Bushtec trailer hitch

A trailer hitch is one of the 'must have' things for me. After some research I decided on a Bushtec hitch that I purchased from HDL.

One of the only common negative comments I read about the Bushtec hitch was the instructions suck. They do. Not one picture. I found an installation pictorial that was helpful. I already had a Hoppy converter installed so I didn't use the wiring part of the Bushtec kit and don't show its installation.

To start the installation...

Remove the seat.
Remove the side covers.
Remove the rear center cover.
Remove the passenger floorboard covers.

Remove the saddlebag guards. This gives us access to the lower saddlebag bracket bolts (arrow). These will be replaced with longer bolts.

Note: Most of the factory bolts require a 12mm socket but the replacement hardware uses a 13mm.

The instructions caution that the saddlebag frame can move when the bolt is removed, and care should be taken not to cross thread the bolt holes when inserting the new bolts. I found the frame moved slightly but nothing I couldn't push back into place as I started the new bolt. I added the washer.

The new longer bolt will stick out behind the frame and become a mounting point for the lower frame rail of the trailer hitch.

Next we replace the upper saddlebag bracket bolts with longer bolts.

The new bolts are inserted in the opposite direction of the stock ones. These longer bolts will be attachment points for the upper braces of the hitch.

Here are the main components of the hitch kit. The bent brackets are referred to in the instructions as 'hoops'.

The arrow shows the new lower bolt we added earlier (right side shown). Slide the lower rail in and slip the end of the rail over the new bolt. I used a bungie cord to hold the rail since I was doing the installation by myself. Loosely attach the nut to hold the rail into position. This was the only part of the installation I found to be difficult. There is very little room on the right side due to the swingarm and the nut has to be tightened a little at a time.

Note: The instructions call for unbolting the mufflers but I didn't find it necessary.

Place a U-bolt on the saddlebag rail and attach it to the lower rail.

Repeat for the other side, then loosely attach the center section.

The last major step is to slide the upper brackets down between the saddlebags and fender. It's not hard but take care to avoid any rubbing or pinching of the wiring harnesses. Here is the bracket connected to the new bolt. The spacer goes between the upper bracket and the aluminum frame.

The upper bracket connects to the lower rail.

Tighten all the bolts.

The finished product.

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