The other day I posted a photo of my motorcycle on our M.S.A.R. Facebook Group Page (Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Riders), and one of my friends that also has a VTX 1800, asked me how my saddlebags looked so good. As it turned out, the day before I tried my newly discovered trick.
While looking at old photos, I noticed how shiny and brand new my saddlebags looked compared to now. It seems the color has faded slightly. I purchased a cleaner/restorer at an auto store to see if I can bring back the “new look.” The restorer had zero effect other than my wallet was $10 lighter.
In the past, after washing the bike, I would rub baby oil into the bags with my hands and then wipe it off. It gives it a nice clean look and helps keep the bags well maintained. However, because I train regularly with drills to improve my riding ability, the bike does get dropped from time to time. It has been a long time though, thankfully.
Anyway, these courses I practice on are no cakewalk, so a few scuff marks on the bags was inevitable. Searching and searching online, I came across a thread where someone recommended black shoe polish. It would not only remove the scuff marks, but also fill in any scratches. I decided to give it a try.
I went to the grocery store and bought Kiwi Shoe Polish. The cost was $4.99. I washed the bike, took out an old rag, and rubbed the shoe polish on. Then, simply removed it. Instantly, the bags looked great once again! It was simple, no hard buffing and shouldn’t take more than five minutes total. I definitely recommend giving it a shot.
One more thing, I also have a thin board piece that I put inside the bags, so that if anything heavy goes inside, it does not cause the bags to droop and lose their shape.
Good luck. Any tips, feel free to share them. Someone also recommended vinegar and olive oil to wash the bags, will give that a try as well.