Author Topic: Another broken saddlebag latch  (Read 197 times)

Offline tjhess74

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Another broken saddlebag latch
« on: November 28, 2018, 09:25:53 am »
A year or so ago, just before my last warranty extension expired, my left saddlebag latch that opens the bag broke. The plastic latch cover (the part you see when looking down at the lift up latch) came off, exposing the latch body underneath.  The cover is epoxied on and fatigues with age. What prompted this breakage is the operation of the latch gets stiff because dirt/grime gets in and the grease stiffens and vacates.  The latch was replaced under warranty, but the key no longer matches.


Fast forward to the other day, the right saddlebag latch broke in the same exact manner. The operation had been getting quite stiff, so I should have seen it coming. I was not going to pay for a new one due to the extreme cost, so I tore into it.  I don't have pics, but I'll describe my steps to fix it.

First, I removed the latch assembly from the bag by removing the screws from the inner top of the bag. Once the latch is off, Remove the black plastic covers. It's a two piece clamshell design that you can pry the edges to free them. Note there are two enclosed square nuts down near the orange latch that will likely fall out at this point. Make sure to replace them, as they are two of the screw points when you screw it back in the bag.


Once the clamshell is off, the inner workings of the latch assembly are exposed. You'll likely see a lot of dirt, grime, and displaced grease. My latch was to the point it would no longer open/close (latch pull up/push down) without manually assisting it by pushing/pulling on the latch bars (sliders) that latch on to the saddlebag lid brackets. The actual latch that you lift up on comes off too, carefully. There are two small plastic pieces near the pivot point that will slide off. You can then manipulate the main latch handle out from under the rod it pivots on. The handle that removes the bag from the bike pivots on that same bar. Take care to make sure that latch properly contacts the sliding bar underneath it when reassembling.

I used a brush and non-clorinated brake cleaner to clean the assembly.  There was a TON of dirt that came out! Be sure to get under the latch sliding bars really good, as I think that's where a lot of the binding takes place.


I didn't have any moly grease on hand, so i used a combination of aero-kroil, gear lube, and regular grease to lather up the moving parts. Once it was worked in well, the latch operates as normal.  I snapped it all together and used JB Weld epoxy to glue the latch cover back on the the latch itself.

A couple hours of my time and a day for the epoxy to dry, and she's nearly as good as new. Hopefully this saves someone hundreds of dollars and the frustration of having non matching saddlebag keys.
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Offline fartymarty

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Re: Another broken saddlebag latch
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2018, 11:03:18 am »
Thanks!

I put my bags through hell cramming stuff in there and then leaning against the lid so I can get it closed and latched.
 I should do this now while my bike has some down time.

Offline tjhess74

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Re: Another broken saddlebag latch
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2018, 02:37:50 pm »
I would agree. If nothing else, it gets the dirt and grime out of there and some new lubrication in. It saves a latch problem 1000 miles from home in the parking lot of a gas station in the middle of nowhere.
'08 C14 Steve's Flash Rocks!!!

The 'other' forum evicted me!

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Another broken saddlebag latch
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2018, 12:28:29 pm »
Good tip!  Thanks.
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