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How to Restore Leather Motorcycle Saddlebags

by Constance Barker

Leather motorcycle saddlebags receive a beating from dust and dirt from the open road, and the sun's rays dry out the leather. Leather is tough and can withstand brutal conditions, but it also needs moisturizing to restore its dry and cracked surface. Restoring leather is easy when you know the proper procedure.

Remove the saddlebags from the motorcycle and take out all items inside the bags.

Dampen a clean cloth and wipe any dust and dirt from the saddlebags. Make sure the cloth is damp, not wet. Clean deep around any fixtures on the saddlebags where dirt can hide in the leather.

Apply a leather cleaner onto a clean, damp rag and rub onto the leather sandbags. Allow the cleaner to sit on the bag for five minutes or however long the instructions advise.

Remove the leather cleaner with a clean, damp cloth, making sure to remove all the cleaner's soapy residue.

Spray a leather conditioner on the saddlebags after cleaning. Spray conditioner on one section of the bag and wipe off with a clean, soft cloth. Continue spraying one section at a time and drying off until you have covered the entire bag. The conditioner adds moisture to the leather, providing shine and suppleness.


  • Wipe the leather saddlebags clean with a dry cloth after each outing on the motorcycle to keep dust from settling into the leather.
  • Put a cover or sheet over your motorcycle during storage to keep dust away from the leather bags.

Items you will need

About the Author

Constance Barker, located in the hills of southern Ohio, is the owner and writer of several financial, credit report and travel websites. She started writing in 1999 for private clients and began creating website content in 2004. She gained expertise in home improvement after she and her husband built their home themselves.

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