to this attachment method is the inevitable slight gaps between the lids and the bags. A quick hose test showed a bit of leakage. Keep in mind that the LidHaulers are “water resistant,” not waterproof. It is a good idea to remove them regularly—it only takes a few seconds. With the LidHaulers removed, clean and polish the bag lids. This will eliminate possible abrasion to the paint from trapped dust. As handy as the LidHaulers are, they’re even better when you add the LidSaks. These are 9.5-inch-diameter, 20.5-inch-long cargo bags designed to strap to the LidHaulers. Made from 420-denier urethane-coated (making them water-resistant) oxford nylon, they feature two compression straps, a drawstring closure with a cord lock, and a storm flap to keep out moisture. Strapped atop the LidHaulers, the LidSaks make for a tidy package that’s easily detached. Additionally, saddlebags can be opened and closed without removing the LidSaks.
The combination of the LidHaulers and the LidSaks significantly increases carrying capacity. In my case, I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. The LidHaulers retail for a suggested $134.95 a pair and the LidSaks for $44.99 a pair.
For more information contact RideTek, 480-752-3556, www.ridetek.com.