Install Saddlebags on a Honda Shadow
Honda’s venerable Shadow cruiser lives for long stretches of highway but rolls out the factory ill-equipped when it comes to storage. The answer to this problem is found in an age-old solution once used by horsemen in years past to carry supplies and belongings: saddlebags. Used primarily in the cruiser and touring classes of motorcycles, saddlebags can be found in one of two distinct types: soft, throw-over bags and frame-mounted bags. Installing a set of saddlebags can be as simple as removing the seat and throwing the bags over the rear fender. Installing a frame-mounted kit, however, often means relocating the rear-facing turn signals, requiring a bit more time and effort to install.
Relocating the Turn Signals
1. Remove the rider’s seat. Disconnect the battery, removing the negative (-) terminal first, followed by the positive (+) terminal. Then locate and disconnect the rear turn signals and taillight. The connectors are under the seat.
2. Loosen the rear fender by removing the bolts on the rear fender support strut with an appropriately sized Allen head socket. Lower the fender onto the rear wheel, and slide it out completely.
3. Remove the rear turn signal assemblies from the fender support strut, taking care to note which assembly came from the left or right side of the motorcycle.
4. Cut each turn signal’s wiring 3 inches from the connector ends with an electrical wire cutting tool. Slide two 1-inch-long strips of heat-shrink tubing on the wire. Cut two separate sets of electrical wiring approximately 24 inches in length, and solder them into place between the turn signal and the connector end. Slide the heat-shrink tubing over the soldered connections and seal with a heat gun or lighter.
5. Remove the license plate, and install the turn signal relocation brackets between the license plate and the license plate bracket. Apply a drop of Loctite to the thread of the license plate mounting bolts before tightening them.
6. Mount the turn signal assemblies to the relocation brackets, and run the wiring to the under-seat connectors following the taillight’s wiring. Reconnect the battery, starting with the positive (+) terminal, followed by the negative (-) terminal. Turn the ignition on, and test the turn signals for proper operation.
7. Remove the reflectors by loosening the lock nuts on the inside of the fender strut. Install the mounting spool in the reflector’s original location, applying a drop of Loctite to the threads of the bolt before them securing with a lock nut on the inside of the fender strut. Repeat on the opposite side of the motorcycle.
8. Insert the supplied spacers into the factory turn signal mounting holes, followed by the washer, bolt and mounting spool. Apply a drop of Loctite to the thread of the license plate mounting bolts before securing the bolt with a lock nut on the inside of the fender strut. Repeat on the opposite side of the motorcycle.
9. Reinstall the fender, securing it to the support strut with original bolts; then replace the seat.
10. Mount the saddlebags onto the spools. Secure the saddlebags to the spools from the interior by inserting retaining pins through the spools.