Install Saddle Bags On A 1996 Harley Sportster

Harley-Davidson Sportsters are legendary.

The 1996 Harley-Davidson Sportster is one in a long line of motorcycles produced by the company since 1957. The Sportster, or “Sportie,” features V-twin engines connected with Harley’s signature “fork and blade” design. The Harley-Davidson Sportster was the motorcycle of choice for stunt man Evel Knievel, who made his longest jump on the XR-750 Sportster. But if you’re not Evel Knievel, and just want to cruise your Sportster, installing saddle bags is a great way to accessorize your Harley.


1. Open the seat by removing the hinge bolts with a socket driver.

2. Jack the motorcycle with the rear wheel off the ground using the car jack.

3. Locate the rear shock absorbers on either side of the Sportster. With a socket driver, remove the lower bolt, nut and washer from both.

4. Unscrew the two button head screws and lock nuts from both sides of the fender with the Allen wrench.

5. Find the two clip nuts under the fender, and remove them from the rear fender support covers with the socket driver.

6. Find the screw from the saddle bag kit and install it through the rear fender hole, screwing it through the fender hole in the front and into the fender support where the two button head screws were previously attached.

7. Fix the long spacer from the kit onto the front bolt and the short spacer from the kit onto the rear bolt.

8. Slide the saddle bag onto the bolts. The bushings should sit on the saddle bag bracket.

9. Thread the washers and the flange lock nuts to the bolts on the inside of the saddle bag. Put the seat back on the bike and lower it to the ground.