Mudguard Modifications

 

Many years ago (1983), I bought a brand new Honda VF750SC to replace my trusty CX500.This became our touring machine for the next 5 years.One disadvantage with the bike was that the chrome Ďsportsí front mudguard was almost useless in keeping the crud from the cam cover on the front pair of cylinders and most of the rest of the bike too.I searched for some time for a more suitable replacement and eventually settled on a glassfibre copy of a GoldWing front guard.

 

This came in an un-drilled state and was pigmented black.I fitted it to the bike after careful measurement and drilling, but left it in its raw state in order to check that it didnít catch anything in use and also to make sure that the bike was not adversely affected by the wind.A few weeks later I had to change the tyres, and to my horror, after paying for both tyres and fitting the rear wheel, when I tried the front one, it would not fit inside the mudguard. (the same section tyre, but a different manufacturer)I had no choice but to remove the mudguard, strap it to the rear seat and ride home without one (tut,tut!).On arriving home I refitted the chrome guard and hurled the glassfibre one into a far dark corner of the shed and cursed myself for wasting £20.Being a Yorkshireman,(now saving hard to become a Scotsman!) this unuseable mudguard kept coming back into my thoughts and my original problem of trying to keep the bike clean, was still not resolved.

 

I took a hacksaw, with a coarse blade rotated through 90 degrees and cut the guard in two from front to back along its whole length.Having estimated that 10mm extra width would be sufficient, I pop-rivetted 5 aluminium straps, spaced along the outer surface, across the width of the guard, separating it by that amount.The next stage, after thoroughly cleaning and degreasing the inner surface, was to lay up three layers of chopped strand fibre matting with resin to the inside of the guard.After curing, the pop rivets were drilled out and the straps removed and the whole thing tested for fit, which was spot on, with enough clearance for the tyre plus a stone or two.

 

The cosmetics now needed some consideration; if I were to just fill up the gap, I would end up with a cross section with two curves joined together by a flat.It would need some profiling to achieve the correct crowned shape afterwards, so that it looked more like a factory part.†† The initial stage of this shaping was achieved by cutting a template out of a piece of square section plastic guttering and filing to the desired profile.After mixing and applying the body filler in sections, it was a simple matter to drag the template towards me over the uncured filler, thus shaping it as I went.This was followed by a light skim of filler and careful rubbing down, to correct any small imperfections, and was then ready for the priming and painting stages.As the bike was black with red decals, I opted to do the guard in matt black (all I had to hand at the time) and then mask a red border with fine line masking tape and the letters VF at the forward edge and then follow this with clear lacquer to get the shine.The result was even better than expected and started many a conversation with folks in the know, whenever it was parked up.

 

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