My method of making side cover latches for about $8


XS650 Member
Reaction score
My bike came with a missing side cover latch on one side; the plastic part had come off and the spring along with it. I decided to try making my own to avoid ordering one online. All parts were purchased at my local Ace Hardware for about $8.
The little thumbscrew is 1/4 by 20 thread so I purchased a long bolt and cut the head off. The other parts are a spring similar in size to the original, the original washers, the original bushing, and a small brass rod smaller than the diameter of your bolt.
The only real tricky part is that you have to drill a hole through the side of your bolt. I threaded my bolt into the thumbscrew thingy and did it with a drill press, but if you don't have a drill press your best bet is probably a punch and a vice.
After you drill this hole, cut a section of your brass rod, cover it in flux, and put it through the hole.
Use a torch to heat it up and feed a bit of solder onto the brass rod. It will flow into the hole and create a strong bond. After this is done, cut off any excess bolt and rod.
The only thing left to do is assemble it. I plan to put Loctite on mine so it doesn't come apart. I might also shorten my bolt compared to what you see in the pictures, but it works just like the original did and looks better than a zip tie.
I'm sure I'm not the first to do this but I figured I should share anyway incase this helps anybody else.
Good luck!
Nice job. Easy way to drill through the center of the bolt is to assemble a nut onto the bolt shank and drill through the center of the nut. Drill press makes it easier too as mentioned above.
I always like to see DIY fixes like this. Still, I see potential for a couple of small improvements, using the same thumb nut.
Using a long 1/4" bolt, and cutting the threaded portion to fit the depth of the nut, would give a smooth (unthreaded) shank.
And using a suitable roll pin instead of the brass rod is an even easier solution
(Btw, isn't that how the oem latch is ?)