Harley Davidson is a well-recognized motorcycle manufacturer in the United States. Harley produces several different models of motorcycles and offers a full line of OEM custom parts for anything from enhanced performance to aesthetics. Included in the line of OEM parts are saddlebags, which connect to the sides of your rear fender, allowing you to store small items during transit. You can install the Harley aftermarket saddlebags yourself with a few tools. Installation is complicated and some motorcycles require that you use a turn signal relocation kit before bag installation. Take your bike to your local Harley dealer if you are uncomfortable installing the saddlebag kit.
1. Park the Harley on level ground and shut off the engine. Allow the engine to cool to prevent being burned when installing the saddlebags. Remove the seat, according to your owner’s manual’s instructions, and disconnect the negative battery cable, using a wrench.
2. Lock the front wheel in place using a motorcycle stand.
3. Place a hydraulic jack beneath the bottom of the engine. Place a flat piece of 4-by-4 wood on the top of the hydraulic jack and slowly raise the rear end of the motorcycle 3 to 4 inches off the ground to provide more room to work in between the rear wheel and fender. The wood also protects the bottom of the engine.
4. Remove the top shock mounting bolt on each side of the rear fender, using a ratchet. The mounting bolt is located on the outside of the fender and connects the motorcycle shock absorber, which will allow you enough room to fit the hex head screw from the saddlebag kit behind the fender.
5. Insert from within the fender the hex head screw from the saddlebag kit through the front hole on the fender support.
6. Hold the bolt in place within the fender using a hex key and insert the docking-point piece onto the bolt, wide end first. Place the metal spacer on the bolt, followed by the saddlebag bushing with the small end facing outward. Tighten the bushing, using an open-ended wrench. Repeat the process on the other side of the fender.
7. Insert from within the fender a second hex head screw from the saddlebag kit through the rear hole on the fender support. Repeat Step 6 for the bolt, installing the forward docking-point piece, metal spacer and saddlebag bushing. Tighten the bushing using an open-ended wrench. Repeat on the other side of the fender.
8. Reinstall the shock mounting bolt on each side of the fender, reconnecting the shock absorber.
9. Lower the hydraulic jack, move it aside and remove the wood.
10. Install the saddle bags directly onto the fender support, lining up the two clips within the saddle bag with the saddlebag bushings on the hex head screws.
11. Open the saddlebags and screw a thread protector from the kit onto the saddlebag mounting screws to eliminate the possibility of injury when reaching into the saddlebags.