Don’t you love on-line shopping? With the world at your fingertips, quite literally, it seems you can find just about anything.

And so it was when I decided Cafe LeMans needed a pair of old-school black rubber fork gaiters (or is it gaitors?).

Out with a measuring stick and some vernier calipers, fire up ebay and, sure enough, problem solved. An ebay seller called ‘megapacks’ in the United Kingdom had a pair  to fit a Yamaha Diversion 900 and they looked like they would also fit the Guzzi.

IMG_0974So, kah-ching went Mr MasterCard and the gaiters flew across the planet like magic.

Now, fitting a set of gaiters requires removing the front fork tubes. This is not a lot of fun — especially if you’re working with a 27-year-old bike which probably hasn’t had the front forks removed for roughly 27 years (give or take). The front wheel came off easily enough, but extracting the fork tubes required serious encouragement. Rubber mallet. Then timber drift and hammer. Whack, whack, whack. The left one came out millimetre by excruciating millimetre. The right one was no different.

And getting those fork tubes back on the bike was every bit as slow as getting them off. What looked like an hour’s job took all bloody day.

Finally installed, they looked perfect.

But here I am, five months later and guess what? One of them has split. And not just a little split, more like a gash. And this on a bike that lives indoors when she’s not playing in the sunshine.

_DSC0170At $55 for the pair, I’d hoped they’d last several years. And at ten profanities per hour in The Shed, I’d hoped they’d last for several decades. You think I want to remove those bloody fork tubes again? No sir-ee. I’m going to go with that split-gaiter look for a while. Maybe it’ll catch on. Hey, pretty young girls walk around here in torn Levi’s, so you never know.

What’s good: Great fit, very cool look.

What’s bad: Crap quality, or maybe I got a dud. But either way, not happy.


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Peter Terlick