How to Install Harley Hard Saddlebags
Harley Davidson is an American icon in motorcycles. Traveling on a motorcycle is a whole different world than in a car or vehicle where you have space to carry things, but saddlebags are the motorcycle's answer to that. Installing a set of Harley hard shelled saddle bags is not a difficult process. They are a common accessory and come in a variety of styles but have a standard installation that makes it a good do-it-yourself project for the motorcycle enthusiast.
- Harley Davidson hard saddle bag set and hardware kit
- Ratchet set
Unpack the saddle bag set and hardware kit and lay out the pieces. Make sure everything is there before beginning the job so you are not interrupted by missing hardware necessary to complete the installation. This is a good time to read through the instructions to familiarize yourself with any specific notes or areas of concern.
Check your motorcycle for clearance by holding up the saddle bag to the fender where it will be installed and making sure the exhaust or any other mechanical areas do not interfere with its location. If there is an obstruction, there are lift kits or spacers you can buy or install prior to putting the saddle bags on the bike to give adequate clearance.
Clean the fender bolt area to be sure all dirt and grime are removed. This will avoid scratching the paint and give you a good clean working area when installing the bags.
Mount the saddle bag holding bracket if one is in the hardware kit. This is a bracket designed to attach and remove saddle bags and assist with distributing the weight. Nearly all saddle bags or mounting brackets are attached at the pre-drilled factory bolt holes in the fender.
Place both bolts in place. Add any rubber bushings, washers or spacers required with the kit. Attach the saddle bag to the mounting bolts and align it so everything is seated correctly. Tighten the bolts. Check for good fit inside the saddle bag and out. Repeat this step for the other saddle bag.
Test drive the motorcycle with the new bags in place and check for any rubbing or areas that are not secured, then adjust as needed.