Time to get a Hugger:
So, for the last 3 months I've been scrubbing dirt, rocks, dried mud, grease, and anything else that I've ridden over (small children, household pets, cattle) out of my rear shock and off the undertray and muffler. Overall it's a pretty crappy proposition. Too much work, not enough riding. But there's a simple (hahaha) solution to all my problems. And no it isn't not running over little kids anymore. I'm going to buy and install a hugger.
My first problem is that my bike isn't really popular in North America, so not a lot of people are making stuff for it, but that's easy to overcome. E-bay to the proverbial rescue. After a couple of weeks of searching I manage to track down, bid on, and then win a Pyramid Plastics Hugger for the 04/05 Honda Hornet (European name for Honda 599). So I'm all set $100 for the plastic, $50 for the shipping (UGH!) but it's coming from overseas, so I'll take the hit.
Three to four weeks later the postman informed me via hanger on my door that there was a package availible for my pick up at the local post office. A big package, much to big to fit on the back of my bike. So I pop it open in the parking lot and haul out a hugger, mounting kit, couple of stickers, and the instructions. The little stuff goes in my pocket, the hugger itself gets bungeed to the back and I make my way home after throwing everything else in the garbage.
It's about 10:00pm by the time I get home so I toss everything in the corner and figure I'll deal with it in the morning. Bright and early I'm up and wheel my bike out onto the driveway. A quick look through the instructions indicates that I'm supposed to replace the chain guard on the left, and I slip a new mounting plate under the rear brake mount on the right side of the swing arm. Seems simple enough.
I popped the bolts off the brake mount and carefully lifted it up. I'm not completely sure how much messing about with the brake line I can do and not damage it, so I'm gentle with it. I slide the mount plate underneath the brake mount. And tighten down the back bolt then go to slide in the front one... darn! Okay, so the hole... is not where it is supposed to be. The holes in the swing arm are 1.5 inches apart. The holes on the mount plate are 2.5 inches apart.
Okay, I look a little closer at the packaging... 99-03 Hugger for Honda Hornet. Oh gee wiz, it's for the wrong year, they mailed me THE WRONG MODEL! Alright so, undo the bolt again and then replace the brake mount. I'm not really impressed. Wander(scramble) upstairs and double check the listing. Yup it says it's for the 04 model, they messed up.
Over the next 3 days I fired off 4 e-mails trying to get in touch with the seller. Turns out it was a weekend or some-such rubbish so they weren't checking the mail.
Now my only real problem was that the holes are in the wrong spots, it's a soft plate, I can drill a new one, and I said as much. As a way of making amends for shipping the wrong one they offered to refund the shipping cost. $50 back in my pocket eventually, if they actually send the check. Good enough, I guess. I don't want to go through the hassle of shipping it back, then waiting for a new one to come back.
So out comes the handy drill and I go to work. I need to offset the hole a little bit from the middle because the swingarm isn't straight, this would have been a lot easier if it was the 04 part. I mark the hole, find the right size drill bit and go to work. Dad offers helpful advice, "Why are you using a wood drill bit?"
"Probably because it's a metal drill bit... it came out of the set labelled metal-drill bits... see?"
"Oh, carry on then."
I got my hole made and it lines up just right.
You can see my new hole in the middle. Great job huh?? Stop laughing.
Okay, so undo the bolts for the brake line... again, I'm getting really good at this, I've only done it 4 or 5 times now. Weeee, now, I need to take off the chain guard. But if you refer to first pic you'll notice that one of the bolts holding it on is... you guessed it behind the strut that holds the passenger pegs, which means that has to come off to. But I'm a sneaky bastrd. I only took out one bolt, then loosed the other one so I could swing it down to attach.
Went something like this,
Mom: Be careful you're going to hit your knuckles if you do it like that
Me: I'll be okay
Mom: Are you Sure?
Me: GOD DAMN that hurts, no
A little rubbing alcohol took care of the wounds sigh...
Anyways, I got it all lined up, the pieces tightened down and everything in place. I think it looks pretty good.
All in all it was more work then it should have been, but it's saved a lot of cleaning time, and I think it looks pretty slick. It mounts directly to the swing arm so it moves along with it, does a better job of blocking off the end of the chain so there's less splatter, AND it hasn't hit the tire yet. I've tested it. Tires deform at high speeds, but even doing 170 I haven't had any problems. All in all, totally worth it.
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.