Saddlebags: From New to Wrecked and Back

A few years I did a complete bike “makeover” for Chuck who lives in Salem, OR. The bike was unique as Chuck received the legal “ok” from the Harley Davidson corporation granting him the ability to use the HD logo with the name “Charley Davidson”.  Now that was something!

The bike had an awesome paint job which included gold leaf pin stripping.  When Chuck first contacted me, he said that he had been looking for someone for about 3 years. His goal was to have unique leather work done on the bike he was creating. Up until that point in my career, it was my most extensive project. Chuck was infinitely patient as I labored over the right color (and how to achieve it), the right look (and how to achieve it).  I wanted perfection in and leather and soon learned that it was not perfection I was striving for, it was excellence! Leather is not perfect to start with!

Unfortunately Chuck was in an accident and the bike had to be totaled. (Chuck had many injuries however he is now back on a new bike.)
Most of the leather work had to be tossed, however he did not want to give up on the saddle bags which survived the accident. He sent them to me stating “Nanci I trust you will do your magic”. When I opened the shipping tub, I was taken by my own work.  The bike went down at 65 mph and the bags survived beautifully.  Chuck chose to mount the bags on Ghost Brackets and for this reason we decided on stainless steel plates which were sandwiched in between the outside piece and the lining on the back side of the bags.  I do believe that this plate saved the bags for him to reuse. 

Here is a photo showing the bags as new, after the accident and after the makeover. He likes them now better than when they were new. It would have been nice if he did not have to experience an accident to achieve the worn and beat up look that they now have.
Chuck, thank you for your trust in my work.



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