The object of this article is to explain how to “lower” the rear fender on a Road Star. What you are actually doing is “lowering” the tail of the fender by “rolling” the entire fender on its pivot point. You do this by modifying the lower front subframe mounts, which bolt into the frame below the seat in the vicinity of the tool pouch area.
Start by removing the rear fender/subframe assembly. This is a simple task, and should only take a few minutes to do.
- The first thing you need to do is take your seat off and remove your tool pouch.
- You will see a long bolt with a nut going through a “tube” on the front of the fender at the top of the horn. This is the top mount and also the “pivot” point of the fender.
- The lower two mounting bolts are hidden behind two rubber covers at the rear of where the tool pouch sat.
- You will see a wire connector on the left (shifter side) of the bike running out of the rear fender. This needs to be unplugged before removing any bolts.
- After it is unplugged, first remove the two lower mount bolts. Then proceed to loosen the top mounting bolt and nut. Take precautions here, as when you remove this top bolt, the fender is loose and will fall. It may be easier to have someone hold the fender while you pull the bolt out.
- With the bolt out, pick up on the fender and remove from bike.
Here I have placed the fender on a towel on the floor with a bucket under the front edge to pick it up to make it easier to work on. In the picture below you will see the two lower mounting posts that will be shortened. They protrude through the fender approximately 3/4″ from the factory.
The picture below shows the fender in its original location before removal. Note the location of the rear of the fender and the gap above the tire where you can actually see over the top of the tire. The modification that is about to be done will “roll” the tail of the fender down. This is done by shortening the two lower mount posts. The top mount serves as a pivot point, and by shortening the lower mounts, you force the entire fender to “roll” on its axis.
I used a air powered cutoff wheel to cut down the mounts. NOTE: Be sure your mounting bolts are REMOVED from the fender. They do not need to get cut.
- First, I gave myself a reference line by running 1/8″ fine line tape around each mount. This proved to not drop the fender the amount I wanted, but as I was unsure of just how far this would lower the rear, I played it safe to start out with. The most you can remove from the mounts appears to be about 1/4″ which will leave them protruding thru the fender approximately 1/2″ much more than this and the bottom of the leading edge of the fender will contact the swingarm bearing area. This will lower the “center” of the fender (center being the middle of the eyebrows) approximately 3/4″. I would actually recommend running 1/4″ tape as your guide mark and do all your cutting in one pass. Be sure to cut both sides square and even with one another, or you could skew the fender to one side.
- Once you have cut both mounting posts down, you will need to turn your attention to the holes in the “horn” where the lower fender mounts bolt. These holes will need to be slotted. In the picture below, you can see that one has been done, and one hasn’t, to give you an idea of how much you will have to slot them. I used an air powered die grinder with a carbide bur to do mine, but it could be done with a drill bit and some patience.
- Now its time to replace the rear fender. Again, having someone help you will minimize the chance of any scratches. First, hold the fender where it goes and put in the long top mount bolt. Put the nut on, but do not tighten yet. Next, put the two lower bolts in thru the holes you have slotted in the horn, and tighten them down. Now you can tighten the top bolt down.
Be sure and plug your rear harness back up!!! Below you will see a picture of the modified rear fender. By dropping the tail and “rotating” the entire fender down, we have actually put more of the wheel IN the fender, which actually makes the bike look lower, especially with someone sitting on it. My total time to do this modification was under 30 minutes. Good luck!