|I have never liked the looks of the moto-cross
style fender on the front of the tourist. Since I had declared that my
tourist was primarily a road machine and would only occasionally see off
road duty I lowered the front fender. A brief study of a pre-70 BMW earls
fork showed me how. The BMW leading link attached the fender at 6 points
but I was only able to figure out four attachment points. This has been
adequate to date (over 1 year and over 5K>Km at this writing). I thought
that perhaps I was the first to have done this to a Ural but shortly after
completing the project I saw some old pics from Preston and there was a
bike way over in the corner with a similar mod.
(CAUTION: This process requires welding on the frame of your motorcycle.
Unless this is done properly it can result in weakening the frame and
potential disastrous results. It may void your warranty, cause acne or
result in birth defects. While I have noted no adverse effects on me,
outside observers say differently. I had a professional motorcycle frame
builder weld my parts as I do NOT want Bubba, whose welds look like sea
gull droppings, to weld on my motorcycle frame. (Since the original
writing of this I have taken a year of welding instruction at the local
tech college and would feel comfortable with the little bit of welding in
this project.) I do not recommend this project and further advise you not
to try it. This is provided solely to see how one mad man has proven that
the enemy of good is better.)
Materials list: (onlinesteel.com sells small quantities to hobbyists but
any decent fab shop should sell a few small bits)
3 of 3/8 T-316 SS rod ($6.00)
(product code 38SSRB-T-316)
5 of ½ OD X.065 wall thickness T-316 SS tubing ($5.50)
(product code, 12.065SSRT-316, you must buy 1 min)
2 SS Dead End Bails ($4.99 ea)
West Marine model number 331611
6 of 1 angle steel
4 of 1 flat steel
1 front fender - Deco/BC - $74.00
(Note I tried 2 different generic jap fender from the local MC salvage
yard ($5.00 ea) but the mounting points in my design were close enough
together that it turned out to be too flexible so I bit the bullet and
bought the stouter Russian fender
To remove the fender on a leading link front end you must disassemble the
headset. Service and reassemble the headset IAW the manual. (Note: BMW /2
tapered roller bearings are a much better bearing and will fit without any
modifications although they are ~$70) Now wash off the grease from your
hands and lets get to the fun stuff.
Part A (2 pieces) Cut two 1.5 pieces of the angle steel and round off one
end. These mounting tabs will be welded near the axle. Drill a 5/16 hole
in the center of the rounded end of the mounting tab.
Part B (2 pieces) Cut the flat stock into two 2 pieces. These are also
welded near the axle for reinforcement. While studying the front fork
pendulum (part no. 26-13) I didn't like the fact that the tubes through
which the axle runs were simply butt-welded. The MC frame builder noted
this too and so I had short braces welded on the tension side (underside).
Part C (2 pieces) Cut two 2.5 pieces of the tubing. The tubing has an ID
of ~0.370 and we need it to be 0.375 so, with a 3/8 drill (or a lathe)
ream the ID so the 3/8 rod fits into each piece. Ream only to a depth of
1. A snug fit is best. Now with a large vise or a press, squash (aka
press flat) a 1 segment at one end of both pieces. Insert a piece of the
3/8 bar into he open end before the smash so as to avoid distortion. Drill
a 5/16 hole in the center of the squashed segment.
Part D (1 piece) Next we need to bend the round bar.
The radius of each bend is 1.375 with a 3 straight segment between the
bends. This results in a squarish horseshoe with 5.5 between the uprights
(measured inside-to-inside). This is the correct dimensions for the
Russian fender but may require correction for other fenders. If you have
access to a heavy duty bender you are lucky. We heated our 3/8 bar and
bent it over a piece of large diameter bar stock. (Scotch-brite pad in the
grinder cleaned the SS nicely.)
E (1 piece) Next we need to fashion the mounting bracket for the rear part
of the fender. A 1 piece of angle stock, ~3.5 long has a 1.5 segment
cut out of the center of one wall leaving two 1 tabs. Bend or grind the
uncut the uncut side to conform to the radius of the fork yoke. Drill a
5/16 hole in each tab. (In my application with the Russian fender I was
able to use the existing holes in the fender and so used the fender as a
template for the holes in the bracket.)
Now that all the parts are fab'd we proceed. With all 13 of your hands
(and a couple of C-clamps) position everything and mark exact locations.
Now repeat that step to ensure you have it right.
Weld the tabs (part A) on top of the front fork pendulum just behind the
axle. Weld the reinforcement pieces (part B) on the bottom so that it
bridges the welded butt joint. This is visible as a thickened area in the
Weld the rear bracket (part E) to the underside of the front fork pendulum
so that the tabs are forward.
Next determine the height you want your fender to stand off the tire. I
selected one inch and stuck a roll or electrical tape between the tire and
the fender. Cut the legs of your horseshoe bracket (part D) to the proper
length. I did this is several small steps so as to avoid the, I cut it
three times and its still too short! syndrome.
Slide the dead end bails onto the rod (part D) and the tube pieces onto
each end. With string, duct tape or a patient assistant position the front
fender where you want it. Pivot the horseshoe bracket (part D) fore and
aft until you find the position you want. (My position seemed to give the
sturdiest triangulation) Now slide the dead end bails on the bar until
they are where you want them (I recommend as wide as possible) on the
fender and drill the fender. Bolt everything lightly together and friction
will hold things where they should be. Spot-weld the dead end bails to the
bar and spot-weld the bar to the end tubes. Disassemble the horseshoe
bracket and complete the welding. I ground and polished the welds for
aesthetics. I reassembled and spot-welded the nuts to the inside of the
fender for ease of future disassembly.
I recommend you fab the parts and clamp them into place. Take bike on
trailer to welder and have parts tack welded in place. Then remove the
front fork pendulum and the horseshoe bracket and have the welding
finished. I disassembled it on the trailer in the parking lot of the
facility. Not making them stand on their head to do the welding will
reduce shop time and thusly save a few $$.
I used 10mm ss hardware except under the fender I used 10mm mild steel
nuts that were ultimately welded to the fender.
The fender now rotates with the front fork pendulum and so appears as a
pecking bird when going over bumps.