Install Saddle Bags

Throw-over saddlebags fasten to the bike under the seat.

A motorcycle saddlebag is a storage-bag accessory fastened to the motorcycle in some way. While there are many types of saddle bag, throw-over bags tend to be easiest to install because they fit on most motorcycles and typically don’t require additional drilling or modification to your motorcycle, as some bags do. Keep in mind that motorcycles come in all different shapes and sizes and so do saddle bags; ensure that you purchase one known to fit your motorcycle.


1. Browse through your motorcycle owner’s manual for information on removing the seat and follow the instructions. Otherwise, look for screws around the edge of the seat and unscrew them if you don’t have your manual. If you’re still having trouble removing the seat, you can search the Internet for your bike’s seat removal instructions.

2. Unlace the saddlebag’s yoke, the part that goes under the seat. With the yoke unlaced and now extended, place the saddlebag where you’d like to install it. Overlap the yoke onto itself and outline where the yoke overlaps itself and any of the bike’s hardware with a marker.

3. Lay the bags flat with the yoke on a piece of wood or other raised, flat surface. Line your marks up with each other and make sure the holes on the yoke line up as well. While they typically will, you may need to drill about six holes through each piece of the yoke to get lined-up holes.

4. Place the bag back on your motorcycle in your desired position and fasten the seat onto the bike again. If the saddlebag has tie-downs, tie them to a part of the bike that doesn’t get hot for extra saddlebag stability. Leave only about an inch of slack — too much slack won’t secure the bags but too little may snap the tie-downs.

5. Ensure that both the seat and saddlebags are secure and snug and that there’s no way for the bags to hit your bike‘s spokes, chain, belt, wheels or anything that gets overly hot when the bike is in use.