Adding Some Storage to the Blackline

Excess Baggage

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When Harley came out with the Blackline, it was introduced as a stripped-down and mostly blacked-out bike. Cruising down to the local bike night, the bike can garner attention in its stock trim and it’s a fun steed to pilot on a couple-hundred-mile day trip. But what if you want more out of it? What if you want to slip away for a few days? Sure you could always sling a backpack over your shoulders and hit the road, but after 100 miles, even the most efficiently stuffed backpack can wear on you—especially if it’s warm out.

As I was thumbing through the H-D P&A catalog, I came across a couple accessories that would help outfit the Blackline with some much needed storage space. First of all whether you have a significant other or not, a detachable sissy bar comes in very handy for securing a travel bag/luggage too. And with the bag mounted forward of the sissy bar (resting on the passenger section of the seat) it provides a nice backrest. Then if by chance you do get lucky and pick up a pretty brunette down the road, a luggage rack will allow you to flip your bag around and give your new passenger a place to sit and a secure place for the luggage to rest on without messing up your rear fender. A set of leather-style saddlebags always provide a nice classic look and if you get the detachable ones, you can easily remove and carry them into your lodging for the night. If you’re more of a minimalist, maybe a swingarm side bag is more your style or even a small and simple backrest bag? Check out some of the H-D travel options we set up the Blackline with.

01 Starting at the front, we have the Gloss Black Chopped Fender luggage Rack ($134.95), Detachable Leather Saddlebags ($799.95), Messenger Sissy Bar Bag ($169.95), Softail Swingarm Bag ($179.95), Premium Touring Rolling Bag ($259.95), and One Piece Detachable Sissy Bar Upright ($259.95) with Passenger Backrest Pad ($59.95).

02 The Swingarm Bag is available in black or distressed brown leather and mounts to the left side of the swingarm. The bag is semi rigid with a plastic liner on the inside which helps keep its shape. It has a capacity of 400 cubic inches. What’s that equate to in terms of tees and jeans? I had the same question and used my extensive wardrobe of black T-shirts and jeans to figure it out (I’m not really that fashion-conscious, black tees are pretty much all I own). I was able to stuff four XL T-shirts into it.

03 Similar to the Swingarm Bag, the Messenger Sissy Bar Bag is made of heavy leather, has a fold over flap with hidden quick-disconnects fronted by leather straps and chrome buckles, and features a rigid back shell to help keep is tapered shape. Within the bag is a built-in water-resistant polyester liner with a drawstring to keep your gear dry. This bag was pretty deceiving because while it looks small, with its 925ci capacity, I was able to stuff in two black tees, a daub kit, a pair of jeans, and a set of long johns.

04 The detachable saddlebags feature a rich black finish highlighted by light grey stitching. Leather straps and buckles hide the quick-release clips, and a heavy-duty interior backing plate helps the bags keep their shape. A simple pull and twist of the spring-loaded locking knob on the inside and the bags can be slid off the mounts. With each bag housing 950 ci of storage, I was able to fit two black tees, a hoodie, and two pairs of jeans.

05 And now the big daddy, the Rolling Touring Bag. The name pretty much says it all; the bag has wheels and a pull-out handle making the trip from the bike to your domicile a breeze. The bag has two zippered exterior side pockets, one zippered front pouch, and a massive interior space with a mesh pocket.

06 The large, ergonomic zipper pulls make it easy to gain access into the pockets with gloves on. A rain cover is included as well as mounting straps. With a whopping 3,100 ci of storage space, I was able to fit everything (eight tees, three pairs of jeans, a hoodie, pair of long johns, and a daub kit) with plenty of room left over in the main compartment. I hadn’t even touched the exterior pockets.

07 Before we could install the detachable saddlebags, the rear turn signals had to be relocated from the fender struts…

08 …to the end of the fender. The Turn Signal Relocation Kit ($44.95) consists of a light bar and necessary wiring/hardware to move the lights to the taillight. It’s kind of a pain because you have to completely disassemble the lights so you can remove them from the stock mounts and then feed the wire leads through the new light bar; not hard, just tedious. The other thing is, with the light bar sticking out so far it distracts from the clean and skinny look of the bike, but that’s the Department of Transportation for you.

09 To mount the saddlebags, sissy bar, and luggage rack, we had to mount the docking hardware ($39.95). The sissy bar and saddlebags mount to the front two mounts and the luggage rack mounts to the rear mount. The top of the luggage rack gets secured to the fender via the seat bolt at the rear of the stock two-up seat.

10 The saddlebags have a lower docking point down at the frame side plate where the passenger pegs mount (we removed the passenger pegs). You can’t run the saddlebags and swingarm bag at the same time. And you have to remove this docking point in order for the Swingarm Bag to mount up properly.

11 In the lead image you may have noticed our Blackline was outfitted with a Solo seat and a Headlamp Visor Kit. The solo seat is a brand-new item for the Blackline. The bike comes stock with a two-up seat and until now, there wasn’t a solo seat. If the Tuck and Roll Seat ($199.95) looks familiar, that’s because it comes stock on the new Softail Slim. Low profile and minimalist, the seat sets you low in the bike while adding style.

12 While its not offered as a direct bolt-on component for the Blackline, I wanted to see what the Headlamp Visor Kit ($119.95) would look like on the bike. Outstanding! The two-piece design sandwiches the headlight making it a quick and easy install (for applicable bikes). The plastic shell had to be modified so it would fit of over the headlight bracket mounting bolts on the back of the headlight bucket. It wasn’t too difficult, but once mounted we realized that the design of the headlight bracket was not strong enough to properly withstand the wind and vibration when motoring down the road, so the headlight bounced quite a bit and it was rather annoying. Hopefully Harley will make a kit that fits the Blackline.

13 Here’s the Blackline fully loaded. Sure it might be overkill with all this luggage installed, but just think how many miles you could go before having to do a load of laundry.

14 The Swingarm Bag mounts via adjustable Velcro straps. The fold-over flap has hidden quick-release plastic clips making it easy to get into the bag. The leather straps and buckles add a touch of old-school flair. The Messenger Bag has straps that slip over the sissy bar and cinch tight.

15 I really like the look of the Blackline with just the detachable saddlebags. It’s simple, easy to put on/take off, and matches the clean, classic look of the bike.

Source:

Harley-Davidson
harley-davidson.com
Contact your local dealer