DIY Motorcycle Saddlebags

Written by janos gal
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DIY Motorcycle Saddlebags
Saddle bags help make long bike trips more comfortable. (Helmet for motorbike image by Ivonne Wierink from

On a long motorcycle trip nothing is more important than having the right saddlebags. Unfortunately these bags are generally pretty pricey. With a little ingenuity, though, you can make a set at home for a rock bottom price. Saddle bags hang off the side of your motorbike at the back, providing a useful tool as you can reach into them without ever having to get off your bike.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Two rucksacks
  • Needles
  • Thimble
  • Thread
  • Snap-fasteners,

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    Prepare your own saddle bag

  1. 1

    Get a couple of heavy duty rucksacks. Make sure they are not too big because otherwise the exhaust pipe may burn the bottom of the bags.

  2. 2

    Cut the stopper off the very end of the adjustable straps. Separate the upper and lower parts of the straps. Sometimes if the two parts of the strap are not sewn together you can easily unfold the two sections. Check how long the straps need to be so that the bottom of the bags won't touch the exhaust pipe. Generally the straps are longer than you need so just cut the excess off but don't throw it away as you will need it later.

  3. 3

    Put the two bags next to each other. Sew their upper straps together with a good quality, strong thread to ensure they don't come loose again.

  4. 4

    Get a couple of snap-fasteners. Sew one on each bottom strap-end. Wrap the bag strap around the bike frame and fasten the bag onto the bike. Make sure they stay very tight so that your bag won't fall off or shake at high speeds.

  5. 5

    Put the saddle bag onto the bike. Check where the strap ends are closest to the bike's frame and mark those spots. Sew some of the excess straps you have onto these spots. Attach a couple of snap-fasteners to the ends of the straps you have just sewn on. Fasten the top strap-ends to the bike frame with them. You need these shorter straps with the snap-fasteners to keep the saddle bag tight on the frame.

Tips and warnings

  • Get a motorbike rack and attach the saddlebag to it. This way you won't have to worry about wear and tear to the bag straps and the bags won't touch the exhaust pipe either because the saddle bag frame will protect them.
  • Use a thimble when sewing parts of the bag as it will make it easier to push the needle through hard surfaces and also protect your finger. Better still, use a sewing machine if you have one.

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