SunDow Seat, Sissy Bar n Rack, or...

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Hobbs770, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. Hobbs770

    Hobbs770 Member

    Hi All,
    I wanted to see if I could get some help or comments around a bit if a dilemma I have with what to buy and what to buy first.

    I've got a 2005 Sportster XL1200 Roadster. I need make some changes but I'm on a limited budget and will have to do it over a few weeks.../months.. I'm not really sure what I want to do, thus I don't know where to begin.

    1. A way to carry items like my kids school back pack (thing is full and weighs a good 15lbs, don't ask me why.) and my lunch.
    2. A more comfortable passenger arrangement (comfy seat and backrest with good mid back support.
    3. Throw over saddle bags (last priority)

    Current situation:
    Currently I have OEM side bars with rigid brackets and a short backrest (maybe 5 inches). I Purchased a luggage rack and medium tall back rest from Harley. They don't fit (too wide). They only fit 04+ XLs with adjustable brackets.

    Now I'm not sure what's the best way forward; I want:

    A backrest with a mid back pad (not touring size, but not tiny either) and a better (more comfortable seat) for the wife.

    A luggage rack for carrying a small/med pack, and throw over saddle bags for when I need them.

    1. For the seat I picked out the sundowner.

    2. For the saddle bags, I'm not sure I have much of a choice b because I want to avoid moving the blinkers. I've :small3d029:eek:nly seen small ones... but this is clearly my last priority..

    The hard part is the rest:

    The back rest and luggage rack:
    Option A: Purchase the detachable kit and switch out my side bars ~$225
    and then I could use the Med backrest (15inches) and rack I have already purchased around $240 (with tax).

    Option B: Return the med backrest and rack that I purchased and switch it out for a rack that fits (the tapered one), and an after market backrest (15in). its pretty close to an even swap.

    1. I don't really care about taking down my backrest or not, is there some other benefit to getting the detachable? Is there other options that this will give me that going with Option B won't? Looks????

    Option 3: Return the purchased backrest and rack that don't fit, and add $75 to the get the sundowner seat first? Then in another month or two I'll pick up return to the option A/B dilemma...? I guess I have to figure what's more important sooner the carrying stuff (rack/backrest) or more comfortable riding for my wife, who will not get on again until its done (good thing?? tee hee.. not).

    Time wise if I go with Option 1 (buy the detachable kit, etc..) then I have to wait for another month or so anyway...

    I'm leaning towards swapping for a rack / backrest that will fit and then picking up the seat in a month or so... unless I can find some other benefits to having the detachable... ?

    All comments welcome; I apologize for the rambling and length.
  2. gusotto

    gusotto Junior Member

    Return the parts that don't fit.
    Why would you even think of keeping them?
    Look at the fitment when you buy items. The years/models are printed on the box or in the P&A book.

    I changed out my seat for a Mustang (eBay) for less money than retail.
    Added the luggage rack and a tall backrest and I can carry most anything.

    Small backrests are for looks, not function.
  3. Hobbs770

    Hobbs770 Member

    Thanks. The only reason I was thinking on keeping them, would be if I purchase the detachable kit (w/the new sidebars) then they would fit. Again, it comes back to,
    Is there a benefit to switching out the sidebars I have and fitting them with the detachable kit, other than being able to detach the backrest..?

    I hear ya on looking at the fitment when buying, I sort of relied on the Parts guy at the shop,... lesson learned.

    My biggest concern with purchasing seat online is getting the right size, and I'm not sure if I can rely on the fitment... info.
  4. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    How do YOU feel about the seat? Since you spend a lot more time on the bike than your wife does, this is an important question. There are many after market solutions like the Airhawk or a simple gel pad that can be placed where she sits to increase her comfort without changing your portion of the seat. Also, once you get a proper sized backrest on there for her, you'll be amazed what a difference it makes.
  5. Hobbs770

    Hobbs770 Member

    I hear ya...Doc.

    I think I'm done with the backrest/ rack issue. I'm going to return what I have and get the right size, without having to get new side plates and a detachable kit.

    Now a seat; not withstanding Dr. Doolittles comment above, I still have that as an open issue.

    I want a seat with a bit more back support for me too (not a backest, just low support..), although this is somewhat less of a priority, I have been looking at seats and two have come across as possiblily good choices:
    Sundowner (51509-04), and the
    Pillow-Look Touring Seat-(52112-04)
  6. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    The only thing that comes to my mind with both of those seats is what they will look like on a Sportster. They are both pretty substantial, cushiony seats and are not really streamlined at all. I have a Sundowner on my Street Glide and it definitely takes away from some of the "attitude" that a SG is famous for projecting. Between it and my backrest I love the comfort factor, but not so much the looks. I would spend some time combing the internet to see if you can find any pictures of what your setup would look like.

    I know Mustang makes really nice seats. I also know Mean City Cycles can often work magic with your stock seat - reshaping a bit and adding support in the areas that you specify.
  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Mustang seats are the cats meow IMO, great cushion and back support JMO and I do ride alot with a bad back
  8. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Here you go, I did it for you!

    sportster sundowner seat - Google Search

    sportster sundowner seat - Google Search
  9. Hobbs770

    Hobbs770 Member

  10. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    If you plan on keeping the bike for a while it is worth taking the time to get it right in the first place
    I would start with a good seat and like others a mustang seat works for me
    I would also keep an eye on the used parts market for the other stuff but just be a wee bit wary as item descriptions can at times be misleading but knowing the hd part numbers of what you are after can help