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Keep Shit Off Your Shock!

Inspiration for the project was a picture someone sent me of Charlie Boorman's F650RR for the 2006 Dakar Rally. 

After studying the original design a little more, I set out to create the Crap Flap™ Shock Protector today.  For reference, here is the original design...

And here is the problem I set out to fix.  My new fancy shock is a bit exposed.  While nothing may ever fling off the back tire and damage the shock, I figure why take the chance...

So here's what I did...

After removing the rear wheel, I removed the bolt in the picture below which holds the inner piece of plastic fender on.  It's not a great picture, but when you are doing the doing and the photographing... well, you get the idea.  Removing the bolt allowed me to access the area between the gas tank and the inner fender...

Next I used a little nub screwdriver to remove the Phillip's head screw in the picture below...

It lifts up quite easily to reveal the hole I used to secure the right side of the flap...

The material I used is Firestone PondGard EPDM Pond Liner.  Apparently it "stays flexible from -40 degrees F to 175 degrees F." And "shows outstanding resistance to the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation (UV), ozone and other environmental conditions."

This stuff is incredibly strong... it's the perfect material for this application--very pliable and very very strong and resistance to tears or rips.

There was a great deal of trial and error cutting out the flap.  Lots of cutting... lots of figuring... lots of loud music... several Cokes... one failed version, and finally this version after about 30 minutes of tweaking it...

And this is what it looks like installed...

Note in the picture above I made my version wrap around the side a bit on the right side to better protect the shock.  I felt this was a flaw in the original design--(Charlie Boorman's F650RR for the 2006 Dakar Rally from the first picture above). 

Below is a picture of the other side...

You can see on the picture above that I drilled one hole in the swing arm and used a stainless steel screw and a stainless steel fender washer to hold it down on the left side.  The right side is held down by re-securing the screw I removed earlier with the nub screwdriver. The screw goes through the flap.

I went round and round with myself on how to secure the top.  Finally I decided to see if it would stay-put smashed (sandwiched) between the gas tank and the plastic inner fender. 

What I did was to cut it quite tall and tuck it behind the inner plastic fender.  You can see in the picture below how tall I made it.  There is a significant amount of material sandwiched between the fender and the gas tank, so I am hopeful it will stay.  The large notch I made on the right side should also help...

If it does move, I will squirt some RTV or other adhesive under the inner fender, but I think it will be OK... I mean, that's a lot of material sandwiched back there... time will tell I guess... SEE UPDATE BELOW!

Here's a shot with the wheel back on...

For comparison...

Before...

After...

... protection for my shock!

That's that.

Update: Jan. 7, 2006
At first I was hoping the the friction between the Crap Flap™ Shock Protector, the gas tank and the inner plastic fender would be enough to keep the top of the flap in place... but after several miles of off-roading, I noticed the top of the flap sliding down. So, I simply squirted some silicone adhesive ("RTV") between the top of the Crap Flap™ Shock Proctor and the gas tank... it hasn't moved since.

If you want to buy one, they are available in the store.  Click here.

 

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