How to attach throw over style saddlebags to a motorcycle

Written by david sandoval
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How to attach throw over style saddlebags to a motorcycle
Motorcycle with leather throw-over bags (motorcycle image by Bionic Media from

Motorcycles are a fuel-efficient form of transportation. Unfortunately, many motorcycles are not configured to carry small-to-medium sized items such as a briefcase or a bag of groceries.

One economical way to carry small loads on a motorcycle is by installing saddlebags. Many motorcyclists choose to purchase throw-over type saddlebags due to their simple installation, easy removal and low price when compared to hard motorcycle luggage.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Set of hex wrenches
  • Throw-over type saddlebags
  • Cable ties
  • Electric drill (optional)
  • Utility knife (optional)

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  1. 1

    Using a hex wrench, loosen the motorcycle seat retaining bolts. Pull the motorcycle seat up and back to remove the seat from the motorcycle.

  2. 2

    Untie the drawstring at the bottom of the saddlebag yoke. Place the left saddlebag where you want the bag to rest. While holding the left saddlebag, place the right saddlebag where you want the bag to rest. Line up the holes on the saddlebag yoke that, when tied together, will allow the bags to sit in their current position. Place a cable tie through two aligned holes in the yoke and remove the saddlebags from the motorcycle.

  3. 3

    Remove the saddle bags from the motorcycle and lay them on a flat surface. Trim each end of the yoke so that there is no excess saddlebag material that may prevent the bag from opening or closing properly. If there are fewer than six holes that line up when one side of the yoke is placed over the other, you may choose to drill extra holes through the yoke to provide a more secure yoke attachment.

  4. 4

    Cut the cable tie off. Line up the remaining holes on the yoke and run the drawstring through the holes as if you were lacing up a shoe. Once all of the holes have the drawstring running through, tie the drawstring as if tying a shoelace.

    How to attach throw over style saddlebags to a motorcycle
    Lace up the saddlebag yoke in a similar manner. (lacets image by ninice64 from
  5. 5

    Place the saddlebags as before on the motorcycle. Secure the bags to the motorcycle frame using the cable ties.

  6. 6

    Reinstall the motorcycle seat over the saddlebag yoke,and replace the seat retaining bolts. Tighten the bolts so that the seat holds the saddlebags against the motorcycle frame.

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