Adapting Harley Bags to the LC

Add Harley Touring Style Hard Bags to your "Touring LC"

Swap meets and E-Bay are both excellent sources for new and used Touring Saddlebags from Harley Davidson. You can often find brand new "Take off" bags at tremendous savings over what's currently available for the LC!

Harley Touring bags have to be supported from the bottom. On Harley bikes, there is either a large loop frame that extends down from the fender strut and folds underneath the bag, or the bag actually sits on a support bar for the mufflers. The bags are then either bolted or quick clipped to the fender strut brackets for lateral support. In order to mount Harley bags on the LC, you will have to create a bottom support system, and adapt your fender strut to fit the side holes of the new bags.

The following is a photo tour of how my cyber friend Tom Mitchell adapted a set of Harley dresser bags to his LC. Many thanks to Tom for taking the time to disassemble his finished setup and record the sequence to share with all of us! Only the right side is shown. Do the same thing for the left side, except for the exhaust spacing.

Keep in mind that some of the early models have used the large loop frames, and these frames are still available through J&P Cycles. If you have purchased a set of bags that are setup for the loop frames, you will still need to create the upper adapter bracket.

Tom used aluminum for his adapter bracket, but since these bags are large, and capable of carrying more "stuff", I would recommend that you use steel in your bracket setup, just to avoid weight bearing and flexion problems when loaded.


Buy enough 1/8"x 2" wide aluminum (or steel), to yield two 17" cuts (upper adapter) and two 14" cuts (lower support). (One for each side. You can trim it later).
Four metric size 8mm bolts 1/2" longer than your stock fender strut bolts.
Four bag mounting bolts (unsure of size or length required) with four matching locknuts, four star washers and four wing nuts.
Eight large flat fender washers, large enough to fit over the 8mm bolts
Two short bolts and lock nuts for attaching the support brackets

PHOTO NOTE: Clicking a photo will take you to a separate photo album  page and display the photo at 640 resolution

1.) Place one 17" strip underneath the fender strut, leaving 3" behind the rear bolt. Mark the location of both fender strut bolts. Preview of:
2 & 3.) Hold the strip even with the bottom of the strut and mark the height position of the strut bolts. Preview of: Preview of:
4.) Intersect the lines to locate the drilling spot for the fender strut bolts. Preview of:
5.) Its a good idea to mark the adapter strip so that you don't lose orientation while working with it. Preview of:
6.) Drill the holes marked for the fender strut bolts Preview of:
7.) Lightly mount the adapter strip to your fender strut (tape the backside so it doesn't scratch the chrome strut) Preview of:
8.) Place a wooden strips along the top edge of your upper exhaust pipe to set the proper height of the bag, making sure that its side mounting holes will fall somewhere on the adapter strip. (The photo is with V&H pipes and uses two 1" strips of wood for spacing. Your setup may vary) Preview of:
9.) Slide the bag back on the strips of wood until it touches the turn signal. (Turn signals will be spaced back later), open the lid and mark the side mounting hole locations on the adapter strip. Preview of:
10.) Remove the adapter and drill the side mount holes. (As an alternative, Harley's quick disconnect brackets could be mounted here, but that will create additional spacing out of the bags, and may get a bit too wide for good aesthetics) Preview of:
11.) New fender strut bolts and washers Preview of:
12.) Install two bag mounting bolts from the inside face of the strip, and secure them with locknuts. Preview of:
13 & 14.) Use four fender washers behind each new fender bolt to space the adapter strip out away from the fender strut. This will allow clearance for the bag mounting bolt heads. Preview of: Preview of:
15.) This is how the adapter should look. Now drill a hole for the support bracket approx 7.5" forward of the rear fender bolt. Preview of:
16, 17 & 18.) Align the support strip to the adapter strip and mark for attaching bolt hole location. Preview of:   Preview of: Preview of:
19.) Put the support strip in a vise and bend it about 2 degrees out from just beneath the bolt hole. Bolt the support strip to the adapter, then put the bag on, and mark the location of the bottom of the bag to the support strip for the final bend. Preview of:
20.) Remove the support strip and make the last bend to go under the bag approx 40 degrees (you can adjust the degrees later). Preview of:
21.) This is what it should look like. Preview of:
22 & 23.) Bolt the support strip on the adapter strip and add washers to the bag mounting bolts for spacing. The 2 degree bend in the support bar will give it some shock absorbing ability. Preview of: Preview of:
24, 25 & 26.) Place the bag on the support and add fender washers and nuts to the bag mounting bolts (note: using star washers and wing nuts here will make quick, no tools removal of the bags for cleaning and maintenance) Preview of: Preview of: Preview of: Preview of:
27.) If needed, you can space back your turn signal bar by adding washers to its mounting bolts Preview of:

Mocc Note: Tom doesn't show this, and I'm not sure if he did it, but I would recommend also installing a "fixing" bolt to the bottom of the bag, through the support strip, if you bags are flat bottomed, or if your bags have a cradle under bottom, you can split a section of broom handle and woodscrew it to the support strip at a point where it meets the cradle, then cover it with rubber. This will prevent the bottom of the bag from sliding around and give a bit more support.

This adapter bracket will also work with the leather covered Road King Classic bags from Harley.



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Thanks again to my friend Tom Mitchell for the time and effort to share this information.


Mocc's Place