cruiser motorcycles

Harley Davidson Softail Motorcycle Sissy Bars 101 Guide

Harley Davidson Softail Motorcycle Sissy Bars 101 Guide
Viking Bags Softail Motorcycle Sissy Bars Guide
Viking Bags Softail Motorcycle Sissy Bars Guide

1. What is a Softail Sissy Bar?

A Softail sissy bar is a tall steel extension that stands straight and secure at the back of Harley-Davidson Softail models. Thanks to its considerable height, the Softail sissy bar allows you to tie on larger baggage if the rest of the space on your motorcycle is already occupied. It can also be a comfortable backrest for a passenger to recline against so long as you find the right-sized pad.

Softail sissy bars offer extra functions despite being simple in design as it is useful when carrying passengers and cargo. If you are sold on the idea of getting a Softail sissy bar of your own, check out Viking Bags for the latest and affordable motorcycle products.

2. Types of Softail Sissy Bars

Softail sissy bars are designed to be mounted onto these Harley-Davidson Softail models: Softail Standard FXST, Softail Low Rider, Softail Low Rider S, Softail Sport Guide, Softail Street Bob, Softail Fat Bob, and Softail Slim.

To keep Softail sissy bars from getting marred or rusted, they are built out of stainless steel bars. Though capable of deflecting pieces of debris, the addition of a stainless chrome, matte, or black finish to the design offers a thin yet hardy coating.

Because motorcyclists can come in different heights, the Softail sissy bars in turn are forged at short, medium, or tall sizes. Even the shortest of Softail sissy bars have enough clearance so that your luggage can rest on the fender without the straps coming loose.

Though the steel bars have a rigidity that allows them to stand straight, they can still come loose if they are forced to carry a burden that is too much for them to handle. Before they are ready to be sold on the market, the maximum weight capacity is determined and stamped on the side of each Softail sissy bar.

Though gravity usually keeps your luggage resting on your motorcycle, it can suddenly be lifted when you pull the throttle. To make sure it does not go all the way up, Softail sissy bars are designed with a pointed and bent edge to act as a stopper, hooking onto straps sliding along the bars.

3. Most Popular Softail Sissy Bars

The Motherwell One-Piece Sissy Bar for Harley Softail is constructed with classic paperclip-style bar bolts that are designed to be inserted into the fender struts. It can complement two-up and solo seats plus is made out of thick DOM steel tubing.

The Cycle Visions Attitude Sissy Bar for Harley Softail is constructed from thick round cold-rolled steel with additional side plates to help it stay fastened even more securely when it is fitted to your motorcycle. However, keep in mind that the side plates would have to be purchased separately.

The Khrome Werks Black Short Sissy Bar is constructed from solid steel which aids in its durability and lifespan. It comes with an easy, bolt-on design which makes it a simple process to install on your motorcycle. The bars are measured from the first bend of the leg to the top of the bar and the side plates help accentuate any stylistic features. However, keep in mind that the side plates and bars would have to be purchased separately.

The Detachable One-Piece Backrest Tall Sissy Bar for Harley Fatboy Softail comes fitted with comfortable padding to provide back support for any passenger riding with you. While it does come with a Docking Hardware Kit to help ease the installation process, you may need to acquire a Turn Signal Relocation Kit separately in case you run into technical difficulties while fitting.

The Iron Born Blade Sissy Bar for Harley Softail Standard FXST Matte Black is designed to be fixed to Softail Standard FXST models only. It comes designed with a pointed yet bent tip to make it easier to slide on motorcycle luggage with straps and to catch your baggage from falling off should you ride over bumps on the road. Thanks to the matte black painted over the thick round bar steel, this helps the product to be durable, long-lasting, and weather-resistant.

The Iron Born Blade Sissy Bar for Harley Softail Low Rider Chrome can only be fitted onto Softail Low Rider models. The rounded steel bars that form this product can withstand denting, getting away with a few scratches that give your motorcycle a rugged appearance. Besides giving your motorcycle a shiny appearance, the chrome finish will help your equipment stay rustproof while giving your motorcycle a meaner look.

4. Types of Softail Sissy Bar Mounts

Though fastening your Softail sissy bar may seem like a straightforward process, there are factors to consider when deciding your preferred method of mounting.

If you favor a quick-disconnect system, your Softail sissy bar can be attached or detached using only docking posts and two fender strut bolts. Because you can quickly unfasten the mounting hardware, you can adjust the position of your Softail sissy bar without much resistance.

Using the hard-mount system makes it more difficult for your Softail sissy bar to come loose thanks to the extra fender strut bolts applied and hardier mounting hardware. Keep in mind that this type of mount takes extra elbow grease to unfasten so only use this if you prefer your Softail sissy bar being a permanent part of your motorcycle.

5. Tips on How to Select A Softail Sissy Bar

  • Height & Size:
    Pick a Softail sissy bar with a height that at least reaches the bottom of your passenger’s neck and has a width that covers the proportions of your passenger’s back.
  • Padding:
    Not all Softail sissy bars are built with a backrest already installed. Some versions have a separate pad that can be removed or fitted at your convenience. Choose based on how frequently you have passengers traveling with you.
  • Weight & Storage Capacity:
    Steel bars do not guarantee your Softail sissy bar will not buckle if too much weight is applied. The height, size, and weight capacity will determine how large the luggage your Softail sissy bar can plausibly carry.
  • Affordability:
    A Softail sissy bar can be useful but not required, so you do not need to make a heavy investment just to get a new one. Pick one that is of good quality but affordable.

6. How to Install A Softail Sissy Bar

Viking Bags does not want you to suffer the hassle of figuring out how to fix your Softail sissy bar by yourself. Thus, you are given free access to instructions whether as a physical or digital copy. The instructions are detailed yet simple so you can hurry up and start making use of your Softail sissy bar as soon as possible.

  • Use a wet and dry rag to clean the surface of the fender
  • Remove the four strut bolts keeping the fender in place and place them safely to the side
  • Lift the sissy bar at the right height so that the holes in the sissy bar mount and fender are lined up.
  • Retrieve the four strut bolts and insert them through both the sissy bar mount and fender
  • Use a wrench to screw in and secure all the fender strut bolts

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