It was nerve-wracking to drill into the sheet metal of a $18,000+ MSRP motorcycle, but installing the rack on the sidecar fender was easy. Here’s how I did it.
We were about to install the OEM Ural fender rack on the sidecar fender.
If we did a good job, no one would notice but us. If we screwed up, we’d have a bunch of holes in my brand new motorcycle.
We made a grid with painter’s tape, measured, re-measured, eyeballed, adjusted for windage, hemmed and hawed, and then I stepped forward and hit our mark with the center punch.
There was no turning back.
Here's what you'll need
- Painter’s tape
- 10mm wrench
- Spring loaded center punch
- #48, #38 drill bits (or similar) suitable for drilling into sheet metal. I used titanium high speed bits from Harbor Freight
- 1/16″ – 7/8″ step bit (or any step bit capable of drilling a 1/4″ hole)
- Power drill (I recommended a corded one)
- Measuring tape
- Level (optional, depending on how level the ground is)
In order to avoid mishaps, do all measurement steps multiple times.
- Apply blue painter’s tape over the area of the sidecar fender you expect to drill into.
- Place the side rack on the fender. If your work area is level, use a bubble level to make sure it’s straight. My garage isn’t level, so we had to eyeball it. Note that the rack is slightly curved, if the bolt holes are mostly flush against the sheet metal you’re on the right track.
- Mark where you will drill the holes by tracing a circle the inside of each bolt hole with a Sharpie.
- Dot the center of each circle.
- Use the centerpunch on each dot to create a starting divot in the sheet metal. This reduces the chance of my first drill bit “walking” and scratching the paint.
- Use a #48 drill bit to drill the straightest pilot hole possible
- Use a larger, #38 bit to make way for the step bit
- Use a step bit to drill a 1/2″ hole in the sheet metal
- Run the step drill bit in reverse and/or use a small file to remove any rough edges in the sheet metal
- Affix the factory bolts, with the washer in between the bolt head and the rack. You will need to hold the nut with a wrench, otherwise it will spin as you tighten the bolt.
I was extremely happy with the results. Between my careful measuring and using the natural curve of the mounts as a guide, I was able to install the fender to my satisfaction.
If you are reluctant to take this project on, ask a friend to be there. I was grateful for Bertimus Prime as a second set of eyes and a gut check before I started drilling into a brand new Ural.