Top Rails for Nomad Bags

Go to the lower cost option

Tag: luggage

What you'll need:

  • 1-Nomad with hard bags

  • 1-Set Fire & Steel hard bag top rails part # K53020-173C 

How To:

  1. Put down masking tape on the top of your bags to prevent scratching. You'll be moving these pieces around a little.
  2. To center the Top Rails, measure from the outside edge of the top rail (front & back) to the edge of the saddlebag lip (where the door meets the saddlebag), and use a measurement of 1-1/4".
  3. Measure, re-measure, then measure again before drilling. 

A recommendation:

  • The bolts, as you will find out are situated: 2 bolts in the back, one in the front.
  • The top of the bag is contoured, and a rubber washer goes under the top rail to protect and weather proof. So ... what does this mean? It raises the top rail enough that your holes will not align exactly. The solution: mark all holes, then move the drill point on the front hole up (toward the other two holes) by approximately 1/8". This worked out perfectly! The bolts went right into the top rails.
  • If you reallllly want to play it safe, mark all holes, drill out the rear two, temporarily install the two rear bolts,(with rubber washers) then remark the front hole.


[Gadget Note: Others who've installed these rails strongly suggest replacing the supplied rubber washers with a Teflon washer or 1/4" metal washers that have rubber applied to one side . They are used for metal roofs and similar projects and are available at hardware stores.]

The Lower Cost Option

Roger Stevens (Druid VROC#1789) says he had a Nomad with the above four rail setup but got tired of cleaning under them all the time. He found a 3 rail option at J.C. Whitney (product sku 01ZX2409P) that costs about half as much, mounts exactly the same as the above and is simpler to clean under thanks to fewer and thinner rails. These don't appear to be available from J.C. Whitney any more; if someone is able to find them please let Gaget know.

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