How To Motorcycle Saddlebag Guide
So, you decided to add some saddlebags from our collection to your motorcycle and have questions on how to install the bags, what you need to do to order the correct set, how to measure etc.
We created this how to guide to make things easier for you. Some check points before you order a set to have an idea of how the bag will fit and check points before during install.
How to Guide and What To Consider
Design and Style
There are many choices we carry, it all comes down to your personal style, liking and what you need the bag for.
You can choose between bags with studs, without studs, with buckles, without buckles, bags that have conceal and carry pockets, side bags, slanted bags, brown bags, etc. We have a vast collection of luggage.
Things to keep in mind :
1. What are you going to use the bag mainly for?
2. Does the bag match your bike style or your style?
3. Do you need extra pockets?
4. Do you want the bag permanently installed or do you want an easy on and off removal.
Space and Size
Consider the size of bag you want, what you plan on carrying, this will determine how big of a saddlebag you should consider. It’s recommended you go with the size that’s proportionate to your motorcycle.
Think about the size of your bike and what would be the best size. You want to avoid a bag that’s too large because it would just look funky and it might even cause performance issues.
Measure your Motorcycle
Length: Measure the bike from the end of the seat to the turn signals. By measuring this part of your bike, it will help determine the length of saddlebags that you need to look for.
(Depending on your bike model, some bikes will require for the turn signal to be moved, we have turn signal kits that will help with that)
Height: Measure from the fender rail to the top of the motorcycle exhaust to determine the height. Even though the bag might have Heat Resistant Material, it's recommended to have a minimum of 2 to 4 inches of clearance space between the exhaust and the saddlebags.
Manufacturers do not consider damage to saddlebags from contact with the exhaust as a product defect or warranty issue; it is viewed as neglect / improper install. Regardless of the style, shape and size bags you want, the motorcycle you ride will dictate what you can use.
Please keep in mind that when you add items to the bag, the bags will tend to drop slightly due to the weight.
Mounting Options and Install Points
The first thing you should ask yourself is whether you want saddlebags that are easily removable or not? Some are more permanent, so this is an important factor to consider.
Most bags come in either hard-mount, throw-over kits or a quick disconnect system. The difference between them is in the fit as well as the ease of use.
· Throw Over Bag Sets
This is a common install system. It’s more of temporary system, not permanent, you will have the option to easily remove the bags if you need to take them with you after your ride (most bags have easy zip on and off feature with carrying handles) or if you no longer need them or want them on your motorcycle. In most cases, the bags are installed underneath the back seat, you can also install the bag over the seat, it is a preference, using the center yoke which can be adjusted depending on the width of your fender. The Yoke can also be used to adjust the height of the saddlebag to obtain the necessary clearance needed from the exhaust pipe.
· Saddlebag Support Brackets
Considering installing a support bracket if you want more of a permanent, sturdy to avoid any issues while riding. This will make the install sturdier and worry free. Support brackets are usually year, make and model specific but we do carry universal brackets.
· Optional - Hard Mount Kits
If you plan or want to have your bags on your bike permanently installed, A hard mount kit is the way to go. Hard mount kits work by bolting the bag to the bike direct using the kits hardware that either ships with the bag or purchased separately. The bags will always be in place, you will need to remove them by removing the bolts.
· Optional - Quick Disconnect Kits
Quick disconnect systems are usually the best kits you can invest in as they offer easy installation, some kits have turn signal re-locators and offer easy removal of the saddlebag within seconds. Quick Disconnect vs Hard Mount Difference, The Hard mount offers a more secure install but the Quick Disconnect Kits allow you easily take the bags with you when you park. It is also more of stealth install for the bags, the kits usually provide no sign of saddlebag presence or install on the bike.
· Install Points
Most saddlebags will ship with 4 tie-down points, which allow you to secure install them to 4 points on your bike. It is recommended to secure the front 2 points to the passenger pegs, the 2 back points, look for a sturdy area in the bike.
Safety and Making Sure it’s Secure
There bags that have security such as they can be locked on the top, under the straps or a key lock on the buckles. Consider what you are going to carry, where you are going to ride and park and if such feature is needed. Most bags can be easily be unzipped and taken with you which is the best security.
Moving Parts and Exhaust
The installation is somewhat easy, as long as you make sure the size of the bag will fit your bike, the bags have enough clearance from the exhaust and are properly secured using the tie-down points or if installed using a bracket. Always watch out for moving parts and exhaust. These are the most critical components of your bike that you don’t want too close to your saddlebags.