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Discussion Starter #1
Purchased my 2018 DCT in August of 2018 and have not had issues with the saddlebags not opening until yesterday. Parked the bike in the sun for about an hour and the right side saddlebag would not open using the switch. I could open it by using the manual release cable located in the left saddlebag. Thought maybe it was the heat since the right bag was in direct sunlight but even this morning it would not open.

Seemed pretty clear the rear latch was releasing but not the front latch. When pressing the release button the rear of the bag would immediately release but not the front. Even attempts to get the bag to open by pulling on the bag cover were unsuccessful.

I removed the two exposed screws along the top inside of the bag thinking these simply held the plastic cover in place. However once the screws were removed it was clear these were also in part holding the two latch assemblies in place. The plastic cover and latch assembly could be moved up & down slightly.

I re-installed the two screws and while tightening applied upward pressure on the plastic cover. Now the right saddlebag cover opens no problem. Seems the forward latch assembly had worked its way down over time finally creating a misalignment. Others might want to check that these screws are snug to avoid any similar issue in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The wire loops on the lid that clip into the latches are adjustable too. Adjusting mine made my left bag open much nicer.
Good Tip:

I went back to check and the Front wire loop that was not releasing earlier and its Dragging / Rubbing a bit as it engages the latch when being closed. I loosened the screws on the wire loop, moved the end of the wire loop forward a bit and re-tightened the screws. Now when closing the bag the forward wire loop engages the latch smoothly without "Dragging / Rubbing".

Did not take much to improve the alignment.
 

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Purchased my 2018 DCT in August of 2018 and have not had issues with the saddlebags not opening until yesterday. Parked the bike in the sun for about an hour and the right side saddlebag would not open using the switch. I could open it by using the manual release cable located in the left saddlebag. Thought maybe it was the heat since the right bag was in direct sunlight but even this morning it would not open.

Seemed pretty clear the rear latch was releasing but not the front latch. When pressing the release button the rear of the bag would immediately release but not the front. Even attempts to get the bag to open by pulling on the bag cover were unsuccessful.

I removed the two exposed screws along the top inside of the bag thinking these simply held the plastic cover in place. However once the screws were removed it was clear these were also in part holding the two latch assemblies in place. The plastic cover and latch assembly could be moved up & down slightly.

I re-installed the two screws and while tightening applied upward pressure on the plastic cover. Now the right saddlebag cover opens no problem. Seems the forward latch assembly had worked its way down over time finally creating a misalignment. Others might want to check that these screws are snug to avoid any similar issue in the future.
I see you have the cyclemax saddle bag divider, I found that the cable that limits how far the door opens sometimes interferes with the door opening easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good Tip:

I went back to check and the Front wire loop that was not releasing earlier and its Dragging / Rubbing a bit as it engages the latch when being closed. I loosened the screws on the wire loop, moved the end of the wire loop forward a bit and re-tightened the screws. Now when closing the bag the forward wire loop engages the latch smoothly without "Dragging / Rubbing".

Did not take much to improve the alignment.
Reported earlier about having problems opening the right saddlebag after the bike had been sitting in the Hot Sun. Curiosity got the best of me so I decided to find out how difficult it would be to access the latch components.

Turns out there are only 4 screws (two in the front, two in the back) that secure the plastic panel that the components are attached to in the top inside of the bag. The light construction and complexity of the mechanism is not a confidence builder. One thing is for sure, don't stuff your bag so full that you have to lean heavily against the lid with your thigh to get it closed. The structure does not look strong enough to hold up to this repeatedly over time.

The bag latches are linked via a rod that runs left to right between the two. The manual release cable is attached to the rear latch while the electric solenoid is attached to the front latch. The system is a series of cams, ratcheting levers and springs that contact metal to metal. The components on the front latch did not seem to rotate / slide freely despite the factory applied white grease. There was plenty of excess grease but none left on the cams where needed. I wiped all the excess grease off and applied 3-In-One oil. Everything seems to slide much more smoothly.

The electric release solenoid is limited in power and can't release a latch mechanism that doesn't rotate smoothly. You have the ability to apply a lot more force to a sticky latch using the manual release cable. My guess is if you ride much these should be cleaned and lubed yearly.

Each latch mechanism consists of two vertical posts. The Latch that captures the wire loops is spring loaded in a clockwise direction and rotates about the vertical post towards the outside of the bag. The ratcheting mechanism is spring loaded in a counterclockwise direction and rotates about the vertical post towards the inside of the bag. When the bag is closed the wire loops force the latch to rotate inward (counterclockwise) which causes a cam on the latch to release the ratchet which rotates counterclockwise under spring load and sets the ratchet in the locked position.

When the solenoid pulls via the levers attached to the ratchet, it will rotate the ratchet in a clockwise direction and release the latch which in turn rotates in a clockwise direction under spring pressure. When the electric solenoid activates it has to pull on the ratchet against the spring pressure and rotate the ratchet clockwise to release the latch. In my case the ratchet lacked lubrication creating drag that the solenoid could not overcome.

I'll be sure to repeat the process on the left saddlebag before leaving for Sturgis in a couple weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Last night I dropped the left saddlebag latch panel to lube the mechanisms. Everything on this side seemed to move just a bit more freely. Although the right bag seemed to unlatch just fine after lubing, I decided to drop the right side latch panel once again for a direct comparison.

Interestingly once the right panel was down, the unit once again would not reliably unlatch using the switch. If I gave the assembly an ever so slight assist with my thumb it would unlatch. I removed the rod connecting the front & rear latches and the front latch would release every time ???

Finally concluded either the solenoid motor was weak or the motor arm was simply running out of travel before it could release the latch. Comparing the left side to the troublesome right side, it was evident there was slop / play in the motor release linkage on the right that is not present on the left. The system has no way of adjusting the linkage play so I installed a small 4" zip-tie to take up the slack. Now the latch snaps open with authority every time as it should.

As you can see from the photo these parts are all stamped components and I would expect some variability in the manufacturing process. The latch is shown in the Closed Position here compared to the Open position in my earlier photo. When you press the switch the motor arm rotates upward, causing the ratchet to rotate clockwise against its spring tension until the latch is released and opens clockwise under its own spring tension. As soon as the the Latch snaps open, a cam on the Latch holds the Ratchet at a mid-point of it's travel.

Only time will tell if this is a permanent fix ?? Both left and right motors seemed to have equal strength and range of travel. I could see where there might well be enough variability in the manufacturing of individual components that some Latch assemblies might be more susceptible to this problem than others ??

In any event its relatively easy to access these assemblies if you are having trouble. I have a lift table making it a lot easier working inside the bag at eye level. Be careful not to over-tighten the screws that attach the panel to the top inside of the saddlebag. Especially the two screws inside the bag, these attach to rubber bumpers and will not pull down to a dead stop, just snug will do. The panels can be a little tricky to get back into place so the screw holes line up. If the screw holes don't line up easily then you are not sliding it in properly to avoid interference from other items or pinching a wire harness. Just take your time and don't force it back into place.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
After two weeks of frustration my latch works again. Thank you Doug
My problem first started with the Bike sitting in the Hot sun. Bags were opening and closing no problem this morning sitting in the Garage. Rolled the bike into the drive to bake in the sun for a while.

Once Hot, both bags were a bit sticky but would open with a couple pushes of the switch worse case. I loosened the screws slightly on the wire loops so with a bit of pressure they could move and align with the latches. Opened and closed each bag several times and tightened the screws taking care the wire loops did not move in the process. Bags are now opening and closing on the first push of the switch with the bike Hot.

My experience has been if you get the wire loops adjusted so the bag will open when heat soaked, it will also open after it has cooled down. Will see how the bags function in the morning and roll the bike back into the sun for another test.

Just letting you know you may have to make similar final adjustments when the bike is Hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, no good news today. This morning the right saddlebag latch won't release at all. At this point it's got to be a weak release motor that is slowly going bad. Just not enough power to release either latch.

I emailed the dealer that I wanted price and availability for a new assembly. It doesn't look like the motor or other individual components were meant to be field replaceable since everything is more or less permanently attached to the wire harness.

Will update when I hear back from the dealer.
 

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Mine worked until I put a bag in it. Off to the dealer next Saturday to get it looked at and the part ordered.
 

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Mine worked until I put a bag in it. Off to the dealer next Saturday to get it looked at and the part ordered.
Sorry to hear that. My advice would be to have your Dealer order the Latch Assembly and have it on hand for when you go in. These things either work reliably or they don't.

I'm curious to see if they have updated these assemblies at all ?? Seems to me they will have to improve the design or be replacing these left & right under warranty.
 

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I thought I read or heard somewhere that the 2018+ saddlebag latches did not adjust.
I have the same problem in the heat.
One day it was 105 out, with the bike sitting in the sun, both saddlebags and the trunk would not open.
I will have to check mine and see what adjustments I can make to them.
 

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It's another warranty issue. Honda dealer fixed my saddlbag lid as well as the center cover lid. Both now open flawlessly.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I thought I read or heard somewhere that the 2018+ saddlebag latches did not adjust.
I have the same problem in the heat.
One day it was 105 out, with the bike sitting in the sun, both saddlebags and the trunk would not open.
I will have to check mine and see what adjustments I can make to them.
There really is no adjustment to the assembly itself. The latch release motor either has enough power to release the ratcheting mechanism or it doesn't. On mine, the release motor just got weaker and weaker over time.
 

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My left latch wasn’t reliable, so I took it out completely and took it to the work bench. I finally found the sweet spot, by adjusting the connecting rod, between the 2 latches, so that both latches would release evenly. With the latch assembly on the bench, I took a measurement of the distance between the 2 latches and then adjusted the lid hooks to the same spacing. Works great now, but requires some skill and a couple hours of your time. I have a background in industrial automation, so adjusting mechanical linkage comes easy for me. If I ever have to work on the other latch, I’ll try to take pictures or a video.
 

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Just musing. I wonder if a marginal battery might not have enough oomph to activate the latch. Have you tried it with it running after it fails to open? Just a little more voltage.


I realize it should take more to start the bike than open the lid, but maybe the releases are border line.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My left latch wasn’t reliable, so I took it out completely and took it to the work bench. I finally found the sweet spot, by adjusting the connecting rod, between the 2 latches, so that both latches would release evenly. With the latch assembly on the bench, I took a measurement of the distance between the 2 latches and then adjusted the lid hooks to the same spacing. Works great now, but requires some skill and a couple hours of your time. I have a background in industrial automation, so adjusting mechanical linkage comes easy for me. If I ever have to work on the other latch, I’ll try to take pictures or a video.
I did the same thing, latch worked for another couple weeks and now now it won't release at all. With the saddlebag open, using my finger I can push the front & rear latches into the latched position. Push the switch and they will not open.

Another suggested a potential battery issue. Thought about that and had the bike on a charger and no improvement. Pretty sure the motor is the issue.

At first i noticed the bag not opening after sitting in the sun. Thought maybe expansion was causing binding but this initial theory does not hold up. The bag always opened using the manual release.
 
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