Original VOL member, Bates hard saddlebag fabrication.

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Masterofvolusian
VOL Original
Posts: 9
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 7:21 pm
Location: Brodheadsville, PA

Original VOL member, Bates hard saddlebag fabrication.

Postby Masterofvolusian » May 20th, 2017, 11:47 pm

Hello everyone, I'm an original member of Volusia Owners League from back in 2003, same username. I joined when I bought my bike new that year and I was quite active here for sometime. I don't know who is still around that I might remember, some of you may remember me as the guy that put the Indian Solo springer seat on my bike back in 2004 as well as the vintage Harley horn where the pair valve was, speedo visor, chrome levers, clear turn signals and turn signal visors. Might not sound like much now, but it was then, LOL!

I bought the bike new back when my father was diagnosed with a very rare brain cancer in 2003, he passed in 2004. My mother's father passed shortly after, my house flooded from a hurricane we had and destroyed most of my stuff including pictures of my parents, My fiancé at the time left me because she couldn't deal with everything, my mother killed herself shortly after that in 2005 and my father's mother died shortly after that. So, 4 deaths, property and memories destroyed in a flood and my partner at the time left. All of this happened in a 10 month time period from 2004-2005.

Life was pretty messed up to say the least and I ran off to California for a little bit to ride. Everything was "fine" for the most part (save for the severe, literally daily, drinking I did for several years) until the day after my 32nd birthday in 2010. Long story short, all that crap I didn't deal with as a result of my parents deaths manifested itself as PTSD/anxiety disorder and longer story shorter, I got into a VERY dark place and was VERY fucked up because of it. I became severely agoraphobic, didn't leave the house at all for 6 months, lost my job, couldn't drive a car at all for a little over 2 1/2 years, couldn't drive alone for several more years and I could only drive in my own town, I couldn't walk into a business without running out because of panic attacks, etc. It wasn't until 2 years ago that I could drive alone away from home. I was fucked up bad and because of all that, the bike got parked in the shed immediately when everything happened.

The bike was off the road for 6 years due to my PTSD/Anxiety disorder, it sat in my shed and became quite filthy and pathetic looking. I took it out maybe 4 times down the road and back when I thought I could ride it again, I couldn't. I wanted to sell it numerous times because I never thought I would be able to ride it again. My new fiancé, Mary wouldn't allow me to sell it. It was another few years before I would actually ride it again.



This is the last inspection sticker from the last year it was on the road in 2010. You can sort of get an idea of the overall condition of the bike from how bad this inspection tag mount looks:

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So, I pulled the bike out last year, tore it all apart and spent over a 100 hours cleaning, detailing and doing maintenance to it so I could get it back on the road for my first ride and what a monumental ride that would be!! 1,200 miles in 4 days with 2 of my friends, Karl and Greg for Greg's bachelor party ride. It wasn't easy for me by any means and days before the ride my anxiety was trying to make me cancel the ride, but I did it!! I still deal with PTSD/anxiety disorder to this day, every single day since 2010, but I have slowly worked my way to where I am now.



Its first inspection sticker since being off the road for 6 years. That's the same inspection tag mount all cleaned up:

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Here's the bike back in 2004. I absolutely loved the way it looked then and I loved riding it set up like that, I have a passenger now though, so things had to change:

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So, here is the bike as of last week. I just got done making bag brackets for a set of N.O.S. Bates King saddlebags I picked up. I originally wanted to paint them the same black with blue metal flake as the bike, but I actually like them white, so they are staying this way. I also didn't like the tail lights on them at first, but I love them now, for some reason I get a feeling of a '64 Lincoln ass end with them on.

These are the main bag mounts I made for the Bates bags. They are welded together on the backside and still in bare metal in this pic:

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I made some lower support brackets that also lower the passenger foot pegs by 1 1/2". The foot peg mounts that are on there now are the aftermarket ones that lower the foot pegs from stock, now they are even lower with my mod. I believe total drop from stock combined is 3":

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These are the curved lower bag supports I bent up with the mounts tacked on:

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The brackets welded up. The secondary wiring harness for the bags goes through this support and into the bag through the bottom:

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These are pics of the main harness I made. It has a main relay and a fuse box. The main power is fused in the fuse box and comes from the battery, through the fuse box, to the main relay that is triggered by the running light circuit (key on power), it then takes battery power and feeds it into the fuse box for the horn, USB ports and interior lights. By doing this, I only have power to those items when the key is on, so I don't have to worry about accidentally killing my battery if something gets left on/plugged in and the power load comes straight from the battery. There are 2 junction boxes that take the wiring for the brake lights, running lights and turn signals and divide them to each bag as well as the power for the interior lights and USB ports and ground into each bag. Everything is attached to the battery box and is designed to disconnect so I can remove the battery box when needed.

Fuse box and main relay:

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Right side of battery box showing the junction box that splits the power for the running lights, brake lights, right and left turn signals to each bag. The trigger from the running lights to the main relay also connects to here:

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Left side of battery box showing the left side junction block that splits off power for the USB charging ports, interior lights and grounds to each bag. The chassis ground wires connect to the two empty spots on the lower left side of the junction box. The empty spade for the yellow 20a fuse is where the power for the horn wiring harness connects to and the empty fuse slot up front doesn't get used at all:

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Fuse box and main relay behind left side junction box:

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Running light key on power trigger wire for main relay power:

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Main relay power from battery to fuse box:

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Here is the battery box with the wires all connected including my Battery Tender wiring. You can see where I tapped for power from the brake, running, left and right turn signals by the white connector to run to the left junction box and where the main battery power feed for the main relay connects to the battery:

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I also installed a Wolo Bad Boy horn, it's pretty damn loud! Here's the horn installed under the right side dummy oil tank cover ahead of the right side junction box. The horn relay is mounted to the right of the horn and the horn wiring harness is separate from the main wiring harness. As mentioned before, the horn is fused through the fuse box I added on the battery box:

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The main wiring harness has connectors on it to the secondary wiring harnesses that run through the lower bag mounts. This allows me to easily disconnect the wiring from the bags to the bike. The harness connections hide perfectly under the lower frame covers:

Left side, the connector fit perfectly into the bikes fuse box bracket. I used gorilla tape to secure it:

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Right side, I made a rubber coated strap to hold the connector:

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I had to put two notches in the left side frame cover to clear the wiring harness for the connectors.

Rear notch in frame cover for wiring harness clearance:

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Front notch for wiring harness clearance. This is the only bit of harness that you can barely see. The harness goes under the glove box and to the battery box:

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The right side frame cover only had to get notched for clearance at the rear. The harness then goes to the battery box:

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Here's what you can see of the secondary wiring harness coming out of the lower bag mount to behind the frame cover:

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Here's what you can see of the right side secondary wiring harness coming out of the lower bag mount to behind the frame cover. One more note to make is I had to trim a little bit of the glove box lid where it goes up behind the frame to clear the wires for the fuse box, no pics because it wasn't actually much.

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As for the bags themselves, I installed super bright LED lights inside of them. I made a mounting plate that I welded to the bag lock mount. I also made a cover for the lights that gets screwed to the light mount. My original idea was to have the lights come on automatically with mercury switches, but the ones I bought were crap, so I just wired a switch inside each bag. I made brackets that mount with the hardware for each bags tail lights. Inside each bag is a junction box that takes the wires coming in from each lower bag mount and allows them to connect to each bags own harness. This allows me to disconnect the secondary harness wires from the bag so they can be pulled through the bottom of the bags if needed.

This is the mounting plate I made for each bag that installs with the tail light hardware. The junction box mounts and the USB charging port are mounted to this. I didn't have the mounting plate painted in this pic:

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Here is the interior light mount being fabricated:

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I pressed tiny threaded bungs into each mount. The cover for the LED interior lights screws into these:

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The light mounts welded to the bag lock plates:

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Each bag has its own wiring harness and I didn't want wires just laying in the bags, so I made this conduit out of metal fuel line for the harness to allow the interior light wires and the side markers I put on each saddlebag guard to run from the front of the bag to the rear so they can connect to the junction box inside the bag. The bags have a curve inside of them that I followed with the conduit:

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Here is a pic of the interior bag light on. I still have to put a wire loom over the bullet connectors for the side marker and interior lights:

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I decided to install side marker turn signals into my saddlebag guards for added safety. I found some cool LED turn signals from eBay that are super bright and I ran the wiring for the turn signal through the upper tube of the saddlebag guard and into the saddlebag from behind. The turn signals get their ground from the saddlebag guard and saddlebag mount being bolted together. The saddlebag guards will get rechromed soon:

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Side marker turn signal wiring going up into the upper tube of saddlebag guard and ground to the guard itself:

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Side marker turn signal wiring exiting saddlebag guard where it goes into the back of the saddlebag:

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Side marker turn signal lit up while blinking:

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Some pics of the mounts from the bag to the bike. The bags came with some assorted mounts. I used the rear "S" mounts as they were. The fronts used "J" mounts that didn't wrap underneath the bag like the rears, so I used another set of "S" mounts, but I had to modify them to reconfigure them so they could go under the bags at an angle.

Pic of where the bag mounts attach to the main bike mounts I made. The gold colored rear spacer is there to allow the bags to sit straight with the front to rear angle of the bike. They are also removable for when I make a trunk mount that will mount there for long trips. I don't want the trunk on the bike all the time:

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Left bag mount:

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Right bag mount:

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Left bag as viewed from the front showing lower bag mount:

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Right bag. Windshield is off for fabrication. You can see the Harley air cleaner I used. It just happened to have the perfect factory notch in it to clear the gas tank:

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Some pics of the bags mounted and done:

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Pic of me with the bike. The bag lid reflectors are still on in this pic, the side markers aren't mounted yet and the brackets aren't painted:

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Thanks for looking, I will be post again when I fabricate the Bates King trunk mount.
Last edited by Masterofvolusian on May 25th, 2017, 7:09 pm, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Rob
VOL Original
Posts: 1611
Joined: March 11th, 2008, 9:26 am
Location: Orange County NC

Re: Original VOL member, Bates hard saddlebag fabrication.

Postby Rob » May 23rd, 2017, 7:29 pm

Great job resurrecting that beautiful '03 Volusia!

My poor neglected '03 has been collecting dust for several years now. I hope to get around to fixing that soon.

Man, you sure went through a lot. Glad to hear better days showed up and hope many more are ahead.

I sure do miss the old Vol crew and posts like this one. Gone with the wind!
2014 black & chrome HD ultra, 12" mini-apes, 4" Rinehart Racing exhaust, BSEG!!
2003 black & chrome Suzuki Volusia

Metal monsters that let us breathe... -- Zook, a well-remembered VOL Original

Masterofvolusian
VOL Original
Posts: 9
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 7:21 pm
Location: Brodheadsville, PA

Re: Original VOL member, Bates hard saddlebag fabrication.

Postby Masterofvolusian » May 23rd, 2017, 11:49 pm

Thanks Rob!

Yeah, I realized after I posted this that it seems this forum had died and let me tell you, it made me quite depressed. Here I am, getting back into this whole thing after all that crap and the forum is basically gone! Just my luck I suppose! LOL!

User avatar
Rob
VOL Original
Posts: 1611
Joined: March 11th, 2008, 9:26 am
Location: Orange County NC

Re: Original VOL member, Bates hard saddlebag fabrication.

Postby Rob » May 24th, 2017, 6:57 pm

Well I hope I still get to see that Bates King trunk mount! Long live the VOL!
2014 black & chrome HD ultra, 12" mini-apes, 4" Rinehart Racing exhaust, BSEG!!
2003 black & chrome Suzuki Volusia

Metal monsters that let us breathe... -- Zook, a well-remembered VOL Original

Masterofvolusian
VOL Original
Posts: 9
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 7:21 pm
Location: Brodheadsville, PA

Re: Original VOL member, Bates hard saddlebag fabrication.

Postby Masterofvolusian » May 24th, 2017, 7:02 pm

You will, I planned on still posting it anyway when I get done, lol!
Looking to get that done soon because of a trip we want to do to White Face Mountain in upstate NY.

Hopefully you get your bike back on the road soon.


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