One of the more popular modifications you can do to your Harley Davidson motorcycle is add stretch saddlebags and extended fenders. As with all Advanblack parts and accessories, the stretch saddlebags and extended fenders are guaranteed to color match your motorcycle. They are made of ultra durable ABS plastic and come ready to mount with pre-drilled holes to fit existing lids and latches. 

Bear in mind, stretch saddlebags and extended fenders are not difficult to install, but they aren’t a plug-n-play install either. Here are a few tips for getting a clean install and making adjustments so you have even gaps between the new fender and saddlebags and your exhaust pipes.

Getting the extended fender to fit properly

There’s not much to installing the extended fender bar, but it can be a little tricky. Your extended fender is shaped like a big plastic “U”. On the bottom, it has a lip on it that must slide up underneath a bracket on the existing fender. It goes slightly under this bracket. Sometimes people miss this, and it causes headaches for the installation.

Another thing we’ve noticed is that your turn signal assembly might get in the way of the installation. The tip here is to loosen the assembly and turn it sideways. There are only two bolts holding the turn signal bracket in place. Reach under the fender, loosen the bolts and you can rotate the bracket so the lights are out of your way. You don’t have to take it all the way off, but use a towel under it so you don’t scratch anything.

Once the blinkers are out of the way, slide your extended fender under the lip below the existing fender, as we said, and gently tap the bottom of the extended fender up until the arms of the extended fender reach the mounting bolts. The tricky part here is the arms have to go over two mounting bolts (one on each arm). While the ABS plastic of the extended fender is rigid, it also has some flexibility on the arms. You’ll have to pull these arms apart and continue to tap up from the bottom until the bolts on the bike slide into the mounting holes on the extended fender. You can do it by yourself but having a friend to help you can make this go more smoothly.

Start adjusting with the exhaust pipes.

Once the saddlebags and extended fender are installed, you’ll love them, but you may also notice a slight imbalance in the gap between the saddlebags, the exhaust pipes, and the extended fender. You won’t have noticed this with your stock bags because they sit on top of the exhaust, and you can’t tell if the gap is off one way or the other. Don’t be discouraged and start taking everything apart! A little tweak will make a world of difference.

The good news is that if you have an uneven gap, 90% of a time it’s the exhaust pipes. When you drop extended bags beside the pipes, you can see if the gap is uneven. You might think the new saddlebags or the extended fenders are out of whack when it’s actually the exhaust.

The first thing to do is to loosen the bolts on the slip-ons that keep your exhaust pipes in place. Then with a little arm torque you can line up your pipes a little better so the gap between the extended fender and the bags is more even.

On a side note, most of the exhaust systems have a 4” pipe, but on some exhaust mods like the Boneshaker, the pipe is actually 4.5” in some places. There’s not a lot of room for extended bags. It’s iffy at best if you expect there to be no rubbing. A 4” exhaust fits perfectly.

What you’re looking for is a nice, circular gap around the exhaust pipe tip as well as a uniform gap between the extended fender and stretch saddlebags. The gap should be wide enough that there’s no rubbing, and also wide enough to install plasma bars if you want that look.

If after moving the exhaust pipe you still have an uneven gap, you can make adjustments to the stretch saddlebag mount. Remember that you cannot move the mounting bar. It’s set. Any adjustments you make will be to the saddlebags and not the extended fender.

The tip here is to start with the rubber grommets that are part of the assembly that mounts the saddlebag to the bike. There are two grommets on each saddlebag – one in the front and one in the back. What you can do is take the back grommet and cut the two sides off. Take these two sides, tape or glue them together, and use it as a custom rubber shim. When you mount the saddlebag to the bag bar, put this custom grommet on the side rather than the top. What this does is lower the bag as well as increase the gap on the side (there will still be enough room so that it doesn’t rub). You can also use heavy-duty double-sided tape (we use Gorilla), which works just as well, but you may not want to have tape on your bike. It’s up to you.

Whether you work on the exhaust, the saddlebags (or both!), you should have an even gap that looks great. Take a look at this video to get a clear view of how these adjustments are done.