Mounting a back rest on a Yamaha V-Star motorcycle provides its riders with comfort and stability. Yamaha V-Star motorcycles are not factory equipped with back rests, but aftermarket accessories such as back rests and saddle bags are available for purchase. Equipping a Yamaha V-Star with a back rest and saddle bags is a fairly painless process, and only requires about an hour of time to complete. Before you begin, review your motorcycle’s owner’s manual and locate the entry point for sissy bar installation on your specific model of V-Star motorcycle. Also locate any instructions for wiring that needs to be disconnected or moved to make room for the sissy bar.
Installing a Backrest
1. Rest the motorcycle on its kickstand.
2. Remove the axle nut on the rear wheel using an adjustable wrench. Loosen the pinch bolts with your fingers and remove the axle from the rear wheel. Grab the drive chain with your hands and remove it from the swing arm. Let the drive chain hang to the ground for now. Remove the rear wheel by grabbing it with your hands and pulling it toward the back end of the motorcycle until it separates from the bike. Rest the body of the motorcycle on cinder blocks to keep it stable while installing the backrest.
3. Remove all hardware from the rear of the seat using an adjustable wrench.
4. Cover the paint on the rear seat with masking tape to protect it during installation of the backrest.
5. Apply the sissy bar templates provided with the backrest to their respective sides of the motorcycle, being sure to center them on the rear of the seat. The templates provide you with locations in which to drill holes for installation of the sissy bar, which is the large, usually u-shaped, piece of steel on which the backrest is mounted.
6. Drill holes in the template where instructed. Use the drill bit size indicated in the instructions provided with your backrest.
7. Insert the provided sissy bar fasteners into the indicated holes. Tighten a nut onto each bolt using your fingers, but do not tighten them all the way down. Align the sissy bar so the portion rising above the rear seat, which is the mount for the backrest, is vertically centered. Tighten the nuts all the way using an adjustable wrench.
8. Hold the backrest up to the sissy bar and mount the brackets into the locations provided with the backrest’s instructions. Align the holes in the brackets with the holes in the back of the seat. Insert the backrest’s screws into the holes and tighten them with a screwdriver. Double check all of the hardware and make sure it is tightly connected.
9. Remove the masking tape and replace all hardware.
10. Remove the fender bolts from the right side of the motorcycle using an adjustable wrench, one at a time. Be careful and do not move the fender.
11. Insert the saddlebag’s docking bolts into the holes and tighten them down using the provided nuts.
12. Mount the saddlebag’s bracket onto the docking bolts. Secure the bracket by following the saddlebag’s instructions; some brackets secure by tightening a nut, while others secure by twisting a key.
13. Hold the saddlebag up to the motorcycle and center it horizontally, being sure to align it in a location in which the saddlebag is not touching the shocks or exhaust pipe. While holding the bag in place, notice where the bracket makes contact with the bag. Mark the location of the bracket on the bag with chalk.
14. Remove the bracket from the motorcycle and rest it face down on the back of the saddlebag, aligning it with the chalk marks. Mark the locations of all the holes of the brackets on the saddlebag with chalk. Remove the bracket from the saddlebag.
15. Drill holes into the chalk-marked locations using the drill bit size indicated in the saddlebag’s instructions.
16. Place the bracket back onto the back of the bag and align the bracket holes with the holes in the saddlebag.
17.Insert the saddlebag’s bolts into the holes. Reach inside of the saddlebag and, working one bolt at a time, slide a washer onto each bolt and tighten the nuts onto the threaded ends of the bolts using your hands. Tighten the nuts all the way down, using an adjustable wrench to mount the bracket to the saddlebag.
18. Attach the bracket on the back of the saddlebag to the docking bolts on the motorcycle. Secure the bracket in the same manner in which you secured it before, by either tightening a nut or twisting a key.
19. Repeat these steps on the left side of the motorcycle to install a second saddlebag.