This was one of the easiest projects I have ever undertaken on my bike. Total time was about 2 1/2 hours. It probably could have been done in 45 minutes to an hour but I was taking pics and making notes. I recently acquired a set of "Hurricane Studded" bags from Mike Battles at Custom Classic Saddlebags, which happened to come with a set of Easy Brackets. The Hurricane's are generic bags not made specifically for the Road Star (more about the bags at the end of the article), so this set of instructions should apply to just about any bike with Generic bags assuming the correct Easy Bracket kit is ordered to fit the bike.
- Easy Brackets Kit (part number YMA-R2BR for Silverado with stock backrest)
- 4 Docking Posts (in kit)
- 4 8mm polished ss button head bolts (in kit)
- 8 3/8 x 1 black button head bolt (in kit)
- 8 3/8 nylon locking nut (in kit)
- 8 3/8 fender washer (in kit)
- barrel key (in kit)
- Hurricane Studded bags from Custom Classic Saddlebags
- 5/32 drill bit
- 3/8 drill bit
- 9/16 socket with small extension and wrench
- 7/32 alan wrench (for bag bolts)
- 6mm alan wrench (for fender bolts)
- 12mm socket (for removing Silverado fender bolts)
- small needle nose pliers
- needle nose vice grips
After verifying that I had all the needed parts, the first thing I needed to do was get the docking posts installed on my rear fender. The Easy Bracket instructions suggest doing this one at a time (good idea - fender stays in place that way.) So I removed each of the sidearm/eyebrow/rear fender bolts one at a time and replaced them with the 8mm polished button head bolts and docking posts. For now, I just snugged them up.
Next I took out the easy brackets and slid them onto the docking posts. I had to open the locks slightly to get the brackets on, then return them to the locked position to remove the keys. After getting the brackets into place on each side of my fender, I loosened (couple turns) each docking post bolt. Then re-tightened the bolts with the brackets on, to re-align them for best fit with the bracket. Then I removed the brackets and firmly tightened the bolts.
Now I needed to line up the bags on the bike, and mark them for drilling and mounting to the brackets. The Easy Bracket instructions suggest holding the bag in place where you want it, then drawing an outline of the bracket on the back of the bag. I found this to be pretty unwieldy when I was trying to hold the bag where I wanted it with one hand (clearing pegs, rear taillights, pipes etc ...) and trying to mark the outline with the other.
I have pretty low slung pipes, Road house two into ones, and wanted to place the bags low enough to fill the majority of the space between the fender and pipes. There are a couple of things on Road Stars that really help in this bag alignment exercise. The first is that the Road Star's fender bolts are in line (parallel) with the bottom of the passenger seat, which means the brackets are already horizontally placed correctly. The second is that the soft tail rear end keeps the distance between seat and pipes fixed, so we don't have to worry about the pipes coming up into the bottom of the bags under any load as long as we have sufficient clearance to begin with.
It took a little while to find where I wanted the bags to be, a place that was at least a couple of inches above the pipes, cleared the rear turn sigs, and cleared the passenger pegs when folded up. When I looked at the back of the bag, I found two things that gave me perfect alignment points to use. I just had to use those alignment points for positioning the brackets, no need to outline them on the bags at all. On this set of bags, there is an overlapping horizontal seam near the top of the bag that I could line the brackets up with (and was perfect height on the bike). There is also a forward vertical seam line sewn into the bag that intersected that overlapping seam at the top, exactly where the forward bracket corner needed to go. See the pic below:
After pulling the brackets back off of the bike and lining up the brackets, it was time to drill the bags and mount them. Custom Classic Saddlebags have a nice advantage for this, their backing plate is abs plastic sewn around a metal plate. It makes for a nice rigid mount point for the easy brackets, and the abs plastic is easy to drill into to mark the drill holes.
Holding the brackets in place on the bags, lined up as in the pics above, I used the 3/8" drill bit to mark my drill points using the mounting holes in the bracket as guides. At the point where I drilled through the abs and hit metal I stopped. The 3/8" drill bit left perfect cones in the abs that could be used to drill pilot holes into the metal. So the next step was to drill pilot holes using the 5/32" drill bit, then go back with the 3/8" drill bit and finish the job.
Edit Note:I wanted the nuts on the outside of the bag rather than on the inside to maximize my use of the interior of the bag. The process is a lot simpler if you choose to put the bolts in from the back of the bracket (threads to the inside of the bag). Then the nuts and washers go inside the bag (which would be better if the bags do not have metal back panels as the Hurricane's do.)
When done drilling, I pushed the 3/8 x 1 black button head bolts through the holes from the inside of the bag. This left the threads facing out the back of the bag.
Next I slid the bracket onto the protruding bolts on the back side of the bag. I needed to put the 3/8 fender washers onto each bolt, then start the 3/8 nylon locking nuts to proceed. The most difficult part of this job goes to the two bolts that are inside the square top rail of the bracket. Access to these two bolts is through the slot the docking posts slide onto. The top part of the slot (where the bolt is) is very narrow and won't pass a socket at all. The bottom will, but on the locking side of the bracket the lock kept my socket from getting all the way onto the bolt.
The flat washers have to be maneuvered through this slot as well. A quick tip, if you drop a washer into the inside of the bracket its a little tough to retrieve. The inside part of the bracket is open. Don't tighten either of the two top nuts until both have washers are on and the nuts have at least been started. That way if you have to retrieve a washer you can pull the bracket away from the bag and let the washer fall out on its own.
Since the washers have to be maneuvered into place, I chose to put them in using the tip of my needle nose pliers. I placed them over the end of the needle nose, used my fingers to angle them through the bracket, then slid them onto the bolts. It took a few tries to get them on but worked like a champ.
With both washers on, I tackled the toughest nut first. This is the one under the lock and there is no way to get a socket over the bolt, so had to try another way of holding that nut in place while getting it started and tightened down. I had to hold it firmly enough to start the thread, then tighten it down. After futzing around for a little while with a few different tools (needle nose etc...) I ended up using a pair of locking needle nose vice grips. Getting it started was the tough part, but in each case I was able to get it started fairly quickly just had to play with the nut and bolt angles a little bit.
For the nut on top which is opposite the lock, I was able to drop it into my 9/16 socket, maneuver it through the largest part of the slot and up to the bolt. That went fairly quickly. When the top bolts were completed, I installed the washers and nuts on the bottom bolts.
Finally, I installed the mounted brackets and bags onto the bike. The key must be used to open the locks and engage the docking posts. The key won't come out until it is returned to full lock, holding the brackets firmly in place. This is nice as it also forces you to have the brackets properly lined up on the docking posts first.
The Hurricane's did a great job of filling all that rear fender/frame space. The metal inserts on the bags keep them rigidly in place and the brackets are a lot beefier than I thought they were going to be. So no problems with the bag trying to move into belt or rim territory while driving. Removing them is a snap, using the supplied key, when I don't want them on there.
A quick note about Mike and Custom Classic Saddlebags.
I like to take overnights with my wife from time to time and she can fill a set of stock bags with all of her stuff before I even start packing. I end up with about 1/4 of my t-bag when we are all done. I needed a huge set of bags to try and get a little more space for these overnighters. I also travel to meetings on my bike and needed a bag large enough to stuff my backpack w/laptop into. The Hurricanes are huge, easily the largest full leather bags I have seen and fit the bill really nicely. They also fit in well with the lines and theme of my bike. Mike was highly recommended by a few of my friends as a supplier of very well built bags at a reasonable price.
I found Mike very easy to deal with, and the bags were shipped to me almost immediately. The bags have the thickest leather I have ever seen on an aftermarket bag, have abs inserts in all the panels and sides to prevent bag collapse, and have a metal backing plate for rigid mounting (sewn in between the back abs panel and the interior leather.) The Hurricanes are his most expensive set of bags ($699.00), most are in the $549 to $599 range for both bags and brackets.
For more information about Custom Classic Saddlebags, visit www.ccsaddlebags.com
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|Finally got fed up|
Written by robinw, on 01-21-2012 04:17
Well I finally got fed up with putting up with my cheapo bags and looked around for a new set. In the end I liked these Hurricane bags the best and I treat myself to a set. Like you I'm really pleased with them. The lids have been slightly re-designed since you bought yours. Thanks for posting this otherwise I might not have ended up with these ones. Re-used the brackets, spacers and longer bolts I had. There is a little bit of play on these Easy Brackets so still maintain they need the M60 bolts.
|Length of bolts|
Written by robinw, on 11-19-2011 02:22
I've been using Easy Brackets for over 4 years. I only have the bags on a couple of times a year and they are good for achieving a clean look the rest of the time. I can't justify expensive bags if I rarely use them but they were not as rigid as I would have liked on the inside. I guess you get what you pay for ! I made sure they are rigid by putting a piece of plywood cut to the shape of the bags and stained black between the bag and bracket. When they are on the bike you hardly notice this.
However I always had issues with the left side bag rubbing against the swing arm. I've got th stock eyebrow fenders and the problem seems to have been resolved by using M8x60 bolts instead of those supplied. I had to get some stainless steele spaces made and you can hardly tell they are there.
I've heard of others having similar problems clearing the swingarm. Just thought my experience might be useful to others.
I like your bags though. Very nice.
|Written by Abraham, on 05-31-2010 10:01 |
Fairly new to the clinic and riding a Roadstar . I have a roadstar silverado 2008 with hard saddle bags . I Just bought the Yamaha leather soft saddle bags . can the hard saddlebags supports be used for the soft saddle bags or should i get new ones ? any inputs ?
|They have held up well|
Written by Gram, on 03-01-2010 20:46
The nuts are completely inside the bracket, so no issues with them traveling into belt territory. But to be frank they are too high to get there anyway.
So far really enjoying them.
Written by Dirk R, on 03-01-2010 19:58
Fairly new to the clinic and shopping for saddlebags. They are good looking bags and must be roomy. How are they holding up? My only concern about the mounting bolts being reversed as you mounted them (nuts on exterior of bag) is their relationship to the belt guard as the shock compresses. Are they close enough for the nut to catch under the guard and destroy the gaurd, bag or worse?
|No Problems Yet|
Written by Gram, on 03-22-2009 19:09
Sorry you had a problem with yours Tim. Mine have been working well for the short period I have had them. I understand brackets like these and ghost brackets will rattle, and mine do, but not something that irritates me enough to worry about.
I will keep an eye on the locking device though, based on your experience. I know a lot of guys running these and this is the first I have heard of the locking device splitting in half. Hoping I don't see the same.
Maybe you should consider a rigid mount instead of the easy brackets?
Written by timduross, on 03-22-2009 18:59
Just came back from a ride, and almost lost one of my $800 Custom bags. The Locking device split in half, and my bag ended up resting on my exhaust. I don't like these brackets, my bags rattle and there real hard to get the bag off, you have to fight with it. Do you have that problem?
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