Much like the bracket that bolted to the front of the swingarm, the challenge with the bigger bracket that bolted to the shock mounts was getting it to follow the internal radius of the curved fender.
I once again turned to the wooden form method even though the soft wood of the 2x4 wouldn't hold its shape.
After lots of smoke and a few rounds of heating and tweaking, I got the curve to match. I don't have a fancy oxy/acetylene setup so I used my MAPP torch and worked a little section at a time.
Here is the new bracket lined up with the old one.
I then used the torch and my vise to put the bends in the bracket necessary to clear the belt and brakes.
Side by side, I couldn't be happier with the way the bends turned out.
The I trimmed the bottom of the steel to make the legs even and match the old bracket. Here it is standing up:
I mocked it up on the bike and set the new fender on top and it was looking dead sexy.
Next step was to drill the mounting holes for the shock bolts and my license bracket. No fancy drill press here either.
Here's the bracket alone. It looks like it's touching the tire but it's not fully bolted in which actually spreads the bracket. It's tight, but there is no contact with the tire when the shock bolts are tightened down.
The most nerve-racking part was figuring out where to the drill the holes in the fender. I used pinstriping tape to mimic where the bracket would run. I measured and re-measured on and off the bike. Then I just hoped for the best and drilled two pilot holes and opened them up.
With the fender drilled, I then drilled corresponding holes in the top of the bracket. From the photo above, you might have noticed it is really tight to the tire. Instead of securing the fender bolts with nuts, I tapped the brace.
Unfortunately, my tap & die set (like many of my tools) was cheap and didn't do a good job threading the holes. As I tested a bolt, it seized and I had to work some magic to get it out without destroying my bracket. I can laugh about it now but I was really pissed off at the time. I bought a new tap that worked much better so I could finish the bracket.
Another mock-up, now with bolts.
I rolled the bike outside and was really excited with how it turned out.
I painted my last set of brackets but decided to powdercoat the new ones along with my license bracket parts.
I sent out a handful of requests for quotes and was glad I did. The quotes I got back varied a lot. I went with SE Custom PowderCoating for the best combination of price and speed. I had also seen their work at shows.
I got the parts back and they were perfect, way better than spray painting them.
All that was left was to paint the fender. This would be the third fender for my Sportster that I would paint with the same lace pattern. I'm glad I bought extra lace and stashed it away just-in-case so the pattern would match. I'll post some painting photos later.