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Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A slight case of nervousness!

Not wanting Rogey to have a complete monopoly of carbon fibre farkles for his K1200S (see HERE) , it was time to modestly splash out on something potentially useful.  Modern sport bike front guards are minimalist to say the least.  Without a radiator guard, the radiator is constantly peppered with stones of various size.  A guard was an early prudent purchase, so ok there.

However, when it's wet, there's a constant spray of dirt hitting the centre of the radiator core.  Normally, not a big deal but if you're riding on wet dirt roads like we did when traversing the dirt section of the FORGOTTEN HIGHWAY, engine temperatures are inclined to rise, especially as the Triple runs on the warm side anyway.  Must have flushed about a kilo of mud out of the radiator when hosing it down at the Whangamomona pub!  Engine temperature aside, it's a bugger of a job (a technical term) to clean the front of the Triple engine with all it's spaghetti-like plumbing and nooks and crannies.  Here's a view of the short mudguard and the front end of the motor....

Enough sharp edges to warrant a blood transfusion after cleaning

Anyway, perusing eBay revealed a chap in the UK making a genuine carbon fibre guard extender for under 20 pounds.  That would slip nicely under the Chief Financial Officer's radar without a lengthy interrogation (as opposed to the recent service cost of my TAG watch which triggered a passable version of the Spanish Inquisition), so a purchase was made.

The guard arrived today and it's beautifully made and light as a feather....

Carbon fibre - Viagra to an engineer :-)

The guard comes with some high strength adhesive tape so that you can put in place and align it etc before bolting it up with the supplied diminutive stainless Allen screws and nylock nuts.  Fitted perfectly on the guard and being black, blends in beautifully.

Seriously nice....

Now onto the title of the post!  Not only are most sports guards a bit on the skimpy side, they're also pretty close to the tyre.  Bolting everything together, there really isn't a lot of clearance although probably no worse than the original set-up.  Short of buying some plasticine or manufacturing some playdough to make a clearance impression (which is even going a bit far for this anal engineer), going for a careful local ride with regular check stops is probably the best option.  (Visions of the tyre growing in diameter like a dragster doing a burn-out).  Sure it'll be ok but if not, it'll be quietly removed without the Chief Financial Officer finding out to eliminate the risk of withering sarcasm :-).

Looks good, but is the clearance enough???

Addendum:  
A cautious ride following installation was carried out, starting nice and slow with a couple of inspection stops.  No sign of rubbing so a quick run to highly illegal speeds was undertaken to see if tyre growth under increased centrifugal force had any effect.  Still no rubbing but I still wasn't happy about the small clearances so the extender is now off the bike.  I might look at re-fitting it at some time in the future, but no hurry to do so!


20 comments:

  1. Yep it sure looks nice alright but I to am wondering if it has enough clearance.

    I put a rear hugger on my ZX-9R. It was a nice carbon fibre jobby as well. Only problem was it didn't have enough clearance and wore some holes in it. It must have been at higher speeds because I didn't hear anything around town.Then the mounting points cracked so I turfed it again.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Steve!

    We'll soon find out in the next day or two! Too cold today to venture out just for that.

    I've got a plastic rear Triumph hugger. It cracked early on in the piece at a stress raiser. I pop-riveted an alloy bracket underneath and so far, the crack hasn't propagated.

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  3. I notice that your tyre is made in Spain - is it good in the rain??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nikon,
      ...... Only on the plain

      Delete
    2. Nice Geoff! Both my bikes wear fender extenders and radiator guards. NZ roads...

      Mine aren't carbon but I have some wrap somewhere to play with one day...

      Delete
    3. Hi Andrew,
      Thanks - my first bit of real carbon. Yeah, my radiator got a serious ding in it on the delivery trip home. Radiator guard bought the next day!

      Delete
  4. I wasn't aware that carbon would enhance sexual performance in men. I thought nothing special about this stuff. Coming to think of it, my Vespa is plastered with carbony accessories... A bike will look sexier in an instant ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja!

      Only in engineers, sweetheart! I had a "carbon" extender on my Blackbird but it was a plastic lookalike - did nothing for me at all!

      Delete
  5. Pretty. :) I have a carbon fibre rear hugger that I also wondering abot clearance with...but no problems so far.

    But it will definitely add to the aerodynamics and speed of the bike. hehe

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lori,
      Excellent! I'm sure it's worth another 20mph at the top end, not to mention enhancing your street cred with all those guys!

      Delete
  6. Looking good Geoff. It does look rather close, but maybe if you aren't riding through mud or gravel you might be okay.

    I put one on the front wheel on the Gladius too to keep the road grime out. So far no issues.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Brandy,
      There's a decent gravel patch at the bottom of our drive so we'll soon find out! Hope it works well on the Gladius.

      Delete
  7. I'd say that the clearance was insufficient as it would clog with mud, snow and gravel. But it isn't much, if any less, than the stock fender. So I'm betting that it'll survive. At least until you hit the gravel roads...

    Nice looking carbon fiber farkle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Richard,
      I'd want something shaped like a snow plough in Alaska! I carefully placed the 5mm securing nuts at the point where I thought the clearance would be greatest to avoid the risk of unintended additional rain grooves in the tyre!

      Delete
  8. Huggers are worth there weight in gold, and when I tell Jenni it was great value for $450.....she gonna love u lots as well...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You bloody well would too :-)

      As long as you stick to that price, I might not spend too long recovering in hospital as it is less than the service cost of my wristwatch!

      Delete
  9. It's much easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission, in fact carbon fiber farkles aren't even open for discussion, it's a given.
    "But honey, it's carbon fiber!"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brad,
      Easy for you to say as Brandy's an enthusiast too but I reckon you probably still have a thumbprint on your forehead when it comes to other purchases ;-)

      Delete
  10. Yes..more common sense , practicality required in today's motorcycle design offices


    Andrew

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  11. Certainly in this case Andrew!

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