Convertible Softail | Sumax Loboy Fender and Saddlebag Mounting Brackets - Hot Bike Magazine
The mocked-up Softy looks much better than it did with the Bobtail fender and soft leather saddlebags. Mat and his old lady are much happier because they can lock their gear in the hard bags when walking the bike rallies. And there’s a lot more room for carrying their belongings. Now that the mock-up is complete, the fender and saddlebags will be painted gloss black to match the tank.
01. The composite fiberglass Loboy rear fender is somewhat reminiscent to a Heritage Softail fender, which was what Mat wanted, but the Loboy is 2-1/2 inches longer. Also pictured are Sumax’s saddlebag brackets, which come powdercoated black. The brackets come with saddlebag mounting tabs and the necessary mounting hardware for installation.
02. The Softail was placed on a lift for the transformation. Mat started the project by removing the rear wheel. This was done for maneuverability when placing the rear fender between the frame horns for the desired fit. When he’s ready to mark and drill the holes to mount the fender to the struts, the wheel will be reinstalled.
03. Bye-bye soft saddlebags. Once the leather bags were removed…
04. …the rear Bobtail fender was also taken off. Mat hasn’t decided on what kind of taillamp/turn signal application he wants to use yet, but the stock turn signals and taillamp assembly will need to be changed. Russ Wernimont offers the LED Cat Eye ($299.99), which is a license plate frame/taillight/turn signal unit that replaces the stock plate frame, taillight, and turn signals.
05. The Loboy was slid in place to ensure proper fit between the fender rails. Mat liked how it sat, and was ready to mark and drill the holes.
06. The rear wheel/tire was reinstalled so that Mat could check for any travel clearance issues before drilling.
07. With the fender positioned and the fender-After checking the fender-to-wheel clearance, Mat marked and drilled 9/64-inch pilot holes in the Loboy fender followed by 25/64-inch holes for the stock fender strut hardware. As you can see, the saddlebag mounting brackets were placed along the Loboy to gauge how they’d fit the new fender mounting points.
08. With all of the holes drilled, Mat installed the left side saddlebag bracket. The bracket mounts to the stock fender struts. There’s also a mounting point that’s positioned behind the passenger footpeg, which you’re still able to utilize.
09. Because Mat plans on keeping the Harley sissybar, he installed Harley’s docking hardware to the fender struts, which serve two purposes: they mount the fender to the struts, and they allow the sissy bar to be attached/removed in seconds.
10. Mat installed the saddlebag mounting tabs that were included to the Sumax bag brackets with the provided hardware. There are four tabs total (two on each side).
11. With the saddlebag mounting tabs installed, Mat installed the swap meet bags and lids onto the new Saddlebag brackets. Everything fit nice and snug with nary an issue. Mat was confident with the fender positioning and how well the saddlebags mounted to Sumax’s saddlebag brackets. All Mat has to do is remove all the parts and send them off for paint. Overall, installation took about two hours with basic tools. Best of all, Mat was able to turn his Softy into a convertible bagger without having to spend a ton of dough.
Soft, leather saddlebags serve their purpose, but a set of hard saddlebags have the edge for multiple reasons: cargo capacity is larger, latches are lockable, and they look much better than a set of soft bags. A friend of HOT BIKE, Mat Virgil, has a ’00 Softail Standard that was in dire need of a hard saddlebag conversion.
Mat found some hard bags and bag lids at the swap meet a while back, but he needed a way to mount them. He called up Sumax Cycle Products in Oriskany, New York, because the company offers Saddlebag Brackets ($319) for Softail models—brackets for multiple Harley models are also available (pricing varies). Sumax’s Saddlebag Brackets will fit ’93-later Harley hard bags and soft bags and are made from stainless steel and powdercoated black. The brackets mount to the fender struts and behind the passenger footpeg for stability. Sumax also offers multiple styles of hard saddlebags for those looking to go the bagger route without buying a new Touring model.
Mat was faced with another issue: his Softail had a Bobtail rear fender that didn’t look right when he held the hard bags next to it. Since Sumax also offers multiple composite fiberglass fenders, Mat ordered up the Loboy Fender ($219). The fiberglass fenders fit ’96-11 Softail models (with the exception of 200mm rear tire Softails) and are lightweight but very strong and have been structurally tested to handle up to 28,000 psi of pressure, which claims to be stronger than steel fenders. Another good thing is that the fenders don’t come pre-drilled so they can be positioned accordingly based on customers’ needs. Sumax also offers universal-fit fenders so there is something for everyone looking to transform their bike.
With all the parts in hand, Mat was ready to mock-up the new fender, saddlebag brackets, and saddlebags to his Softail. Once everything is mocked-up, he’ll send the fender and saddlebags off for paint and have one kickass Softail bagger when all is said and done. HB
Sumax Cycle Products**
(800) 654-5546 | sumax.com