Fender Farkle... I'm not kidding. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 01:28 AM Thread Starter
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Fender Farkle... I'm not kidding.

I hated that sub-fender for so many reasons so I removed it and formed a thin sheet of aluminum to protect the taillight wiring that would otherwise be exposed to rocks and mud without the sub-fender. The next challenge was what to do with the license plate.

Just beneath the tail light made the most sense but I didn't want to just drill four holes and mount the license plate for two reasons: 1.the license plate's bolt pattern would require drilling through a sharp ridge in the fender making it a sloppy fit and difficult for a nut and washer to sit flat on the fender's underside 2.the thin aluminum license plate's four corners stick out and would bend on every branch, stick, glove and pant-leg that brushed by.

My solution was to make a sturdy backing plate from 1/8" aluminum just a little larger than the license plate. If THAT gets bent, I've got bigger problems. I used four button head allen bolts to mount the license plate to the backing plate after sanding them down to the thickness of both plates. That way there's no threads or nuts protruding out the back to scratch the fender. The next step was to drill and countersink four more holes where a countersunk allen nut and bolt combination would sit flush against the fender.

The countersunk heads would be hidden under the license plate. Four rubber spacers would hold the backing plate away from the fender thus preventing wear that will eventually cut into the fender. Nylock nuts and washers were used under the fender to keep things from falling apart and the four bolts holding the two plates together without nuts got locktite... of course. Three large holes were added to the backing plate just to keep the weight down. I think this cleaned up the rear end of the bike nicely and I shouldn't have to straighten out my license plate all the time.
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post #2 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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The plate and it's bolt patterns:
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post #3 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNWcrazymike View Post
The plate and it's bolt patterns:
That is sweet! Gotta say, the rack looks awesome as well, you have excellent fabrication skills!

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post #4 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 10:01 AM
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I've been wanting to get rid of that sub-fender but can't come up with an idea for plate illumination aside from getting one of those LED license plate frames and the cost isn't really worth it. I ride at night a lot and figure I'd be taking my chances on a ticket with an unlighted license plate.

Nice mounting idea.



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post #5 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 11:36 AM
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Fender Farkle... I'm not kidding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post
I've been wanting to get rid of that sub-fender but can't come up with an idea for plate illumination aside from getting one of those LED license plate frames and the cost isn't really worth it. I ride at night a lot and figure I'd be taking my chances on a ticket with an unlighted license plate.

Nice mounting idea.
Planalp, cycle gear has Plate mounting screws that have built in LEDs. Not sure about laws in your state but they are legal here in CA if angled right to light up the plate.


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post #6 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 12:04 PM
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Planalp, cycle gear has Plate mounting screws that have built in LEDs. Not sure about laws in your state but they are legal here in CA if angled right to light up the plate.


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Interesting product. I'd never seen those before. Thanks for the tip. I would say around here as long as there's some illum on the plate, I would be good and doubt The Law would be too concerned about it as long as there was some kind of light source physically present regardless of its true effectiveness.



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post #7 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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@650Stew, Thank you!
@planalp, I'm fortunate to live in a small town where the local police don't seem to look for minor infractions. I remember this was always an issue when I lived and rode in California. If it ever becomes an issue, Those little LED directional lights that take the place of the upper two license plate bolts work well and don't look like "bling". They look like a small acorn nut. I'll install those IF it becomes an issue.
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post #8 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 02:16 PM
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@650Stew, Thank you!
@planalp, I'm fortunate to live in a small town where the local police don't seem to look for minor infractions. I remember this was always an issue when I lived and rode in California. If it ever becomes an issue, Those little LED directional lights that take the place of the upper two license plate bolts work well and don't look like "bling". They look like a small acorn nut. I'll install those IF it becomes an issue.
I don't have to get a registration inspection for another 2 years (don't have to get one for the first 5 years on a new bike here) but when I do, the law here states the plate must be illuminated so it can be seen from a distance of 50 feet.

I seriously doubt the local "inspectors" would even be cognizant of that requirement or question the effectiveness of the LED acorn nut lights but maybe they provide adequate illumination to meet that requirement. If I didn't work in a bigger town and ride home from work at night, I wouldn't even worry about it.

This one's on the back burner since it's just a "cosmetic issue." The fender underhang doesn't affect me in any way: I just like the looks of the rear fender after seeing you and some other people remove it.

One would think a following car's headlights would be sufficient to adequately illuminate a license plate 50 feet ahead. I would hazard the theory that if all license plate lights suddenly disappeared, nobody would even notice they were gone.

Again, I like your plate mounting idea and may bastardize it for my own use in the future if I ever get into the rear fender project.



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post #9 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 10:36 PM
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Fender Farkle... I'm not kidding.

There is no way that little stock light Kawi put on there illuminated the plate enough to see 50 feet away! That light was crap. The bolts may, I've never actually measured, but may do that just for giggles. Honestly though, maybe a young buck cop might be able to, but how many of the veterans would be able to read a plate from 50 ft!? Why do you think they tailgate the crap out of someone until they call in the plate? No disrespect meant for LEOs, it's just a fact.


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post #10 of 48 Old 01-18-2013, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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Law Enforcement Officers drive black and white vehicles and more often than not their world is black and white; ignoring the "spirit of the law" that the license plate be visible at all times, they chose to enforce the "letter of the law" that if your vehicle came with a useless little white light that's no longer there, you're guilty. I wish MY life was that simple!
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