first thing you need to shove axel all the way forward before setting fender. This will help to avoid trouble when adjusting the chain in the future. I made the bracket on mine, adjustable.
Im no engineer, but I dont like the idea of cutting on the swing...especially the tubes nearest the axel. It just looks like a weak spot to me. With all the forces and flexing the tubes of swing are subjected to. And now that the thinner tube of the swing has been heated by welding it to thicker tube, and is more brittle, it made more sense to me to add 4 inches to the front. Using the same thickness material as the swing itself.
Mine has 2.5 - 3 inches of clearance before fender bottoms on frame. I have pretty stiff shocks. (Made for at least a 750) I haven't bottomed out yet and we got some pretty nasty railroad crossings here in Illinois. I have been a little bit airborne more than once.
I re-used the original fender strut, holder, brace, thing...Hasnt shown any signs of fatigue or cracking yet.
The thing that surprises me most. My cheap little plastic Ebay special LED taillight is STILL WORKING
after being beaten to death on the fender. Like 3 years now.
Go ahead Alpha, awaiting your 2 cents. . . .lol