OUR CLAS­SICS

That’s what Team Ru­pert has been do­ing – and he’s gen­er­ously im­part­ing the info on how to do it, in case you need to make such a cus­tom de­vice for your own bike

Classic Bike (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Rupe’s En­field project didn’t make it to the Clas­sic TT, but at least it has a tasty mud­guard

RU­PERT PAUL Rupe’s re-imag­in­ing a 1960 Royal En­field Me­teor Mi­nor as a ca­pa­ble, stylish Brit twin, as its former owner the late John Robin­son might have done.

There are all sorts of rea­sons why you might want a cus­tom mud­guard. I de­vel­oped a need for one af­ter mak­ing a set of forks for my 1960 En­field Me­teor Mi­nor 500 which con­sisted of mod­ern En­field Bul­let tubes and 1978 Suzuki GS550 slid­ers. The orig­i­nal En­field mud­guard was long gone, and any­way this bike has a much lighter, leaner look than when it popped out of the fac­tory in Red­ditch in 1960.

I could have bought a used Suzuki mud­guard or an all-pur­pose glass­fi­bre job, but nei­ther would have looked great. In­stead, I started with a gen­eral pur­pose alu­minium mud­guard from an au­to­jum­ble, short­ened and fit­ted to a loop frame made of 6mm welded rod. There are all sorts of ways you can use this sim­ple com­bi­na­tion; this is just the one that suited my En­field the best. The man on the MIG welder was Scott Camp­bell, a 3D de­signer who teaches prod­uct de­sign by day and makes be­spoke bike parts in the evenings.

You need a fair range of tools (see right), but many can be picked up sec­ond­hand at au­to­jum­bles and some will al­ready be ly­ing around in your shed – wooden blocks and mask­ing tape are just as use­ful as a pro­file gauge or six-inch Record vice. But the most im­por­tant thing is some­where you can make a real mess. Cut­ting and fin­ish­ing steel gen­er­ates piles of grit and fil­ings that ag­gra­vate en­gines, gold­fish and spouses. If you’re rea­son­ably fa­mil­iar with cut­ting, fil­ing and weld­ing steel, you should be able to do the job in a day. That in­cludes time for mis­takes, false starts and curs­ing. Mak­ing some­thing as ad­vanced as this is cer­tainly a chal­lenge, but it’s also great fun.

‘YOU NEED SOME­WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A REAL MESS’

You could al­ways buy a glass­fi­bre one-size-fits-all mud­guard – but it’s a lot more fun and in­volv­ing to make your own like this one

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