Fork Brace for Concours

Craig Nedrow of Bay Machine Works (maker of my Highway Pegs) also makes a fork brace for the Concours. Unfortunately, Craig seems to have moved, or at least changed Internet providers, as I no longer have working contact information for him.

This is trivial to install except for the effort of aligning the very tightly-fitting part. Here’s how I approached the job. This isn’t necessarily the best or only approach, but it worked for me.

Let me make something clearer since I’ve received a couple of unexpected emails: I do not sell motorcycle equipment. I can’t sell you this fork brace or anything else. I’m just a rider like you.

The package contains the main brace, two end caps, four socket screws, and instructions. The brace and end caps are machined aluminum, anodized black.

The instructions specify carefully torquing the screws, and I didn’t have a bit to put a 6mm hex driver in my torque wrench, so step one was to make one.

I just cut an inch off the end of a spare 6mm hex wrench using a carbide cutting disk in a high-speed hand tool (Dremel).

The length of 6mm hex shaft, held by a 6mm socket, allows torquing of the hex screws.

Here’s the “before” picture of the forks.

First, those plastic fork protector covers have to come off.

Gently tap upwards on a piece of wood held against the bottom edge.
Once the fork guard moves up about a centimetre, it will slip off. The fork tube still passes through it, though.
Not feeling like removing the wheel, I just cut through the guard with some nearby garden shears — it’s fairly soft plastic.

The guards aren’t needed any more, set them aside.

Looks like a camera part, doesn’t it?

Gently put the main brace in place, and snuggle it down to the top of the outer fork tubes.

It is a very tight fit. The tolerances are so close that it won’t move down over the tube, but will snug nicely against the top if you line it up very carefully.

Then you need to tap down on it to move it into position.

I found the easiest way to tap on the brace was with a long rod (plastic) passed through the upper area of the bike.

I guess this would technically be called a “drift”, although you might also call it the nylon stir stick from my home wine-making days.

Look down from the cockpit and you can see the fork brace.
Line your drift up with one corner of the brace,
and tap gently on the top. Don’t try to move it more than a millimetre as the tolerances are very close and it will jam. Move the stick alternately between all four corners until you have tapped the brace down into position.
In position, the brace lines up precisely with the top of the outer fork tube at all four corners.
The brace in position.
Place an end cap over one end of the brace.
Screw in the socket bolts (6mm hex wrench) until they just begin to get snug.
The instructions call for 10-12 ft-lb of torque. I opted for 11 (132 inch-lb on my wrench).
Make sure the gap between cap and brace is the same size on all four corners.
The bolts’ torques interact, so don’t try to tighten any one all the way. I alternated between bolts, carefully bringing the torque to 80, 100, 120, 130, 132 inch-pounds, keeping the gap between end cap and brace even all around.
Here’s the finished product.

Do a careful test to ensure the forks still compress smoothly. If you’ve over-torqued, or have things uneven, or have a front end alignment problem, the forks may bind.

Mine were fine.


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