Harley Layback License Plate

To install a larger set of saddlebags on the Harley Davidson Sportster and Dyna models, relocation of the turn signals is necessary. Most of the installation followed the supplied directions that came with the layback license plate turn signal relocation kit, but like any installation, the directions aren’t always the best way to go.

The turn signal wiring runs under the rear fender. The directions will refer you to a Harley Davidson repair manual, but the turn signal wiring can be easily accessed if the rear fender is raised higher above the rear tire with a motorcycle lift. Removing the rear shocks and jacking up the frame raises the rear fender, exposing the retaining nuts for the turn signals and license plate.

The directions recommend cutting the turn signal wires close to the left and right turn signal connectors, and replacing the terminal sockets with those supplied in the kit. If you have ever tried to remove terminal sockets from the plastic connectors that house them, you know what a challenge it can be.

 After a few modest attempts to remove the terminal sockets from the turn signal connector with a small pick, I decide to cut the wires a bit further away from the turn signal connectors and use butt connectors to splice the wires together, rather than risk damaging the connectors that hold the wires onto the circuit board.
layback wiring harness

Lay- Back Wiring Harness

Relocated Turn Signals

Relocated Turn Signals

If you decide to use butt connectors, I recommend that you cut the wires under the rear fender. Using butt connectors near the turn signal connectors created a little “bulk” and made re-installing the Sportster tail lamp lens a bit of a challenge due to the limited space in the rear tail lamp assembly.

Installing the layback license plate as part of the turn signal relocation kit requires a 24 hour curing time for the adhesive that holds the retaining bolts to the backing plate. Unless you read the directions all the way through before starting, this small but important bit of information may surprise you.  Since I was “surprised”, I used wire ties to hold pressure on the assembled license and backing plate to allow for proper curing time while still riding the motorcycle.