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.
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???
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!