I took it upon a friend ... let's call him "Dan"
... and went to visit a local leather supplies shop, Tandy Leather. Wow, the aroma was just about as good as BACON! Anyway, I was looking for some material that I could dye to match the grips that Dan did for me. What I found was nothing short of awesome, right in the discounted leather selection! The piece I found was about 6' x 4' of 100% genuine leather; pre-dyed a really nice redish brown, and soft as butter! Perfect! Bought a few other supplies including some decorative snap buttons that match my bullet theme!
So I did some measuring and cut out some shapes from poster board. Using tape, I assembled my cut-outs into a cardboard box. Remember these 'pics' ...
When I was happy with it's shape and fitment to where I was installing them, I cut the box methodically how I wanted to cut the leather. Now I really just don't like traditional saddle bags. So I call them Phoenix bags! Why? Because the template I cut resembles that of a Phoenix rising. I think so anyway. Could be a penguin too, but Phoenix just sounds cooler, right?
Cut out the leather; used the leather punch for stitch holes and began lacing them with leather lace (similar to that used for work boot laces). Installed the snaps and TA-DAH!
But as I was fitting them to the bike and getting ready to design the brackets I realized something. They needed a sturdy internal skeleton. Something I had thought of, but got over anxious and did the bags first. No problem. To build the skeletons, I was thinking of something flexible but not brittle - strong but not heavy. I looked at the plastic garbage can in my garage of which the lid had broke off years ago. Hmmm ...
Cut up some aluminum into strips and bent them 90deg, measured and drilled holes and assembled the skeletons with rivets. I used rivets I had already instead of buying more, so they're a little longer than what I wanted, but it's inside the bag so I don't mind. Still does the job.
Went to install the skeletons in the bags and then ... damn. They won't go in the opening. So I had to step backwards and simply unstitch a complete corner of each bag, insert the skeleton and stitch it back up. Worked out great!
Now to work on the brackets. I had a few sketches and headed over to where else ... Ace Hardware, again. I live there. What can I say. It's my Cheers; everybody knows my name.
Picked up some steel flat-bar and rods. For mounting to the frame I used some metal plumbing clamps that had a rubberized surface to prevent slippage. Also got some smaller ones to use as upper supports. And of course attachment hardware - some Grade 8, others stainless steel. Let the measuring, bending, contorting and paint begin!
Assembled the brackets and fit them on the bike. They got a little banged up in the process of minor adjustments ... it's just paint; I'll touch 'em up. Thought I had a pic of the right side, but I don't know what happened to it. Note the "stabilizer" hook at the top. Since this is a swingarm scoot, I could not mount the rear end of the bracket anywhere. So I hooked it around the shock tower to eliminate any up and down movements of the bracket/bags. For now, this will demonstrate: