Gregory Bender

Saddlebags - Wixom

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Information

Wixom saddlebags (and trunks) were made by the Wixom brothers of Long Beach, California. Their design was not unique to Moto Guzzi, as they also sold mounts for other motorcycle brands (notably BMW). But, the shape of the fiberglass saddlebags have proved especially attractive as they complement the lines of the Moto Guzzi V700, Ambassador, and Eldorado.

At some point in the 1970's(?), Arthur Fulmer bought out Wixom and continued to manufacturer these bags for a couple years.

Wixom saddlebag.
Wixom saddlebag.

Photo courtesy of eBay auction.

Wixom saddlebag.
Wixom saddlebag.

Photo courtesy of eBay auction.

Wixom saddlebag.
Wixom saddlebag.

Photo courtesy of eBay auction.

Wixom saddlebag.
Wixom saddlebag.

Photo courtesy of eBay auction.

Wixom saddlebag.
Wixom saddlebag.

Photo courtesy of eBay auction.

Wixom saddlebag.
Wixom saddlebag.

Photo courtesy of eBay auction.

Mounting brackets

I extracted this information from David Bodner off of the Yahoo! Loopframe_Guzzi news group. In David's own words:

My Wixom (actually Arthur Fulmer) bags came with mounts labeled for a Suzuki 750 that look very different than the curved mounts we're used to seeing for the Loops. I had modified the pieces to work on my Eldorado. The two pieces I actually ended up using are shown in these two photos.

The photos show what I have after I further modified everything to work with the rear rack. It was at this time that I realized this could point the way for a relatively easy do-it-yourself mount.

The two pieces form a T held together with a carriage bolt. It could all be made from hardware store steel. Bend it in a vise with a hammer and drill some holes. Carriage bolt holes need to be square, which can be finished with a small triangular file.

Obviously there's nothing keeping the rack from swinging laterally, so I added the piece connecting the bottom of the T to the rear seat mount. Four bends and two holes give the whole thing a lot of rigidity while keeping the look clean.

I didn't have to worry about the actual mounting pieces that hold the bags, but you will if you build from scratch. The top two holders appear to be clevis pins set in holes and welded. Could epoxy work here? I haven't figured out the bottom mounting piece yet, but it's also set in a hole and welded. Someone else must know what that piece is.

Bolting the frame together rather than welding it works fine and gives it flexibility in case your measuring isn't perfect. I don't know if it's as rigid as the familiar curved rack. But, this seems to work pretty well.

Wixom saddlebag brackets from a Suzuki adapted to a Moto...
Wixom saddlebag brackets from a Suzuki adapted to a Moto Guzzi Eldorado.

Photo courtesy of David Bodner.

Wixom saddlebag brackets from a Suzuki adapted to a Moto...
Wixom saddlebag brackets from a Suzuki adapted to a Moto Guzzi Eldorado.

Photo courtesy of David Bodner.

Weatherstrip/gaskets

I extracted this information from John Prusnek and Charlie Mullendore of Antietam Classic Cycle off of the Yahoo! Loopframe_Guzzi news group.

Charlie Mullendore:

McMaster-Carr never fails to amaze me with the variety of stuff they've got! Go to McMaster-Carr and search: Edge-grip Rubber Seals and/or Bulb Seal Weatherstripping. Lots of choices, might try a few myself!

John Prusnek:

To seal saddlebags I've used the closed cell foam strips they sell at hardware stores for insulating around doors and windows. It's nice and cushy so they seal tight and don't rattle, and is self adhesive on one side for easy installation.

Lights

I extracted this information from Charlie Mullendore of Antietam Classic Cycle off of the Yahoo! Loopframe_Guzzi news group. In Charlie's own words:

The light is really no biggie unless you're a stickler for originality. Peterson Manufacturing Company has a near perfect replacement for the original: Part number 135. The lens will even fit the original base but doesn't snap on very securely. I've seen the complete light at the local NAPA and Lowe's for around USD $3.00.

Peterson Manufacturing Company Part Number 135A
Peterson Manufacturing Company Part Number 135A

Photo courtesy of Peterson Manufacturing Company.

Peterson Manufacturing Company Part Number 135R
Peterson Manufacturing Company Part Number 135R

Photo courtesy of Peterson Manufacturing Company.

Thanks to Jim Pisot for sending me the following information in an email.

Grote Industries part number 91572 or 90202 lenses also work on the original fixtures. Likely easy to find at NAPA, other auto parts, trailer/RV stores. Likely the Lamp Grote Industries part number 45262 Red would suit as a complete replacement lamp.

Grote Industries part number 45262
Grote Industries part number 45262

Photo courtesy of Grote Industries.

Grote Industries part number 45262
Grote Industries part number 45262

Photo courtesy of Grote Industries.

Grote Industries part number 45262
Grote Industries part number 45262

Photo courtesy of Grote Industries.

Latches

I extracted this information from Charlie Mullendore of Antietam Classic Cycle off of the old Topica Loopframe_Guzzi news group (which has now moved to Yahoo!).

I've been looking at these latches as replacements on my Wixom bags McMaster-Carr item number 1863A23. They're 212 inch long, 114 inch wide, protrude 1332 inch, nickel-plated, and key locking.

McMaster-Carr item number 1863A23
McMaster-Carr item number 1863A23

Photo courtesy of McMaster-Carr.

Thanks to Amory Booher for sending me the following information in a private email. In Amory's own words:

I was perusing your info on the Wixom bags. Here's a tidbit of info for you on the latches from a BMW site: Wixom latch sets, new w/keys, USD $12.00/pr, free shipping in USA. It is a Jap bike wrecker but ya gets the goodies where ya can :) Thanks to Brent C. Schapansky.

Installation instructions

Thanks to Charlie Mullendore of Antietam Classic Cycle for sending me these instructions.