Any advantage to the low fender?

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by akarob, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. akarob

    akarob Green Cantern

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    Most of the pictures I see of rally bikes have the low fender. The low fender is still stock on the 990 Adventure. Is there some advantage to having it so close to the wheel? All I can think of is aerodynamics. I really don't think a high fender is a issue unless you're going much over 100mph.
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  2. outlaws justice

    outlaws justice Long timer

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    Along those lines whats the advantage of changing to the high fender?
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  3. Jaimoto

    Jaimoto Spaniard in Chile

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    Better airflow to the radiator with the low fender?
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  4. sonoran

    sonoran unglued

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    When riding in mud the low fender can get clogged up and jam the front wheel or beak the fender off completely.

    Here's Big-E demonstrating the concept:

    [​IMG]
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  5. Somber

    Somber Been here awhile

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    one claim I hear about the high fender that relates to air flow but isn't just overall aero or radiator blocking - is that some people claim that some of the high fender options catch more side wind... I'm in Oklahoma and I ride pretty much every day, so I get more than my share of cross wind riding, I've run with low and high fender and haven't been able to tell the difference myself... that being said, I don't seem to be the most sensitive 990 rider, I'm one of the few people who are happy with the stock seat, etc - so you may wanna ignore my part of the input on this...
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  6. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    There are exposed electronics on these bikes... that water streaming off the front wheel will lap into the seams of the skid plate and corrode. The fuel pump for one. Also the rectifier is known to be heat sensitive to failure. Overspray running down the motor and on to the rectifier can overheat it. The main fuse box is directly in line above the spray target of the front wheel and con corrode the box. Earlier 950's don't have the lower fuse shroud and the back of the wires are all exposed at the box.

    The low fender also helps better deflect rocks and mud from the radiator. The lower head bearings are also in the target of the spray pattern of the tire.

    An upper fender creates a venturi effect moving more air around the bike rather then through it. It can reduce the effects of the radiator and minimize the amount of heat being pulled off the motor. Overall reducing air circulation.

    At higher speeds, an upper fairing can create drag on the front end, effecting straight line handling. My KTM tech is pretty adamant about his lower fender preferences. I'm sure he's thinking preventative measures and minimal overspray.
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  7. pdxthmper

    pdxthmper Been here awhile

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    I have read that the 990 fender has more clearance than the 950, could the stock fender be raised an inch with a "fender relocator" bracket? The broken fender due to mud, is a convincing arguement if you live somewhere where it rains a lot. Minimize the mud break, and maintain the water protection?
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  8. sonoran

    sonoran unglued

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    Yes it can be done but note in the pic above that Big-E is riding a 990 with the "higher" low fender... it didn't help.

    Here in AZ we get little rain but when we do the mud is more like clay.. it's slippery as hell and cakes onto wheels like cement.

    YMMV.
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  9. Mooney 78865

    Mooney 78865 Been here awhile

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    This is a thoughtful reply. Many good points.
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  10. plumbtired

    plumbtired plunging into the farkle

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    There's a video some where that shows a BMW 800 cruising thru DV off road, sorry don't know where it is, long story short picked up a rock, front fender went flyin, brake cables wrapped up in wheel and rider went down hard.
    Changed my mind quickly! High fender now.
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  11. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    DesertSurfer. Please dont take offense to this but I had to respond.There are exposed electronics on these bikes... that water streaming off the front wheel will lap into the seams of the skid plate and corrode. The water spray off the front tire inundates the skid plate even with the stock fender The fuel pump for one.I doubt this highly. Fuel pump is sealed with a boot over the electronics Also the rectifier is known to be heat sensitive to failure. Overspray running down the motor and on to the rectifier can overheat it.Again Not Accurate. The R/R is mounted an inch or so out from the motor and is a sealed unit. Any water running off the motor isn't going to be anywhere near the R/R nor would it do damage The main fuse box is directly in line above the spray target of the front wheel and con corrode the box. Earlier 950's don't have the lower fuse shroud and the back of the wires are all exposed at the box.This isnt really feasible because most high fenders arent going to allow water to get directly above the front wheel at the steering stem area

    The low fender also helps better deflect rocks and mud from the radiator. This Maybe but thats what radiator guards are for. The lower head bearings are also in the target of the spray pattern of the tire. Really? How is spray fro the front wheel going to get around the fender? Think about it.

    An upper fender creates a venturi effect moving more air around the bike rather then through it. It can reduce the effects of the radiator and minimize the amount of heat being pulled off the motor. Overall reducing air circulation.
    Uhm. NO

    At higher speeds, an upper fairing can create drag on the front end, effecting straight line handling. My KTM tech is pretty adamant about his lower fender preferences. I'm sure he's thinking preventative measures and minimal overspray. At higher speeds my 950 is planted solid. Never had any issues and I havent heard of any either. I think Your mechanic is blowing smoke up your A$$
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  12. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    I was merely passing along technical info passed on to me over the time I've owned my 950. And some of many reasons why KTM still deems it a priority to outfit a low fender as OEM on their 9xx's.

    I have no emotionally attachment to either choice of fender.

    But I do respect KTM's reasoning for the OEM low fender, no matter what and how which and why.

    And I suppose they have alot of ass to protect with regards to potential recalls.

    My KTM certified technician, Fernando Paenz at Del Amo Motorsports... He was a KTM team rally mechanic for years when the 950 was on the Rally circuit. He knows these bike inside and out. He goes to every tech seminar and has access far deeper into the KTM technical infrastructure then I would care to know about. But if you would like to call him up and tell him he blows smoke up people's ass, feel free. Del Amo Motorsports number is 310-331-1627.

    Feel free to also ask him about any and all 9xx questions you might have an interest in. He is an extremely knowledgeable mechanic and a really great human being and has quite a history with these bikes. He's Argentinian and has been putting off offers to wrench KTM's at the South American Dakar next year.

    There is also a series of interesting articles I read in the past about Fabrizio Meoni when he was working with the KTM factory on developing the 950. It was no secret he was not happy with how the factory team placed so much electronics under the bike. He was pretty pev'ed they put the battery under the bike and he was the first one to mount the battery and the fuse box under the seat, pre-Rallies.

    I do enjoy your perspective and look forward to your exhuberant posts.
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  13. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

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    Simply put the lower fender maximizes air to the radiator while the high fender maximizes wheel clearance for riding conditions that might jam up a low fender...like mud.

    23 more pages of discussion to follow.
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  14. David P.

    David P. Been here awhile

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    A low fender is used mainly to aid the cooling, there is a big difference in cooling between high and low fender. Just look at the rear of your high fender to see how much it will obscure the rad. When running my SE950 in the Tuareg Rallye I used a low fender during the desert days and it would run 1-2 bars cooler. Side stability at higher speeds is also improved but you will have run really fast to notice (170km/h +).
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  15. japslap

    japslap Japslap

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    Interesting thread,i have an 07 990 and have the standard low front fender,iv always kind of thought the reason these bikes have a low fender is because really they are desert bikes foremost, and ploughing through mud was'nt really what they were designed for,i know alot of guys here in the UK and where you guys are do ride through mud water etc,but having all the electrics down low beneath the engine does strike me as odd if the bike was primarily designed for water crossing deep heavy mud,i mean im no engineer but surely if you had a brief to design a bike for that purpose you would have a high fender,and all electronics under the seat or side panels?I use my katoom for road touring do a little exploration down the odd gravel road,but id to be honest be real worried if i was continually dunking it in water up to the engine cases.Dont get me wrong i think its cool the way some of you guys hammer these bikes,but im not convinced its what they were really designed for at the off,watching them drift on loose gravel and sand they look happy and at home,be interested on your views...
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  16. Johnf3

    Johnf3 Long timer

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    The biggest advantage in favor of the low fender is that it is not an eyesore. The high fender is obviously more functional in sticky mud, but I hate the way it looks. I'll deal with mud and the negative trade off and keep my low fender.

    Just my opinion, I know many think the high fender is the height of fashion.
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  17. Pete640

    Pete640 Long timer

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  18. Bob59601

    Bob59601 Bob59601

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    +1 Gumbo.....

    It only takes one trip off road in muddy conditions to rip that low front fender off. In my case it was the first trip off road with a brand new bike. ugh. I put on the high fender and have not looked back. It does run hotter especially in the slow stuff. I am seriously considering a second cooling fan. Still cheaper than constantly replacing low fenders and anything else that could get get ripped off the bike due to fender failure.
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  19. Peanuts

    Peanuts Long timer

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    I am concerned over stability during 80+ mph wheelies, so I am keeping my low fender until I get really confident on the back wheel.......... ;)
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  20. Qwik

    Qwik Adrenaline Addict

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    Nah, No issue there.
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