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Permanent mount a sissy bar bag
Old 08-14-2012, 12:35 AM   #1
PapaSmurfMC
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Permanent mount a sissy bar bag

Permanent mount a sissy bar bag

My low-mileage, 2nd-hand 2008 Shadow Spirit came with some really nice extras; a Memphis Shades deflector, Mustang seat with sissy bar backrest and a pair of jumbo Saddlemen slant saddle bags with quick release brackets. But the saddle bags are too jumbo for everyday riding so I leave them off, which left me with no where to store the small stuff like a couple of locks, a cargo net and a whatever I may need to have on hand for the next ride. I bought a River Road handlebar bag for small stuff I need easy access to, like a cell phone and a kickstand puck but it's not nearly big enough for the locks.
The best solution seemed to be a sissy bar bag so I scoured the net for bags and found the perfect size in a Saddlemen Drifter Sissy Bar bag. Viking Bags has a set of almost identical bags but I went with Saddlemen to more closely match the saddle bags (whenever I get around to using them).
The one odd thing about the bag I chose is that its got two nice beefy metal buckles with lock loops but the buckles turned out to be non-functional. Hidden underneath the buckle straps are a pair of plastic strap clips. The clips are "lockable" and come with a pair of plastic, laughably flimsy "keys" but the only things of value I'm carrying are a disc lock/alarm and a chain lock and they'll be locked to the bike when I'm away from it, so I suppose security isn't my top priority for the bag.
The Saddlemen bag normally mounts by hooking a top strap across the top of the sissy bar and then a wide velcro strap, attached to the back of the bag, around the sissy bar. The strap actually covers the center of the back rest. See the photo, below:






Because I wanted a more permanent mounting and I didn't want the bag interfering with the back rest, I decided to make some mods. The first thing that needs to be done is to remove the big velcro strap. The strap is sewn onto the back of the bag, so to avoid damaging the bag, I used a seam ripper (available at any sewing supply) to cut the threads from the inside of the bag. See photos, below:





Next, I needed to remove the back rest and replace the backrest bolts (6mm x 10mm long) with longer bolts (6mm x 40mm long) that will go through the bag (from the inside), through assorted spacers and washers, the sissy bar back rest brackets and into the back rest. I can tell you what lengths I used but don't expect that to fit your situation. You'll have to do your own measuring but I can tell you that I found all mounting parts, including the metric bolts at Home Depot and your mounting will probably use the same combination of mounting parts as described here.



My backrest uses two bolts to hold the backrest to the bar, so I needed two replacement bolts that fit the bag as follows: Slide a lock washer, a metal fender washer and a rubber fender washer over each bolt, then pass the bolt through the holes [that we're going to drill in the bag] from the inside of the bag , then slide a metal washer, a nylon spacer and a rubber washer over the bolt and insert through the backrest mounting brackets and screw into the backrest. The purpose of the rubber washer is both to protect the chrome of the backrest brackets and to allow some flexibility in the tightening of the bolts.
For a little more rigidity, I cut a piece of lexan (sheet window plastic, also from Home Depot) to fit between the backrest brackets to add a little more support against the back of the bag but I think the mount would work fine without it; see photo, below.




Without any hardware, temporarily mount the bag on the sissy bar with the bag's top strap hooked over the top of the bar and mark the holes on the back of the bag through the backrest brackets to find where we need to drill holes to pass the mounting bolts. Drill the holes. Now, assemble the washers on the bolts as previously described, pass through the bag from the inside, slide on the washers and spacers and remount the whole assembly on the bar. See photo, below:




To make sure the top strap doesn't slide off the top of the bar, use tie wraps to hold it tightly in place. See photo, below:





With the new backrest bolts inserted through the backrest brackets, mount the backrest and tighten the bolts from the inside of the bag.





That's it, all done. Solid as a rock and no visible mounts and still have use of the backrest.




Ride safe.

PapaSmurfMC

Last edited by PapaSmurfMC : 08-15-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:09 AM   #2
Notorious
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Hey that looks great!
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:28 AM   #3
Swilly
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That or lag bolts.....
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:53 AM   #4
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Nice.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swilly
That or lag bolts.....

Could use short ones to scratch passengers back while riding, or long ones to hold passenger on.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mavrick_69_us
Could use short ones to scratch passengers back while riding, or long ones to hold passenger on.
Long ones. Teaches proper leaning technique.
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