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Discussion Starter #1
Well I got the new brackets in which are typical conversion brackets to fit Hard bags on a Harley Softail. Still waiting on the bags I ordered to come should be here tomorrow. While waiting it have me a chance to mock up the brackets to see what I would have to do. I started by cutting about an inch off the front of each bracket to get around the shock tower. Not worried about the powder coat since I'm going to paint them anyways. I cut off the bottle portion mid way to the mount brackets and cut the mount tab off. The left side I will have to weld one of the pieces I cut off into the bottom bracket and attach behind the foot rest bolt should work fine. The right side I'm going to heat up and bend and weld into the tab that I mocked up behind the exhaust bracket. The top tab I will have to cut off on each side to re weld at the proper spacing for the fender mounting bolts. I wanted to keep people posted while I do this project just in case someone else wanted to do this and didn't have to start from scratch. Hopefully using conversion brackets and modifying them will allow the bags to sit flush and straight and as tight to the fender as possible so we will see. Fail or succeed you'll either see a good way to do it or how not to!


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Discussion Starter #2
Updates while I break for dinner. Ended up having to move the entire frame back a couple inches so I welded a bar I cut off to the bracket. Cut off and re welded the tabs and moved them onto the outside of the bar to push the bracket closer to the bike. Finished the right side bottom mount but ended up moving the tab to the front of the exhaust bracket. Just have to finish the left bottom side bracket which should be easy enough and clean up some ugly welding spots and sand everything down for paint before final assembly. The mock up so far looks really good so I'm pleased with the overall location of the bags. Can't get any closer to the fender without moving the bags back to clear the shocks but I want the bags ending with the fender so that's out of the question. The rear turn signal lights do not fit!!! So be prepared for that if you want to do this. They may work with spacers to push the bags further out but who wants that! I have a new tail light and turn signal plus license plate relocation on the way this week from S&S custom cycle https://sscustomcycle.com/product/low-profile-tombstone-taillight-kit/
More updates after complete.


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Looks great so far!

I love the details, like how the shock angle almost perfectly matches the front angle of the bag.

Of course, you're probably making some HD rider cringe right now, but they'll be okay.

Any estimates of the total cost so far for all the parts for the whole job?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Right now I probably have around $275 for wverything, the bags, and brackets. The rest is just my time and the welder, grinder, chop saw, and tools in the shop. You can get it done for a decent price. Good thing about the brackets once you make them if you upgrade to a nicer set of fiber glass bags or any Harley bag it will still use all oem mounting hardware so no need to drill holes in a brand new bag.

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Discussion Starter #5
Here is the brackets all finished up just drying from a quick coat of gloss to stop rust. Not the prettiest sight in the world but it will do. Atleast now if I want to get a set actually fabricated to the right specifications I can use these as a template down the road.


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Here is the completed project that turned out fairly decent. Not professional by any means but for a 17 year old bike it will certainly do!


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They tend to stand off quite a bit further than a hard bag should.


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Look too far back to me, they should end up flush and following the contour of the fender. Then again, I'm probably not the guy to ask, as I've never been a fan of Harley hard bags. I much prefer the look of the Nomad bags, but that's me. The only guy that has to be happy with it is you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Look too far back to me, they should end up flush and following the contour of the fender. Then again, I'm probably not the guy to ask, as I've never been a fan of Harley hard bags. I much prefer the look of the Nomad bags, but that's me. The only guy that has to be happy with it is you.
I agree on the nomad bags looking better but just couldn't bring myself to pay the money they want for used ones! I had a vaquero before this and loved that overall flow. I would have went more forward with them but it was hard with the shocks. Hopefully with the new lights in the rear taking up some real estate at the bottom it will help it flow better. At the end of the day I just wanted them for trips mostly so it'll do the job.

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Discussion Starter #10
Just noticed your from northern Idaho? What's the Best place to ride up here. We just moved up from Texas, I work at the University in Moscow.

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Got the rear brake light and turn signals in today. Gotta say they definitely clean up the back end quite a bit over the stock lights. I'll have to go in and fill all the old holes when I paint the bike this winter and still have to finish wiring them all up. But I love it overall!


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I put one of those tombstone lights on mine too. I went to Ace Hardware and bought some little plastic flat black hole plugs and then installed the light. My bike is that dark green color on the fender and you can't even see them unless you're really close. I think they cost me about a buck or so. Looks nicer than those boxy tail lights.
I almost sprung for a Model A light. Those are cool too. Still thinking about it.



How tall are those bars? they look good on there.
 

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Just noticed your from northern Idaho? What's the Best place to ride up here. We just moved up from Texas, I work at the University in Moscow.

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Cool, you're about 85 miles from me. I'm in Post Falls.

I like the ride from Lewiston to Hamilton MT and up to Missoula and back over on the freeway. Another great ride is to head out from Moscow to Sandpoint and then make the Selkirk Loop into Canada. It takes a few days to do it justice. The eastern Oregon desert is great too, a higher desert than the Southwest (except Nevada and Utah, where 6000 feet is normal), and around John Day it is beautiful riding country, there are great rock formations and fossil beds and then you can drop down into the Columbia River Gorge. And there are tons of little towns all over Eastern Washington and Oregon on the Palouse that are like stepping back in time 60 years or so. There is a nice ride that you can go down toward Joseph, OR and ride part of Hell's Canyon and Rattlesnake Grade. Potholes State Park is nice in Washinton. Glacier Park is only about a 6-hour ride from you, and Western Montana is a gorgeous place to ride, and you have the benefit of a 70 MPH speed limit on most two-lane roads. A few years back, two friends and myself took a trip up to Japser, Alberta, and rode down the Ice Fields Parkway past the glaciers and down into Banff. Absolutely amazing. I thought the Colorado Rockies were stunning until I saw the Canadian Rockies. The beauty about living here is you are only 6 hours from Portland, 5 hours from Seattle, 8 hours from Boise, and two hours from Canada from my house My wife is Canadian, and we are only 8 hours from Calgary. Lots of places to explore.


 

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Discussion Starter #15
I put one of those tombstone lights on mine too. I went to Ace Hardware and bought some little plastic flat black hole plugs and then installed the light. My bike is that dark green color on the fender and you can't even see them unless you're really close. I think they cost me about a buck or so. Looks nicer than those boxy tail lights.
I almost sprung for a Model A light. Those are cool too. Still thinking about it.



How tall are those bars? they look good on there.
That's a good idea, I'll have to head to the hardware store, sounds like an easy fix for the time being! The bars are 14" apes from Todd's cycle. They measure just a tad over 14" from the riser to the highest point and probably closer to 12" at the actual grip

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Cool, you're about 85 miles from me. I'm in Post Falls.

I like the ride from Lewiston to Hamilton MT and up to Missoula and back over on the freeway. Another great ride is to head out from Moscow to Sandpoint and then make the Selkirk Loop into Canada. It takes a few days to do it justice. The eastern Oregon desert is great too, a higher desert than the Southwest (except Nevada and Utah, where 6000 feet is normal), and around John Day it is beautiful riding country, there are great rock formations and fossil beds and then you can drop down into the Columbia River Gorge. And there are tons of little towns all over Eastern Washington and Oregon on the Palouse that are like stepping back in time 60 years or so. There is a nice ride that you can go down toward Joseph, OR and ride part of Hell's Canyon and Rattlesnake Grade. Potholes State Park is nice in Washinton. Glacier Park is only about a 6-hour ride from you, and Western Montana is a gorgeous place to ride, and you have the benefit of a 70 MPH speed limit on most two-lane roads. A few years back, two friends and myself took a trip up to Japser, Alberta, and rode down the Ice Fields Parkway past the glaciers and down into Banff. Absolutely amazing. I thought the Colorado Rockies were stunning until I saw the Canadian Rockies. The beauty about living here is you are only 6 hours from Portland, 5 hours from Seattle, 8 hours from Boise, and two hours from Canada from my house My wife is Canadian, and we are only 8 hours from Calgary. Lots of places to explore.


Thanks! I'll have to check those out. I did some riding through Yellowstone and Montana when I was living in Colorado still about a decade ago, absolutely beautiful. I'll probably ride up to Spokane and courdelane area in a few weeks to meet up with a buddy from Texas and do some riding around there.

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Are the bags pretty rigid with those mounts? I mounted Tsukayu hard bags on mine and they were pretty bouncy as they did not have a front frame connection like your mounts have. I ended up making a connection bar on the rear of the bags that connects the two bags together and the mount follows the inside of the rear fender. They are pretty stiff now and have carried a case of beer in one side bag without issue. It would be easy to do on yours if they are aren't rigid enough. One thing I have wanted to do is make fillers between the rear fender and the bags.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
They are pretty sturdy no bouncing really but I still may make an additional bracket to tie the rear pieces in to each other under the fender. I'm going to order an abs fender extension and gap filler for a harley. (Cheap on amazon?) Just to get an idea of fitment and then probably make my own out of aluminum or steel to fill in the back end. I could always make a template out of cardboard too and build it out of fiberglass.

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Discussion Starter #19
Well everything is done for the time being. Installed a new LED headlight and front turn signals, changed out the rear lights and turn signals for LED's, did cam chain tensioner extenders, and got everything sitting where I want it. I'll probably fiddle with some rear fender extensions and filler pieces to fill out the rear end before I decide what color I want to spray this fall/winter. Thinking either all gloss black with some gold striping, or a dark metallic red with gold, or dark metallic green, haven't decided completely yet. Also have a mild leak from the rocker covers that's annoying but will keep leaking until I decide to pull the engine and do an overhaul.


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