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Nope, cant say that I have. but you never know someone mite chime in. :)
 

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I have considered it....

What are you existing skills & equipment?

My mother was a professional seamstress & has a professional grade sewing machine. She has the skills and equipment to manufacture such a project. My best estimate, it would take her about 30 hours of work and about $100 in material to make saddlebags equivalent to the $150 Saddleman bags I purchased from JP Cycles.

If you have the skills and equipment to do it, you can make your own. But just to forewarn you, her sewing machine was about $600 used and about $2000 new. It will sew canvas & light leather. If you want heavy leather, you're going to be limited to very expensive equipment or hand-stitching which will be VERY expensive or VERY time consuming.

If you're going for a specific design, it might be worthwhile. For most of us, standard production products are unbelievably cheaper. Ultimately, even with the skills and equipment available I chose to buy an inexpensive set of production saddlebags and forget the idea of custom bags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i was thinking about doing something with some surplus ammo cans, using some kind of a metal bracket from hobby lobby to attach to both the can and the body. since the cans are waterproof, i wouldn't have to worry about sealing them. and I can easily add on a padlock. just didn't know if anyone had every done anything DIY before.


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I've seen miliatry surplus ammo cans used as saddle bags...

water tight and steel so they're easy to weld on to a bracket or drill and bolt on.
 

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i was thinking about doing something with some surplus ammo cans, using some kind of a metal bracket from hobby lobby to attach to both the can and the body. since the cans are waterproof, i wouldn't have to worry about sealing them. and I can easily add on a padlock. just didn't know if anyone had every done anything DIY before.


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Solid saddlebags, you're going to face the same issues, just replace "sewing machine" with "welder".

How are your welding skills?

You're going to want some sort of support bracket from the mount to the bottom of the ammo can. If you simply drill some holes and bolt it to the fender, you're going to tear the crap out of the can. The mount will not only help to support the weight, but will also diminish the vibration as you ride - both of which will destroy the ammo can if you bolt it directly.

Additionally, your solid cans may have interference issues with the signals, seat, or other mechanical functions. You will have to work around these as you install.

It can be incredibly rewarding, but you will need to know what you're doing before starting. Otherwise it will be frustrating and expensive.

So, how confident are you in this venture?
 

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I`ve seen many variations throughout my 50 years of "Biking"...
I`ve seen coffin shaped wooden, some that look like cabinets, wooden, Suitcases fastened to the Bike, Ammo boxes, and Ho-made leather bags all come to mind...
You CAN DO IT!!!

Post pics of the entire project...

Google Leather Art Works and learn...

Welcome to the forum,
Dennis
 

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Has anyone ever made their own saddlebags? If so, what'd you do?


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Since one would need a really GOOD 'Leather' sewing machine, and most are NOT capable of sewing through the thick leather that would be needed for a set of saddlebags, AND one would need to purchase quite a big piece of leather, which ALSO isn't cheap, the cost would probably be more prohibitive than just buying a set off eBay or someone else. I've even seen nice looking sets of hard saddlebags on eBay for $50-80, including having LED lights built into them. I also got a set of 'buffalo leather saddlebags' from there for $50 about 12 years ago, and they only wore out (a.k.a. a mouse chewed through one to get to the snack bar I had in one) about 2 years ago, so lasted for about 10 years total. I've seen the same set of bags on eBay lately for about $80, but for lasting that long, I'd say they're worth it, since that set came with windshield bag, tool roll, backpack, sissy bar bag, and rain covers with the saddlebags. To replace them, I got a nicer looking set at a local rally for $119, which are still on the bike a couple years later, and still looking fairly new. Since getting them, though, I took off the zippered cross over under the seat, and cut holes in them to mount them directly to the fender supports.
 

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I've seen miliatry surplus ammo cans used as saddle bags...

water tight and steel so they're easy to weld on to a bracket or drill and bolt on.
I actually saw a set like you're talking about for sale on eBay, already drilled and setup to mount. You might want to check it out, if that's what you want.
 

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I helped a friend mount a pair of 50 cal ammo cans... He welded up some mounts and welded the ammo cans to the mounts and bolted them on.... cheap and easy...
 

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I've seen the ammo cans, but even better Pelican cases. Easily available, waterproof but a bit spendy.

Dingo.
 

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Wish I had taken a picture, a used 2000 Sabre I passed up had custom made saddle bags from leather, with the rivets made from nickels. They even made a quick release mounting. It was done very well...

I've thought of bolting on some pelican cases too. I got about 10 cases free from work, grey and kind of beat up, but free...
 
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