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  #1  
Old 6th October 2018
hammer6315 hammer6315 is offline
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Default fork brace

I am having trouble finding a fork brace for my 2012 Custom Sportster. The fork spacing is wider than the narrow glide since the Custom has a fat tire. I ordered one that was supposed to fit, but it was for the narrow glide, so I had to return it. Even Super Brace is out of stock. wa-wa

Last edited by hammer6315; 6th October 2018 at 23:02..
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Old 6th October 2018
Sportycus Sportycus is offline
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I was thinking the same for my 2014 XL1200C, except I have fork gaiters installed. I don't think I can use the brace for the Iron as it is a narrow-glide versus my somewhat-wider glide.

I noticed something which makes me wonder if the XL1200C even needs a fork brace. There is a wide piece of ~3mm thick metal running across the two fork sliders. This piece runs as one solid piece, with the fender bolted on top of it (adding about 1-2mm curved reinforcement). The two screws for each slider must be torqued to 96-156 in-lbs (10.9-17.6 Nm) according to the 2014 service manual.

Here is what it looks like on my ride:

If you really want to strengthen it up, you might get away with a saddle (like what is used to secure pipes) or two, and a few more sets of nuts and bolts:


Then here is a similar RSD fork brace for narrow glides (2011 and earlier):

Looks a bit like the wide piece of metal I just mentioned, and though it seems to be a little thicker (this is ~4-5mm thick), there is no fender to reinforce it. Maybe some of the more experienced folk like XLXR or Folkie can shed more light on this.
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Old 6th October 2018
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Nibelungen Nibelungen is offline
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Yeah
even that is a brace... of course...
but a straight one is another thing...
obviously depend of your riding style and your favourite tracks to notice or not the differences in the behaviour of your ride...

many manifacturers had braces in their stocks... with a little work sure you will find one...

i rolled 80k kms with a five pieces bolted Kuryakin...
and 40k with a longitudinally bolted two pieces Superbrace with gaiter lids
personally i think amongst twisties a proper brace make a huge difference...
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Old 6th October 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sportycus View Post
I noticed something which makes me wonder if the XL1200C even needs a fork brace. There is a wide piece of ~3mm thick metal running across the two fork sliders. This piece runs as one solid piece, with the fender bolted on top of it (adding about 1-2mm curved reinforcement). The two screws for each slider must be torqued to 96-156 in-lbs (10.9-17.6 Nm) according to the 2014 service manual.

Here is what it looks like on my ride:
Sportycus,

Thanks for the info about the “under-fender” fork brace on some of the mid-glide Sportsters. I’m a very easy rider and no where near being a canyon carver. You saved me some money. Reps!
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Last edited by jzink0883; 7th October 2018 at 09:33..
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Old 6th October 2018
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Mine only works to the 100 tire, beyond that the tire is too wide.

If you know a good fabricator, they can make one for you by using your fender for the measurements. That style requires not running the fender though, unless you remove the original piece from the fender and have the new one made, then installed into the fender. A little paint, and nobody would even suspect you could carve canyons like a pro.
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Old 7th October 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzink0883 View Post
Sportycus,

Thanks for the info about the “under-fender” fork brace on some of the mid-glide Sportsters. I’m a very easy rider and no where near being a canyon carver. You save me some money. Reps!
If you do not do hard style riding, such as trying to see how fast you can charge a corner, then save the money, you probably do not need a fork brace.
There are many things on bikes the average rider will never need. Adjustable dampening on suspension is another of them. the average rider will never push a bike enough to have to dial in dapening. there is not enough twist going on in day to day riding to really need a fork brace unless your front end is really in bad condition or was just the cheapest suspension a manufacture could have put on.
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Old 7th October 2018
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a brace on your stock forks can be useful even for "quiet" riders involved in an emergency situation... like dodging a car... emergency braking... etc..
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Old 7th October 2018
hammer6315 hammer6315 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nibelungen View Post
a brace on your stock forks can be useful even for "quiet" riders involved in an emergency situation... like dodging a car... emergency braking... etc..
I suppose if it were a necessity, our benevalent big brother would require one. I just remember when I added extended tubes to my '79 Sportster, how that bike could have benefitted from a brace!
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Old 7th October 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nibelungen View Post
a brace on your stock forks can be useful even for "quiet" riders involved in an emergency situation... like dodging a car... emergency braking... etc..
Exactly. If you contour your safety around daily riding, then the big one is going to kill you.

Another point though is that if you have not spent some time figuring out what happens when shit hits the fan, then you are dead anyway, and the best equipment in the world isn't going to help unless it's medical equipment.

Everyone who rides needs to get some solid dirt riding under their belt. They need to crash three times a day for fun and sport. They need to graduate to riding their sporty in the dirt with and without a fork brace, hard into corners on ground with ruts.

You do that, and you will know the value of a fork brace, and will have a much better chance of surviving the big one.

My kids all rode dirt, including the girls.
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Old 7th October 2018
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It is important to be practical in the quest for safety. Of course, an Abrams tank will be the ultimate in safety, but who's gonna afford that one? It is just as likely that "the big one" will be the idiot who "can't see" and T-bones you.

The 3mm thick piece of metal I mentioned earlier probably won't be as solid as a dedicated fork brace, but it will suffice for many riders. You could strengthen it with saddles too if you like, or fab one out of thicker metal.

At least some sort of brace is needed for daily riding, because roads aren't as smooth as glass (particularly here in Oz). I feel the stock fender + bracket works for this. For a pre-2016 sportster, I'd be looking into the suspension first and foremost, then worrying about shelling out for a brace later.

Not saying it's not worth getting a brace; it may also be effective at reducing the chance of a "death wobble" situation. What I am saying is there are probably more important issues that need attention first.
I've had to do several emergency stops and swerves to avoid idiots (most of them were drunk) and animals, on a variety of bikes. None of those bikes had an external/aftermarket fork brace.
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