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Why an Opening in Rear Hugger?

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Fellow clean-freaks,
I was mucking around the dirty end of my FJ tidying things up and I noticed the stock hugger has an opening in it.
Seems to me that would allow more crud to hit the shock and gum things up.
Anyone know why this opening exists?
Is it OK to tape it over to protect the shock?
1968 Triumph Bonneville 650
1971 Norton Commando Roadster
2002 Harley 1200 Sportster
2003 Honda ST 1300
2016 FJ 09
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I've always thought an aftermarket rear hugger that goes back up over the rear tire, nearly to about where the swing arm ends would be a good idea for anyone that lives or rides in wet weather.
The "bolt on" BMW style, and newer FZ hugger with the plate mount is also a good thing for cutting down the thrown debris/water, but in combination they would be excellent. (Make it one unit, with the frame bolted into the rear axle bolt, and to the front at the hugger mount location.
Of course have a rubber seal to cover the "weld" relief in the plastic to keep spray from being blasted right onto the shock.
For style, add some design that mimics tire tread, and of course be able to mount the plate and lamp for the plate there to tidy up the "tail" under the seat.
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