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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #1
About halfway through a several-hour trip today, a passerby pointed out that my license plate was hanging askew, kept in place by only one of what originally was two of those blue reflector things with the wing nut (like these: https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Products-CH4B-Motorcycle-Reflector/dp/B000WJC9XK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480120601&sr=8-1&keywords=blue+motorcycle+plate+reflector).

Obviously, one reflector worked its way completely loose at some point. Pretty sure it was there this morning, so I can only imagine the vibrations from 10+ miles of gravel, dirt, and dirt-with-tons-of-embedded-rocks roads worked one of those things loose.

I can buy another reflector/fastener, but how do I keep this from happening again? Add "inspect license plate fasteners" to the pre-ride checklist? I had secured the existing ones with blue Loctite, but apparently that isn't enough.

I don't really want to put red Loctite on there. True, I'll never need to remove the plate unless I sell the bike, but red Loctite is a big pain in the ass to remove. I try not to use it when alternatives exist.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #3
Ooo good call, easy too. I mean the wing nuts are nice for making it easy to put the things on, but those Nylok nuts won't vibrate loose. Thanks!
 

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Tie wrap work the charm and really quick. I always carry a couple just for that sort of stuff
 
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Maybe they were not tightened properly to begin with. I'd replace the wing nut, make sure it's tight and keep an eye on it until feel it won't go anywhere. That's how it happened for me.
 

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Good information!
Past experience has lead me to be able to trust them despite their scientifically proven failure rate.
Bumble bee's aren't suppose to be scientifically able to fly either.
I've seen the vibration tests the quickly unraveled a lot of fasteners. Very fascinating. But failed under extreme conditions most of us don't experience on a bike.
If you can afford it and have a good local supply, always get the best you can!
If you have 40 years worth of left over hardware in the garage from a zillion projects, use what youse got!
 

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I use stainless steel M6 nylon lock nuts and socket head hex screws on all my bikes.

No reason to make it so easy to steal the plate without tools.
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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2,662 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I'm going to go with the nylon-insert lock nuts. The bike is parked in my garage or another relatively secure environment almost all the time, but there's no reason to take a chance of someone lifting my plate. It's just the sort of PITA property crime for which our city is notorious.
 

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I would go with the nyloc too but there is also blue Loctite 242 or Permatex blue thread locker. I use the blue on practically every fastener on my bikes. You can make sure your lever purches don't come loose without over torquing them. Loctite is a lot cheaper than nyloc nuts.
 
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I came across a boat for sale that had nylon (not nylock) screws and bolts holding the plate on. I asked the guy a bunch of questions about the longevity / robustness of the hardware holding his plate on. Since then I've used nothing but nylon hardware to hold plates on my bikes, boat and camper. Never had one come loos or a failure of any kind in 15 years. Only one caution that takes some getting used to, don't over tighten.
 

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I have used pop rivets before, backed up with washers on both sides. Of course you have to drill them out to remove your plate later on, but it does not come off unintentionally!
 

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Farkle Purchasing System
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Discussion Starter #15
I bought the Chris Products CH4B package, a set of four of the blue reflectors + mounting hardware.

This setup includes a spring, washer, and wingnut for the threaded post of each reflector. I mounted all four reflectors (hey, there were four holes in the license plate!).

With the springs taking up room on the reflector shafts, I found it expeditious to mount the wing nuts "backwards" (wings sweeping towards plate inside bracket).

While the springs should help prevent the wing nuts from backing off the shafts of the reflectors, I used a generous dab of blue Loctite inside each wingnut to make sure.

I've been on a few longish rides since then. Checked the reflectors yesterday - all four were tight. So far, so good.
 
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