Saddlebag Support Bracket Broke AGAIN

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by RibEye, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member

    I am a true believer in regularly detailing my ride. Not only does it keep her looking as nice as befits her, but, I get to give her a good going over. This past weekend I got her cleaned up and dressed her up for the first good ride of our riding season (after the heat and rain of the monsoons). What do I find? The reason for the apparent increase in vibration: left side saddlebag support bracket, right at the bend where it joins the brace from the other side. This brace supports the slip-ons. I found this bracket broken in the same spot just over a year ago, and now here it is again. All I can think of is that this is a puny design, needing bolstering up, or my Hooker Tuned-Flow Slip-Ons are significatnly heavier than stock. I don't know because the Hookers were already on her when I got her.

    Is this a common issue for '03 RKCs, or just mine? I'm hoping that the exhaust bracket right at the rear jug has not broken its tab again as well, not to mention another headpipe crack.:newsmile03: All I can do is look, see.

    If I have another cracked headpipe, I'm going to S&S Power-Tune Duals. maybe the way they mount, moving the pipe underneath like the newer HDs will help.

    Rich P
  2. Redfish-Joe

    Redfish-Joe Senior Member

    My 2000 Road King broke there once and my nephews 02 Road Glide has broken there twice. Never on the right side.
  3. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    You've mentioned the head pipe, rear exhaust bracket and saddlebag bracket have all broken before. It sounds like there is a bind in the system, causing stress. Do all of those points line up easily, or do they have to be "helped"?
    I've read of several cracks in the rear head pipe, but not isolated to your year/model.
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Look underneath the fender in the rear. There's a brace that runs from one side to the other side that could be missing. I have seen this a few times and the end result is a broken muffler support every time. The brace supports the two sides as a unit and without it, the weight is on just the muffler support and from the bouncing will break the bracket.
    If the bracket is there then only other recourse is to weld it up with some gusseting to strengthen it up.
  5. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I agree with Breeze here. Make sure nothing is in a bind to put undue pressure on that support. Yes, the left side is the one that breaks and I've had mine break. I've never seen a right one broke that wasnt hit by a cage. Glider has a valid point too, check for the absence of the support for both sides.
  6. RibEye

    RibEye Junior Member

    The brace is indeed there. Without that, there would have been much more damage. I have a new support coming, and I am looking to see how I can support the apparent flex point. Looks like a weak point. As the motor rocks, the place where it breaks can only flex, ever so slightly. There is no solid connection to the stationary parts of the bike, but the Hookers do hang a bit heavy on the rubber muffler hangers, in the case of bumpy roads. I am not sure.

    The rear/crossover headpipe cracked down near the mating with the front headpipe, likely due to the rubber working out of the right muffler hanger, allowing all kinds of vibration (I now add extra safety wire retention to those rubber inserts on both sides, but not in a way that hinders their ability ot relieve tension). I don't know what caused the previous left saddlebag support bracket to break, and the same for the tab on the support bracket on top of the starter, other than simple vibration.

    I recently re-did the entire exhaust system installation, when I went in to check my cam chain tensioners. That is how I found the cracked headpipe and headpipe support bracket (on the starter). I carefully assembled the entire system, removing any stress before tightening it all up according with the sequence in the manual.

    Sounds like my problem is not uncommon.

    Thanks all.

    Rich P