The process of making a guard
All our guards are rolled using polished form rollers.
They all start as a flat piece of sheet metal and depending on the required shape and edge finish are prepared using a bender and bead roller. The bender is used to give the guard a shape that will allow it to enter the rollers for the first time and set the shape, any fold lines are rolled out in the rolling process leaving no folds at all. A specific CNC machined set of form rollers is used for each profile of guard.
Most British guards have a rolled edge while American fenders generally have flat edges. There are some exceptions to this like the Indians from the teens and early 20’s which used rolled edges. Starting with a flat sheet, we fold and roll the edges before commencing the roll forming.
With the shape set we proceed to introduce the curve to the guard by applying pressure and with many passes through the rollers the shape begins to form. The minimum number of passes is around 50 for the smaller guards to produce the required radius with up to 190 passes for the big 1920s Ace fenders.
Part way through the guard takes on a nice smooth shine that makes a great surface for paint and plating if required. Some customers have sent our speedway guards straight to the plating shop.
We can roll a guard or fender to any radius that is required. We will need to know quite a few measurements of the width, depth, length and radius and any other things like side pressings, number plate pressings, rolled noses or tails, duck billing on the front or rear and if it is a single or 2-piece guard. We leave the hole drilling and mounting to you due to the many variations of stays and bracket setup that were used.
Over 180 valance templates are available for a large range of Veteran and Vintage motorcycles. These range from a small half valance on a veteran guard to full length valances with bottom skirts or complex multi piece valances with belt rim and brake rim covers.
We have templates for a number of mounting brackets and stays but normally only make these if they are an important element of the guard that isn't easily added later. We are constantly adding to the range of templates as we get hold of an original sample and make new patterns to reproduce them.
Our press tool range is extensive and growing, allowing us to make complex guards and fenders like the J model Harley and the front guard for a 1930s Velocette with full valance and bottom skirt.
We have many different rollers and dies to produce 100s of different guards. We’ve made guards for motorcycles, sidecars, hot rods, vintage cars, caravans, custom trucks and even machinery. We can also supply blank uncut guards or fenders so you can modify them to your own requirements.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Q - What does 'C' Section or 'D' Section mean?
A - This is a description of the cross section or profile of the guard. The photos below show a few examples but there is no strict definition so use these as a guide to help us all speak the same language. Generally a 'C' Section guard has a continuous curve from one side to the other whereas a 'D' Section has flattish sides and top. A Panama Hat style has the rolled edges protruding beyond the sides of the guard.
Q - Why do some guards have rolled edges and some don't?
A - Most British, European, Japanese and Australian manufacturers used rolled edges to add stiffness and strength to the guards. It also provided a safe edge for handling and meant that lighter gauge steel could be used, thus keeping weight down. Most American manufacturers opted instead for a heavier gauge steel to maintain stiffness. Our rollers are made to reproduce the original whichever way they were made.
Q - Can I give you the tyre size on my bike so you can make a guard for it based on that size?
A - We need more information than the tyre size. As it is moved further away from the top of the tyre, the guard radius increases. If it remained a constant, then the guard would look out of shape to the tyre as it is moved further away. A good starting point is to compare the gap or overlap of the inside edge of the guard with the outside (tread) of the tyre. If you don't have an old guard, we will need measurements to frame mounting points.
Q - What are the narrowest and the widest guards you make?
A - The narrowest we make is 66mm or 2.6 inches. The widest is 186 mm or 7.37 inches. This is because they are rolled on form rollers which are machined to the exact profile of the guard.
Q - Can you make a new profile of a guard if it’s not in your sets already?
A - Yes, we can but we would need to be confident of a reasonable number of sales to commission the production of new rollers and the R&D needed to make the first sets. We have just successfully done this for flat-tank Norton guards and are in the process of commissioning rollers to make 1926-34 Harley Pup fenders. We are also happy to discuss a shared investment if you have a custom or very rare shape in mind.
Q - Do you do bulk orders?
A - Yes, we do bulk orders and offer a discount on an order of 6 or more of the same guard.
Q - How quickly can you make my guard?
A - We have a large number of blank guards in stock. If we have the one in stock that you require then you could have it within a week. If we have to do a run to make the required profile, then it will be placed in the queue. Our aim is to have a maximum turnaround time of 30 days from receipt of a deposit.
Q - Why the need for a 50% deposit?
A - Each guard is made to your requirements and we need to set up the tooling for each one. Because there are literally hundreds of different types we can’t afford to have them all on the shelf in the hope that we might sell them, so a 50% deposit means you are a serious buyer so we have to get serious about making the perfect guard for you.
Q - Do you charge postage?
A - Yes. The cost of the custom boxing and postage charges are added to the total price. The custom boxing and packaging is approx $30 and weighs normally 1.8 to 2kg for an average pair of guards. Here is a link to the Australia Post international calculator. Just enter your weight estimate and destination country.
For Australian customers, here is a link to the Australia Post domestic calculator table. Once again add approx $30 and 1.8kg.
Q - Where is your workshop? Can I visit?
A - Our workshop is in Donnybrook, Western Australia about 2 hours South of Perth. Visits can be arranged if you contact us preferably by email. We have many groups visit and know now that you should plan for an hour because there will be many questions.
Q - Can you make car fenders?
A - There are some open wheelers and vintage sports cars (see the Alvis race-car guards in our mudguards section) that use cycle guards we can make. We also make custom guards for hotrods and other vehicles, but these are all based on cycle guard profiles that have a side to side symmetry. We also custom make spare wheel covers.
Q - Can you make my guards in Aluminium or Stainless Steel?
A - Yes, most can be rolled in aluminium (or copper), but please talk with us about your requirements. We are still experimenting with Stainless Steel.
Q - Do you make mudguard stays and brackets?
A - There are so many variations on stays that we can't possibly try to match so we are staying with our speciality for now and just making mudguards and fenders. With brackets it has become necessary to make some because they are an integral part of the guard, but we don’t yet have a full range of patterns.
Q - Do you charge GST? (Australian Goods and Services Tax)
A - Yes GST is added to the cost of the guard for domestic Australian sales. No GST is payable on guards that are exported out of Australia.
Q - Do you send guards or fenders overseas?
A - Yes, we can send our guards anywhere in the world that the postal service or courier is available.
Q - Can I insure my guards against post office loss?
A - Yes you can, or we can insure them through the Australian Post Office system if required.
Q - Do I need to send you my rusty sample guard so you can make a new one?
A - Yes there may be occasions where the best option is for us to have your sample guard on the bench in front of us, however, in most cases we will already have drawings or templates to work with and may only need some measurements or photos of your sample or your bike. We can advise you on how to package your guard if necessary to minimise potential damage and postage costs.