F800GS: High-fender Options

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Bartron, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Recently, I've had to rip off the front fender in the middle of the woods to try and ensure my survival despite approaching below-freezing temperatures and cayotes in the distance of the quickly-darkening forest. I have never been so close to using that 'help' button on the SPOT.

    I was on the Peace-Athabasca trail in Northern Alberta only to find the last part of the trail impassible and had to turn around and come back from whence I came. This was a problem.

    The going in was fun:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On the way down, there was about an inch of snow on the trail and I remember a kilometer long section of steep descending switch-backs. These were sketchy on the way down and I wasn't sure what they would be like on the way back up. Luckily the snow was gone - only to be replaced with sticky clay. The front wheel would lock up in a matter of feet.

    The only way to get out alive was to improvise a high-fender kit in the middle of nowhere with minimal tools, in the fading light. I've always wanted to do this but the timing could have been better.

    I'll add a pic later on.

    Here are the guiding principles and all opinions are valued.

    1) Keep dual front brakes
    2) Keep ABS
    3) New brake lines will be necessary so how to route/arrange them?
    4) Fork guards? I was going to cut apart a stock front fender and turn it into fork guards. I haven't come across anyway to tell if any other guards would fit
    5) Brake lines at the rotors will have to be guided somehow to the the top. In front of and attached to the fork guard? In back of the fork guard like on the KTM 950?
    6) BMW fender is too short to work in wet conditions. Options for extended fenders? Take stock fender off and mount standard high-fender? Mount where/how?
    7) How can I bleed to front brakes? Is this something I can do myself or do I need some fancy BMW computerization?

    I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this would be handy.

    Let the ideas come forth :clap
    #1
  2. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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    #2
  3. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Hey John, I've seen this bit of kit but when running semi-agressive front knobbies like D606's there still wouldn't have been enough room for the mud to keep the wheel spinning. The wheel would still lock as it had. The mud was caked on at least an inch at the apex and at least an inch on the shoulders of the D606. Damn, sticky gumbo!

    I realize this mod is something that would be useful a whole 1% of the time but man, when that 1% comes, boy will I be grateful.

    It took 3 hours to go 200 meters before I ripped that fender off.

    BTW, been following your shock-bolt thread with great interest.
    #3
  4. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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    I have run a MT-21 in some gooey mud w/ the stock fender and had no problems. The kit was more of an insurance policy. We'll see.
    #4
  5. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Yeah, I was surprised when it happened because I had run in sticky mud before when I was able to keep going while my buddy on a GSA with Tourances was picking mud out of his fender every 20 feet.

    I wonder if the MT-21 is better at clearing mud.

    Nonetheless, it happened and I don't ever want to go through that again. Plus, it looks much better IMO (like the Twalcom/Bitubo F800).
    #5
  6. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Some pics post Clay Fest 2009.

    [​IMG]

    In case you're wondering, the Rok Strap is supporting the left brake caliper to keep the lines from getting snagged on the wheel and letting me drive the 200 miles to get home.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Would look nice cleaned up.
    [​IMG]

    I remember hearing about some guy down in Oz who had to rip off his front fender to make it home in the outback. Now I know how desperate he must have been.
    #6
  7. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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    Better order some fork seals...:deal
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  8. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    There are some TKC's under the mud. Even with no fender, the tire managed to snag the brake crossover line. Either needs a high fender or better operator judgement. :wink:

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Not a bad idea :thumb

    I'm planning on redoing the front suspension so it would prove an opportune time to change the seals.
    #9
  10. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Damn. That must have been a slog.

    So you were running without the front fender but with stock brake lines in place? I took off the left caliper to get the crossover brake lines out of the way fearing a dreaded snag and inevitable picking up of the bike in the mud with muddy hands and everything slipping.

    Are you still running without a fender?
    #10
  11. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    3rd time down in that crap. Took the fender off on the first crash because I couldn't get the mud out, put it back on. Packed up again in about 10 ft. 2nd crash bowed the fender to the point of breaking it in two. 3rd time caught the brake line. I am a slow learner.
    #11
  12. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    The project is progressing slowly. Not much time nor funds around the holidays and still lots of snow on the ground.

    Revised plan:

    1. Remove F800GS beak. Install proper fender (black KTM 690 Enduro R). Fabricate some sort of fiberglass filler where the bmw beak used to be so the bike doesn't look so ghetto-fab.

    2. Convert to single, left-sided brake caliper. This allows keeping the ABS, makes line routing way easier and lowers unsprung mass. Those calipers are way heavy. Likely run a single brake line down the left fork or put in a split at the triple tree - allowing addition of right caliper down the road if stopping power not adequate.

    3. Removed the triple-clamp plastic shroud surrounding the horn. Those two bolts that hold it in will hopefully hold the new fender. The horn will have to be moved up and out of the way.

    4. Fork guards. Still nothing in the aftermarket available. Initial plan is to use a stock fender and cut it up leaving just the guards. Considering the fender is about 50 quid it's not a bad scenario. Eventually, if someone is so inclined, one can make an adapter bracket to enable use of other fork guards (G450x or G650Xc?)

    KTM parts are ordered. Will have to wait for the fender to mod up the spacer. Brake lines are last.

    Will post pics once there's something worthwhile to post.
    #12
  13. Maddaddy

    Maddaddy Greg

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  14. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Yeah, there was some discussion about Stefano's mods in a previous thread but little concrete info. What I could gather from studying their photos is the following:

    1. They obviously removed the stock fender, went to a single brake and custom fabricated the brackets for their fork guards. Unsure as to which fork guards they're using - there are hundreds of possibilites.

    2. They did mount half of a fender off the triple clamp to protect the radiator but there is still no real fender. The beak does not provide enough protection when things get thrown up by the front wheel. It must have been enough of a problem that they needed to MacGyver this little fix from duct tape and coat-hangers:

    Attached Files:

    #14
  15. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Here's another view:

    Attached Files:

    #15
  16. Bartron

    Bartron 'Tenacious B' the Bike Punisher

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    Been a while since an update.

    Received the fender and a couple mounting nuts and bolts this week and have makeshift mounted the fender just to see the aesthetics. Lovin' it!

    Also, in regards to brakes, I'll keep both thanks to Woody's advice regarding twisting torque on the forks and more importantly the need for a smaller master cylinder for the front brake.

    Some pics?

    Fender packaging:
    [​IMG]

    Side shot, close up:
    [​IMG]

    Length comparison with stock:
    [​IMG]

    Head on view:
    [​IMG]

    Side shot, from further back:
    [​IMG]

    Please ignore the garage mess that's pending a Spring cleaning - if Spring ever gets here.

    More to come in the near future as I sort out a permanent mount and deal with brake lines.
    #16
  17. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I suppose another option would be some sort of fork brace for an attachment point for a fender along with a longer crossover line. Me, I am just going to stay out of sticky mud.:evil
    #17
  18. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

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    It actually looks quite good, almost factory even.
    Looking forward to see how you manage the lines.
    #18
  19. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

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    In just for the curiousity of it. I've long wondered what our bike's would look like that way, now I'll know.
    #19
  20. bxr140

    bxr140 Flame Bait

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    Look closer. If you saw it in person, you'd probably change that opinion.

    The shape of the fender (KTM?) is great--I think it compliments the rest of the bike well. Unfortunately, with the beak design (and the fact that its integral to the upper fairings) getting a really clean, factory look is going to be tough. The one linked a few posts back by Maddaddy, for instance, is basically just the back half of a dirt bike fender--he clearly cut off the front end and is just using the stock 800 beak.
    #20