They say it's the little details that can make a big difference. And when it comes to a bagger there are plenty of little details all over the bike that can be customized, but one that seems to get overlooked the most but can make a big impact is the inside of the saddlebags. Sure the inside of the ABS bags looks fine and does a good job of keeping your stuff secure and protected, but what if there was a way you could quickly and easily give the inside of the bags a much more finished and professional look while also adding additional protection to the items you carry? We were a little skeptical too, until we came across Sumax Cycle Products' Saddlebag Lining Kits.
Sumax owner, Kirk Van Scotten, has been around the industry building bikes and offering a line of custom parts for more than 30 years. A few years back Kirk and his wife, Linda, went to a show overseas and brought along some liners Linda had sewn up to finish the inside of a set of their saddlebags they were displaying. While at the show they got a lot of questions about the liners and were quite surprised when there was an order for 30 sets by the time they returned home. At first Kirk and Linda tried making the liners by hand at their dining room table with Kirk cutting the material and Linda doing the sewing. After having only completed three sets after eight hours they decided the manual route wasn't very fruitful so Kirk found a way to automate the process that not only helped them produce a lot more kits but also helped keep the cost down.
As with all of Sumax's products, the liner kits are American products with the material being high end, American-made automotive trunk liner material. Sumax offers the kits in either a charcoal or silver color and the kits complete with liners for two lids and two saddlebags as well as professional-grade adhesive for $99.95. Sumax offers kits for both '93-04 saddlebags as well as '05-later bags. To complete the look the company also offers Tour Pak Lining Kits for $99.95. We picked up a charcoal saddlebag and Tour Pak liner kit and took about two hours out of a Saturday afternoon to install everything.
01 Sumax provides a detailed instruction sheet with pictures. Once you figure it out, installation is a breeze. We started by removing the saddlebags from the bike, then we cleaned and prepped the bags by removing the lids from the bags (with the hinges still attached to the lid). Sumax recommends taping the edges of the bags, lids/rubber gaskets too, in case of adhesive overspray. We found that once the adhesive was dry, it came off rather easily by rubbing our fingers back and forth along the edge.
02 Working on one bag at a time, Sumax recommends removing the rubber grommets, but we found it easier to smooth out the seams of the liner then slip the liner into the bag. We then used a flat blade screwdriver to gently lift the lip of the grommet and slid the liner under the lip. We worked around the grommet until the hole in the liner was completely secured under the lip of the grommet.
03 The grommets work as anchor points to properly locate the liner and keep it in place while gluing. With the liner secured behind the grommet, we flipped the liner out of the bag and sprayed the adhesive on the floor, two ends, and side opposite of the grommets. It's important to lay down a lot of adhesive as this will make it easier to move the liner around and into position.
04 We then flipped the liner back into the bag and began working the lower corners into position and smoothing out the bottom. We then began smoothing out the sides. The adhesive is tacky for a few minutes so if you need to pull the liner away from the bag and rework a section you can do so.
05 With the floor, ends, and one side complete, we pulled the liner away from the grommets on the other side, sprayed more adhesive, and smoothed it all out. We then went back and lightly sprayed adhesive at the top edges and corners that might have been loose.
06 With the saddlebags complete, we started on the lids. As you can see, the lid liners are cut in the corners so you can work the edge in tight with no creases and there are cut-outs for the stand-offs for the saddlebag catches. Just like the saddlebags, the liners are side specific, so it's important to match them up before you start.
07 After liberally spraying the adhesive on the underside of the lid, we installed the liner and smoothed it all out making sure we stretched the corners together to avoid large gaps.
08 Once we completed both saddlebags and lids we started on the Tour Pak. We had to remove the wire stay attachment points inside the Tour Pak lid and bottom.
09 We also had to remove the lock from the bottom of the Tour Pak.
10 We then slid the liner into the lid and reinstalled the lock using the lock to properly locate and secure the liner in position.
11 The liner was then flipped out of the lid so we could lay down a layer of adhesive. We then worked the liner into position making sure to get all the wrinkles out and the corners tucked together tight.
12 When it came to the Tour Pak bottom, we ran into a minor issue. The liner kit is only made for the King version and not the Razor or Chopped Tour Pak we had on our bike.
13 To remedy the situation, we situated the liner into position, sprayed the adhesive, and smoothed it all out.
14 Then we cut the excess off with a razor blade using the top edge of the pak as a guide. The material cut very easily so it was simple to make a smooth and straight cut.
15 Here's the completed Tour Pak.
16 And here's one of the saddlebags. In less than two hours we gave our saddlebags a more professional look. Best of all it was a rather inexpensive customization that delivered solid results, and was really easy to do.
Sumax Cycle Products
122 Clear Rd