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Sorry it took me so long to post. For anyone wanting a cheap rad guard, just get some hole punched sheet aluminum. Measure across radiator (between tanks...you're only trying to protect the fragile fins). Cut sheet a bit oversized. Now squeeze between tanks and trim as necessary to fit snug against the rad. Cut (top to bottom) with about 1/2" over. Now replace onto rad and set it with 1/4 excess top and bottom. Use that to run zip ties through around rad bracket. DONE. I used Helix Mesh round hole aluminum mesh (about $35). All you need is the aluminum mesh, tin snips, 4 long thin zip ties, and 20 minutes.
 

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Great close-up photo there! This is something I will be doing as a winter project. I think I will paint my screen black though. :)

Neanderthal
 

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That's exactly what I've been trying to do but no where around where I live sells punched aluminum. The only place that did isn't selling any metal right now due to the drastic decline in scrap metal prices. I did find some online but it would have cost about $60 for the piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi MacBandit. I got my mesh at www.newenough.com click on "Parts" and type "Helix mesh" in the search. They have different hole styles. I used the "Round hole" style. Hope that helps ya.
 

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Scraaaaaape

Yes that's the sound of an ages old post being brought to the surface. But I think it's better to continue than create multiple threads.

I'm wondering for those who have done this, have you seen any heating/cooling issues long term, particularly in summer stop-n-go traffic?

Looking at the above grate, it looks like a 60 degree pattern (for any hole, there are six evenly surrounding it). I'm guessing the pattern in the picture is 1/8" holes on 3/16" centers, which has an open area of only about 40%.
If I look at similar protectors for cars, they're around 60+ % open area. 1/4" on 5/16" centers, or 5/16" on 3/8" centers would get to that figure, but the holes are starting to get pretty big, if you could even find that combo.

I'm not a mechanic, and I'm certain the radiator has sufficient cooling while moving, but would moving the plate 1/4" out from the radiator surface allow the fan to be more efficient? I think someone mentioned they did that in another thread. The main concern being warranty issues and overheating.

Wire mesh can easily get upward of 70-80% open area, but would need some kind of frame. Both are available from Amazon.com for under $20 for 12x24" sheets. (search for perforated aluminum or wire mesh). Cheap frames could be made from the "U" stock stained glass folks use.

A grill full of fireflies might make a cool third headlight, but it's a pain to clean.

So, long term reports? Anyone have to give up the home brew design? Of course, summer around here has been so cold, probably don't even need the radiator :(
 

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Nice work! That's something I was looking to do when I had the bike, but was hesitant b/c I was worried how the end result would look. Judging by your pic, it looks pretty good!
 

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