Wednesday, April 20, 2016

BMW San Jose fork brace

I'm a sucker for period accessories, a regular ebay bargain trawler and own a BMW that doesn't quite have the handling to match it's power. It was just plain inevitable that I would end up with a fork brace for the '76 RS. Very much of an era the fork brace was the child of wobbly seventies and eighties Japanese frames and once upon a time as popular as a set of expansion chambers.

Never mind that the logical steps to making my Beemer decent handling would be new fork springs, rear shockers and a fresh set of tyres. These would cost a lot of money, the fork brace was a mere tenner. I feel this is very much in the spirit of the era.

The brace I bought is made by San Jose BMW from the States. This is the early version in two pieces, more recent ones come with a cross piece that holds them together. The first thing that you notice is that it is a heavy item, mmmm..... unsprung weight. None-the-less I plowed on and fitted them. Before anyone mentions, I know that the plastic bolts holding the mudguard on are number plate bolts - they came with the bike. I have since bought a nice set of shiny stainless bolts.

The net result? Yes, absolutely no discernable difference in handling. Anyone out there got a cheap good set of dial-a-rides and progressive fork springs?

The original BMW brace. Also serves the function of keeping
crud away from the fork seals. Those Germans knew what they
were doing!

First try. It wasn't immediately obvious which way round the two
braces were supposed to fit. This way worked but the mudguard
line was very slightly off.

That's better. The correct way around.

Period accessory. Yes. Different. Yes. An improvement?
Probably not.

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