Blind-Spot Mirror Installation

The stock mirrors are ineffective. I replaced them with bar-end mirrors and am very happy with those. A clever idea proposed by Bill Jinks of the Owners Association to enhance the ability of the rider to see more to the side was to mount small mirrors on brackets attached to the vertical portion of the fairing inserts. This page describes the fabrication of those brackets and the attachment of inexpensive convex mirrors to them.

The cost of this project is very small.

  1. A pair of mirrors are about $3.00 at Pep Boys.
  2. A foot of Aluminum L-Bar Stock 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/16" is about $1.20 at Orchard Supply Hardware.
  3. Machine screws, machine nuts, rubber washers, paint?

The mirrors are rotationally adjustable. Turning them changes their mount angle for a different view.

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The attachment brackets are made from 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/16" aluminum bar stock. Two sets of two-piece brackets are needed, one set for each side. The large piece is the same for each side but the smaller piece is different. There is one small left piece and one small right piece. They differ in the direction of one of the fabrication angles. The 1/8" attachment holes are drilled to match one of the small pieces. With handmade pieces and a hand drill it's tough to drill perfectly placed holes so you have to use one piece as an overlay to drill the holes on the other.

The two small pieces are made with two angles each:

  • The 10 degree angle must be achieved by cutting the piece that way. The left piece is cut one way, the right piece the other way. Its purpose is to compensate for the angle of the fairing insert at the attachment point to obtain a vertical mount surface. You could actually go more than 10 degrees since the rider is looking down at the mirror. A slight up angle on the bracket in addition to the up angle on the mirror's built-in mount would compensate for that downward look.
  • The 20 degree angle is gotten by simply bending the piece at the existing L-bar 90 degree angle farther back by 20 degrees to 110 degrees. This angle points the vertical mounting surface outwards a bit for a better side view in the mirror.

A good bench vise is a must as is a steel file and a power drill with 1/8" and 7/32" drill bits. The heavy jaws of the bench vice makes a good metal flattener also. Smoothing sandpaper also comes in handy.

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I primed then painted the pieces before assembling the bracket. When I attached the 4-40 machine screws and nuts, some paint flaked off. I then had to touch up the assembled brackets. Better to attach the bracket pieces first then paint. Make sure the brackets are assembled correctly first (see pictures below). Black anodized brackets would be much preferred but would raise the cost significantly.

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Mount the brackets prior to attaching the mirrors. Clean the mount surface with rubbing alcohol first. Then peel off the adhesive backing and mount the mirrors centrally on the face plates. The orientation doesn't matter since the mirrors rotate for adjustment.

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The mirrors do a decent job of showing the blind-spot area just to the left and right. These should not be used, however, as a substitute for turning your head and looking prior to executing any maneuver. If you don't like the mirrors, you can just take them off and all it has really cost you is a little workshop time.

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Last Updated: 02-19-2003

Copyright © 2001-03, Patrick Glenn, All Rights Reserved.
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The information presented here reflects solely my personal experience with my motorcycle and is presented for entertainment purposes only. No information presented here is to be relied upon for issues of rider safety nor to replace the services of a qualified service technician. Any attempts to follow or duplicate any of these procedures are done so completely at your own risk. By reading the information on this site, you agree to assume complete responsibility for any and all actual or consequential damages that may arise from any information presented herein.