Making my own headlight guard - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-08-2014, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Making my own headlight guard

My trusty Ventura guard, that lasted over 80,000 miles and one serious crash, has gone missing. I noticed it when I got the bike back after prepping it for a X country trip in two weeks. My mech doesn't know anything about it so it was probably stolen.

I'm too cheap to spend $50-65 on a new one and I love a chance to make a farkle. I stopped at a local plastic supplier and purchased a 18x24" 1/8" piece of optical polycarbonate for $2.

The tech told me to put it in the oven at 180 degrees to soften it so I could shape the curves. I'm thinking of doing two separate sides instead of the one piece that Ventura does. I have industrial Velcro to hold it on.

I'll let you know how it turns out. I made one for my R1200GS that looks professionally done but that didn't require molding it.

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-08-2014, 03:50 PM
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That's a cool idea. Post up a picture.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-08-2014, 04:14 PM
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I recently bought the Ventura guard. I never thought of making my own.

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w/ to much added stuff to list.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-08-2014, 04:32 PM
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I did this a few months ago........waaaaaaaaaaaaay overkill, but I like "playing" with plastic and wanted to see if I could bend them to the curvature of the mesh guard. Think I ruined only 1 piece of plastic heating it up........I used a coleman propane heater to get it soft......thought about boiling water, but that takes too long. Heat the plastic too long (i.e. too hot) and it will create bubbles....

https://www.stromtrooper.com/v-strom-...-overkill.html

Leftover clear plastic I had from another project........

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post #5 of 8 Old 04-08-2014, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Nice. Thanks. I'll use the tape in addition to the protective covers on the plastic. Also I'm sold on the oven to heat it to the proper temp.

2000 Honda Sabre VT1100 (194,000 miles)
2005 Suzuki DL650 (116,000 miles)
1976 BMW R90/6 (33,000 miles)
2009 Vespa GTS250ie (8200 miles)
1993 Honda CB750 (13,000 miles)
2013 BMW R1200GS LC (16,600 miles)
2015 Kawasaki KLR650E (3,200 miles)

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-09-2014, 11:30 PM
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About 20 years ago I purchased a roll of polycarbonate plastic, at the time it was called handy glaze and it was used for patching windows in a hurry.
It is 1m wide and you buy it by the meter, you can see the 20 years of dust build up in the photos.



I have used it for years to make headlight protectors (I have been slack and have not yet made them for my Wee), it can be cut with tin snips for ease of use.

I start with a cardboard template, it is cut extra large so when it is fitted there is a curve in the plastic so it does not touch the headlight glass, tabs are left on the edges so they poke between the headlight and the fairing, this keeps the plastic in place and also holds the curve.

They can be fitted and removed in less than 60 seconds.

Could give you some ideas ??

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post #7 of 8 Old 04-10-2014, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yesterday I cut the polycarbonate. I used a heat gun to put some curves in the pieces but I will need a grinder to made them look decent. It's a bit disappointing. I looked at .012" clear plastic film. I can get a yard of it for $8. It's 3mil thick and should be easier to cut and shape.

More to follow.

2000 Honda Sabre VT1100 (194,000 miles)
2005 Suzuki DL650 (116,000 miles)
1976 BMW R90/6 (33,000 miles)
2009 Vespa GTS250ie (8200 miles)
1993 Honda CB750 (13,000 miles)
2013 BMW R1200GS LC (16,600 miles)
2015 Kawasaki KLR650E (3,200 miles)

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-10-2014, 09:45 PM
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That's a heck of a deal for that piece.

Polycarbonate(Bayer Makrolon, GE Lexan, etc.) actually contains water. This is why it's recommended to dry it in the oven for forming.

According to this article, the proper drying times are time consuming
Drying polycarbonate sheet - HighLine Polycarbonate

I've made various 1/8 thick polycarbonate machine guards at work that involved brake bending and the usage of localized heating at the bend area. It took a few practice parts to learn how to avoid the overheating bubbles. Due to the size of the parts, oven drying was impractical.

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