LeatherLyke Riding Luggage

Estimated cost $325.00 US.

The Leather-Lyke Saddlebags are wonderful. They are a hard polymer of some type that looks like "leather". They have a locking and hinged top and are fixed to the bike by two studs that replace the bolts that hold the rear fender to the strut assembly.

The bags can be removed and replaced in about 15 seconds by simply slipping the bags over the studs and snapping a spring clip in place from the inside of the bags. You will not need "bag stay bars" with these bags.

The leading edge of the backside of each bag has an integrated/preformed piece that rests on the upper shell of the rear shocks. This is rubber padded and after 3000k there is no damage or wear shown on the shock housing.

When the bags are removed, the studs protruding from the fender rail struts are not obtrusive or unsightly - see the picture below for a closeup view of the attachment studs without bags attached.

Each bag holds approximately 15 lbs and is foam-lined and waterproof. You can easily pack a twelve-pack of your favorite beverage into each bag and the foam will not saturate with water from melted ice.

When the day is done simply remove the bag(s) and turn upside down to release any water/ice. As for installation, the instructions were easy, but you will need to remove the main seat and rear fender; then re-route the turn signal(s) and wires to the license bracket area. This is an easy process, but be careful when removing the last bolt holding the rear fender (there are only 4 bolts) as you might scratch the paint if the fender falls against the fender rails (recommend two people for this process - one to steady the fender and one to remove the bolts).

The bags come complete with additional wire and a bracket for relocating the turn signals to the license plate area (never liked those turn signals in the stock position anyway). This is a smooth installation, great set of bags and pretty easy to install. By the way...you will need to remove the plastic side reflectors on the fender rails. Simply remove the nut attaching the reflector from the backside of the fender rail.

These instructions are for the Honda Shadow Ace but should be similar for other bikes as well.

1. Remove Seat and Pillion

2. Follow LeatherLyke's instructions for removal of the turn signals and rear fender. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. Don't get "cold feet" over removing the fender...it ain't that bigga' deal! However, please be careful when removing your fender so it doesn't drop against the inside of the fender rails and damage paint.

3. The Honda side reflectors must be removed from the forward of each fender rail. Simply remove the nut holding the reflector from the rear inside of the fender rail. I found this comical: Honda glues their chrome engine ignition and clutch covers to the engine and then goes to the trouble of "bolting" a reflector??? Is there something wrong with this picture?

4. The turn signals will need to be rerouted to a (supplied) bracket on the license light assembly. This actually looks better than the stock locations. Leatherlyke supplied all wiring, connectors and the bracket.

5. There are four (4) studs that attach to the fender rails. The bags have machined holes that fit over the studs. Once the bags are placed over the studs, a spring clip slips over the studs from the inside of the bag and secures them to the bike. This takes about 10 seconds to install or remove your bags!

These bags allow you to quickly remove them for those short jaunts and the studs don't distract from the clean lines of the ACE's rear fender area.

6. Before replacing the fender, clean the forward surface and underside and put a good coat of wax on those areas that are up against the air filter box.

The bags have unique foam lining that is waterproof. You can pack your favorite twelve-pack inside and dump a bag of ice on top without worrying. When the day is done, just pull the two spring clips, remove the bag and turn upside down to dispose of the melted ice. Leave the lid open overnite to evaporate water residue.

Each bag can carry approximately 15lbs. (for cruiser bags).
The bags do not use "stays". Built in to the leading edge of the rear of each bag is a rubber cushioned "pad" that rests on the upper shell of the shock absorber. If you've changed to a shock with exposed springs, check with Leather Lyke for any potential problems.

After 4500 miles I haven't experienced any damage to my stock suspension covers...with one exception: I overloaded one of the bags one day and found that the pressure against the shock housing had moved the upper housing against the lower leg of the shock. This created some slight abrasion to the exposed area of the lower leg.

I suppose if you rode a significant distance with overloaded bags you would probably wear through the chrome on the lower shock leg. That means your pretty scooter won't be pretty anymore - so don't overload! To get a feel for how this happened, grab your shock's upper housing and press inward...it will move against the lower shock leg. Make sure you re-center when you're done with this little fun test.

Leather Lyke also has tourer bags for most popular bikes. The tourer series is larger than the cruiser series.

Submitted by Ronn Self