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Improving the Lines of the Saddlebag Guard Rails
  Author: Brad Norris “Black Knight”
  Views: 10857     Votes: 20

OK, I couldn’t wait until I bought a set of OEM bag rails from a guy on Ebay. These

were the Real McCoy and came in the OEM box. I made special time on a busy Saturday as soon as they arrived and mounted them up. Installation is quick and easy with the most time spent on removing the bags.


After installation I admired them from all angles but wasn’t quite happy with the fit up.

It appears to me that the bottom of the rails, when compared to the lines of the bag, just didn’t look right. The back end of the rails appears to be higher than in the front. Also, the back of the rails sat right under the turn signals- in fact, they touch each other. I quickly became suspicious of the Ebayer I bought these from but after looking at many pics on the forums I subscribe to, I saw the same trend in 95% of those I saw.


Here is a side shot before I moved the rails. Note the gentle slope up in the rear. RK




The rear distance from the bottom of the bag to the bottom of the rail is much different

from the front measurement. Mine was out ¾”. To make the “gaps” closer to each other, either the back of the bags must be raised or the rails lowered in the rear. Since it is impractical to raise the bags, I decided to lower the rails. To do this, remove the bag and loosen the front mounting bolt on the rail.


Here’s a back shot of the bike with the OEM mount up. Note that the rail rubs the signal.


I would suggest you do your own measurements to determine where to drill the new hole for the rear mount. Use a small “C” clamp on the rear mount when you think your

measurement is close and then set the bag back on to see how it looks. It’s a bit tricky, but better to measure twice- and drill once.


Important- Since the chrome rail you will drill into is “U” shaped, be mindful that you

will have to put a metric nut behind it for the bolt. If you drill too close to the edge of the rail, you may not have enough room to thread the bolt in the new nut. Also, be careful not to get too close to the factory nut that is installed there as well. The back of the rail has foam in it. Just make way for the new nut. I can’t remember the size of the nut but I bought it at Home Depot.


When you have the final position, hold the back of the rail in place and use a spring

loaded center punch to mark the new bolt location.



A spring loaded center punch makes this task a bit easier. If you don’t have one, GET

ONE. Here’s a pic of mine:



Be sure to put some scrap metal behind the bracket before you push the drill through the fender and god forbid…the tire!


Now, place the rear bolt that came with the rails through the support in the hole you just drilled and fasten with a nut (metric). Retighten the front bolt and install the bag.


You should have something that resembles this:



When you’re done, you will notice the rails-to-bag lines look much




In the rear, the bag rails no longer rub the signals.




Brad Norris

Last update: 08:28 PM Wednesday, March 21, 2007

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