Cut And Roll | Harley Davidson Softail Fender Modification

Tech: DIY

Cut And Roll | Harley Davidson Softail Fender Modification - Hot Bike Magazine

01. After taking the stock bobtail fender off the bike, we stripped it of all its paint and taped off a 4-inch section approximately where we would cut.

02. The fender was then placed adjacent to the bike to see where we were going to cut it. This took much deliberation in deciding just what position it should be mounted in. There is no right or wrong way to do this. It's what looks best to you.

03. Once we liked the positioning, the angle of the tip, and the fender-to-tire clearance, we measured and marked the fender.

04. With nothing more to lose than a 19-year-old fender, we cut into the sheetmetal with a cut-off wheel.

05. We ended up cutting a little more than a third off of the rear of the fender and cleaned up our cut.

06. Since the rear fender was now much shorter than stock, it was decided that it would look much better if we docked the rear frame horns as well.

07. With an electric reciprocating saw, we cut off about an inch of each frame horn.

08. We took special care in making sure that each cut was straight and exactly the same length.

09. We used a die-grinder with an abrasive stone to add the proper curve to the frame horns.

10. Once the horns were rounded off, we used an air sander to de-bur them completely.

11. We used a black auto repair paint pen to cover up the bare metal of the newly shortened frame horns.

12. Once the paint dried, Kazoo slid the bobbed fender between the frame horns.

13. We used one the original fender holes (yellow arrow) for the back fender mount, then adjusted the front of the fender to our liking. We also used the fender mounting holes (red arrows) on the frame horns to secure the fender.

14. Chris, the bike's owner, checked again to make sure that the fender was completely straight on the bike before we drilled the mounting hole.

15. Using a spring-loaded center punch, Kazoo located where the new front mounting holes were to be drilled.

16. We then drilled the mounting holes to 3/8 inch with a step drill.

17. Kazoo mounted the fender, made sure it was aligned straight, and bolted it into place.

18. Here is how the ultra-bobbed fatbob fender looked after all the slicing and dicing was done. It will need a bit of bodywork before it goes to paint, but the look is what we were after. With the fender being slightly higher than stock, the bike will need some custom seat modifications. Look out for that feature in a future issue of HOT BIKE.

We have been playing around with this '91 Softail in the pages of HOT BIKE for a while, and now we are moving onto the bodywork stages. While the bike was down and sitting at Freedom Cycles in Anaheim, CA, we decided we wanted to get to work on a custom rear fender. Instead of just the same old thing, we wanted more of an edgy look and had seen a few "Brat Style" Euro and Japanese Softails with severely docked rear fenders. This modification requires cutting about an inch off of the frame horns and only using about two-thirds of the rear fender. The fender is then rolled upward and positioned on the bike in such a way that no piecutting or other major bodywork has to be done except adding a few holes and filling a few more. Placement of the modified fender is key to it looking good, but if the time is taken and the measurements are precise, this easy DIY mod can really add a more aggressive style to just about any bike. Kazoo, the head tech at Freedom Cycles, walked us through this how-to, but with a little forethought and a few common garage tools anyone can tackle this!

Follow along as we show you how we hacked up the stock fender and made it look truly custom.

The Lowdown
Man Hours: 3.5
Difficulty: Easy
Aftermarket Parts Used: **None
**Total Cost:
$33.68 (abrasives)


Freedom Cycles
(714) 628-0049