Over the years Harley has used the same system for their saddlebag mounts. It’s a clip with a wire on the inside. A pin twists into that and provides the only support to keep the saddlebag from falling off. That little wire has had its share of failures. Many saddlebags have fallen off, leaving them disintegrated all over the road. This has not happened to me but I do know of riders that can tell you their story of losing a saddlebag. It’s disappointing that Harley didn’t come up with a solution years ago to alleviate the problem. Recalls after recalls were issued to replace the bag mount with a new improved wire for better support. Still that little wire though, and still problems with the bags falling off.
Losing A Saddlebag On The Road Is Bad
Over the years some riders have removed the wire mount completely and replaced it with nuts and bolts, or U-Nuts with a bolt, and who knows what else. They had to do something to prevent the possibility of becoming a victim of bag loss on the road. This was especially important for touring riders that would ride hundreds and thousands of miles with their bags packed full. The last situation you would want to have is a fully loaded saddlebag falling off on the freeway flinging personal items at other riders and motorists because of a little wire that failed to hold the bag on.
Improved Saddlebag Mounts
In 2017 Harley finally improved upon the saddlebag mount and did a great job. They changed out that wire mount with a U-Nut type mount and a really nice bolt with self-adjusting torque with a handle. Not only did they do that for the new models, but they also made it work for previous years as well. I decided to look into getting a set for my FLHXS. Before heading for the dealership though I wanted to see what it would cost to get parts from a hardware store and make something similar.
I was able to get some U-Nuts, pan head bolts, and washers for about $15. If I wanted chrome bolts and washers it pushed that price up to about $22. Not bad, and it worked. The only downside was you had to use a wrench each time you wanted to remove the saddlebags. Not a big deal really since you’re not pulling them off daily.
Reasonable Cost To Purchase At Harley
Then I went to our local HD Dealership to see about those new styled bag mounts. Surprise, surprise! They keep them in stock, in a kit. It contains 4 mounts which is what you need to do both sides. I was pleasantly surprised that the kit in its entirety was only $50! Actually, $49.68 if you want the details. It really is a cleaner and more practical solution when replacing the original wire mounts than the hardware store method. If you’re cash strapped I understand the hardware store way would be a good alternative to make sure your saddlebags are secure. If you can muster up the extra little bit of cash I would highly recommend getting the new mounts. It’s a great product and in my opinion a necessary fix to those wire mounts.