And not meaning to be picky, but if you have decided to run without a front guard then consider fiting some sort of brace to the mudguard mounts. It is a nice looking bike and you would not want to wreck the paint job by tossing it down the road cause it get the wobbles under breaking.
Yes The top of the sliders need to be joined together or they can "walk" particularly under braking. A very slight difference in the angles of the legs as they compress will twist the front wheel and makes handleing well, interesting !!! You have done a top notch job on the paintwork so you don't want to toss it down the road.
I'm sure the fender idea would be a good idea but I like the look without
I had to ride for just a few days without a front fender, after tracking down the cause of serious front fork stiction to a badly-made bracket. Even though I never rode in the rain during those few days, I was surprised at the amount of crap stuck to the front of the bike in a direct line with the naked front tyre! If you fit a brace between the sliders, a well-chosen small fender attached to it shouldn't detract from the "look" but will keep an awful lot off the front of the bike.