Extraordinarily bad hugger

Goodness me, the rear mudguard on my Mandello is USELESS! After only an hour in the rain yesterday the entire back of the bike is plastered in filth.

Apart from the aesthetics, I’m genuinely worried that the rear suspension and swing arm pivots will be damaged by the relentless torrent of dirt and road grit. The cat is also in the direct line of fire.

One concern is that there may not be any options for attaching a longer (thus heavier) hugger - the existing one is attached by three screws along its front edge. A longer hugger would probably need additional support along its length. Maybe using one of the bolt holes intended for the transmission guard bars?

I honestly feel something must be done before I spoil my lovely (and expensive) new bike.


Almost the same on my 850 V7. In fact almost the same on every motorcycle on the market. Efficient mudguards would spoil the “lines” of the bike. It’s what happens when motorcycle manufacturers employ designers from the ladies shoe industry. It’s all about the ‘look’ and not the practicallity.


Yes! Totally. The only bikes I know of that come with functional mudguards are from the Royal Enfield range, plus the Triumph Bonneville.

Bike manufacturers seem to assume that motorcycles are literally adult toys, not to be used except when the sun is shining. Even BMW’s GS - which is surely designed for serious work if anything is - has stupidly tiny and ineffective mudguards.

I truly and honestly want to be able to use my Mandello on wet and dirty roads without destroying the finish on the back of the engine and sand-blasting the suspension and swing arm pivots with road grit. And yes - I will gladly forego the “lines” of the bike if it means it is adequately protected.

I would be very tempted to make a rear hugger myself, except that mudguards are bent in two planes at the same time, and that makes fabrication in my garage much more challenging. Maybe starting with a mudguard from something else and modifying it, although the physical width of the back tyre might make finding something suitable difficult.

Yep also have V7 850, same prob - ‘proper’ mudguards that work are long gone - all about fashion now and ‘rich boys toys’. Dry weather use only! :slightly_smiling_face:

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Bloody hell - a whole HOUR???

You did well - a cloud has only to pass in front of the sun and mine is coated in filth!

Gift horses and all that?

But it sounds as if you need to find a friend with an English Wheel - a metal item would surely be better than a huge lump of plastic flapping about.

I think the cat can acts as a useful shield for the underside of the bike.

As far as the linkage and swingarm bearings go, Guzzi have already beefed up the swingarm bearing, go figure.

With regard to the linkages, all I can suggest is periodic strip and lube - say every 10000 miles?

We have seen what happens to the CARC bikes if the linkages are not appropriately pampered.

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Someone said that Power Bronze are producing either fender extender/huggers for the V100? Or Pyramid?

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On my V50III they were all plastic and full length - now on my EV1100 they are full length thankfully.

Pyramid produce two front fender extenders of differing lengths for the Mandello. The extra-long one is still too short to protect the engine and radiator. They also produce an engine guard plate that leaves a significant area of the engine unprotected.

For saying that these products are supposed to address shortcomings in the standard bike, all I can feel is contempt for Pyramid Plastics for charging real money for two products that don’t work because they STILL put style before function.

At the time of writing this, Pyramid don’t produce anything for the rear wheel.

I’ve never heard of Power Bronze; I’ll look them up.

Hello Steve, I’ve fitted a few of the products you mention and can testify to their effectiveness, though maybe you want more.
The FendaExtendaExtra does a very good job of pulling most of the muck down, so the radiator guard ( you have already fitted one haven’t you ? ) gets a much better time of it. But, you’re right, the timing cover still gets blasted. They have a full coverage engine guard, but to my mind it’s ugly and spoils the lines of the V100. Would look great on a Stelvio, or if you want your Mandello to look like a Stelvio. The smaller, engine cover is, I think, a much more stylish and discreet solution for keeping most of the muck off. I attach a picture of the pre-production part after 100 miles of drizzly, muddy, back roads in North Yorkshire. You can also see that the ExtendaExtra has left the rad guard relatively clean.

Full disclosure. The smaller, discreet engine cover was developed in response to a request and input from me. I found the company to be very customer responsive, quality oriented and enthusiastic motorcyclists whose work is aimed at making our rides much better.

Perhaps you’d be better off with the full coverage engine guard if you want more protection for your engine. Though I suspect it may need to be removed to get at the oil filter for servicing.

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As for the rear, that’s a trickier problem. They’ve been thinking about it quite hard ( yes, I’ve been talking with them about it ) but there are a number of issues. Principally, it’s very hard to have anything as an add-on to the existing Guzzi rear guard as it’s very floppy. The attachment is by three, relatively small screws, so very little structural support for a bigger, stiffer structure. Those screws also retain wiring for various things, including the Ohlins on the S model. This makes it a tricky product for amateur, handyman riders like us to fit without the likelihood of unintended side-effects. There are some ideas they’re pursuing, as I’m sure are the competition; PowerBronze, Puig etc.
However, I decided to fit a splashguard behind the number-plate and it’s made a huge difference to the crap that covers the rear light assembly, luggage carrier and topbox. It seems to me it was designed when tyres were wide, but before they got hugely wide like ours. It would work even better with just a cm or so more width.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the recirculation around the shock and gearbox bit. That’s going to need a proper hugger.

Thank you, @andymay.

I am speaking from experience as I have both the engine guard and extender on my bike - the same ones you picture.

Your post is interesting because you have demonstrated why some products don’t work as well as they might. Along with the majority of owners, I can see that you place a high premium on looks, and in that respect you are willing to forego some functionality. That is exactly what most customers want, it seems, and I’m sure Pyramid know what types of products give them the most profits.

I’m different. For me, the functionality of a hugger, or an engine plate, is far more important. We are obviously different in what matters to us.

Let’s take a look at the engine guard plate you have photographed. I appreciate it was designed to meet your requirements, but from my point of view it leaves a lot to be desired. It leaves large areas upper left and upper right totally unprotected. Why would you do that? And for some unfathomable reason it has two slots in it which let dirt through. Why? The dirt accumulates behind the plate, unreachable by cloth or brush when cleaning.

And now look at the bottom of the plate: they’ve tapered it to a narrow point, such that large parts of the engine lower left and lower right are, once again, totally unprotected against the grit blast. Once again, why? This is the very bit that gets most heavily blasted.

To my mind it is unnecessarily compromised. And @andymay, this is NOT a reflection on you! You had the requirements, but Pyramid designed it, and in any case your requirements are different from mine. By the way, they seem to have stopped making the previous version, which provided much better protection, presumably because customers were put off by it’s looks.

The extra-long extender is better than the standard fender, but still too short. I agree it reduces the spray onto the radiator, but there is still too much, and it doesn’t reduce the spray onto the engine at all.

I wonder if you can see it from my point of view. I just want to buy two mudguards and an engine protector plate that actually work. I want to protect the back of the engine, swing arm pivots and more-expensive-than-gold Ohlin suspension units from being drenched in salt water and sand-blasted with road grit. Ditto the radiator and front of the engine. Of all the motorcyclists on the planet, am I the only one who wants to protect my bike against the elements?

I’m sorry if I sound frustrated, @andymay - it emphatically is not aimed at you! I genuinely appreciate your account of the choices you made.

Perhaps I really am alone in wanting a bike that doesn’t slowly-but-surely destroy itself when touring in winter or wet weather. Looks are important, but weather protection is more important, as far as I’m concerned. I would also suggest that fully effective protection could be removed for the summer months, and only refitted for the winter. That could be a fine compromise.

Edited because I’m worried my original rant might have made @andymay uncomfortable, which is the very last thing I would want. His input is extremely enlightening. I want to emphasise that none of this is personal or aimed at fellow riders. :grinning:

Yep, exactly right. I’ve examined my own bike and reached a similar conclusion: the existing fastening couldn’t possibly support a heavier or larger rear mudguard. However, there is a threaded (but plugged) hole near the brake caliper which I think must be for the guard bars for the transmission (I’ve seen them advertised on the Internet, somewhere). I think it might be possible to design a mudguard that has a support arm down to that hole (much like the front extender, which is supported by the caliper fastenings). It would only be supported on one side, but I believe it could be made rigid enough for the job.

I also wonder if it might be possible to design a mudguard that is affixed to the body, rather than the swing arm. Check out the Triumph T120 and many of the Royal Enfield bikes for examples.

@andymay, do you have a link to the splash guard? I was thinking of making my own but a proprietary solution would probably be better engineered than anything I could make.

As requested, a link to the splash plate. Tyres have got so wide that I think an extra 1cm each side would work better, but I’m not complaining about the improvement.

One of our branch members fitted a fuller coverage engine guard; I didn’t catch which one. We don’t have a weather report yet, but it does need removal to get at the oil filter. Don’t know about the drain plug, but given we seem to have gone to filter change every oil change anyway ( I think ? ) makes little difference.

My use is not high speed riding on gravel roads. Therefore, my requirement is for protection from debris coming off the front tyre, not for a uniform distribution of debris, as might come from a vehicle travelling ahead of me. The nature of front tyre debris is it’s distributed in a very narrow ( perhaps an inch and a half ) stripe up the centre line, at least that close to the tyre, and with the relatively ‘clean air flow’ at the front. The 'bars are only ever significantly off-neutral at low speed when debris off the tyre isn’t significant and at high-speed the 'bars barely move because it’s all about the counter-force. I believed the photo illustrates that stripe of muck quite well. The rear spray pattern isn’t quite so clean, for many reasons, probably the most significant being the airflow is very mixed up by then, and recirculation can take the stripe and broaden it. There’s still a concentration about the centre-line, especially close to the tyre, which is why the splashplate works as well as it does.

I’ll answer one of the ( presumably rhetorical ) questions you raise. The louvres ( no metal was removed, cuts were made and the metal bent out ) had three design objectives. By angling the louvres, low density, readily deflected fluids such as air and to a lesser degree, water, can make their way through behind the plate. Higher density particles that travel in a straight line, grit, gravel, are faced with a physical obstacle and remain outside. Firstly, this allows at least some degree of cooling to the timing cover, an attempt to prevent unintended consequences.
Secondly, the theory is the air and water will provide a bit of self-cleaning action behind the plate. We’ll see how that works in practice.
The third factor was aesthetic. Function would drive the louvres to be horizontal so that the angle could be optimised to be perpendicular to the tangential trajectory of material off the front tyre. That would look great on a boxer, say, or an inline. But angling the louvres ties in the V twin layout and particularly the lines of the timing cover at that point, without significantly compromising any function we might get.

To some of us, that last is not irrelevant. I believe that if you invite something useful into your life, it should be beautiful as well. The Victorian engineers did this very well. Their bridges were a joy to behold and I visited a sewage pumping station where the ironwork was exquisitely ornamented. The Italians do this; design factories such as Bialetti, Alessi and Caligaris put beautiful, very functional objects into the home. It’s the reason many of us find ourselves attracted to Italian 'bikes, and end up owning several. Though the older ones, particularly, can be prone to some idiosyncratic function.

Weather protection is always going to be a compromise, with individuals choosing their position differently. It was always thus. The Le Mans put front tyre muck up the alternator and timing cover. If you weren’t up for that then you could ride the T3 instead, with its full coverage mudguards and foot-boards. I think the T3 is a fabulous, beautiful machine, but personally, I’m more of a Le Mans sort of chap.

Thanks, @andymay , for such a brilliant reply. I’ll just respond briefly to some of your points.

I appreciate that the front tyre throws off quite a narrow band of spray, but having checked mine at least some dirt ends up on the unprotected areas. Even so, thanks for an excellent account of the design decisions behind the guard plate. I remain sceptical about the role of the slots and in fact have blocked them on mine.

You are spot on in saying that weather protection is always going to be a compromise - that statement nails it, and I alluded to it in my post. There seems to be two factors at play, here: 1/ how willing you are to forego beauty to achieve functionality; 2/ what constitutes beauty in the eye of the owner.

1/ I accept that I am well away from the norm in my willingness to give up on aesthetics in order to get excellent functionality when it comes to mudguarding (fendering?). Also, ideally the components should be easy to fit and remove so I can restore the bike to its original beauty when winter has passed.

2/ For me, as an engineer, functionality is part of beauty. When I look at the standard rear hugger on the Mandello, the uselessness of the design actually offends me. I feel annoyed that MG thought it was OK to design it like that. I also feel the same way about the front mudguard - it is so utterly useless as to be contemptible. Any aesthetic value is wiped out by the cynical disregard for functionality.

You are right that the Victorian engineers understood the value of aesthetic beauty. Close to me is Papplewick Pumping Station, a fine example of what you describe. However, I don’t believe the Victorians ever compromised functionality in order to make something aesthetically pleasing. They wanted, and achieved, both.

In summary: for me at least, “beauty” comprises aesthetics plus something harder to define - an elegant (perhaps even ingenious) engineering solution that achieves its functional aims. If both are achieved, then I’m happy.

Sadly, in the world of motorcycling, it seems that aesthetics override all other considerations.

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I’ve had an idea for the rear hugger. As we said earlier, the three little screws along the leading edge preclude fitting anything longer or heavier. However, I think a longer mudguard could be supported by a bracket either side, the brackets being fastened to the hollow rear axle by expanding plugs.

Alternatively, support it on one side only using a bracket attached with the caliper fastenings, as is done with the front extender.

Hmmm… maybe not. The axle is offset from the centre line of the hugger by a lot, which would make the bracket look very weird on the right hand side of the bike.

A single-sided support fastened either to the caliper or the axle on the left hand side might look OK.

Meanwhile, just for fun, here is an example of mudguarding done properly. :smiley: Actually, almost properly. A small flap on the front mudguard gives it almost perfect functionality.

I have one of these, in deep red. I totally love it.

Surely the manufacturers of these accessories should be able to demonstrate the use of some science in the design and then provide some proof of the effectiveness of the design. The air and water flow around every part of a motorcycle riding on wet roads must be hugely complex and “guessing” what is happening is probably not going to result in an effective product. Do manufacturers employ the services of aerodynamicists, CFD programmes, and wind tunnels? Perhaps that would be an interesting question to ask. Cheers Phil

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I’ve just read the Jan-Feb 2024 edition of Gambalunga. By coincidence there’s an article in it by Dick Penfold (page 19) complaining about exactly these issues.

I had a hugger on my sport, but it funneled water onto disc in wet weather causing the disc and pads to wear very quickly.

I found a reasonable solution by putting a “shield” on, I used mudflap on my old T3 (protecting the clutch assy) but plastic sheet on the sport. This keeps a lot of the spray off the back of the engine and shock and linkages.