Adding a luggage rack to my Harley Davidson Sportster was the first step in turning this daily commuter into a weekend touring motorcycle. With a pending camping trip, and motorcycle saddlebags an expense I wasn’t yet willing to make, I needed to find a luggage rack that would complement the 2006 Sportster, and hold the supplies needed for weekend camping.
The first place I looked for a rack was the Harley Davidson catalog. Seamless installation on my detachable sideplates and mid-low sissy bar combination as well as appearance were important factors. “One size fits all” luggage racks were secondary considerations. After a little research, my decision was between the Harley Davidson two-up sport luggage rack (PN 53713-96) and the five bar sport luggage rack (PN 53862-00).
One of the bonuses of buying this from Harley was that my local Harley Davidson dealer had both items in stock, so I could do a side by side comparison.
The two-up luggage rack was huge compared to the five bar sport rack, and seemed more suited for a Softail than a Sportster, so the five bar sport luggage rack it was.
Installation of the luggage rack was painless. Since my backrest was detachable, I detached it, so I could lay the sissy bar on its side. After removing the screws that held the mid-low sissy bar onto the sideplates, I positioned the chrome luggage rack so that the mounting holes lined up with the holes in the upright, sandwiching the sissy bar upright between the sideplates and the rack, and secured the assembly with the supplied screws.
The five bar chrome luggage rack has seen plenty of use since its installation, holding a variety of cargo with the use of bungee cords or a cargo net. The only thing that I found disappointing about my Harley Davidson luggage rack purchase was that the rack is only load rated for 10lbs.
This fact was not presented in any of the material I viewed while researching a motorcycle luggage rack. I expected a bit more capacity for a $110.00 purchase.