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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Fork protectors for BMW F series (conventional forks)

To prevent damage to the fork seals, it's generally considered a good idea to keep bugs and flying stones off the inner stanchions at speed, or at least off the area over which the seals travel the most. The classic and most effective solution would be a pair of fork gaiters, either home-made or manufactured to fit the fork.

The other common solution is to fit plastic tabs in front of the stanchions next to the seals, commonly called fork protectors or -deflectors.

I first installed a fork protector kit from Wunderlich to my F800ST. The cable ties included with mine were quite fragile, so I discarded the one that hadn't already snapped and bought new ones: 4.8 mm (max) x 360 mm (>300).

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Although they do protect the most important area, the Wunderlich fork protectors sit too close to the inner stanchions to clear the bottom yoke, so they get pushed down a bit every time the fork is compressed a lot. Thanks to the rubber and zip tie fastening, nothing more serious happens.

After a fork rebuild with new seals, I decided to give the Triumph fork protector kit a try. I opted for the tall version, part # A9641010, but there is also a shorter version, part # A9641005. At my nearest Triumph dealer, it actually cost less than the Wunderlich kit, although I guess the cost went up a little when I used the slightly too short clamp bolts as an excuse to get black aluminium bolts and nuts instead.

The distance to the inner stanchions is sufficient to clear the bottom yoke. The pictures show dust marks that indicate that the suspension has actually been compressed that far.

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Where/how to buy

Wunderlich fork protectors:
(DE) http://www.wunderlich.de/shop/en/gabelprotektoren-4950.html
(USA) http://www.wunderlichamerica.com/motorcycle/F800ST/8160177-178.html
They also have a fake carbon variety, the difference is purely cosmetic.

Triumph T509 fork deflectors, tall: part # A9641010
Triumph T509 fork deflectors, short: part # A9641005

5 mm longer black aluminium bolts and nuts for the Triumph kit (2 of each needed):
(GB) http://www.pro-bolt.com/aluminium/a...lloy-allen-bolt-m6-x-1-00mm-x-45mm-black.html
(GB) http://www.pro-bolt.com/aluminium/aluminium-nuts-washers/aluminium-full-nut-m6-black.html
(USA) http://www.probolt-usa.com/aluminiu...lloy-allen-bolt-m6-x-1-00mm-x-45mm-black.html
(USA) http://www.probolt-usa.com/aluminium/aluminium-nuts-washers/aluminium-full-nut-m6-black.html

References

http://f800riders.org/forum/showthread.php/24750-F650GS-Fork-Gaiters
http://f800riders.org/forum/showthread.php/80584-2007-800ST-Fork-Gaitors-Guards
 

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Excellent post, Brickhead.

Dumb question - is it possible to fit either solution without removing the fork tubes from the yokes?
 

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Have just purchased the longer Triumph protectors and had a quick look at them on the bike today only to find that the left hand one hits the horn. Is this an issue you had and, if so, did you move the horn and where to?

Thanks

Ian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have just purchased the longer Triumph protectors and had a quick look at them on the bike today only to find that the left hand one hits the horn. Is this an issue you had and, if so, did you move the horn and where to?
I think it might be possible to point the OEM horn bracket a bit further towards the middle, hopefully clearing the left hand fork protector. I haven't had any horn mounted on the yoke since my first Stebel Magnum snapped its bracket. With two (one step smaller) Stebels hanging from the frame slider/engine support bolts, one of them did the same there, so now I've converted to a compressor horn kit where the horns weigh almost nothing.
 

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I thought I'd share my experience with installing the long Triumph protectors on a bike with original horn.

Good news is it's all doable without too much hassle. You basically need a new horn bracket bolt and some spacers between the yoke and bracket. Otherwise you won't be able to turn the bracket towards the center of the yoke as it sits in a recessed spot moulded to it's shape. The stock bolt is 8x16mm. I used 8x25 with some extra spacers to reach about the same "threaded" length. Torque is 20Nm.

Now, just that won't get you far as, at least on my bike, the horn connector socket is positioned in such a way that it hits the brake lines under the bottom yoke almost immediately if you try to move the horn. Thankfully, the horn is bolted to the bracket and using a 13mm socket you can turn it on the bracket to position the connector in a different direction. The downside is that the easiest way to turn the horn is with it bolted to the bike. I first tried reverse mounting it so the bolt was facing downwards but it was a bit bothersome to guess where the connector would be when mounted properly. In the end, thanks to having 2 socket extensions for my wrench I was able to reach the bolt from the handlebars with the horn mounted the right way down.

In the photos you can see the best position for horn connector I could come up with. This way the harness wire doesn't get pulled by anything and sits there nice and loose.

The bolts included in the kit are the right length even though they seem too short. There are recessed spots for the bolt and nut to go into and that way it's the perfect length, really. Be wary of overtightening the bolts as I have slightly overdone it on one of the protectors.

I have slightly offset the fork protectors as even with the horn moved I'm not sure it wouldn't get hit with the protector facing dead straight. Plus, on the other side the brake lines are routed close to the fork leg and could end up being rubbed, too.

All in all, it wasn't that hard to do and the whole thing looks very factory like. No more worrying about stones hitting the fork legs.

For some reason the forum is rotating images uploaded from the phone. I'll reupload them later.
 

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