DIY Tech: Hill Country Customs bagger bar kit
Bar selection is not for the faint hearted. Options are endless, from massive long-reach apes to crippling clubmans and, of course, a variety of clip-ons for us speed racers. Style, comfort, and fit are basically what it boils down to, and with that you’ve got plenty to choose from. When on the search for a set that would fit and complement my brother-in-law Erich’s 1984 H-D FLHT, I called upon the experts at Hill Country Customs (HCC), who were happy to help us out.
We were looking for a set of 16″ to 18″ chrome apes and wanted to run all the control wiring through the bars, keeping the front end clean and uncluttered. Because the FLHT is an older bike, and a fairly specific model, our choices were limited. Besides a clean look, we wanted bars that were prewired. Highly unlikely, right? Actually, not so.
Robert at HCC asked me to send him a picture of both the left and right stock control housings. Using those pictures, he found the appropriate wire harness to fit. Robert then wired up a set of HCC’s 18″ chrome Bagger Bars designed to fit late model Harleys with the appropriate harness. A service offered to any HCC customer, not just us story tellers.
As you’ll see in this install, the custom setup fit perfectly. Erich noted this kit as being one of the easiest he’s ever installed. Since Erich’s a motorcycle mechanic that’s seen his fair share of bar installs, I’d say that’s a compliment to HCC. The only soldering needed was when attaching the stock switch connectors to the HCC switch wire harness (see step 10). But if you don’t want to solder, you could crimp a terminal connector to each color-coded wire. Just make sure that terminal will pair with the stock switch connecter.
The 18″ apes look great. They’re absolutely not subtle, but, in my opinion complement the old Harley’s massive front end. And the chrome is a good match. We were going to go with a set in black, but I’m glad we didn’t. Again it’s all about style, comfort, and fit. Well, these HCC Bagger Bars have all three in spades. Okay, on to the install.
• 1/8″ Allen
• 3/16″ Allen
• 1/4″ Allen
• Small Phillips head
• Solder gun
• Wire cutter
• Wire stripper
1 – Here are the original handlebars on the ’84 FLHT.
2 – Remove the bolt on the bottom of the stock control housing with a 1/8″ Allen wrench.
3 – The stock control housings will open like a clamshell, making them easy to remove. These housings will be reused with the new control switches.
4 – Remove the two bolts securing the dash with a 3/16″ Allen wrench.
5 – Lift up and remove the dash exposing the handlebar clamps and main wire harness.
6 – Remove the four bolts securing the stock bars’ clamps with a 1/4″ Allen wrench and remove the stock bars.
7 – Disconnect the stock control switch from the main wire harness and loosely mount the new Hill Country Customs Bagger Bars using the stock bar clamps and bolts.
8 – Cut off the stock left and right control switch connectors from the stock bar, leaving enough wire to connect the new HCC control switch wire harness.
9 – Strip and match up the color-coded wires from the new HCC control switch and stock switch connector.
10 – Solder the stock switch connectors to the new color-coded HCC switch wire harness.
11 – Reconnect the left and right switch connectors to the main wire harness located in the dash.
12 – Sit on the bike and adjust the bars until they feel comfortable, then tighten the four bar clamp bolts securing the new HCC bar in place with a 1/4″ Allen wrench.
13 – Install the new HCC control buttons in the stock control housings using the provided hardware. These come prewired with this HCC handlebar kit.
14 – Reattach both the left and right stock control housings to the bars with a 1/8″ Allen wrench.
15 – The new Hill Country Custom 18″ Chrome Bagger Bars are installed, wired, and looking good. AIM
Hill Country Customs