Click to enlargeHow to install throw - over saddlebags

We sell an great line of quality bargain priced motorcycle saddlebags in various styles that fit a huge number bikes. About once a day I get an email asking about fitting the bags on a specific bike. This simple guide will walk you through the process.

Note: They instructions are specifically for install our DCW XL Plain Jane bags on Harley Davidson Sportsters. Here is a link: The process will be similar on most motorcycles.

Before we start let's make sure they will fit:

Let's assume you are interested in some of my great leather throw-overs that measure: 13" WIDE X 6" THICK X 11" TALL

This means that each bag is 13 inches long (measured horizontally), six inches thick and 11 inches tall (measured vertically)

First Measure from the top of your pipes or chain (if the chain is unguarded), whichever is higher, to the bottom of your seat. You need 12 inches, if the dimension is any less don't buy the bags they are too tall. Don't worry about the shocks. Throw overs go over the shocks. The thickness doesn't matter, the selection of thickness is a matter of your personal taste and how much gear you need to bring along. The length is also a matter of taste. I recommend 14 inches or less if you have a passenger on the back and have not relocated the signal lights.


1.. Remove your seat. Most Sportster motorcycle seats are removed by unscrewing the Philips head screw located at the rear of the seat. Slide the seat forward while lifting up slightly to detach the keyhole bracket from the seat post. Then slide the seat to the rear to detach the seat tongue from the rear tank bracket. The process is the same for solo and two-up seats.

2. The yoke is the part of the bags that fits under the seat. Unlace the yoke, position both bags in the location you want them to stay. Overlap one side of the yoke over the other. Using a marker, mark where the yoke lays over any obstructing hardware and the outline of outer edge of the upper yoke where it overlaps the lower wing of the yoke. Note: The saddlebags typically lay over the shocks. Some saddlebags are supplied with an additional yoke extender to be used with extra -wide bikes. This is typically not needed.

3. Lay the bags out flat, place the yoke over a piece of wood, telephone book or something similar. Line the marks up that you made in step 2. The existing holes work for the vast majority of motorcycles.

If the holes don't line up, use an awl, ice pick or drill and make about six holes through both pieces of the yoke. Use the piece of leather strip to lace them together.

NOTE: On most motorcycles it is not necessary to make new holes. Some combination of the existing holes should fit.

4. Place the saddlebags on your bike in the position you want them to stay.. Reinstall the seat. Use the lower tie downs to secure the bottom of the bags. On Sportsters I secure the bottom tie offs near the bottom of the shock. Leave about an inch of slack.

5. Give your bike a final safety check. Make sure the seat and saddlebags are secure and the bags cannot come in contact with your wheel, spokes, belt or chain.

If you have any questions I’m always glad to help. Email : DONC314@HOTMAIL.COM

As always don't stab, slice, fold, spindle or mutilate yourself while using sharp instruments!

NOTE: I have been getting a lot of questions regarding throw over bags fitting various motorcycles. Throw overs are designed to fit your motorcycle without modifying your bike. They typically go over the shocks and in front of the signal lights. Some motorcycle dealers have been telling people that these bags will not fit your bike. They then try to sell you several hundred dollars , sometimes over a thousand dollar set of bags. Measure your bike and decide for yourself! Unfortunately some of these people either don't know or are willing to lie in order to make a sale.


There are two steps: Cleaning then conditioning / waterproofing.

A couple of times a year or when they are covered with dead bugs, whichever comes first. Clean your bags with saddle soap or Murphy’s Oil soap per the manufacturers directions. I prefer Murphys over saddle soap.



At this point some people rub in a light coat of mink oil and let it soak in. Treat them with an application of silicone waterproofing spray or one coat of Scotch guard. NOTE: I DON'T RECOMMEND THIS FOR BRAND NEW BAGS, ON OCCASION THE SOLVENTS WILL DISSOLVE THE PIGMENT USED IN THE LEATHER AND RESULT IN A STICKY MESS! I don't like Armor All. Be sure to treat all seams. With lined bags I treat the outside only. For non-lined gear I spray the inside and outside. Let them dry and buff with a soft cloth.

After a few years the leather may start to show light spots etc. When this happens clean the leather with saddle soap, let them dry. Then coat them with a leather dye. (I use the regular product sold in the shoe section of the local store) Then proceed with the waterproofing step.

Store in a dry area.


The terms: Harley-Davidson, Harley, H-D, Buell, Deuce, Sportster, Evolution, Low Rider, Super Glide, Wide Glide, Dyna Glide, Softail, Heritage Softail, Electra Glide, Fat Bob, Fat Boy, Bad Boy, FL, FLH, FXR, FXRS, FX, FXE, FXS, FXWG, FXST, FLST, FXSTS, FLSTF, FLSTN, FXD, FXDB, FXDS, FXDWG, FLT, FLHT, FLHS, FLHR, XR, XL, XLH, XLX, 883 and others are registered trademarks of Harley-Davidson, Inc. and are used for reference only and are not intended to imply that these parts re manufactured or endorsed in any way by Harley-Davidson, Inc. DONSCYCLEWARE.COM,BARGAINMOTORCYCLEGEAR.COM AND WHOLESALEMOTORCYCLEGEAR.COM are not affiliated in any way with Harley-Davidson, Inc. or The Harley-Davidson Motor Company or any other motorcycle manufacturer.


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