I've done the unthinkable, my dark secret, saddlebags!

Twisted

Well-Known Member
To start, if your a Big Dog purist(keep it stock)or a hater of all things bagger, then just stop reading now. Unless you just want to smack some sense into me, then carry on. I know most hate the idea of bags on a chopper, but it serves a purpouse without getting rid of my chopper, so hate away, i never build anything to please anyone but myself. Every morning I have to pack my big bag and strap it onto my sissy bar to go to work looking like I'm on a cross country trip, and if I had to run out to get something small and wanted to take the bike, I'd have to strap the same big bag on and have to work about if it would still be there when I got out of the store. So last year I really got tired of having no permanent, lockable storage and was really thinking about selling the chopper for something like a road king, but just could not bare to part with it. Seeing as I can't afford 2 bikes I started working on ideas to add removable bags to the chopper, knew I wouldn't love it but as long as I didn't hate it, it would tide me over till I can get another bike down the road. I wanted to build an entire new rear clip so i could swap back and forth from my stock chopper setup to the bags whenever i wanted without too much trouble. I kept it under wraps, that way if I hated it, I could toss it aside and no one's the wiser.

So I bought a couple used bags, lids, an 11" fender blank, some steel, and some Mastiff struts and have been messing with it whenever I get the time since winter. Had the flu/pneumonia in March so that set me back a little. First I cut the fender blank down and welded an extension to it. Then I made the bag brackets from scratch, they are attatched to a plate that mounts between the strut and fender. I made some filler panels to fill the gap between the bags and fender from some sheetmetal and cut out backside of the right side bag and refiberglassed to be able to fit tighter and clear the swingarm. I also molded on some saddlebag extensions, and made a new latch system for the bags using rotary latches, more like the newer harley bags.
So I'm at the point were everything is painted, cleared and wetsanded. Just waiting on time to airbrush to match, re clear, buff and assemble. In the end, I made it so the entire rear clip can be removed with 3 bolts per side and one jst connector. So in about 15-20 mins. I can swap from chopper fender, to full bag setup. How much will I actually use it, I don't know. I may find that I love having bags and keep it on most of the time, or I may find I like the stripped down chopper look too much and only use it for trips, only time will tell.
That's that, flame away. And maybe someone else out there has considered this and can get some idea what it would look like. Here's some pictures... does this make my ass look big? 20170622_052101-2656x1494.jpg 20170622_052143-2656x1494.jpg 20170622_052344-2656x1494.jpg 20170622_052255-2656x1494.jpg
 

prodiver

Member
Nice job, I would like to see the brackets you made and the bags off the bike. I have a spare fender and was thinking of doing something like that.
 

Twisted

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys, was expecting alot more negative. And Paul no need for sorry. Like I said I know most won't like it but will it bother me? Nope. Do I love it? No, but I don't hate it and that was the goal. It was try this or sell for something more practical. It'll do for now, and I can have my chopper back in 15 mins.
 

Twisted

Well-Known Member
Nice job, I would like to see the brackets you made and the bags off the bike. I have a spare fender and was thinking of doing something like that.
Thats why I put it out there. Just in case someone else was ever considering something like this. I'll go though my pics and put some up tomorrow. I have pics of everything done.
 

SKOGDOG

One of the old ones.
Supporting Member
Does this make my ass look big...hahaha. that should have been the thread title. Beautiful work ..and if you are going to put bags on a K9, you lead the way. I still have a big old backpack I used to use getting all my crap back and forth.
Craftsmanship is what happens when labor meets love...nice work and props on your considerable skills.
Can you use your sissy bar? And did you keep the saddlebag hinges on the inside? Will you need to put on a skid plate?
 
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Twisted

Well-Known Member
Does this make my ass look big...hahaha. that should have been the thread title. Beautiful work ..and if you are going to put bags on a K9, you lead the way. I still have a big old backpack I used to use getting all my crap back and forth.
Craftsmanship is what happens when labor meets love...nice work and props on your considerable skills.
Can you use your sissy bar? And did you keep the saddlebag hinges on the inside? Will you need to put on a skid plate?
Yeah I should have made that the title, lol. Thanks, I guess this was a blend of something I wanted and wanting to do something. I love spending time in the garage building and modifying. Problem is, when I got the chopper, there really wasn't anything to improve, so I repainted for something to do. After that I guess I let my mind wander, looking for a project and this is what happened.

So, I ended up using a set of struts off a Mastiff and there are no sissy bar mounts, if it did, I'd be able to use it. If I feel the need, I'll hunt for a set or make something up to mount one. As for the hinges, the hinge is sill a stock harley hinge, but the latches that are normally on the outside next to the fender are gone, and I did this so I could fit them a little tighter to the fender. And for the skid plates. I ordered a set of saddlebag extensions, they ended up being longer than I wanted, but instead of cutting them down or finding different ones, I just went with it. So I would have liked the bags and fender to be about 2 inches shorter than they are, but everything was bought on the cheap, and beggers can't be choosers. I had it full assembled and rode it, trying to lean as far as I do and they never hit. I'm sure u Der certain circumstances they will and for that reason, I'll probably put something on them just in case.
 

cavcom278

THE COMMOMAN
Thanks guys, was expecting alot more negative. And Paul no need for sorry. Like I said I know most won't like it but will it bother me? Nope. Do I love it? No, but I don't hate it and that was the goal. It was try this or sell for something more practical. It'll do for now, and I can have my chopper back in 15 mins.
The whole point is this." It's your ride , do you like it?Do you care if someone else don't ? HELL NO IT'S NOT THERE RIDE

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