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  1. #1
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    Default Harley Bags on VTX

    Anyone tried this, hows it work out, I can fabricate brackets just need to know if they will line up where the shocks are and any opinions or experience dealing with mounting
    John Dean
    "Put the cell phone down, and backoff my.......... !!!"

    03' VTX1800 Retro

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Harley Davidson has made a lot of different saddlebags over the years.

    Some of our forum members are riding around with old 1970s style Harley police bags
    mounted on their VTX bikes. Others have the newer leather covered saddlebags
    from the RoadKings.

    I was looking into the saddlebags off a newer ElectraGlide (2000 and up) but
    was put off by the inboard portion being indented to wrap around the rear shock.
    I was mostly concerned that if I mounted that saddlebag over the outside
    of the rear shock on my VTX bike that I would lose the ability to carry a passenger.
    Really, you need to mount the bag behind the rear shocks to carry a passenger.

    I had LeatherLyke bags for a couple of years before one of mine developed
    a nasty crack. I repaired it, but after that spent a lot of time worrying
    when and where the next crack would show up. Gave away the used saddlebags
    to a friend who still has not mounted them on his bike yet, and probably never will.



    I had Harley police bags (white skinny ones from the 1970s) on my bike for a few months,
    partly for the novelty and because there are at least three local police agencies
    riding around on Harleys with white saddlebags. If you look around, youy can often find
    those saddlebags for sale from guys who want their Harleys to become "choppers".
    They will part with the bags cheap, especially if they have a few scratches in them
    from a slide on the pavement.



    But the brackets that I made to
    mount those bags did not allow me to mount my luggage rack, and the saddlebags
    themselves were way too skinny to carry the things that I like to carry in my
    saddlebags, like for instance a spare half helmet.
    For me, the bags were too small to be useful.

    I ended up purchasing a set of Dyer Fiberglass Works saddlebags and mounting
    them on an EasyBracket that mounts on my luggage rack, where I later mounted
    the matching trunk that Dyers sells.

    I suppose that I could have mounted the Harley bags on the same type of
    EasyBracket, but that would not have made the Harley bags wide enough
    to carry a half helmet inside.

    Dyers Classic saddlebags and trunk with Hondaline windshield


    Dyers saddlebags and trunk with fairing
    2003 VTX1800 C model Retro fenders

  4. #3
    Senior Member pickle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Here's my VTX 1800 S with Harley Softail Heritage saddlebags. They are mounted over the shocks and my wife has room for her feet (but just barely). I have 2" extensions for the the rear pegs on order to give her a little more room.

    I bought more than one set of saddlebags to find, what I felt, was "just right" on my Retro styled VTX. I love how the H/D bags look on the bike and there's plenty of room for what I want to bring. I had a buddy modify the stock brackets so they would fit up to the VTX. We held the bags up to the bike so they were behind the shocks when we were doing some trial fitting, but I didn't like the way they looked.

    I have a set of H/D Road King leather covered hard bags that I didn't end up using that I'm going to sell. Let me know if you have any interest.


    By bvanvick, shot with Canon PowerShot S5 IS at 2008-08-03


    By bvanvick, shot with Canon PowerShot S5 IS at 2008-08-03

    By bvanvick at 2008-08-06
    2005 VTX 1800-S, black, whitewalls, 2-up windshield, 3" Big Straights custom cut at a 45 degree angle, light bar, Harley Heritage saddlebags, LED front and rear turn signals, 11.5" Progressive rear springs, Progressive front springs, Peaceful Cruzin tank bra, etc.
    Used to be--2003 VTX-C 1800 Uranium Green

  5. #4
    Senior Member rickrocket2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    j- i have some pics of brackets fabbed for HD road king classic mate to vtx18c - not my project, found on the web while i was considering this project. i'll email them to you.

    rick
    "COURAGE is being scared to death.... but saddling up anyway"

    2003 VTX1800C - Jupiter Orange

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    Senior Member dirtdobber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    For me the down side of the HD bags on my VTX was the gap between the rear fender and bag. The VTX is not designed for this type of bag. The wheel base is kinda short and the rear shocks are not made into the frame so you end up with a gap. Larger than I want. I have seen VTX's with HD hard bags and some with both bags and fairing. The fairing looks good on a X but I just didn't want the gap. The newer bags will hold a lot though.
    A friend has the Valk. interstate bags on her X and they look good on it.
    I tried to find a photo of a X with harley bags but it was nil.
    jim
    In God we Trust


  7. #6
    Senior Member pickle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    I agree that a big gap between the bag and fender doesn't look good. That's why I had the stock brackets re-made to fit the VTX and I didn't use Ghost or Easy brackets.

    Here's a pic of mine from the back. Not very much gap.


    By bvanvick, shot with Canon PowerShot A520 at 2008-08-04


    By bvanvick, shot with Canon PowerShot A520 at 2008-08-04

    By bvanvick at 2008-08-06
    2005 VTX 1800-S, black, whitewalls, 2-up windshield, 3" Big Straights custom cut at a 45 degree angle, light bar, Harley Heritage saddlebags, LED front and rear turn signals, 11.5" Progressive rear springs, Progressive front springs, Peaceful Cruzin tank bra, etc.
    Used to be--2003 VTX-C 1800 Uranium Green

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    Senior Member marang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Pickle, that has got to be one of the cleanest S's that I've seen. Pipes, bags, seats, backrest, it's all put together nicely.

    Can you give alittle input on what or how you mounted the bags so close to the fender? Can you remove them easily? I've got easybrackets and would like to bring the rear closer to the fender.

    Sorry for the highjack. I prolly should've PM'd but I thought others may wanna know.

  9. #8
    Senior Member pickle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Quote Originally Posted by marang
    Pickle, that has got to be one of the cleanest S's that I've seen. Pipes, bags, seats, backrest, it's all put together nicely.

    Can you give alittle input on what or how you mounted the bags so close to the fender? Can you remove them easily? I've got easybrackets and would like to bring the rear closer to the fender.

    Sorry for the highjack. I prolly should've PM'd but I thought others may wanna know.

    Thanks for the prop's! I appreciate it!

    The Heritage bags I bought had the tube brackets still attached to the bags. There are two spacers welded on the top of the brackets that the bolts that go into the fender braces go through. We cut the Heritage bracket and relocated the spacers farther apart so they line up with the VTX fender brace holes. So, the only thing that holds the bag away from the fender is a 1/2" or so round tube bracket. To remove them, I have to take out the 2 bolts that go through the saddlebag bracket and into the fender brace. They aren't as easy to remove as Easy brackets, but I will sacrafice some ease of removal to make sure they look "just right".

    It's kind of hard to put into words, but I hope you can follow what I'm saying.

    Again, thanks for the kind words about the bike!!!

    By bvanvick at 2008-08-06
    2005 VTX 1800-S, black, whitewalls, 2-up windshield, 3" Big Straights custom cut at a 45 degree angle, light bar, Harley Heritage saddlebags, LED front and rear turn signals, 11.5" Progressive rear springs, Progressive front springs, Peaceful Cruzin tank bra, etc.
    Used to be--2003 VTX-C 1800 Uranium Green

  10. #9
    Senior Member marang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Yup I uderstand what'cher sayin'. Think I'll do something like that with my CC bags.

    Thanks.

  11. #10
    Senior Member pickle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Hey Marang,

    Is that an Ultimate seat on your VTX?

    I like my Corbin (even though their customer service sucks), but I'd love to have an Ultimate Big Boy. The problem I'm having is how to have a backrest for my wife. She won't ride without one and I don't want a sissy bar / backrest type deal. I really like the backrest that attaches to the passenger pillion, but Ultimate doesn't make a passenger pillion the accepts a backrest.

    I have even thought about buying a rider seat only and trying to make it work with the Corbin passenger pillion. I'm sure that would be tough to do, though.

    By bvanvick at 2008-08-06
    2005 VTX 1800-S, black, whitewalls, 2-up windshield, 3" Big Straights custom cut at a 45 degree angle, light bar, Harley Heritage saddlebags, LED front and rear turn signals, 11.5" Progressive rear springs, Progressive front springs, Peaceful Cruzin tank bra, etc.
    Used to be--2003 VTX-C 1800 Uranium Green

  12. #11
    Senior Member marang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Quote Originally Posted by pickle
    Hey Marang,

    Is that an Ultimate seat on your VTX?

    I like my Corbin (even though their customer service sucks), but I'd love to have an Ultimate Big Boy. The problem I'm having is how to have a backrest for my wife. She won't ride without one and I don't want a sissy bar / backrest type deal. I really like the backrest that attaches to the passenger pillion, but Ultimate doesn't make a passenger pillion the accepts a backrest.

    I have even thought about buying a rider seat only and trying to make it work with the Corbin passenger pillion. I'm sure that would be tough to do, though.
    Yes it is. I have a Hondaline deluxe sissybar for my wife but I like the solo look so I notched the side brackets of the sissybar so all I have to do is loosen the mounting bolts on the strut and slide it off.



  13. #12
    Senior Member pickle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Good idea!!!

    I'll have to look into that.

    Thanks!

    By bvanvick at 2008-08-06
    2005 VTX 1800-S, black, whitewalls, 2-up windshield, 3" Big Straights custom cut at a 45 degree angle, light bar, Harley Heritage saddlebags, LED front and rear turn signals, 11.5" Progressive rear springs, Progressive front springs, Peaceful Cruzin tank bra, etc.
    Used to be--2003 VTX-C 1800 Uranium Green

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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX


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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Quote Originally Posted by marang
    Quote Originally Posted by pickle
    Hey Marang,

    Is that an Ultimate seat on your VTX?

    I like my Corbin (even though their customer service sucks), but I'd love to have an Ultimate Big Boy. The problem I'm having is how to have a backrest for my wife. She won't ride without one and I don't want a sissy bar / backrest type deal. I really like the backrest that attaches to the passenger pillion, but Ultimate doesn't make a passenger pillion the accepts a backrest.

    I have even thought about buying a rider seat only and trying to make it work with the Corbin passenger pillion. I'm sure that would be tough to do, though.
    Yes it is. I have a Hondaline deluxe sissybar for my wife but I like the solo look so I notched the side brackets of the sissybar so all I have to do is loosen the mounting bolts on the strut and slide it off.


    What did you cut these out with and what did you finish them with so they wouldn't rust? Thanks.

    '07 Pearl Uranium Green, 1300CRN

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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    I have Road King bags on my C model and i'm happy with them, after 3 sets of brackets i finaly have them where they work good and look good.
    2004 1800c, Candy Orange with Flames, 1300 Final Drive, Ultimate Seat, Vance & Hines pipes, Hyper Charger Pro, Auto Meter Tach, Honda windshield, Honda deluxe backrest, Road King Bags, Areomach 6" risers, ISO grips w/throttle bosses, LED license frame.

  17. #16
    Senior Member pickle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Quote Originally Posted by VTX ED
    I have Road King bags on my C model and i'm happy with them, after 3 sets of brackets i finaly have them where they work good and look good.
    That's the other set of bags I bought for my S model. I definately like how these bags look on your bike. The Heritage bags looked better on MY bike, I thought, because of the "Retro" look of the bike.

    They look great on your bike!

    By bvanvick at 2008-08-06
    2005 VTX 1800-S, black, whitewalls, 2-up windshield, 3" Big Straights custom cut at a 45 degree angle, light bar, Harley Heritage saddlebags, LED front and rear turn signals, 11.5" Progressive rear springs, Progressive front springs, Peaceful Cruzin tank bra, etc.
    Used to be--2003 VTX-C 1800 Uranium Green

  18. #17
    Senior Member marang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Kermit, I used a Die grinder w/a cut-off wheel. I used black touch-up paint where I cut, haven't had a problem with rusting.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Quote Originally Posted by VTX ED
    I have Road King bags on my C model and i'm happy with them, after 3 sets of brackets i finaly have them where they work good and look good.

    I would like to see more pics with these bags(all angles) and maybe a write up of the brackets you used. I am considering some hard bags but don't want painted ones.

    Thanks
    Bama



    2005 1300C fender draggin' special edition!!

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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX



    I installed these but have Paladin hardware for the backrest so their off the rail 3/4". If no hardware they could have been mounted right against the rail. The bags leave plenty of room for the passenger's feet.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    WARNING - The exhaust on the 1800R is higher than on the 1300R .....

    I say this because I am taking Harley Hard Bags and trunk from a 1300R to an 1800N.

    Both the 1800N and 1800R exhaust sit higher, so moving the bags from the 1300R to the 1800R was not easy - in fact have not done it yet.

    My sig pic shows the bags and trunk on the 1300R.

    In order to make them work on my 1800N, I would have to raise the height of the bags which I do not want to do.
    -OR-
    Put on a different and lower exhaust which I prefer to do, but do not want loud pipes.

    I was told to get the exhaust from an 1800C, which is a 2-into-1 exhaust configuration, and sits much lower.

    Today I acquired the exhaust and bracket for $75 - if it bolts right up and works, I will be a happy camper!!!!

    You asked how it looks .... my sig pic shows you. ( pic was taken before trunk was painted )


    Notice how high the bag sits above the axle - that height was need for the bag on the other side to clear the pipe.

  22. #21
    Senior Member pickle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    As you have found out, this is only a problem with stock exhaust on the S or R or N models (dual mufflers). The solution is to run aftermarket exhaust. It might be harder for you since you don't want loud exhaust, but it didn't affect me because I WANT loud exhaust. As you can see by my pics, I mounted the bags very close to the pipes and haven't had any problem. I would imagine that it is safer with leather bags than vinyl. I agree that bags that sit real high don't look very good.

    By bvanvick at 2008-08-06
    2005 VTX 1800-S, black, whitewalls, 2-up windshield, 3" Big Straights custom cut at a 45 degree angle, light bar, Harley Heritage saddlebags, LED front and rear turn signals, 11.5" Progressive rear springs, Progressive front springs, Peaceful Cruzin tank bra, etc.
    Used to be--2003 VTX-C 1800 Uranium Green

  23. #22
    Senior Member Psalmist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Good write up all !! I have the RK leather over plastic and am going to try the basic brackets and just drill holes in them with large washers and longer bolts. I had these type on my previous Retro and they looked and worked fine. I was planning on the EZ brackets till tonight. I don't want them out in the wind. I too like the close in look. On my former set, I took some diamond plate for a backing to the bags. It worked well too. I can send a pic if you want, or know how to post one for me. zedekiahp@sbcglobal.net
    Previous-06 Neo,Road King trunk and saddlebags, Mustang seat, Honda powered stereo, J&M intercom, Empi air filter 8714, MS windshield, 2004 C pipe, 1300 pumkin. Gone Double Darkside, Luke. Now I have a 04 gl1800 wing. More than anything I love Jesus Christ!

  24. #23
    Member SACIL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Here is a pic or 2 of my 06 "S" that I added a hard bags and tour pac. Still trying to decide how to incorporate turn signals but spent 9 days and 2500 miles on it thru the south, absolutely love it!! Also ended up getting quite a few compliments on it,,

    THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND BOYS IS THE PRICE OF THE TOYS!!!

    STAN

  25. #24
    Senior Member marang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    Quote Originally Posted by SACIL
    Here is a pic or 2 of my 06 "S" that I added a hard bags and tour pac. Still trying to decide how to incorporate turn signals but spent 9 days and 2500 miles on it thru the south, absolutely love it!! Also ended up getting quite a few compliments on it,,

    I'd like to see the pics. Did ya forget to post them?

  26. #25
    Member SACIL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harley Bags on VTX

    for some reason having a difficult time adding them on here!! will try again,,,,
    THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEN AND BOYS IS THE PRICE OF THE TOYS!!!

    STAN

  27. #26
    Member VTX03R-GoSooners's Avatar
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    Default H-D hard bags on my 03 1800 retro

    I like my H-D's. . .
    2003 VTX 1800 Retro. Desmogged; Ground Fix; Change/maint log: http://www.vtxoa.com/forums/showthre...t-amp-upgrades

  28. #27
    Junior Member JBoever's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VTX03R-GoSooners View Post
    I like my H-D's. . .
    How much work for the H-D's to fit with the edge brackets? Custom work or bolt on? Are these the standard road king type of hard painted bags? Thanks Jason

  29. #28
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    Default Me Too.....

    I Like the HD bags on mine as well...... I have the police bags, lots more room than my honda bags had.. (..and I had the large ones)
    .....CYA L8R Tony



    03 VTX1800 C "Sushi Glide"

  30. #29
    Junior Member JBoever's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by REVEMUP View Post
    I Like the HD bags on mine as well...... I have the police bags, lots more room than my honda bags had.. (..and I had the large ones)
    I love this look. Sweet! How much work to make this work? I have an 03 retro. Will it fit with stock exhaust? How about with hard kromes or for that matter what exhaust will work and which exhaust wont(I am shopping for exhaust now and don't want to buy the wrong thing)? Custom brackets? Brackets bought from somewhere....

    You guys that have done this are a wealth of knowledge for us that want to do this....please share advice and info.

    Thanks,
    Jason

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    Default

    I put some bags from an old suzuki I think? I got them from a junk yard and they only cost 30.00 bucks! I little black spray paint and some fiberglass work and they were good to go. They work so well they have been on for 2 years now.
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