How to Install a Sissy Bar on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Like most cruisers, the Vehicles has a wide range of accessories and upgraded parts available from both Vehicles and third-party manufacturers. Among these is the nearly ubiquitous passenger backrest -- otherwise known as the sissy bar. In most cases, regardless of whom you buy the part from, the sissy bar bolts into the mounting rail that is built into the bike. The leather pads that most people want on their sissy bars may or may not be sold separately, but in almost all cases they aren't installed on the sissy bar out of the box, so that has to be installed as well.

Under The Hood:

 How to Install a Sissy Bar on a Honda Shadow

Installing the Sissy Bar

Unbolt the passenger seat (or the entire seat, if it is a single-piece seat) from the mount point on the rear fender. If it is a single-piece seat, there should also be two side bolts underneath where the seat curves down for the driver; remove them as well. Set all pieces aside.

Remove the rearmost two bolts on both of the fender stays.

Line up the sissy bar with the bolt points on the fender stay.

Fasten the front two bolts through the sissy bar back into the fender. If the bolts are not long enough, most hardware stores sell chromed metric bolts.

Make sure the sissy bar is lined up with the fender stays, and fasten the rear two bolts into the fender.

Tighten all four bolts. Do not over-tighten as this may strip the bolts.

Reinstall the passenger seat (or if you have a single-piece seat, the entire seat).

Installing the Sissy Bar Seat Pad

Line up the seat pad with the mounting holes on the sissy bar.

Insert the top bolt first, and tighten it until it keeps the seat pad in place. Make sure not to over-tighten; you should be able to move the seat around a bit.

Insert the two lower bolts.

Line up the seat so that the sides are parallel with the sides of the sissy bar.

Tighten all three bolts.

Items you will need

  • Set of metric wrenches

 How to Install a Sissy Bar on a Sportster

Insert the sissy bar into the side plate mounting bracket. The sissy bar should slide into the mounting bracket and the holes for bolts line up on the inside.

Install the four Torx head bolts to secure the sissy bar to the mounting system. Use the appropriate Torx head driver to tighten down the bolts. The size of the Torx head driver will vary by year for the Sportster.

Remove the protective tape from the back of the side reflectors and install them on the side of the sissy bar mounting system.

Stand behind the Sportster and install the complete sissy bar onto the bike. Place the side plate onto the front docking points. There is a cutout on the front docking point and the side plate should be positioned in the groove.

Rotate the locking latches that secure the sissy bar to the bike. Press down firmly and rotate the latches into the locked position. Gently tug on the side panel to make sure the latches are locked.

Items you will need

  • Gloves

  • Torx head Screwdriver

  • Sissy bar kit

 How to Install a Sissy Bar on a Dyna Low Rider

Remove the sissy bar and the FXDL side mount kit from the manufacturer's packaging. Examine the parts, and verify that they are undamaged.

Identify the rear fender support bars on either side of the rear wheel fender. These chromed or black gloss steel structural members are fastened to the bike at the top of the rear shock absorber, and extend toward the back of the bike, parallel to the ground.

Loosen the bolts on the rear fender support that connect the support to the rear fender, and which fasten onto the rear turn signals. Slide the side mount kit into place between the fender mount support bar and the rear fender on each side of the bike. Tighten these bolts to secure the side mount kit.

Attach the sissy bar to the newly installed FXDL side of the mount kit. In most cases no drilling is necessary. The parts are engineered to attach to each other and provide a stable and reliable mount for the Dyna Low Rider Sissy Bar.

Items you will need

  • Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider

  • FXDL side mount kit

  • Factory OEM or aftermarket sissy bar

  • SAE socket set

  • SAE hex head Allen wrench set