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Thread: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

  1. 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    I have a question about the lids of these earlier style fiberglass saddlebags
    The lids that are with my basket case 65 FLH are in poor shape; one lid is missing a part with the stainless lockplate and is cracked here and there and the other lid is cracked on several corners.
    Off course I can try to repair them with fiberglass mats and gel coat, but doubt if that provides a satisfying result.......
    What do you advice?

    A couple of months ago I noticed that a supplier was offering goodlooking reproduction lids on Ebay, now they seems to have disappeared and am not able to locate them anymore.
    Do you know who the supplier is of these lids?

    The other question is how to install the rivets of the hardware on the fiberglass saddlebags=
    I found a local party that is selling the original rivets, but have no idea what tools to use to install these like the factory did.
    Do you have advice?
    I am also missing some hardware of these saddlebags, what vendor would have these?

    Thanks in advance for your help

  2. #2

    Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    Don't know about the eBay supplier, but keep in mind that there are actually two different versions of the factory fiberglas saddlebags during that period. The first ran from '63 through '65. It has a "U" shaped weatherstripping that is actually stapled to the opening on the bottom portion of the bag and no foam weather strip in the lid. The later version has no weatherstripping on the lower half of the bag and a foam strip in the lid. There are other differences, and the two lids are not interchangeable (or at least won't fit the other series bag very well). The fiberglas in the earlier series bag is also pretty thin compared to the later series. Hope that helps.

    Chuck S.

  3. Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    Hello Chuck

    Thanks for your responce and excellent information; I was not aware that there were two early models saddlebags.
    In that case I have the later version bags with seals in the lids. (my 65 FLH is a late model 65.......engine number 12XXX)
    These lids are pretty thin as well (that seems probably the reason why they crack easy and why the part with connection to the lock is completely ripped out)

    Any idea what tools are used to mount these rivets to mount the hardware on the bags properly?


  4. #4

    Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Washington state

    Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    Actually the late 64-65 had the gasket in the lids, but the bags are different then the 66-69. the 63-65 are chopper gun style and the 66-69 are bolded. So the 63-65 are rough inside and also have notches in the back sides and are very flat on the bottom. The early lids are also less tapered towards the rear.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Salt Lake City, Utah

    Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    After waiting two years to have my fiberglass saddlebags repaired, I reluctantly did it myself. There were several large holes and worn portions of the edges of the lids. I watched a few videos on Youtube then set off on the project. One weekend later they were done and they look fine. I'll dig up the thread. Jump to the end and check it out.
    These bags are gel coated originally. I researched re-gelcoating them but the process is long a laborious. Re-paint them and don't look back. Mine are still operating fine.

    Here is the thread. Jump to page 7 and I think you will see that it repairs can easily be done. Forget about re-gelcoating them, unless you are prepared to cut and polish some very lumpy gelcoat.
    Last edited by Fabe; 12-12-2014 at 11:03 AM.
    '41 FL
    '50 Chief
    '64 FL
    '42 WLA

  7. Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    Hello Duffycycles

    Thanks; great information.
    The question remains how to rivet the rivets of the clips on the bottom of the bags (will not be possible with the Kent Moore pliers you show on the picture I assume?)


    Hello UPSROD
    Thanks, also good information.
    I am unsure how to recognize the right bags when I read your explanation.
    See the pictures, what do you think?

  8. Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    Hello Fabe
    Thanks for the information. I will see on Youtube what I can find

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Washington state

    Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    The bottoms shown are the later bags, the early ones also don't have the rolled lip on the top!

  10. #10

    Re: 1963-1969 Fiberglass Saddlebags

    I stand corrected. You are absolutely right that the late '64-'65 bags had the gaskets glued to the lids! Funny, in 45+ years of playing with this stuff, I've never seen a set of notched bags where the gaskets weren't stapled to the lower piece of the bag. Just took a look in my '65 parts book and there are two different part numbers for the gasket and notes about where they are attached. Appreciate the "education".
    Chuck S.

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