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Grant R26
Grant R26's picture
VBMWMO #8145
Toronto Canada and Long Island, Nova Scotia
Joined: 03/28/2011
Posts: 213

I am fine with the look of the gators on my 1951 R51/3

that said, the original metal sleeve fork cover system looks correct and more "period" to me. They were probably removed decades ago.

I see that there are complete kits for sale on eBay from European suppliers that come primed ready for finish coating. Would still be a fair bit of work to complete the job.

What is the down side ? Anybody have any comments or suggestions please ?

Grant MacNeill, Toronto, R51/3 R27

  • gators.jpg
  • original_forks.jpg
baddean's picture
Cincinnati Ohio
Joined: 10/25/2006
Posts: 18

The only down side would be if you use your R51/3 as a regular rider the metal covers had a tendency to gather dirt and grit and caused excessive wear to the fork tubes and seals. The rubber gaiters were added in 1952 to address just that issue. The upgraded parts were usually installed on the older bike if the metal covers were damaged or had caused damage due to the dirt build up. The rubber gaiters are easily replaced if worn or damaged.
Only you can decide if the change over is worth the effort and expense, especially since you seem to be fine with the look of the rubber gaiters.
Since you are soliciting comments, I think the rubber gaiters are more "modern" looking while the metal covers are more "vintage" looking.
I like them both so I guess I'm a neutral commentator.

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