Motorcycle designs often have parts that confuse you about their need. It looks as if the motorcycle will run perfectly without them. But, that is simply not the case. One such confusing component is motorcycles fenders!
Firstly, what are motorcycle fenders? The fender is the alloy or fiber cover sitting on the motorcycle’s wheel. It connects with the motorcycle either on the sides or directly onto the top frame. The connections can be through simple nut-bolts or in certain cases will be through welding too.
In most designs, you will get these fenders on both motorcycle wheels. However, the front and rear fenders differ in their size and also their attachment methods.
And why do motorcycles have fenders? Motorcycles have fenders in their wheels mainly because to provide fork support, dirt and mud protection, and manage air drag for a smooth ride.
In this post, we will review why motorcycles have fenders in detail and their importance in general. We also touch on what will happen if these fenders are not there and understand why some riders remove them while others keep them on.
Purpose Of Motorcycle Fenders
Most motorcycles have a fender while coming out of the showroom. This necessarily means that they serve certain purposes instead of being a showpiece. It is important to know what these roles are before you change or modify these fenders in any way.
The airflow pattern on your motorcycle parts is a big factor in deciding your speed. While these factors do not matter in the city, adventure driving is different.
The racing motorcycles and drag bikes also need maximum efficiency from their designs. Drag creates problems by lowering the aerodynamic efficiency of your motorcycle and countering its speed. The fender on the front wheel contributes to reducing this draft coming onto the body.
The air streamlines and flows across the frame, while the tire also faces lower opposing forces. This helps in the windy and wet terrain, for example, the mountain or hilly areas.
Another factor it helps to counter is the lowering of fuel efficiency. The drag directly relates to the average that your motorcycle gives you while driving. Hence, the lower the resistance, the lower will be the fuel consumption.
An uncommon reason why motorcycles have fenders is for supporting the twin forks. Most motorcycles like the cruisers and the city riders have a rigid fork design. This fork passes through the yoke and joins the wheel and the axle on both sides.
However, the mix or adventure sport motorcycles have more height. The fender for these models is also higher than the other models under discussion. Hence, the fender not only lowers the drag but also separates the fork and holds it together.
In the absence of a permanent connection with the mainframe, this strength is important. Most adventure sport motorcycles have a larger fender, partly owing to this reason.
Dirt and Mud Protection
A major use of the front fender for your motorcycle is to protect the mud splashes. Your front tire collects and splashes a lot of dust and wet mud when running. This comes because of the adhesion on the tire surface on the outside.
If there is no cover, this debris will hit your legs, the engine, carburetor end, and other parts. While minor dust does not matter, rough terrain conditions can be dangerous here.
The front fender gathers this waste while riding and keeps you and your motorcycle clean. This also ensures there are chances of cuts or damages to either one.
It protects the top headlight and electrical connection from water splashes too. Moreover, nobody likes soiled jeans or shoes while driving, do we?
Trailing Vehicle Safety
Another reason why motorcycles have fenders is exclusive to cruisers or sports motorcycles. The ones with a lower center of gravity and wider tires have a more splashing tendency. In such situations, the person driving behind faces a lot of problems from the unnecessary spray.
Hence, for the motorcycles that have a higher tail, additional fenders are available in the market. These fenders link with the rear frame by the support of holding bars. The extensions have a simple tightening arrangement to put or remove them by yourself.
This also helps for the pinion rider sitter with you on the long trips. You do not want to get them dirty or hurt with anything that splashes over.
Can You Remove Motorcycle Fenders?
Several utility tasks come through these fenders in your motorcycle. Yet, if you want to remove them, it helps to know if you can remove them without trouble. These issues do not just have mechanical but also legal reasons behind them.
However, you will still see a number of them going around the city without the fenders. Firstly, it is necessary to know why will someone remove the fender or if it gives trouble.
Reasons for Removing the Fender
Most riders choose to remove fenders for the beauty or appearance of their motorcycles. The typical desire of you feeling adventurous with your machine makes you do so. A big reason behind this is because the removal highlights the wheel and the front.
Hence, aesthetic reasons and glamor are the biggest factors for removing them. However, your perception decides the look of your motorcycle and it cannot be general.
Other than this, there is a chance that the fender keeps coming loose due to improper locking. For motorcycles with an old make, the side frame catches rust and results in loose fenders.
Hence, many riders choose to remove them as they vibrate or make noise while riding. This includes the dangers posing from the removal under open exposure for you and the motorcycle.
Legal Problems in Removal
You need to remember that the manufacturing company takes care of every aspect while designing vehicles. It includes your safety, design efficiency, and the legal aspects of the motor driving too.
A big reason why motorcycles have fenders is the local and national regulation set. Most states and transport departments include the fenders as a necessary item. This is because of the personal and traffic safety consideration I gave you in the need for fenders.
Hence, any modifications in this sense will lead to legal problems. It can also be a cause for fines if you do not put them back even after warnings.
However, the rule is not universal and there is no guarantee if your state forces it. I suggest every rider consult the official rules as they give a first-hand idea of legal factors.
With all the purposes of these fenders, safety remains the main item. This includes the safety of your motorcycle as well as yours while driving. Every official or manufacturer suggests not to remove them to make sure that safety persists.
In the absence of these fenders, the small stones and mud splash violently. The engine catches a lot of damage with the high impact from these small stones or rocks. It leads to damages that will take a lot of your expenses to recover.
Can You Attach New Fenders?
If deciding about putting a new fender, material quality and design are important factors. Hence, I recommend the use of only the correctly fitting ones with a good life cycle.
Older designs have a higher rate of breaking due to the metallic design. This is because the constant splashing and mud accumulation allows moisture to sets through.
The naked metal goes weak in such situations and finally cracks. Moreover, a broken or slack fender is risky for you and your leg safety too!
Going for a fiber or alloy wheel allows you to use these fenders without damaging or breaking. It takes rusting out of the equation and also makes them flexible for fitting.
The fenders can use a securing arrangement where there is one pivot. Alternatively, the tightening can take place at both the ends (front and back) of the fender. Retro motorcycles have the popular double pivot design with their “spoke wheels”.
Modern ones sometimes eliminate these rods and use another arrangement. It tightens directly to the side of the fork and stays in place with compression. Adding one that does not fit naturally will need you to make unnecessary modifications.
Available in Pairs
Several fender designs are also available in pairs. If aesthetic beauty is what you want, choosing them will be a good option too. It helps for the sports design that does not have the usual fenders fitted while manufacturing.
With safety considerations and design necessity, it is clear that fenders are important. Hence, removing one does not usually work in your favor. This also includes you getting into a traffic rules mess if the state law does not permit it.
Hence, keeping the fender on helps your motorcycle and you as well. The rust, engine damage, splashing, and injury chances become negligible. With the stylish ones, the aesthetic looks are no longer trouble wither.
They safeguard you and your motorcycle, especially on the long and rough routes. As someone with an inherent love for motorcycles, fenders are a must-have for their safety and efficiency!