Front fender support, new weak link


snydes

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#1
Noticed during my ride today that the front fender was bouncing around quite a bit, I did recall an old discussion about this that @MattB started about what he observed as way too much flex in the front fender. He actually modified his bike to accept a Husky front fender and number plate. If you want to revisit that, it's here. Well, the front fender I don't believe is the root cause of the excessive flex, the fender bracket that attaches to the two front holes is.

IMG_5873.jpg

It's pretty obvious where the bracket flexes. This is a weak area that should be improved upon. @Judaslefourbe you might want to take note of this if you are not already aware of it. @MotoMinded this could be a design opportunity if this isn't going to be on Alta's list of part revisions.

I'm going to make my own that's a bit more beefy. I'll post what I come up with.
 

snydes

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#3
Ok, here is my evaluation for what that's worth.

For the off road guys, the brace may or may not ever give you any problems. For MX guys, unless you are riding in dry conditions all the time that brace is going to fail exactly how mine did sooner or later. The day mine broke the track was muddy and that mud was sticky, so the front fender was carrying extra weight and that accelerated it's demise. There is too much leverage on that bracket and it’s just not robust enough to support the constant stress it's receiving. They could make it a little wider at the area of the break, but you are only going to move the break point to a different location IMO.

This is how the 2009 Honda steering stem is designed (our Alta front fenders are 2009 CRF for those who don't know that);
CRF450_STEM.jpg

No problems with that design, plenty supportive for that fender.

Now one easy addition that would help our Alta's original design;
We could add a third bolt mounted in center which would greatly reduce the flex at the ends of the bracket, this could be an easy revision for Alta to make.
IMG_5880.JPG

Now I did a quick repair job on mine because we have what is looking like a nice weekend coming up and I'm not going to miss riding because of this fender bracket (the east coast weather has sucked to a whole new level of suck this year and it's rained pretty much the whole summer). Not my best work but it will get me by.

IMG_5878.JPG

While this should be significantly stronger in the area of the break I suspect it will only move the stress directly to the bolts now. I almost added that third hole but I think I'm going to order a new one and position it vertically based on centering it on the OEM bracket (which should be slightly lower than the end holes). I might also make up a billet aluminum piece and try that. Depends how ambitious I feel.

That's all I have for now. For our MX guys I'd suggest you go check your bike out, grab a hold of the front fender and pull it up and down a bit, if it looks like an abnormal amount of flex your bracket may also be broke.
 

snydes

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#5
That new silver bracket looks pretty.
(y)
It will work for now. Had to throw some black paint on it, that was just bare blasted steel. I ordered a new bracket and I am going to add the third hole based on the OEM bracket and see how the OEM piece holds up with only that change. Really surprised I'm the first to report this here, I would have though at least @OneLapper would have broken one with his luck... :p
 

snydes

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#8
Just a quick update. I’ve been corresponding with Alta on this, they were interested as they claimed this was the first failure they have seen. They had wanted me to take it to the dealer for the dealer to inspect and document it, and I suspect they may have replaced it under warranty, but I explained that since I am 2 hours away from a dealer it just wasn’t worth the hassle for a $50 part. They later came back asking if I’d be willing to the bracket to them for them to inspect it, but it was too late as I had already repaired it. I had also ordered another bracket from my dealer and I am going to add that third hole like I had mentioned earlier and see how that works. The tracks I frequent are usually always sticky muddy and I have no doubt I will break another with no changes.

Alta has overall been very receptive to our suggestion/questions/concerns so I have no doubt they will look to revise this part at some point.
 

TCMB371

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#9
Mine hasn't failed on me yet, but i had a crash over the weekend and the bracket tabs bent pretty badly, leaving the front fender way off center and angled down. After examining it, i agree with your "quick fix" suggestion of drilling another hole in the center and adding a bolt there for more strength. It wont, however, fix the bending of the tabs where the fender actually mounts to.

Going to try my best to bend the bracket back into the proper shape so i can ride this weekend. Called dealer to check price for a replacement but waiting to get a call back,
 

snydes

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#10
Mine hasn't failed on me yet, but i had a crash over the weekend and the bracket tabs bent pretty badly, leaving the front fender way off center and angled down. After examining it, i agree with your "quick fix" suggestion of drilling another hole in the center and adding a bolt there for more strength. It wont, however, fix the bending of the tabs where the fender actually mounts to.

Going to try my best to bend the bracket back into the proper shape so i can ride this weekend. Called dealer to check price for a replacement but waiting to get a call back,
$44 something for the replacement, just got mine today. I didn't look at it too closely yet but the problem I foresee with the third hole option is there isn't enough meat there to put the same size bolt hole. Would have to go to the next smaller size, I'm convinced it would still help but I would be better with the same size bolt as the other two (obviously). Hopefully Alta will beef it up, it definitely won't hold up under repeated stress from sticky east coast mud and gnarly outdoor tracks.
 

TCMB371

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#11
Just had the dealer order me one. $44.17. Hoping it gets here by Friday so i can have it for the weekend, otherwise i'll attempt to bend mine back into shape.

Either riding Milestone on Saturday before Transworld Slamfest or Sunday i'll race the last round of the Transworld summer series. :cool:
 

snydes

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#12
Just had the dealer order me one. $44.17. Hoping it gets here by Friday so i can have it for the weekend, otherwise i'll attempt to bend mine back into shape.

Either riding Milestone on Saturday before Transworld Slamfest or Sunday i'll race the last round of the Transworld summer series. :cool:
I look forward to your race report!
 

snydes

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#14
Mine broke today, took off and welded it back together. Hope it lasts until a new one arrives
It would probably help our cause if you shot an email to Alta Service and let them know you had a similar failure. At the time I contacted them they claimed I was the first to report such a failure, and a revised part (I’m sure) isn’t going to happen until they see multiple cases of failures.

Just a suggestion.
 

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