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  #1  
Old 29th October 2005
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Randum77 Randum77 is offline
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Default How to "bob" a fender.....

I decided to post this since I got a couple Pm’s about it. I hope it helps all of you wanting to cut your fenders. Before you do the work, see if you can get a photochop of it. You may end up not liking it.

How I bobbed my fender (cut it short) Sportster 94-03
Other years may vary.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified body/repair person. I didn’t go to school for this either. Actually, I just did this once and this is how I did it. If what I did wasn’t best and there is better… please let me know and I’ll fix it and update. Also, other people that cut your fenders please share your experiences.

Stuff you need
• A bike/atv lift.
• Dremel with cut off wheels or more powerful equivalent. I had an air powered 3in cut off wheel that did quite well.
• 1in. blue painters tape.
• Set of box end and socket tools.
• Your brain, please keep that handy!
• A pre-plan. Always think about it before you start so that way, you know where you going and not flying blind.

Things to think about:
• How are you going to run your brake light?
• Where are you going to put your license plate?
• What about turn signals?
• Does this comply with your states laws?
• Do I have the right tools?
• Can you afford to repaint it after the work is done, just in case the paint does chip? (not a normal thing if you tape it off right)
• Do I have the ability to do this work, or should you lure a buddy over w/ beer? (be honest!)

First off, you need to get the fender off the bike.
1. Get the bike on a lift. I used a motorcycle/atv lift I got from harbor freight for about 50 bucks. Its really freaking nice and the bike sits sturdy.
2. Lift the bike up about 8 inches or more and tie that bad boy down just in case it decides it wants to move anywhere.
3. I disconnected the rear shocks from the swing arm to allow the wheel to drop down. This makes it so you can get up under the fender and at the bolts. If you have stock shocks, you may not have to do this.
4. Remove your seat from the bike and any other hardware that is above the rear fender. (i.e. Saddle Bags, sissy bars, 2up seat pylon.)
5. On my bike, I had no turn signals, so I only had 2 bolts on each strut to take out. They were ½in. inner and outer. Some bike may very. If you have turn signals located on the struts, count on some handy work needing to take place.
6. If you look where you took off the seat, there is a ½ in. bolt there. You have to reach under the fender w/ a ½ in. box ended wrench to get at the other side.
7. Once you remove these 5 bolts, waaaala, your rear fender is off.

The prep work.
1. I got a roll of 1in. blue painters tape from Lowes for about 3 bucks. I used the tape to tape off the ½ of the fender that was going to get cut. It better to over do the tape.
2. When applying the tape, make sure it’s actually touching the fender and is smoothing in all spots. Last thing you want is a bubble in the tape. If you have one, expect the paint to get messy.
3. Remember, it’s ok to go all out with the tape. Check it 3 times if you have too.
4. I then took a piece of tape and used it to make a guide for my cutting line. I eye balled it on there the way I thought I wanted it. Then double checked it w/ a ruler to make sure it was even.. Remember, measure twice and cut once!
5. After you tape the guideline, I went over it with a thin pen just in case.
6. If you can’t decide if you like the line, go do something else for about 10 minutes and come back. Even have a buddy hold it in position on the bike and take a look.

Actually cutting the fender.
1. When you start cutting, make sure you hold the cutting blade perpendicular to the surface. This way when you cut, you get a nice straight cut and it ends up looking a lot better.
2. When touching down with the cutting wheel, don’t let the wheel center on the middle of the line, this may cut to far depending on the thickness of the wheel. When touching down, make sure the wheel’s edge matches up with the middle of the line.
3. Also, take your time. Don’t rush through it or it’ll look like ass.
4. If you do go off track or see it coming, go towards the scrap side of the fender. You don’t want to mess up what your putting back on the bike.
5. All in all, with the 3in cut off wheel, it took me about 5 minutes. With a dremel, you might be cutting for 15 to 20 minutes if not longer.
6. When you finish cutting it, you will want to either file or dremel the edges to get off all the rough spots and pointy parts. They accumulate very easily.
7. Once your done, Use your touch up paint to cover the exposed metal surface and give it a night to dry to be safe. You could put it on earlier if you not worried about aesthetics.
8. Now you’re done with cutting. All you have do now is put the damn thing back on and you’re good as gravy.
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  #2  
Old 29th October 2005
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mordak mordak is offline
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Cool thanks for the howto. Maybe we can store it away as a sticky post.
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  #3  
Old 29th October 2005
Moved On Moved On is offline
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Nice write up Randum !!!

I'd like to add a few things...

Wiring, Splicing, Tail Light Circuit Board & Turn Signals:
1) On later model years there is a circuit board inside the taillight housing which makes most of the connections between the harness and the lights. If you are ditching the stock taillight, you will need to splice the wires between the harness and the lamps. Do the splicing (and shrink tubing) under the fender and make sure that you have the wires neatly tucked up under the wire clamps during reassembly. If you wish to retain connectors for the lamps (I recommend this) the barrel type crimp on connectors work well, but make sure that you use dielectric grease on them since they will be exposed to water spray. Put the female barrel connectors on the harness side, that way if you ever disconnect your lights you will not have the hot male connectors exposed under your fender.

2) If you do not have the factory service manual with a wiring diagram, you can download a wiring diagram that covers 2000-2003 (maybe some earlier years too) here: http://home.twcny.rr.com/embedded/docs/

3) In order to remove the turn signals before you remove the fender you will need to pull the turn signal wires out of the circuit board connectors (if you have a taillight circuit board). These connectors are not real easy to pull the pins from... If you are going to splice on reassembly, then just cut the darn things off now.

4) Pay a lot of attention to how the cable clamps are attached when you take the fender off. Take special note of the metal clamp and grommet part that the turn signal wires go through. This part is riveted on, but you might want to remove it if you will be repainting the fender.

5) If you are going to be splicing the wiring, do it after the fender is cut, but before the fender is bolted back on the bike. It's not easy to solder wires from under the fender.

Fender Support Bracket:
1) On my '03 there was a fender support bracket that went from the rear strut bolt holes on each side and up to the license plate bracket. Depending on how high you cut your fender you might not be able to reuse this bracket without it showing. That's okay, you don't really need it with a short fender anyway. There are a couple things to watch if you remove this though. The bracket helps to hold the wire harness up off the tire. If you remove it you will want to pay even more attention to the wire clamps when you put it back together. The rear most strut bolts screw into nuts that are welded on to this bracket. If you toss this bracket out you will need to replace those nuts and add new the shoulder washers and rubber grommets. You can get these from your dealer for a few bucks. Just get the same shoulder washers, rubber grommets and nuts that are on the other strut bolts.

Gazza
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  #4  
Old 29th October 2005
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txsporty txsporty is offline
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Randum

Great write up!!!!!


Gazza

Great additional info!!!!

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  #5  
Old 29th October 2005
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mordak mordak is offline
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Cool someone stickyed the postt!!!
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  #6  
Old 29th October 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordak
Cool someone stickyed the postt!!!
Mike must have done that... you don't want to know how he does that

Gazza
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  #7  
Old 29th October 2005
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txsporty txsporty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary
Mike must have done that... you don't want to know how he does that

Gazza




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  #8  
Old 29th October 2005
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Default

Thanks for the info. I just did a search for "chopped fender", and have been reading past post for the last hour. I come back to "real time" and find this. CooL
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  #9  
Old 29th October 2005
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Randum77 Randum77 is offline
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Thanks everyone. Member Wspsport is the one that got me thinking about a faq since he was asking how I did mine. Figured I would just put one of these together post it, and see what happens.
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Old 29th October 2005
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Paulie420 Paulie420 is offline
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Really nice, I hope this makes sticky status! Since I have a newer bike I don't know if I'd want to bob the fender, but it makes an eBay purchase and a fender painting very tempting. Its great to have the info available when we're ready to use it! Nice random.

(+write ups.)
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