Fork Guards

I decided the ‘ol Virago would look cool with fork guards, dirt bike style.  It still remains to be seen if that decision was correct. I have never seen fork guards on a street bike, so thought it would be pretty unique.  I definitely like the way it makes the forks look extra beefy on dirt bikes & supermotos.  I figured I could apply that look to this bike.  Sure, they’re not super necessary on a street bike, but they cant hurt either, right?  Unfortunately for my originality, a bike popped up all over the internet that happens to have fork guards.  It is Roland Sands’ unbelievable Desmosedici Dirt Tracker.  Brilliant bike.  Pure radness and blasphemy all rolled into one potent, sweet machine.  Damn you Roland and your creativity, and your $200k bike build budget!  Roland’s fork guards are made of carbon fiber.  They look like they cost about a grand each.  My fork guard will be made from scrap steel.

I made a little cardboard mock up of the shape and bolted it onto the bike.  Seems all right.  The little cardboard mock up allowed me to figure out the shape and radius.

I then drew it up in cadd and sent the file off to my local water jet cutter.  I figured I couldn’t quite achieve the level of precision I wanted with the old angle grinder this time around.  Craig at ISCO had a precisely formed set of fork guards for me a week or so later.

They’re still flat.  I needed a roll former, which Craig did not have, at least not one that could achieve the small radius I need.  This morning while attending a meeting for my real job at a local roofing company, I noticed they had a roll former in their shop.  They were making a mock up of some zinc panels we are having applied to an ellipse shaped fireplace on an upcoming house.  I asked how tight of a radius they could bend.  I explained my little project, and they said they could probably do it.  They actually cut out a piece of scrap to test first.  The test went well, so we rolled the fork guards right there.   I happened to have them with me in the truck.  They turned out perfect.  I was impressed.  And the charge was zero dollars.  Craig at River Roofing, your rock.


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