How to Install Harley Davidson Saddlebags

by Louise Lawson

Harley Davidson is one of the most well-known motorcycle manufactures on the market today. They have been manufacturing motorcycle and motorcycle accessories for well over one hundred years. Many of the accessories that Harley Davidson makes are easy for even the most novice motorcycle owner to install at home.

Determine what type of saddlebags you will be installing on your motorcycle. Saddlebags come in hard and soft styles, with each installed in basically the same manner. Hard bags tend to offer more security for your items but are a bit on the bulky side, while soft bags offering a little more flexibility.

Check to make sure that your fender bolt area is clean and prepped for installation of your saddlebags. Both hard and soft saddlebags on Harley Davidsons are installed over the fender bolt area on the rear of the motorcycle, so clearing this area of debris and grime will keep it free of scratches and blemishes.

Install any spacers or lifting brackets before you try and place your bags on your Harley Davidson. These spacers will keep you bags from resting against your exhaust pipes and will avoid damage to your motorcycle and to the bags themselves. Make sure they are installed tightly and spaced properly before mounting your bags.

Open the saddle bag packaging and lay out the included hardware. The hardware will be necessary to properly mount your saddlebags to your fenders, so be sure that you do not misplace it. If your saddle bag comes with a fender mounting bracket, install it along the fender before proceeding. This bracket will be used to hold and stabilize your saddlebags, so it is essential that it is properly tightened and installed.

Hold your saddle bag up to the fender and align the bolt holes in the saddle bag with the bolt area on the fender. Your saddle bag will have mounting holes in the side of the bag that will align with the mounting bracket. Place one of the bolts in the hole and tighten to hold it on. Put the remaining bolt in place and tighten them both securely once they are aligned correctly.

Repeat this process with the remaining saddle bag. The bags should align evenly and be attached straight to avoid any imbalances or shifting while the motorcycle is in motion. Try and wiggle or move the bags to be sure your bolts are tight enough to prevent movement.

Take your Harley Davidson for a short ride. Stop and check the fitting on your saddlebags and look at your bolts. Make sure nothing has moved during your ride and that all of your fittings remain tight. With just a bit of effort, your new saddlebags will make your Harley Davidson the envy of the neighborhood.

Tips

  • check Check all of your packaging carefully. You need to make sure that all of your parts are enclosed in the correct packaging and that you have everything you need to fit your saddlebags before you start.
  • check Tighten any bolts or fittings slowly and carefully. You can gradually increase the tightness of your hardware if necessary, but over-tightening can cause a problem.

Warnings

  • close Do not use tools carelessly. They can be dangerous if not used with caution.
  • close Avoid scratching your fenders or chrome while installing your new parts. Repairing damage to the body of your motorcycle is time-consuming and expensive.

Items you will need

About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera http://harleytalk.net/