Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Measure once and cut twice?

Is that how the saying goes?

I was putting the last few bits on to the rear fender I just installed including the taillight and the license plate bracket. When I went to attach my license plate, I notice the hole spacing is too narrow.

(No that's not my real plate number. I was just dorking around with MS Paint in an effort to disguise my real plate number and retain a little anonymity.)

Now keep in mind, this bracket part number is59981-74 which is for a 74 to 75 XLH/XLCH, not a 1978 but it's what came with the fender I got. However, I happen to collect motorcycle license plates, in particular the '60s and '70s, and know that the size and hole spacing hasn't change since the fifties.

So that leaves me curious as to why the holes are different. I checked the parts list and I don't think I'm missing any pieces to the bracket. Oh well, maybe a reader will see this and be able to answer the question.

Regardless, I had to mount the plate so now to figure out how to do so. Sure I could've drilled new holes in the plate to fit but, as I mentioned above, I collect plates and I *hate* to cut or drill a plate. Plus I picked up a second bracket at Bud's the other day so I decided to modify it instead.

My plan was to take a strip of aluminum stock I had, drill a couple of holes in it, and use it as an intermediary to bolt to the bracket and then to the plate.

On my first attempt, I just tried to eyeball it. As to be expected, the drill walked on me leaving one hole slightly off center. It's not a huge deal but it's the kind of thing that bugs me so for the second attempt, I was a little more methodical.

Unfortunately, the holes in the bracket and the plate are too close together to allow separate bolts to each piece. Instead I had to cut the ends of the bracket holes out and use the strip to sandwich the plate and bracket.

And here it is mounted up. It's not the greatest looking fix and I don't know how well it will hold up on the road but we will find out.

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