It’s the Little Things… Tweaking The Backrest Mount

DSCN0347I’m not sure why, well… oh hell, that’s not true.  I have a good idea why a lot of things are never quite right on Harley-Davidsons.  They’re not exactly a Six Sigma-driven operation and if you don’t know what Six Sigma is don’t worry: neither does the MoCo.  But, God help me, I do enjoy riding and looking at their products.  But, I digress.

Every since taking our Road King home the “quick-release backrest” has been anything but quick release.  Interestingly enough, we’ve had three different mounting docks on the bike — the stock one, a chrome-one and now a custom-painted one — and the backrest has resisted being quick-release on all three.  In short, the docking points have always fallen just little wider than the latches by 1/4″ on the left and an 1/8″.

I thought about attempting to permanently spread the side plates on the backrest, but that’s easier said than done and would simply create another fitment problem since the quick release latches wouldn’t be plumb with the docking points.  So, I just muscled them on and off the bike since it wasn’t all that often that I removed the backrest: mostly just when I was removing the mounting docks.  However, when Howard needed the backrest removed to do the shock installation at Daytona I decided that was the last time I’d wrestle with that darn thing: the spacers were going to have an appointment with my bench grinder when I returned home.

That appointment was yesterday, when I finally got around to cleaning the grime from the trip to Daytona, including our 2-hour ride in the deluge coming home on Sunday.  Not sure why I waited to do this little adjustment, as it took all of 30 minutes.

DSCN0344 DSCN0342

I should have taken a picture of the left-side mount as that was the one that was way out of alignment. The right-side one was only about 1/8″ out.  Again, an easy fix…

DSCN0343 DSCN0349Just grind-off a few mm from each spacer, coat the exposed metal with clear acrylic nail polish and presto: an easy to remove and re-install quick-release backrest.

It was also nice to have the bike all clean again, although I’m amazing at how many scratches and nicks I collect ever time we take a trip.  Oh well, we bought it to ride, not to look at!


About TG

I've been around a bit and done a few things, have a couple kids and a few grandkids. I tend to be curmudgeonly, matter-of-fact and not predisposed to self-serving chit-chat. Thankfully, my wife's as nice as can be otherwise we'd have no friends. My interests are somewhat eclectic, but whose aren't?
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