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Old 12-13-2011, 11:36 PM   #1
TCMJim
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Default Home made saddlebags?

Howdy folks,

I'm just sittin' here at the computer and a thought started bouncin' around in my old noggin which prompted me to get on here and ask this question.

Has any of you ever made your own saddlebags, or known anyone who has? I have seen plenty of real nice saddlebags on the net but none of them seem to be in my price range which is well short of an arm and a leg. I figure that if my Dad's DIY gene was passed on to me then I ought to be able to figure it out.

Anyway, just thought i'd ask.
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:53 AM   #2
MS_Steve
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Never seen any homemade saddle bags. While a BIG section of leather (or baby seal skin) would probably be relatively expensive, I had some 'pleather' bags on another bike from LeatherUp, that were reasonably priced, that were pretty stiff and waterproof. The hardest thing to do on the home made bags, (I think) would be getting a decent stitch thru the thick material.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #3
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I haven't made saddle bags but several years ago I made some custom bags to hold certain tools. so I guess the concept would be the same.

For stiching I borrowed a sort of sewing awl that uses heavy thread from a friend of mine that made leather stuff for some sort of re-enactors. I've seen the same sort of device at Harbor Freight.

For leather I went to several thrift shops and got some used leather womens' coats and jackets and belts. Cheap. The snaps and fasteners I think I got at a regular fabric store.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:13 AM   #4
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I went for soft bag stays and mounted ammo cans:


Whole deal was under 100 bucks. I've since see a Sportster that did the same thing (He cut the cans down a little) and painted them to match which looked pretty good.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:07 AM   #5
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Thanks folks,

The bag size I am looking to create can be found at http://www.edgeleather.com. The 104 xl with the locking mechanism as found on their 108 model. I am thinking about using something like a kydex internal frame/insert for rigidity and applying the leather over that. I am currently trying to locate leather workers in my area who would not mind having their brains picked so that I get a good product the first time.

Thanks again
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:28 AM   #6
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Back in college when I was poor but crafty, I found a leather craft store attached to a tannery in Santa Cruz, CA. They sold scraps by the pound, and I was lucky enough to find some reasonably-big pieces with minor flaws. Made good bags for my CB 350. I still have them, too, 30 years later.

Go for it! In fact, if you are careful, you can probably make better bags than you might afford retail. My current bags started to rip away from the zippers due to a design flaw. I was able to repair them with some nylon webbing (this stuff seems to be everywhere), and they are stronger than new.
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