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How to Install an Engine Guard on a Sportster

by Don Davis

There are, it is commonly said, only two kinds of bikers: those who have crashed and those who will crash. Engine guards help protect rider and motorcycle whenever the motorcycle goes over on one side. Most of these accidents are at low speed, or even with the motorcycle stopped, and when that happens the guards don't protect engines so much as everything else on the lower front of the bike. In the kind of crashes that make wonderful stories, the ones that happen on freeways at speed, engine guards significantly improve a rider's chances of emerging from the hospital with both legs and both feet. Engine guards are an easy bolt-on.

Remove the three screws and the one flat washer from under the steering head with an Allen socket.

Remove and discard the two top motor mount bolts, washers and nuts using a socket wrench, a hex socket and an open-end wrench.

Insert the long screw that was packed with your engine guard through the top motor mount. Use the spacer that came with the engine guard if your Sportster does not have forward controls. Do not use the spacer if you have installed forward controls on your bike.

Fasten the long screw to the engine mount with the washer and lock nut that came with your engine guard. Ensure that neither the oil pressure switch nor the wiring harness are effected, and then tighten the lock nut with a hex socket.

Attach the engine guard upper mounting bracket (on top of the engine guard) to the open holes under the steering head. Use the original three screws and washer for Sportsters built after 1994. Use the hardware that came with the engine guard for earlier Sportsters.

Attach the lower bracket to the engine guard with the included long bolt and hex nut. Tighten the nut to 30 foot-pounds of torque with a hex socket and torque wrench.

Turn the handlebars all the way right and left and check for interference by the engine guard with the clutch and brake cables.

Items you will need

About the Author

Don Davis has been a professional writer since 1977. He has had numerous writing jobs, including writing news and features for the "Metrowest Daily News" and "Los Angeles Herald-Examiner." Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Indiana State University.

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