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Discussion Starter #1
I don't like the taillight and plate holder on my bike. This is the way it came when I got it:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/Zz61SECrtDNn4D6r5
https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipMZiHEdcXkpkMQM3O07WBgGppuEVhugM52YTrXu

First: I'm not a fan of the Iron Cross.
Second: Is the light to low to be safe? Can other drivers see it ok?
Third: It's been extended with a very ghetto looking steel bar so as to move out from under the saddlebags. I didn't do it. It looks terrible imo. The existing plate holder is actually broken where the bolt would go through. It's a very ghetto setup on close examination.
Fourth: The graphic on the rear fender is tacky as all get out. Like I said, I got it this way.

So, given the above, I want to re-do the tail light and plate mounting. I don't need to redo the signals. They are mounted to the sides of the read fender and I"m ok with them.

In your opinion would you;

a) Get a new swing arm light/plate holder? The longest arm'd ones I've seen are 5.5". This woudl be the easiest solution. And the cheapest. My concern here is the visibility of the brake light when the bags are on.
b) Delete the ugly fender graphic (Some sanding and painting/blending) and then re-mount an integrated LED brake/plate on the rear fender.
c) delete the ugly fender graphic and replace with OEM tail light. Mount the plate either on the arm or figure out how to mount it with the OEM tail light. Possible replacing the OEM housing with LED's.
d) Get a new swing arm light/plate holder and still remove the graphic from the rear fender. :)

Option b and c seems nutty since I'll be undoing all the work that some dude spent filling the OEM mount holes and painting a custom graphic on it. Imo, the graphic is cheese balls so I'm not too concerned about removing that, but it does feel counter intuitive to re-drill holes (to mount a light/plate combo) that someone took the time to get rid of.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It looks decent and I did consider that style. But that too would require re-drilling the mounting holes that one of the PO's spent time getting removed.

It seems in all cases that I have found when saddlebags are involved, the best location is centered on the rear fender and likely why that's how it came from the factory.

I guess ideally, I'd like to avoid re-drilling mounting holes on the rear fender and still be able to use saddlebags on occasion. Looking for ideas on how to accomplish this. Or pics of someone who has a swing arm light/plate holder AND saddlebags that's still easily visible by following vehicles.
 

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I have to agree that your visibility to others is compromised like it is. Maybe an aftermarket mounting plate with an LED light built in? I’ve seen several versions on the Internet and your visibility would double. Just a suggestion.


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Discussion Starter #5

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So the PO kept the rear fender as is but removed the tail light, bolted a long hunk of steel to the swing arm and mounted the tail light lower and to one side where it's less visible and more prone to failure due to vibration and road schmutz? Brilliant!!

If it were mine I'd take the practical and not necessarily less attractive route of remounting a good looking tail light and plate holder back onto the fender. IMO side mounted lights and plates are a work around when going for the cut fender bobber look that's so popular now... but to do it for no other reason than because it's a fad is questionable.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Note quite. He didn't keep the rear fender as is. If you notice, there is a tacky graphic airbrushed on the rear fender. It says "steel city choppers" with 3 Skulls over a Spade. The PO had a Skull fetish. The OEM mount holes have been filled and sanded smooth for the graphic. It's done very well. It looks professional. It's just very tacky.

So, it's just as idiotic because they moved it to the swing arm, which causes all the problems you stated, and then PAID to have that crappy graphic painted and holes filled in.

With that said, if I could find a way to avoid re-drilling mount holes and moving the plate and light back to the rear fender, that would be best. But I'm at a loss. And at this point, I'm thinking I better just bite the bullet and drill the holes for whatever aftermarket solution I decide on. Or even OEM is better than the current setup. I'd still have to re-drill the mount holes though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You know what's weird about this bike?

It's 10 years old, only had 4600kms on it when I was given it and the Vehichle history documents shows that it's had 6 owners before me. 6. owners. with 4600kms. And all kinds of wacked out mods done to it. Poor thing has been so abused.

I'm treating it right though. Getting all the dumb stuff sorted out and actually riding it. LOL....it's a work in progress.
 

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Note quite. He didn't keep the rear fender as is. If you notice, there is a tacky graphic airbrushed on the rear fender. It says "steel city choppers" with 3 Skulls over a Spade. The PO had a Skull fetish. The OEM mount holes have been filled and sanded smooth for the graphic. It's done very well. It looks professional. It's just very tacky.

So, it's just as idiotic because they moved it to the swing arm, which causes all the problems you stated, and then PAID to have that crappy graphic painted and holes filled in...
Hahaha I know of what you speak. My last used bike purchase had this graphic on the tank. It was fairly well done and definitely of high quality since nothing would remove it other than via physical means like sanding, blasting or using a wire wheel but damn was it embarrassing to be an older grey-hair riding around with a screaming wolf on the tank as though I'm trying to be a badass.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
omg. that's definitely worse than mine.

And yep, embarrasing!

I too also have some tank airbrushing. It's not quite as bad. I would prefer not to have it, but for the amount of work to remove it, i can live with it:


the one on the fender HAS to go though. I figure sanding and painting over with even a rattle can will be better than the graphic.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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I could have fun with that. Print off a couple of Mr Rogers stickers and have at it.


But yea, skull and crossbones (as such), I just don't get it. At least Rat Fink and such that has gained new popularity is retro kitsch.
 

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Oh yea, I noticed the pistons which is why I added the "as such". Be they pistons, bones or penises (don't ask) I still feel sorry that you have to deal with or find a solution for that travesty. ;)
 

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Not sure if this is an option for you?
I did the plate lay down mod and I am quite satisfied with overall look of it!
I'd like to have a lay-down plate on my 1300 - can you tell me where you got that kit and how much trouble it was to install? (I'd like to avoid drilling, doncha know)
 
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