When I bought my new 500 I thought to myself, what good are those to little mud flap hanging down under the bike and considered trimming them off but didn't.
Last weekend I was riding in some rocks and got hung up, shifted into reverse and started backed off the rocks. There was a large rock under the floor board right behind the front tire. As I back up the rock pushed on the mud flap causing the plastic rivets to let go. After the rivets let go, the mud flap became pinched between the tire and the rock tearing the crap out of the lower back section of the fender, it'll all happened in a split second. If the flap had been cut off it wouldn't have hung down far enough the get between the rock and tire.
I'll be ordering another lower fender section and you can bet I'll trim the flaps off.
That was the first thing I did when I got it from the dealer also. I have no idea why they have them. They act as curb feelers, can't go over anything without scraping. I cut mine off with tin snips but a buddy of mine cut his of with a dremel tool and cutting blade.
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