While the E12 saddle bags are a fine choice for day rides I need more storage capacity for multi-day rides. I have a set of Wolfman Monarch saddle bags that I use on my Husqvarna TR650 and due to their larger size they are a much better choice for longer trips. All the XRL needed was a side rack and I could use the Monarch bags on both bikes so I opted to install a set of Happy Trail’s SL side racks.
The racks mounted fairly easily but the supplied bolts were too short to use with the top rack. A trip to Fastenal solved that problem and I quickly completed the installation of the racks. The Monarch bags fit nicely on the racks and there was absolutely no drama with either the bags or side racks during a rugged 7 day dual sport ride in the mountains of Mexico.
The Monarch bags are large enough for a 3-4 day warm weather ride. If you will be riding longer than that, riding in cold weather (requiring bulky cold weather gear), or carrying camping gear, then you will likely need more capacity. I have a Nelson Rigg tail bag that I’ve owned for years and it provides the extra storage space I need for longer rides. You can see it mounted in the picture below.
During a 7 day dual sport ride in Mexico I carried about 50 lbs of gear on the back of the bike. As you may recall, I had the subframe of the XRL reinforced due to other owners reporting issues with it breaking. It appears to me that the Happy Trail side racks add some additional reinforcement to the subframe from the way the racks mount to the frame at the passenger footppeg. In any case, the subframe held up just fine during some fairly rugged dirt riding in Mexico so at this point I believe the subframe and luggage issues are solved. Now it’s time to start working on performance mods.