NOTICE:  These are tech pages explaining how I did these mods to my bike.  In almost every case -
I DO NOT SELL THE PARTS DESCRIBED.  I do tell you where I got them.  EXCEPTION - I do sell my custom exhaust mods. 

Tech Tips
Valk Products
My Valkyrie

LeatherLyke Reinforcement Modification




      I've been having problems with my LeatherLyke bags cracking at the rear mount. It's happened twice now, both times with less than the placarded load in the bag. The first time LL replaced the bag. The second time I didn't ask them to - in my opinion it's a design issue.

      So I reinforced the mount points on the bags. They are now MUCH stronger and I now load the bags with impunity and I have seen no more problems in a year of use since doing this mod.

      Believe me, based on my experience and reports of others, if you have the LL bags, and you USE them, sooner or later you will need this mod, notwithstanding LL's protests of non-failure. But be advised doing this mod will void the warranty. If you carry a laptop in it as I do you could care less - you need reliable strength.


      About $15 if you already have the tools


      Two evenings



  • A 1 - 13" X 6.5" X 22 gauge sheet steel (minimum dimensions - but not thicker than 22GA)
  • 32 - 3/16" DIA, 1/4" grip range aluminum rivets
  • 2 - 3/16" DIA X 5/8" bolts & nuts
  • 1 - can Zynolyte Epoxy black spray paint
  • 1 - can spray silicon lubricant
  • 1 - permanent black marker
  • 4 - 11/16"OD X 3/8"ID washers






  • rivet tool
  • hammer
  • punch
  • scriber
  • drill bits 3/16" & 9/64"
  • drill
  • Dremel with rotary file bit
  • compound tin snips
  • power screwdriver with phillips head
  • medium Stanley screwdriver
  • bench vise
  • pliers
  • small vice grips
  • carpenter's square
  • tape measure
  • vernier caliper
  • bench grinder with wire wheel
  • 2 - 3/16" DIA X 3/4" bolts with nuts
  • allen wrenches in Valkyrie tool kit


    Process - described for ONE bag



The LeatherLyke bags' design seems made for this mod. We'll reinforce the plane surrounding the grommets, sandwiching the plastic between sheet steel and distributing the support forces along that plane.

Measure scribe and cut two 13" X 1-5/8" pieces of sheet metal. Radius the ends. Matte the surface and dull edges using bench grinder with wire wheel.

Drill out rivet holding leather retainer strap with 3/16" drill. Remove rubber grommets. Drill and secure one metal piece inside with bolt & nut. Scribe outline of both holes on metal while carefully preventing movement.

Align the two pieces with the scribe marks outward. Clamp them together with vice grips where the holes will be. Drill the retainer strap mount hole into the second piece and bolt them together. Punch and drill then bolt where one of the other rivets will be, so the two pieces are securely fastened together.

Punching to excavate the 1" holes. If you have a 1" steel bit you can expedite past this step - but DO locate the hole precisely.

Excavating the holes. After drilling the holes, punch out the waste with two appropriate wrench sockets and a hammer. Clean up the ragged holes with the Dremel & rotary file bit.

Punch and drill all of the rivet holes with the 3/16" drill. It is necessary to rivet the pieces together with pairs of rivets (explained later).

Clean up the drill burrs with the Dremel (or a bigger drill bit).

Align the big holes and the retainer hole. Secure the piece with the retainer hole and the second rivet hole, using the bolts, taking care while drilling the second rivet hole, with the retainer hole bolt in place, that the other holes remain aligned. Once it is aligned and secured with two bolts, drill all the remaining holes in the bag with the 3/16" drill. Remove the piece, and paint them. Done for the night.

Use two bolts next to a mount hole. Screw them both down screwdriver tight.

Remove one bolt and replace it with a rivet. Remove the other bolt and replace it with a rivet. This is necessary in order to get the plates squeezed tight enough together to use the stock grommets and mounts, and use 1/4" grip range rivets.

Secure the other end with rivets using above process.

Repeat the process with the remaining holes. Use a bolt for the retainer strap. Lube the grommet O.D. slots with silicon and work them back into the holes. The Stanley screwdriver helps here, as well as the big allen wrench (and the nose of the riveter). Darken the rivets with the marker.

BONUS mod - Use the Dremel and the vice to bevel the sharp corners of the retainer bushings - this will cut down on the need for silicon so often on the mounts.

Add washers to increase clearance.

The completed mod when mounted, seen reflected.



All technical mods described here are merely reports of what I've done.  You may attempt to replicate them at your own discretion and risk if you choose.  Horseapple Ranch, LLC and Mark Tobias will in no way be responsible for the results of your attempting to perform these mods on any motorcycle, regardless of the outcome.

All content on copyright 1999-2006 Mark Tobias except "Riders Say", "Dyno Day", Vallejo and Shop Manual and Alternator Review pages, and SWF and MP-3 files and their graphic icons, and any content specifically attributed to another author.  
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