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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought New vintage. Haven't picked up from dealer yet. Noticed right saddle bag is a lot darker then left, kind of bugs me, any one else have this problem and solution. Maybe a leather treatment or will the lighter side get darker in time. Thinking of asking dealer to swap out with other bike but don't want to be a pain in neck customer. Any thoughts?
 

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You will find that the brown will sun fade over time. The passenger back rest pad arrived after I had my bike for five months and it is darker than the rest of the leather. It has begun to fade some so I guess over time they will all match. I do keep them clean and apply mink oil once a month. The leather treatment from Indian was used up in three months. The dealer I bought my bike from went out of business so I use the mink oil instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Ingle51. Will the mink oil from Indian make the leather darker? Maybe the dealer applied it on one bag and not the other. It looks like bags came off different bikes. I know leather isn't consistent, but this is a big difference. Guess I'll check with dealer to see what he can do.
 

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In responce to the tan fading, it will big time. There are lots of posts on other forums about the cheap die Polaris used. The ointment they give you doesn't work. Look to the Community forum for what to use. Gregory Polaris in Ark. has some options to restore or keep your seat and bags looking new.

Mark
 

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Unless the bags were cut from the very same hide, there will be subtle differences. That being said, it would bother me too. As a paying customer in the neck, I would ask to swap one or both from a floor model. Should not be an issue for the dealer. I was looking at all the bags on the showroom floor to see the differences and hoping that I would get two bags that were the same!! Matt
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Problem solved. Stopped in dealer today, they took care of me and switched out darker bag for lighter one. Turns out other bike they pulled it off had a darker bag on opposite side. So now both bikes look better.
 

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So whats your fix going to be at the end of summer ant the bags are albinoi white after just spnding all that cash? Again it is in the treatment of the leather.Many many others are experiancing this problem. One came from a dealer that had 3 miles on it and the bags were almost white. The recieving dealer can't put that bike on the floor and is waiting for Polaris to respond to their inquiry.
 

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My saddle is almost white.
I went for a while with my passenger seat removed so it is much darker than my saddle.
Then I have a riders backrest that I only use on long trips.....so it is yet another shade.
To look at my bags you would think they are holding up pretty well....until you lift the lids and look how much darker the leather is under there.

All of this since March 1st.

So yeah....I suppose at some point it will be necessary for me to address this.

I've not been quick to dye anything up until now because of all the various shades that I would be starting with. I don't know that it would look uniform when finished.

For various reasons some of us do not go to other forums. I would suspect that eventually someone will post helpful information on the leather dye products, treatments, and solutions here on this forum.

Besides, I've about got myself talked into believing that I like that really really really blond leather look.....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess I'll address that problem at the end of the summer. Maybe buy that water proofing spray I put on my boots, that always seems to makes my boots darker and works great on keeping the water repelled.
 

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Big Daddy
Put the darker colored leather in the sun for a day or three. it WILL fade like the others. Take it out of the sun when it matches the other leather. Going to dye mine a darker brown anyway so the fading for me isn't a problem.

 

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I do not know why but my vintage is the same. The left saddle bag and seat and backrest all are the same light distressed tan, but the right bag is noticiably darker. I have also heard from others that all the leather on their bikes faded to a white color after a year. I addressed the issue with my dealer and he said that it may be that the leather on the right bag is newer and that if I have a problem after a few months and it does not fade to match the rest of the leather they will replace it. When I was at the dealer it appears that almost all the bikes that have the distressed leather looked the same with the right bag darker than the left.
 

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I had the same problem, I ordered a tan seat for my blue chieftain, it took months to all come in and when I put it on the bike nothing matched. I went to a local boot store and the old guy told me to use Mineral Oil (not mink), this worked well to darken it but is not a permanent solution. Put the Mineral Oil on a rag and use a brushing motion so that there is no lines.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I went to a store that sells horse saddles today. I was hoping they might have a product that would work, but had no luck.
 

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I work with leather on a regular basis. To darken and water proof chemical tanned leather I would use Sno Seal. It's effectively whipped bee's wax, warm up the leather with a hair dryer, smear on the Sno Seal and put the heat back on it and it'll soak right into the leather. It's good stuff!! :)
 

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Did a little internet research on what product to use on saddle bags and seats. Obenauf's leather products kept coming up with great reviews. They sell a Leather Oil and a heavy duty LP. Their website was very informative and suggested both products for Motorcycle seats and bags. They did say the oil will slightly darken the leather. That might be a plus for some with faded bags. I just ordered a combo pack, will keep thread informed after I use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Bought some Obenauf's Leather Oil and LP. Came in mail today and applied to my Vintage leather. The stuff works great. It gives the leather a slightly darker richer look. I think with regular use it will prevent the fading. Any one out there ready to dye their bags because of fading might want to try this product first. It can be ordered at Obenauf's Leather Care and they're fast on the shipping.
 

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Upon information from the Indian Chief Forum I have dyed my leather.

I used a product called Fiebings Professional Saddle Tan Oil Dye.
It was available locally for me from Tandy Leather. About $6.00
You can also order it from the Tandy Leather website.
So it comes in different shades of color but Saddle Tan is the closest match to our original shade.

I started out wiping down all the leather with a damp sponge to clean it.
Then applied the oil dye directly from the bottle with a sponge applicator.
Be sure you wear rubber gloves as this stuff will stain your fingers.

To do both seats, both bags and my backrest I used about 3/4th's of a 4oz bottle.
The leather soaked this stuff in like a dry sponge.
At first I was concerned about getting it on even but soon found out that this is really not a concern.
Just be sure to cover everything and apply liberally. Pretty much idiot proof.

I was concerned because I was starting out with 15 shades of bleached out leather.
Would I end up with 15 shades of dyed leather?
No, it evens out well but still maintains the distressed shading in the natural leather.
In other words, it doesn't look like Krylon brown paint on your leather.

Ok, let me talk to you like the Dutch Uncle you never had for a minute.
What in the hell were you thinking when you were standing there looking at that "distressed leather" before you bought it?
It's like looking at a beautiful woman...ain't it?
I too was drawn in by her beauty. But I've been around enough beautiful women to recognize high maintenance when I see it.
I knew that I was going to learn a whole lot more about leather than I ever thought I would...and I was spot on.
I knew it was going to be a labor of love...and I was spot on.
If you ain't ready, willing, and able then get out of this deal right now. Get you a bike with hard bags and chalk it up.
I've learned that for leather to look beautiful you have to treat it with love and take care of it.

So this bag dying thing took me 4 hours, start to finish.
After the dye dried (about an hour) I buffed it to a high shine.
Then I applied Fiebings Leather Balm with Atom Wax to everything and buffed again.
The leather now has a deep, rich, slightly darker, even shade....yes, all matching.
And you think it was beautiful when you first got it? They look 10 times better....stunning after this dye job.

How long will it last?
I don't care because I can do it again if and when I have to.
Look at all that fringe....you have to resign yourself to taking care of that leather. You can not let it dry out. You can not ignore this stuff or it will go to hell.
This is going to be one labor intensive sumbioch and it ain't going to go away.
You are NOT going to be able to just spritz some jizz on there once in a while and have it look good.

NO, I don't do pictures. Sorry.
This stuff works and the finished product is well worth the effort and time you put into it.
Now I don't know what planet you think Polaris is going to get leather from that you don't have to work and maintain.
This is an age old skill and art and it will be just one more thing you can be proud of once you get it mastered.
 

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Big Daddy is so right,
I traded in my horses for a motorcycle 10years ago.
I spent a whole lot of time cleaning and conditioning my saddles and tack.
The vintage looks cool new. Over time, as the leather get weathered and cleaned and conditioned over and over, it will look better.
Just like that beautiful chrome power plant will take time to keep clean and gleaming , your leather is going to take some work.
Me, I still have my sites set on a Chieftain...Tuesday I hope to bring one home. I might decide on the vintage
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great write up Big Daddy, I'm still laughing. You hit the nail on the head. I'm 53 and have learned more about leather in the past few weeks than I have in my life. But I had to have the one on the showroom floor with the beautiful Leather, Still no regrets.
 

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Thanks 5th Dog and Vintage.
Good luck with your new Chieftain. I'm with you Vintage....I can't say I didn't know....I mean, whitewall tires on spoke rims....that should have been the first clue that this was going to require some work.

I ride everyday too...and in Louisiana it rains every afternoon in the summertime. What in the hell was I thinking? And then I see her when she is all dolled up with her dancing shoes on. I fall in love again every time I gaze into her spot lamps. lol

I suspect that before this is over that I will also try a product that I've been reading about called 303....here is the website for it.

303® Aerospace Protectant 32oz

This stuff looks promising for providing some UV protection...the price is sort of crazy though.

I'm getting ready to make a Texas Hill Country run from here in the bayou. It's been raining for a couple of days and don't show no sign of letting up. This will be pretty close to 800 miles each way and I'm expecting rain for most of the way up there. I don't think it is a realistic expectation that these leather saddlebags will be 100% water tight either. I will be packing everything in plastic garbage bags and then sliding the garbage bags into the leather saddlebags....this will also probably become the new norm for me.
 
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