Another Way to Grind Your Subfender for a Fat Rear Tire

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Written by Bill DeFord (Sax, Sax50)   
Friday, 11 June 2004

NOTE FROM BILL:  This particular procedure was performed on a motorcycle that is designated for solo riding only.  It is not intended to carry a passenger on the modified area. 

Many people have asked if they need to grind the fender brace to get a bigger tire on...the answer is a definite "sometimes."  As for me, I put on a 180/55/18 in the rear and it rubbed bad...the dealer tried to grind the fender brace...but I'm here to tell you that it is hard to make a job look as bad as they did...and it still rubbed. I had to re-grind what they did.  Recently, I put on a new rear tire, and it is slightly rubbing again.  Since I needed to re-grind the fender brace, I documented the process so others might be able to avoid the "dealer thing" I went through. 

The whole thing took me an hour and 15 minutes (and that included getting the tools and taking the pics).  Here's the steps and what you'll need.

  • Two 17mm sockets or wrenches.  The big bolt you are going to remove is very tight, so make sure these are good quality (and not stubbies) or you may end up rounding the bolt head/nut. 
  • One 15mm socket or wrench.
  • One Angle Grinder (a pic is attached if you aren't sure what one looks like.  I got mine at Harbor Freight, because I won't use it much and I didn't need an expensive one).
  • One can of a primer-type paint...your choice of colors. I used white the first time and flat black this time.
  • A dremel is not necessary but can help do a "finished" job.

Here you go:

  1. Remove the seat and tool kit.
  2. Remove the two small 15mm bolts and unplug the wiring harness.



  3. Remove the nut from the large bolt.



  4. At this point in the procedure, the only thing holding the fender is that big bolt, so hang on to the fender for the rest of this.  I staddeled the fender and held the weight off the fender with one hand while wiggeling the big bolt out.  Now lift the fender free...watch the plug on the wiring harness you just unplugged in step 2. 
  5. I layed my fender on some old rugs covered with a 100% cotton towel.  I figured putting all this on the grass would help provide extra cushion.



  6. I marked a rough line on the area I wanted to grind.  The first time I did this I marked all the way down the brace with a pencil.  It helps me know how much progress I'm making and when to stop grinding.



  7. When you grind the brace, make sure you don't hit anything that you don't want destoyed and wear goggles and a mask.  These angle grinders will eat through steel like you won't believe.  If it bumps the paint...then paint there ain't :(



  8. Now this step is not necessary unless you are afflicted with an anal-rentetive disease like me.  After grinding with the angle grinder, I used a sanding disk on a dremel to smooth the edges.  It is now smooth to the touch. 



  9. Once I got the grinding done, I taped the fender to the towel so over-spray wouldn't make it's way to my paint.   Then I did a couple of quick passes with the "rattle-can" of paint.  It's under the fender...it doesn't have to be a work of art :) 



  10. You're done...now reverse the bolt process...big bolt first (helps if someone can slide the bolt in while you hold the fender), two small bolts, connect the plug, tool kit back, seat on...congrats on a job well done!  IMPORTANT NOTE: When tightening the big bolt, get it TIGHT!  Otherwise, it will "bang" like the sound of a hammer hitting your frame when you hit bumps and make you think your bike is falling apart.

FINAL NOTE:  I know there are other ways to do this (like leaving the sub frame on the bike...this is the way I do it...you may have a better or different way).  Hope this helps someone...thanks for reading this far.



Questions should be asked in our forum (Use discuss link below). The forum is very active and you stand a good chance of getting your questions answered there. If you would like to leave feedback for the author, or have additional information you think will benefit others, please use the comment section at the bottom of this page.

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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 (3)
Great idea
Written by Para, on 02-28-2008 11:49
Great idea, I will have to modify mine to carry passengers.
Written by speedy81304, on 01-01-2008 21:11
how about a 180/60/16 size tire should be about the same as the 180/55/17 right
Grinding
Written by madmaxcraw, on 03-19-2006 07:39
I had to grind the caliper mount bracket some as well.

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