Without the right support system, your motorcycle's saddlebag becomes a burden instead of a handy luggage that safely stores away your belongings while in transit. This is why you need to find a saddlebag support that matches your bike's specs and saddlebag size like a glove. And once you've found the right product, you need to regularly maintain it so that it could properly and safely support your saddlebag for many years. Read on for some tips to help you find the right support system and keep it in top condition.
Tips when shopping for support brackets
Choose one with easy-to-adjust brackets.
With adjustable brackets, you can practically mount the supporting frame on a variety of motorcycle models. Plus, most of these brackets can be installed on existing mounting points, making installation a breeze.
Have your bike specs with you while shopping.
The purpose of a saddlebag support, as it name suggests, is to keep your bag away from the wheels and other moving components at the back of your bike. However, if the supporting frame doesn't fit your bike to a T, it can dangerously sway or prevent the bag from getting tangled with a sharp, spinning metal part while on the road. So to prevent any untoward incidents, make sure you have your bike specs with you while choosing support brackets. The metal frame should provide enough clearance between the bag and the wheels of your bike.
Keeping the support brackets in top condition
Once you've bought the right saddlebag support, you need to regularly maintain it to maximize its lifespan. Here are a few tips to keep these brackets in good condition even after years of use:
Regularly wash it with the right cleaning products.
Because the supporting frame and brackets are regularly exposed to the elements, you need to wash them especially after a long tour or trip. Dust, grime, and corrosion can all play a part in premature deterioration, so the brackets and frame have to be washed regularly. If the parts are steel, bike soap and water are all that's needed to keep them clean and grime-free. However, if the components are coated with chrome, you need to use a special cleaner that can effectively remove grime but won't tarnish the chrome's trademark shine. When washing the brackets, make sure you don't scrub them down with abrasive tools such as steel wools or extra-stiff brushes that can ruin the chrome coating.
Apply a protective coat.
After washing the saddlebag support brackets, you can apply some protective coat to keep it rust-, dust-, and grime-free for a longer period of time. Some protectants also help restore the original shine of your metal support brackets. When applying wax or polish, follow the manufacturer's instructions to achieve the desired effect.
Fix rusty patches ASAP.
Over the years, metal saddlebag support brackets will eventually corrode. Once you've spotted rusty patch here and there, be sure to fix them right away to prevent rust from spreading into nearby metal parts. If the metal brackets and bolts are severely corroded, you need to replace them as soon as possible.