I wanted a brush guard for the Prairies headlight area. Not sure what Kawasaki was thinking when the guard loops ended up below the lights, with nothing really behind them, and Nothing in front of the lights…
Also wanted a bumper, not just for protection but for pushing things. Had planned it to probably be separate from the brush guard, but wasn’t adverse to one piece either..
Not having a tubing bender, I went through Everything in my scrap piles with a bent tube or corner trying to find something I could make work, even if I had to weld it all up in a loop… Nothing.
Then I remembered this set of chrome motorcycle engine guard bars that my Dad bought 20 years ago, but couldn’t use, that I knew I still had a couple years ago… somewhere. Was easy to find, amazingly(my scrap piles are literally that; piles).
Perfect width for the headlights, and the brackets, when bent in a touch went between the existing uprights almost as if made for them.
But, when swapped around, put on “backwards” from intended use direction it put the outer sweep toward the back as needed. Only problem there was all the mounts were now useless…
The downward taper angle fit the flow of the machine shape, and the fender cut angle really well too.
But I wasn’t sure how I really liked it with my first couple mock ups…
Liked that it fit around the lights great, and even though it stuck out a lot, that’s what I was after for a push bumper (too close to the plastics and you still break plastic if you hit anything hard, defeats the purpose of having a bumper!).
It is still a bit more forward than I’d prefer, but it’s not Too far, in my opinion.
Anyway, didn’t have anything to lose, wasn’t using the bars anyway, so I started cutting brackets off, and trimming to fit around the winch.
Have I mentioned how much I Really like my angle grinder? 😆
One side down, one to go..
The look improved, but still with a “But…” Got it all mounted, and still a “But..”
It seemed to frame and magnify the big square hole above the winch, like a gaping open mouth below the eyes(headlights). (No, couldn’t close off the hole, radiator is there… although I do have a grill in mind)
Figured I’d live with it for a while. Decided to go ahead and paint it.
Bang! That did it! In black instead of chrome, it blends in and it just plain works! 😎👍✌👌
Love it when a plan comes together!
You will also note that I cut the front racks wall/upper front horizontal bar off. It was mangled beyond being worth the work of straightening it. MUCH cleaner look without it. And, the plan is a wall set for the front like I did on the rear, anyway.
Now, the mounting bolts. I wanted to drill the new bar, and run the u-bolts through, and around the existing brush guard bars.
I couldn’t get u-bolts the right width. So I got what I could, a size bigger, and did full crosses around both… it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn solid, and working.
And like the bar itself, painted they blend in , and don’t look bad.
I *think* I can make my first plan work with u-bolts a half step in between these and what I wanted. Might try that in the near future, as I’m able to afford more hardware.
Will also be interesting to see how well the headlights work through it, this fall when it actually gets dark enough to tell. Of course by then I should have the new LED lights installed, but still, I’m hoping it works OK, and doesn’t shadow terribly.