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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This was my project for today. My wife has told me to expect a set of Strong bags for my birthday but that's at the end of October. In the meantime, I'm sick of having an ugly backpack strapped to my backseat every day so I came up with this. Today I picked up a set of Saddlemen Drifter bags and supports for $65. I made a simple hard mount for them that still works with the MC Enterprises sissybar. I've heard other stories of people doing things like this and thought I would throw out how I did it.

Here's what I got from the seller:


The supports are for an 1100 Spirit but all I did to make them work was bend them to 9.25" by hand. I also picked up a piece of flat aluminum bar and some longer bolts, and some nuts and washers from Lowe's. For those keeping track, M8x1.25x60 for the back and x70 for the front. They didn't have any socket head bolts that fit my needs so I just got regular hex head bolts the right size then used a Dremel to cut slots in the head so I can install/remove them with a flathead screwdriver. They're hidden with the bags on anyway so I wasn't concerned about that.

Anyway, I cut the aluminum bar to fit between the saddlebag supports and the sissybar. You can't see it in the pictures, but I added pieces of felt on the backside of the aluminum to protect the sissybar chrome. Since these are the type of bags that use the swivel locks (not sure the exact name) on the yoke, there are four holes in the back of each bag so they are somewhat fore/aft adjustable. I drilled two holes at the bottom of each bar so I can run bolts through them and mount the bags to the bar:


From there it's just a matter of holding the bags up and bolting them on. They aren't quick release by any means but it's rare that I go somewhere on the bike completely empty handed so I expect these to stay on for a while. Here are a couple of views from the top:




And here's one side of the almost finished product:


I didn't finish everything tonight. Halfway through I had to slightly modify how I was going to do it so I have to make another trip to Lowe's when they open for longer bolts to mount the bags to the aluminum. All the drilling and cutting is done, I just need to get the longer bolts and mount everything. There is a little bit of leeway to move them up/down. The dilemma is, move them too high and they interfere with the grab rails. Move them too low and you have to muscle the lids open. I'll probably go with "too high" at least for now.

Total cost for bags and extra hardware: $90. Weather should be good tomorrow. I need to clean the bike up but I may forgo that in favor of riding. Once everything is all together I'll snap a few pictures and post them. As I ride with them over time I'll update as to how the setup is working. Now waiting to hear your feedback, good, bad, or other.
 

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Looks good to me. I love it when people use their ingenuity to come up with a solution to a problem without spending a ton of money!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know everybody's been a nervous wreck wondering when I'll post pictures, so here they are:







I think saddlebags are one of those things that I rarely find myself saying, "Those are just entirely too big" about. I'm still planning on mounting hard bags later but for now I'm happy.
 
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