Fork Gaiters

Discuss all things 1970 & later Airheads right here
User avatar
Ken in Oklahoma
Moderator
Posts: 3144
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:10 pm

General Caution re: Fork Gaiters

Post by Ken in Oklahoma » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:02 am

It's been a few years now since I've replaced some fork gaiters on my /6 and /7 vintage bikes. I bought them online from a BMW parts supplier whose name I've now forgotten. The gaiters read 'Italy' on them. I installed 'em. No big deal. Fit fine, worked fine. Very soon (probably months) I noticed that the gaiters were cracked and splitting in the accordion folds. Obviously piss-poor rubber was used. (No way to tell the rubber was bad.)

It was then that I vowed to always buy from a BMW dealer whenever possible.

The good news nowadays is that a BMW dealer is located a couple miles along the Interstate from where I live.

The shop is named Big Twin Cycles (Not a Harley shop.) It is a mostly modern shop, servicing a few different makes. It was the Owner/Manager of the shop who helped me buy some of the unique copper rivets used to affix the dash to the fairing of RS and RT bikes. During the transaction I casually asked if he knew of Duane Ausherman. Did he ever!!! I immediately became a friend and a member of the club.

Now I have the luxury of getting the BMW part I want within a week usually.

Ken
____________________________________
There's no such thing as too many airheads

Wobbly
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:48 pm

Re: Fork Gaiters

Post by Wobbly » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:48 pm

As a matter of fact I already own a new set of gaiters that came in a part collection buyout.

While aware of the hazard of nicked chrome and the effect on fork seals, it seemed to me that the German chrome was miles ahead of the English stuff I usually work with. So I really hadn't thought about installing those gaiters.

Thanks for the tip. I'm going to put my best man on it right away !
After 20 years as a professional bike mechanic and 30 years as an engineer I know just enough to be dangerous !

User avatar
Ridercam
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:50 am

Re: Fork Gaiters

Post by Ridercam » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:36 am

I ride with replacement forks from Frank. A few years ago I assembled the forks on my r100cs with old gaiters as I didn't want to ride back to shop to pick up new ones. Well they busted as they were original. i cut the off completely. Rather than struggle with disassembly and assembly which was a pain in the ass - I came up this this solution which gives my bike a custom look.

wrap them in a 3mm neoprene sheet (or go hillbilly with a large beer cozy). stitch them up on the forks with poly thread and light 4200 fast cure filler for smoothness. Roll reverse them to cover the stitch, use the clamp to hold in place. I do that and replace them every three years. They look slick too. it has has good protective qualities, plenty of stretch, pretty water resistant and when done neatly - looks cool. As far as convenience goes - it is easier and cheaper than struggling with forks - especially when a S fairing is involved.

I am currently making a new set but this time with a Kevlar or carbon fiber sheet placed on top to add additional protection.some stiffness in the middle and style design which will modernize the overall look.
I always brake in corners and think how I am going to get home if I really mess up. When I get home, I wished that I hadn't used my brakes and should have ridden a bit further.

Post Reply