Header

by: Terry Glatz (FZSarasota)

I wanted to stop sand and rocks from striking the rear shock. One way of doing this is to add a rear hugger. However, they are expensive and defeat what I'm doing with the FZ, (getting the weight off).

New solution:

If you look at the rear you will see a hard plastic mud flap hanging about 4" off the swing arm. Then it hit me... I will make an extension for the mud flap that will go all the way down to the swing arm.

Materials:

  1. Foam Rubber Sheet or any rubber at least 1/8" thick to take rock hits and not flap around.
  2. Two 1/4'W by 1-3/4" Long Stainless Steel Flat head screws and Two 1/4" bolts.
  3. Two 1/2" wide washers with 1/4" holes.
  4. Lucite (blue).

Note: The extended flap material has to be rubber like as to flex when sing arm moves up. I found a foam rubber material at Home Depot. It's in the flooring section and on a big roll (you can buy only what you need). It's dark gray with multiple vertical groves running in one direction on the front side and flat on the backside. It's about 1/8"-1/4" thick. Just buy 2' of it and you will have enough to make a few if one gets mashed up after many miles of use.

Installation.

  1. Cut a square piece of the rubber 4 1/4" by 4". The orientation will be when the flap hangs down, the grooves in rubber are vertical (up&down). That means the 4 1/4" inch cut will be across those grooves, and the 4" cut will be parallel to the groves. Hence a flap that's 4 1/4" Wide by 4" tall. LOL...
  2. Look at the plastic mud flap on the bike. From the bottom and facing the rear shock, feel the back. Around an inch up from the bottom edge of flap, there is a plastic ledge protruding, facing the rear shock running, and running the whole width of the mud flap. We will be installing the new rubber extension on the back of stock mud flap pushed up to that ledge.
  3. Drilling the rear "stock" mud flap (2 Holes total). Measure in 1" from either side of stock flap and 1/2" up from bottom. Mark the 2 points with black sharpie pen. Review, we want 1 hole on each side of lower mud flap (half inch from bottom edge) and 1" from the side edge.

    Diagram: Stock Plastic Mud Flap viewing from rear tire towards rear shock

    Top
    ---------------------
    ---------------------
    --------------------- Side Edge.
    ---------------------
    ============== Protruding Plastic Edge running across rear of flap (facing shock)
    --(*)---Holes---(*)--
    ---------------------
    Bottom edge

  4. Place cut rubber extension flap along the rear of the stock mud flap. The new rubber should be on the rear part of stock flap and pushed up against plastic edge. Now take sharpie pen, poke through drilled holes and mark dots on new flap.
  5. Drill 1/4" holes where marked on rubber flap.
  6. Place new rubber flap against rear of stock flap. The vertical grooves should face the tire and the flat part towards the rear shock. Add lucite to the bolt and push it through the plastic and then the rubber flap. Place 1/2" washer on the back, then the bolt. Tighten until you see the rubber compress to half the original thickness.
  7. Curl rubber so that when swing arm compresses, the flap will bend with the bottom facing the rear shock.

Oh, you can paint screws black if you don't want to see them... I have them unpainted here for better pic...

WHALA.... Rocks and crap wont hit rear shock any more... If done right, it looks stock too.

As you can see in pic, there is mud/crud splattered on the plastic and new flap, but my spring is nice and shiny (no I didn't clean the spring before pic). It really worked well and cost only 4-5 bucks in materials (better than over 100 for a hugger). Oh, It was a 10-15 min mod.

Sure, a hugger looks "cooler" but I don't care about being cool... I just wanted to safeguard the rear shock from sand and rocks, plus not add more weight (even if a hugger is only 3 lb.). To be honest, unless you look for it, you really can't see it's there.

The rubber is thick enough to take a good rock hit, plus I have plenty extra rubber padding to make at least 10 more when this one gets ratted out...