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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 12:08 AM   #1
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How to: Make your own license plate bracket

There's no reason for a license plate bracket to cost $100 unless its made out of carbon fiber and comes wrapped in fifty $1 bills. I'm not cheap, but I don't believe in paying cock-in-the-butt prices for something that you can make with off-the-shelf components in your garage. I'm also a bit of a weight weenie and can't fathom why it takes a pound and a half bracket to secure a 2 oz license plate.

So here's my solution.

Go to Orchard Supply and purchase aluminum angle stock. This is what it looks like:

The size doesn't really matter, nor does the thickness. I went with a 1/4" x 1/2" bar and cut it into three sections with a nearby hacksaw so I could fit it in my backpack (I paid for it before shoving it into my Kriega).

90% of my tools are in storage, so the results aren't perfect (I don't have a deburrer, for instance), but a hacksaw job on a plate bracket looks way better than the stock mount and shaves a good couple of pounds in the process.

Remove the stock rear plate bracket. This video will show you how (not my vid):

DIY: "How To" Carbon License Plate Holder and LED Euro turn signal install. (Ducati 1199 Panigale). - YouTube

Once off:

1) Cut a length of the aluminum that's equal or slightly smaller than the width of your license plate.
2) Trace the holes of the plate onto the aluminum bracket.
3) Remove your passenger footpegs and trace the width of the rear-most footpeg holes onto the top of the license plate bracket. If you don't have your footpegs mounted, place a piece of aluminum foil or paper onto the two rear-most passenger footpeg holes in the rear subframe and poke out each hole with a pencil. Use that as a template to mark the holes you'll be drilling on the top of the bracket. (Or of course you can measure the center to center distance with a caliper or ruler.)
4) Once you have your bar stock marked, drill holes large enough to accommodate the screws you will be using. This is what the top should look like:

And this is what the license plate holes (if you're in the US) should look like:

5) Next up, bolt it in:

(I only ended up using one of the passenger footpeg bolts to mount the bracket, which is more than sufficient.)

6) Then mount the plate (I used zip ties temporarily, then found some spare windshield mounting bolts I used to mount it permanently (zip ties can't take the heat!):

7) You might need to bend the 90 deg. aluminum bracket to get the right angle you want. I accomplished this with a hammer.

8) To keep the plate nice and legal I scored a LED bar from HERE. This is what it looks like:

9) Pushed the wire for the LED like so:

9b) I gooped on some clear adhesive to protect the internals from water/debris:

10) Jammed the LED up into the space where my fingers are (it fits perfectly and needs no adhesive):

11) Ran the wire up into the rear trunk compartment:

12) Cut off the wires (leaving the plug intact) that originally led to the now removed stock license plate light and then wire the leads from the new LED to the stock harness:

(I used simple twist connections because all of my electrical tools and soldering iron are in storage 400 miles away.)

13) Turned on the ignition and viola:

There are a number of options for turn signals. I'm just going to use the same 3 or 5 LED component in amber for the turn signals and glue 'em to the inside holes in the tail.

The plate is far brighter at night than the stock plate/light, the setup is far lighter than stock (or any aftermarket component) and cost me less than $20 (and I had enough bar stock to make 5 or 6 of these).

Oh yes-I shot the rear of the plate and the bracket with some Krylon flat black textured spray paint, which blends in nicely with all the black components of the Panigale's rear end.

Sexy, no?

Last edited by AntiHero; Jul 3rd 2013 at 08:08 AM.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 12:31 AM   #2
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I Ride: 2012 1199S - 2006 Husaberg 450E BMW K1300S 1978 Ducati 900SSD
I love to see stuff like this. I recently posted where I made a small bracket for some reflectors out of scrap.

Anti I am going to use your tip of spraying the back of my plate black to blend better...now why did I not think of that...thanks buddy


PS just noticed that you have bolted your Kriega clips in as well. I have done the same. You may have given me that idea too, can't remember.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 12:57 AM   #3
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Great idea AntiHero...Good tip!!!

Someone now should think of a way of covering that gigantic hole where the oem plate bracket was mounted to. Some sort of a nice elongated triangular cover painted in black I suppose.
I dont seem to like that opening where the 4 oem plate bracket screws were located...... there must be a way to cover it up cleanly though.

Last edited by mig1199; Jul 3rd 2013 at 12:59 AM.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 01:02 AM   #4
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what is that green and white colored cord on the right side of your bike, near the oil filler cap?
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 08:12 AM   #5
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Crap--I mistakenly posted this in the wrong forum. Moderator please move to Guides!

Mig1199: It's actually not that unsightly. I thought it'd bug me, but it doesn't. You can also cut out a very thin sheet of aluminum and squeeze it up into there - or a section of radiator grille mesh.

Ducati Dreams: Stay tuned for the next "How To" (rear brake reservoir delete).
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 08:19 AM   #6
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Holy shit that tire is squared off!! Time for a coast-to-coast trip to every track hehe.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 11:51 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by FrostyFire View Post
Holy shit that tire is squared off!! Time for a coast-to-coast trip to every track hehe.
Ha, yeah, it does look like that--and it was a little flat in the center, but the shadow of the hugger makes it look like a car tire practically! The bottom of the tire shows how round it really still is/was (since been replaced with Supercorsa SC2s--2 track days and lots of street miles and they're still looking great).

I like the Coast-to-Coast track trip idea, though....
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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I actually did this over the winter. Even got the angle for free so it only cost me some time and a can of flat black spray paint. Didn't bother with led for plate and covered the big hole where the stock monstrosity bolted up with a fiberglass undertail from BUCCI.
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Old Jul 4th 2013, 07:14 PM   #9
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Did the indicators today.

LED Indicator Mod - YouTube
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Old Jul 12th 2013, 10:06 AM   #10
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Great work!
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