Harley-Davidson Nightster Solo Rack - Tech

In Back And In Black

The Harley-Davidson Nightster is a fun motorcycle to ride around town, but requires a little imagination when it comes to taking an overnight bag for a weekend jaunt. This particular situation recently came to our attention via Jeff Leighton, the proud owner of an '08 Nightstser. It came to Jeff that there was limited area for tying a jacket, sweatshirt, or overnight bag on his bike without scratching the paint.

The perfect solution is a black H-D detachable solo rack (MSRP $159.95), and, of course, the necessary docking hardware kit ($34.95). Installation was performed at Four Aces Cycle Supply in Pacioma, CA, and only took an hour with hand tools.

(1.) Here's the Gloss Black detachable solo rack unwrapped and the box of docking hardware ready to go.

(2.) Jeff's Nightster with his sweatshirt strapped across the rear fender.

(3.) The docking hardware kit consists of four buttonhead Allen bolts and four docking points, two narrow points for the front and two wide points for the rear. We're going to replace the two fender mounting bolts (arrows) on each side of the bike.

(4.) Here, Jeff is applying a drop of blue Loctite to the threads of the new front mounting bolt. The front docking point has a small shoulder that goes toward the fender strut. The bolt goes all the way through the fender, strut, and frame, and a nut on the inside holds everything together. The rear (wide) docking point gets a drop of blue Loctite and threads into a clip nut, which is inside the rear fender support. The clip nut can be jarred loose; if it does, make sure it goes back in the correct way. Both the front and rear fender mounting bolts were torqued to 15 lb-ft.

(5.) We then turned our attention to the left-side docking hardware. The left-side front docking bolt was the same as the right-side. The left-side light was retained to illuminate the plate; however, the lens must be removed to use the extension and the Allen driver on the torque wrench. Once all of the docking hardware was torqued to spec, the solo rack was clicked into place...job finished.