Front Fender vs Caked Mud

I’ve been getting questions about the front fender when riding in caked mud. I strongly advise that you don’t remove it altogether, specially if your motorcycle has a radiator. Removing the front fender may clog the radiator with mud and overheat your engine at a time when you are riding slow and there is not much wind flowing between the fins of the radiator. I recommend that you raise the front fender a little so that the mud caking on your tyre has enough space to pass under the fender and doesn’t jam the front wheel.

I raised the front fender of my BMW G310 GS by getting a simple bracket fabricated and it worked well on last Sunday’s trail ride through caked mud.

BMW has thought this through properly and have left space between the fender and the brake lines that go around it. This is not the case with my Triumph Tiger 800 XRx. The brake lines run along the face of the fender and there is no way to raise it. So you will need to keep a tool handy to remove the fender every now and then and clean it up. Or maybe remove the fender and tie it to the motorcycle with a bungee chord and stop regularly to clean the radiator.

Another thing that helps clean the caked muck off tyres is water. If you come across a puddle of water while riding the trail, ride through it to dissolve the caked mud and loosen it off the tyre. Another idea is to spin the rear tyre in the air using the engine to throw out any caked mud using centrifugal force. When doing so, position your motorcycle in such a way that the caked mud flying out of your rear tyre finds your riding mates. 🙂