Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fixing a couple of mudguard niggles

When I did my main post-winter cleanup, I noticed that the front mudflap I'd made was ripped. It had done a good job at keeping the front of the fairing clear of muck and, in particular, the oil cooler. So I undid the brake calipers, loosened the six M6 mudguard mounting bolts and wiggled the mudguard free of the forks. I could see that the mudguard had been rubbing on the forks so I put some strategically place patches of duct tape on the guard to protect the paintwork. They are invisible when the guard is mounted - quite a pleasing fix to the first niggle then.

'orrible manky rubbish but ...
... rescuable and treated to new grommets
The oil cooler had been in a very rough state when I bought the bike. I had managed to restore it to a usable condition and so was keen to protect it as much as I could.

Now +25mm and robust
First attempt left, second attempt right.
The length of the mudflap was just enough to keep the road spray from the front wheel below the cooler. I decided to give myself a bit more peace of mind by making replacement mudflap about another inch longer. Also, my first attempt sometimes got caught against the front wheel when I pushed the bike backwards. I had fixed it inside the hard plastic of the mudguard. This time I decided I'd fit it to the outside. That meant making an aluminium bracing strip that was more substantial than the original.

I cut a length of 3mm aluminium this time instead of the 1mm sheet I used first time around. I put a curve into the new bracing strip so it would hold the rubber sheet in an arc around the profile of the tyre, helping it to resist the effect of wind at speed. I should have been more confident in making the bend really but it does the job.

Riding the bike over the following week showed that the 'tide mark' of muck now stops well clear of the lower edge of the oil cooler. Also, the replacement mudflap has yet to get caught by the front wheel. I've noticed that when I reverse the bike out of a parking spots that used to result in a gravelly graunching noise, all is smooth and silent now. A pleasing fix to niggle number two.

It was at this time I realised that the oiliness of the left-hand fork leg could no longer be dismissed as a bit of mist. It was a full-blown leak with fork oil accumulating running down the fork slider to the left-hand brake caliper. So it needed addressing as a matter of urgency. And then I got a puncture in my new rear tyre. Oh dear ...