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It is my understanding that the left saddlebag on all 1800's continually break the retaining clip that attaches to the latch. I did not see any posts on this site but on others. If this is the case I believe I have found the reason for the failures but Mother Honda blew me off tonight when I attempted to get information from them. I have not come up with the permanent repair as of yet but will post if this is indeed a problem.
 

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Mother Honda would not help you?? I see things have not changed in customer service, I have had a round or two with them, and finally saw the light, no need to even waste the time for a phone call. My last call to them they came right out and told me, we Honda do not give any technical guide or advice to any customer either by phone or by written word, we will document your concerns etc, etc. etc. Very well trained folks who answer the phone to avoid and keep the customer at bay. I was quite impressed with their complete training, I tried all kinds of tricks and never got to first base. Those who answer the phones are indeed very well trained.

There is yes a problem with the saddle bag on the left side. It has to do with the way the cable is routed and although there are many ideas and fixes floating around, the only thing I have ever found that actually works is to simply gently push in on the box lid with hand or knee before attempting to pull the latch. This helps with the right side too.

The weather stripping that does such a good job of sealing out the rain and weather due to the side open action of the lids is quite good at sealing and putting pressure on the latch mechanism.

The only real solution is to just train yourself to push in on the lid, take the pressure off the latch and you will never have a problem with it doing this.

Kit
 

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If you take the inspection panel off the interior of the trunk there are 3 rods connected to the latches which when pulled will of course pull the cables. If you look closely when pulling the left latch you will see that the rod pulls to the right and actually pulls the rod completely out of the latch hole. The only part of the assembly that is taking the entire stress of the pull is the plastic rod retainer clip. The left rod is offset and when it pulls it pulls to right, which is the reason they keep breaking. The other two rods are relatively straight and pull straight. These two rods are still completely in the holes and are taking the stress of the pull. The plastic retainers are doing nothing but holding the rod in.

I have not gone to a machine shop yet but the only fix I can think of doing is having another rod made in the same shape but slightly longer (1/4") at the end by the latch so a nut can be attached. Without completely redesigning the pull mechanism the "pulling to the right" will always occur so a mechanical fastener is required.
 

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Well there is a factory fix for it, and a service bulletin at all the dealers. I have just never seen the need, I just push on the lid. But there is a fix for it.

Kit
 

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Kit Carson wrote:
Well there is a factory fix for it, and a service bulletin at all the dealers.  I have just never seen the need,  I just push on the lid.  But there is a fix for it. 

Kit
Thanks Kit, I took it into the dealer I purchased it from in Georgia and all they did was replace the retainer, it of course just keeps breaking. I'll call the people here in Corpus today and see what they say.
 

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Well here is the fix, had a time finding it, and the recall addresses the 01 to the 08 model. It is the tightness of the weather stripping that caused the latch to have to be pulled in an excessively hard manner. The adjustment is at the saddlebag rod with the twin latches, not where it connects at the trunk. I have had mine come off a couple times when I first got the bike.
As posted earlier for other years with the same problem:

Remove the 6 or 8 screws in the top inside of the saddle bag and adjust the front pull rod to be longer. DO NOT SHUT THE BAG DOOR WITH THE ROD OUT OF POSITION.
With a mirror to see the rotational travel of the latches, front and rear you can judge the correct adjustment. Be careful opening the catch on the plastic rod holder at the front latch.
You don't want to break or damage it. The rod does not screw into the plastic latch pin at the end of the rod. It is a barbed rod end. You will have to undo the back of the pull rod catch to remove the rod and make the adjustment.
Once adjusted the left saddle bag opens as easily or easier than the right one with no effort on the pull lever.

Maybe someone at the dealer is familiar with this. I have just been lazy with mine, I suppose I just got into the habit of pushing on the lid. Kinda like when my wife stops up the sink, may take me two days to fix it. :)

Kit
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head KIT. I have done this saddlebag adjustment that you have mentioned on several 01 to 05 Wings. Havent got my hands on anything newer. I have found that the two latches in the saddlebags are not timed together. One may release and the other will just not quite unlatch. By following a procedure like KIT's instruction above and carefully timing the two latches to release together, we have had no problems with the saddlebag latches. I use a small screwdriver or allen wrench to snap close the latches when making this timed together adjustment. Not the saddlebag door! No fun being locked out!
 

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Kit I appreciate the additional info. I did find the service bulletin on the internet I believe you are referencing. My year has different trunk opener but my Vin series does not have the replacement rod and new style clip. I can see from the pictures that Honda is trying to reduce the side pull (to the right) on the left rod and I'll bet the new rod is longer also (the section that goes through the hole in the latch.) The new clip actually will (or should) stop the rod from coming out of the hole (unless it breaks)and if the rod end is longer it can only pull to the right so far before the rod itself hits the hole opening in the bottom of the trunk box. Will be a little Mickey Mouse but if it works I won't complain.

I did open up the saddlebag and did notice that the front catch did open after the rear catch but even after I timed it there wasn't a difference (pull req'd.)

I did try pushing in on the side of the saddlebag cover and it did help release it. Nice tip!!

Again I appreciate your time on the subject. When I get down to the Rio Grand Valley next week I will take it into the dealer as it still is under warranty.
 
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