Modding saddlebag supports to add rear crash bars - Road Glide Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Modding saddlebag supports to add rear crash bars

I recently bought a new Road Glide to replace my Kawasaki Nomad, looking for something that could handle long runs better. Like my Nomad, the Road Glide is supposed to be my turn key/not to mess with bike. With three custom projects already on the block I like to have a daily rider that is no muss, no fuss. But, like any new bike, I want to set it up the way I like it. For the Road Glide, that incudes adding rear crash bars. I like the added protection and a place to mount shit.

I might add that I am also a bit cheap. So I try to offset the hit to the wallet that the new bike created by finding bargains. I got a set of brand new take off crash bars for short money off eBay. Now, for the guy who took them off his bike it was easy to modify the saddlebag supports by adding a set of crash bar eliminator bars like these, for less than what he got from selling his take-off crash bars.



But what about me? In order to run my bargain bars I need to replace my complete saddlebag supports. And that means giving another $100 to the Motor Company. Did I mention that I'm a bit cheap? So I decided to modify my support to fit the crash bars, and keep my $100 for myself. Not everyone might relish the thought of cutting into a 3 week old bike with only 600 miles on it, but what are you gonna do?

So I started by removing the bags and marking where the crash bars meet the supports. Turns out to be about 17" from the end, or basically where the front end of the support bar starts to curve towards the frame. I used a pipe cutter to sever the end off the support at this spot, for a nice clean cut. Once the cut was cleaned up I confirmed that the inside diameter of the support is 1/2", with the OD being 3/4". I then picked up a foot of 3/4" aluminum round from my friendly local metal supply house. Cost about $3. I opted for ally because it is strong enough for where I'm using it but is easier to work than steel. It won't rust and can by polished to a shine if I needed it to blend in to the chrome better.

I cut a 4" plus section and chucked it up in my lathe and turned about 2.5" of it down to a 1/2" diameter.


This was then driven into the open end of the support.

There is a small weld seam inside the tubing that makes the fit a little tight. Another reason for using aluminum.

Once the aluminum was seated the support now looked like this


I then cut the end off so that there was about 1.25" of the aluminum slug showing.


Next, I drilled a small hole in the bottom of the support, about an inch and a half back from the cut.

Last edited by SurlyBoy; 07-09-2012 at 03:22 AM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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I stepped the hole down slightly once I was through the steel and used a stainless, self-tapping screw to locate the slug. Although the slug is in there pretty good, and the two parts of the crash/support bars won't seperate by much once they are bolted to the bike, I decided to do this while the parts were off the bike, knowing from experience that parts that seem really solid on the bench can react completely differently on the road. A little prevention....


I assembled the crash bars and saddle bag supports and bolted them to the bike. After making sure they were solid and that the bags fit up nicely without any binding I marked the hole for the cross bolt that secures the crash bars to the supports, like the factory intended.


Now I took everything apart again so that I could drill a 1/4" hole through the slug.


It is easier to do this off the bike, as the hole has to be fairly straight and centered. Didn't feel like fucking it all up at this point in the interest of cutting a corner. You'll notice that I didn't bother polishing the slug, since the whole thing ends up being covered by the saddlebags.

Once the whole shebang is back on the bike again I used a 1.25" stainless button head bolt with a stainless lock nut to retain the two parts.


Looks almost factory. If you squint a little.


So there you have it. Modification #1 out of the way. Nothing else too major planned, once I get the CAT cut out, and free up the intake/exhaust a little. Maybe some cams. You know how it is.

I am looking at fabbing up a little 1" bar that will mount behind the windshield and over the radio. A sort of accessory mounting bar, if you like. I'm not big on cluttering up the handlebars with clamps and doodads, but I want to be able to mount a GPS without blocking other parts of the fairing, and up high in my line of sight, protected by the windshield sounds good.

Last edited by SurlyBoy; 07-09-2012 at 03:26 AM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 08:49 AM
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Nice write up with plenty of pictures. Thanks for sharing.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 08:54 AM
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Looks great! plus,it's not real exposed anyway.

nice work!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 04:21 PM
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Cool Soooooooo?

Since you're the guy with the metal lathe, does that mean your gonna make these for everybody?
For a reasonable fee of course.
Good mod, thanks for sharing.
I was glad to see somebody do that.
I always felt HD could have done something so you didn't need to replace everything in order to get the rear crash bars.

HSP
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howardsternspenis View Post
Since you're the guy with the metal lathe, does that mean your gonna make these for everybody?
For a reasonable fee of course.
Good mod, thanks for sharing.
I was glad to see somebody do that.
I always felt HD could have done something so you didn't need to replace everything in order to get the rear crash bars.

HSP

Not really planning on going into production. Wouldn't relly be worth my while, knocking them out for maybe $10-15 a set? Kuryakyn could mass produce them for less and make a better profit.

It's not that hard to do, even without a lathe. If you have access to a welder you could butt weld a piece of 3/4" to a piece of 1/2" steel rod and drill out the cross holes for the retainer. The rear set screw would have to be tapped, but that's something you can buy at home depot for a few bucks. Or weld the slug to the support tube and paint or powder coat the whole thing.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 07:43 PM
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nice I've been looking for the rear saddle bag guards and though it was a straight bolt on addition without having to buy another part or mod something...guess i was wrong.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-09-2012, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedneckMedic66 View Post
nice I've been looking for the rear saddle bag guards and though it was a straight bolt on addition without having to buy another part or mod something...guess i was wrong.
As with everything, more to it than first appears. The best way to go about it is to find someone with a late model FLH that wants to take off their rear crash bars. Then just do a trade, your one piece bag supports for their crash bars and support combo.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2012, 03:24 PM
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Thanks for the write up, I ordered and received a pair from Hill Country. These require the extensions as well.


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 03:59 PM
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Chrash bars

I bought a set from the MoCo for $150 came complete then added a set of RK low profile rails looks great got the rails used for $25 but just saw them on USA biker for $100
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