How to Remove and Lower the Rear Fender

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Written by Barron Cumming (red350ss)   
Thursday, 10 June 2004

The object of this article is to explain how to "lower" the rear fender on a Road Star. What you are actually doing is "lowering" the tail of the fender by "rolling" the entire fender on its pivot point. You do this by modifying the lower front subframe mounts, which bolt into the frame below the seat in the vicinity of the tool pouch area.

Start by removing the rear fender/subframe assembly. This is a simple task, and should only take a few minutes to do.

  • The first thing you need to do is take your seat off and remove your tool pouch.
  • You will see a long bolt with a nut going through a "tube" on the front of the fender at the top of the horn. This is the top mount and also the "pivot" point of the fender.
  • The lower two mounting bolts are hidden behind two rubber covers at the rear of where the tool pouch sat.
  • You will see a wire connector on the left (shifter side) of the bike running out of the rear fender. This needs to be unplugged before removing any bolts.
  • After it is unplugged, first remove the two lower mount bolts. Then proceed to loosen the top mounting bolt and nut. Take precautions here, as when you remove this top bolt, the fender is loose and will fall. It may be easier to have someone hold the fender while you pull the bolt out.
  • With the bolt out, pick up on the fender and remove from bike.


Here I have placed the fender on a towel on the floor with a bucket under the front edge to pick it up to make it easier to work on. In the picture below you will see the two lower mounting posts that will be shortened. They protrude through the fender approximately 3/4" from the factory.


The picture below shows the fender in its original location before removal. Note the location of the rear of the fender and the gap above the tire where you can actually see over the top of the tire. The modification that is about to be done will "roll" the tail of the fender down. This is done by shortening the two lower mount posts. The top mount serves as a pivot point, and by shortening the lower mounts, you force the entire fender to "roll" on its axis.

I used a air powered cutoff wheel to cut down the mounts. NOTE: Be sure your mounting bolts are REMOVED from the fender. They do not need to get cut.

  • First, I gave myself a reference line by running 1/8" fine line tape around each mount. This proved to not drop the fender the amount I wanted, but as I was unsure of just how far this would lower the rear, I played it safe to start out with. The most you can remove from the mounts appears to be about 1/4" which will leave them protruding thru the fender approximately 1/2" much more than this and the bottom of the leading edge of the fender will contact the swingarm bearing area. This will lower the "center" of the fender (center being the middle of the eyebrows) approximately 3/4". I would actually recommend running 1/4" tape as your guide mark and do all your cutting in one pass. Be sure to cut both sides square and even with one another, or you could skew the fender to one side.

  • Once you have cut both mounting posts down, you will need to turn your attention to the holes in the "horn" where the lower fender mounts bolt. These holes will need to be slotted. In the picture below, you can see that one has been done, and one hasn't, to give you an idea of how much you will have to slot them. I used an air powered die grinder with a carbide bur to do mine, but it could be done with a drill bit and some patience.

  • Now its time to replace the rear fender. Again, having someone help you will minimize the chance of any scratches. First, hold the fender where it goes and put in the long top mount bolt. Put the nut on, but do not tighten yet. Next, put the two lower bolts in thru the holes you have slotted in the horn, and tighten them down. Now you can tighten the top bolt down.

Be sure and plug your rear harness back up!!! Below you will see a picture of the modified rear fender. By dropping the tail and "rotating" the entire fender down, we have actually put more of the wheel IN the fender, which actually makes the bike look lower, especially with someone sitting on it. My total time to do this modification was under 30 minutes. Good luck!

Barron




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DISCLAIMER: This information and procedure is provided as a courtesy and is for informational purposes only.  Neither the publishers nor the authors accept any responsibility for the accuracy, applicability, or suitability of this procedure.  You assume all risks associated with the use of this information.  NEITHER THE PUBLISHERs NOR THE AUTHORs SHALL IN ANY EVENT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OF ANY NATURE ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR MISUSE OF THIS INFORMATION OR LACK OF INFORMATION.  Any type of modification or service work on your motorcycle should always be performed by a professional mechanic. If performed incorrectly, this procedure may endanger the safety of you and others on your motorcycle and possibly invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.


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  Comments (8)
Written by Grizzlee, on 09-21-2012 05:59
Would it be permissable and not screw anything up if one did this mod and flipped the relay arm to get a slammed appearance? What difficulties would one run into by doing both of these mods?
loweriing the fender
Written by fairbanksjr, on 04-24-2012 19:09
ok.. so i just bought a 2003 road star and i am all about "doing my thing" i have the sivlerado and it looks like the stock saddle bags mounts make this mod more difficult to do..?anyboby..?
hello to all
Written by TINHKHOPHAI, on 04-07-2011 01:46
this is my fifth bike . i just love the bike of course to leave the bike as is . it's very boring "to me" . with its raw power & the responsiveness that it has .this awsome beast needs an attitude upgrade. i think i would love this bike even more & more if i convert it to a BOBBER to give it an idennity . all roadstar if you leave it alone then all bikes are the same on the road . i hope that i am offended any one
Help
Written by tinker, on 04-27-2010 17:01
Would this retain the configuration for the bag mounts on a Silverado?
Written by sonnyreyes715@yahoo.com, on 03-05-2008 15:23
I'm new on this web site and i'm looking for a baffle on my cobra exhuast i have 2000 model 1600rs ineed help :cry
Fender alignment
Written by sjh55, on 03-04-2007 22:32
It seems to me that lowering the fender alone causes the tire to look like it's too far back. 
I followed the tips here on how to lower the rear suspension by flipping the relay arm, and then I added 1/8" washer to each lower fender mount to raise the fender thus aligning the tire/fender better (as seen on V-Twin TV). It looks more concentric now. 
The downside of lowering via flipping relay arm, as mentioned in this forum, was the reduced cornering angles. My wife and I were quite startled this past weekend when I took a right turn at medium speed and my Cobra pipes drug the ground! Besides making a loud scraping noise it gave the sensation that the bike was sliding sideways on the rear tire as the pipes hit and gave us that "3-point" contact with the road. :eek  
If a kit (Barons?) lowers the rear suspension less than turning the stock relay arm around, perhaps I'll try that.
lowering fender
Written by badboy, on 11-06-2006 17:38
In this article how many inches is the rear fender lowered?
flipped relay arm
Written by billdavis, on 07-09-2006 14:24
I'd like to know if the measurements you mention are the same if you have already flipped the relay arm lowering the rear end 2". Thanks for the information

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