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Cylinder head protection... Is that your final answer?


Effjay

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This topic has come up numerous times (I searched), but I've all but eliminated from consideration BMW's plastic head guards (good looks, but perhaps marginal protection), and I think I'll also pass on BMW's cast aluminum guards designed primarily for the GS. So that leaves Wunderlich's tubular, Touratech's tubular and Touratech's formed from aluminum sheet stock (clear or black anodized). I know there are other options out there, but these seem to be the major players. I'm leaning towards the Touratech aluminum guards for combo of simplicity of mounting and better protection than ABS plastic. Other than GS-oriented styling, does anyone have experience with the quality of Touratech's anodizing process? Aluminum anodized black can turn a pinkish shade of grey if not properly processed and sealed. Maybe that would look acceptable on a GS, but I'm kind of anal about appearance. My plan is to order head guards tomorrow 'cus I'm not anxious to tempt fate! wink.gif My back up plan is to just order a set of Wonderlich's chromed tubular bars from Santa Cruz BMW and call it good...

 

Thanks,

Jeff

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I have been trying to decide also which way to go.

Now I am not sure, but I do believe that I read on here that with the Tourtech you had to remove them before doing any maintaince on the motor.

May be wrong.

I'm still looking.

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I have fitted the Touratech guards to my R1200RT and are very happy with their appearance and function.

They have to be removed before the rocker covers come off, but it is only three screws.

911729-Rockerguard101.jpg.c6374dc75cec251959d7246a0c3a7931.jpg

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The tradeoff on Touratech bars are better cylinder protection in a tip-over but at the cost of reduced ground clearance during a turn. I have Wunderlich bars and while I can still drag the peg feelers on aggressive cornering I do not touch the bars (must be pretty close, though). The Wunderlich bars do not appear to provide as much protection as the Touratechs. I'm a bit lazy about moving around on the saddle when turning, dopeslap.gif so TT bars wouldn't be good for ME. People who are more diligent about leaning off the saddle could probably be satisfied with either.

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malcolmblalock

I'm trying to make the same decision, too. Each set of protectors seem to have different pros and cons. A hard call.

 

Given that my riding style is to not lay it over very deep into the curves, I think the Touratech probably is best for me. However, with the guards interfering with access to the valve cover, I'm wondering how difficult those 3 screws are to remove and reinstall? Is this a 5 minute procedure, or is it more entailed?

 

I'll appreciate learning a little more about how much trouble it is to get access to the valves if using the Touratech protectors.

 

Thanks in advance for more information.

 

siman00

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My 2 cents... I went with the plastic covers. The day *after* I tipped over in an intersection! eek.gif

 

Would have helped. If I hit the pavement while moving, I am sure I will have bigger issues to deal with than a new head covers. To each is own, no real clear answer, but from the looks of things on this board, more people report dropping it while stopped (forgot kickstand, on incline, etc) than anything else. So, some protection is better than none!

 

-Jason.

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I went with BMW's plastic protectors because a) they seem to be strong enough to withstand a tipover or typical scrape, b) the flexible plastic seems less likely to damage the valve cover itself on impact, whereas a metal protector might crush/bend and damage or leave marks on the cover, and c) they look the best of all available protectors, IMO.

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I also did the BMW plastic on the heads and the rubber protectors on the bags. Haven't tested them yet, but when Jan tipped his bike over tongue.gif, the plastic did its job and looks OK. There are scuffs in the black plastic, but nothing that is highly visible to the casual observer.

 

Get the style you like. I suspect they are all adequate for a tipover.

 

If you really crash your bike, it will cost a fortune to repair anyway, so you might as well go down in style. cool.gif

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I also bought the Wunderlich brand, but I am adding a coat of Line X to them. For added protection from rocks and other debris (I am not a chrome person and I heard the silver chips easily) plus I like the way they look. I have done this in the past with other protectors and have had a slight "tipping of the bike". The bars worked great and the Line X held up with no problems.

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Given that my riding style is to not lay it over very deep into the curves, I think the Touratech probably is best for me.

 

Yeah, but think about THIS scenario--if ascending a steep switchback mountain road, due to the rising pavement in the curves and overall road surface slope/geometry, it is EASY to touch down while leaning very little in a hairpin! I have done it once and read somewhere (here) about someone who low-sided in the same scenario when their Touratech's touched down. Can't find it now, as usual.....supposedly pegs will touch down before Wunderlich's and so far that has been my experience. Oh..and in a low speed drop the Wunderlich's worked great--no bar ends or mirrors touched down and the angle (laying over) was high enough that righting the bike wasn't such a big deal either. blush.gif

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Missouri Bob

I have the plastic guards, and "tested" them today. Thought the sidestand was extended when it wasn't. The guards did their job. No repairs needed.

 

Crash bars worry me. In the distant past on more than one occasion, I lifted the front wheel while leaned over onto the bars. One of those lifts resulted in a low-side. The other just scared me silly. Another time when I went onto the bars, I broke an engine mount to which they were attached.

 

As someone else already stated, if you crash bad enough to need steel reinforcement, your bike is probably totaled.

 

Bob

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BMW Plastic thingys

+1

+2 -- they, along with the side case protectors, certainly did their job a few months back during a parking lot tip over.

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I'm re-evaluating my opinion of those plastic protectors and agree they look like they belong on an RT. Did the side case protectors completely avoid scarring of painted surfaces?

If so, I would be tempted to get a set of those too!

 

Thanks,

Jeff

 

BMW Plastic thingys

+1

+2 -- they, along with the side case protectors, certainly did their job a few months back during a parking lot tip over.

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When my 1100RT collided with a deer (I mean the deer collided with me), my RT slid approx 100' on its side (I was going 60 at the time)

I must say, while the plastic thingy's got ground down and all the way thru, it prevented the covers from getting ground clean thru and letting the oil out.

They did their job!

Too bad the bike didn't make it though. tongue.gif

But hey, that's what 1200's are for....replacement grin.gif

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Before you guys waste money on those "plastic thingy's", you really need to read some other threads on the subject. Unless you will enjoy replacing those plastic thingies every time you drop it (which after a couple times you could have paid for the tube type guards), or at least the metal covers that fit flat against the cyls, if it's appearance you're going for. Personally, I don't believe those cylinders were designed to be crash guards and keeping them from impacting the gound is bound to be better than the alternative. Here's a link for starters. http://bmwsporttouring.com/ubbthreads/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/735105/page/0/fpart/4/vc/1

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good thread... but have heard no talk about the Verholen Steel Head Protectors... they are looking good to me... any users or comments?

http://www.ascycles.com/detail.aspx?ID=44459

Have had them on for 8000 miles. Never tested. dopeslap.gif Yet. All steel, no weathering marks, come off with the valve cover for valve adjustment so no extra work. 5 extra H.P. wave.gif Had the factory ones on my 2000 RT. Never tested. Rode my bike to work today. I better go check and see if it fell over and "tested" the guards. I would buy again (verholen) if needed. frown.gif

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good thread... but have heard no talk about the Verholen Steel Head Protectors... they are looking good to me... any users or comments?

http://www.ascycles.com/detail.aspx?ID=44459

One more option is Hornig's valve cover guard (at least they are honest not calling them "cylinder head" guards! The lazer cut shape nicely follows valve cover contours, but I'm not sure how much protection they really offer. As one poster commented, it's maybe better to have (glass filled) plastic yield harmlessly to mild impact than an aluminum or stainless guard which crumples and damages the casting anyway (at least cosmetically). Hornig guards from Eurotech Motorsports

 

Jeff

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got a pair of the Verholen protectors and will install them in the next few days. What I'm wondering is if anyone else has already done the install? The directions are in German (which I've gotten translated) and they, as nearly as I can tell, make no mention of four, roughly 1" diameter nylon (or plastic) disks that are included in the parts bag. The stainless steel, threaded spacers are mentioned and appear to be used as "lock" nuts to prevent turning the valve cover bolts in too far. If a torque wrench is used, however, it's unclear to me why one would need them.

 

So, anyone have any thoughts?

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I got a pair of the Verholen protectors and will install them in the next few days. What I'm wondering is if anyone else has already done the install? The directions are in German (which I've gotten translated) and they, as nearly as I can tell, make no mention of four, roughly 1" diameter nylon (or plastic) disks that are included in the parts bag. The stainless steel, threaded spacers are mentioned and appear to be used as "lock" nuts to prevent turning the valve cover bolts in too far. If a torque wrench is used, however, it's unclear to me why one would need them.

 

So, anyone have any thoughts?

 

I put a set on my bike, couldn't get the instructions translated so I just "winged it". Tried using the nylon discs. Removed the bolt from the rubber valve cover washers, (ended up buggering up one, had minor leak until replaced rubber), but when I tightened the valve cover bolt the nylon just stretched all out, so I threw them away. I didn't install the threaded spacers, was afraid they might fall off when removing the valve cover bolts in the future. May install them in the future with locktite so they can't fall in. I could get my torx socket using the torque wrench on one of the bolts, would not clear the verholen cover to sufficently engage the other bolt, so I was left to use the torx wrench provided. The wrench is short enough that it seemed about as tight as the other bolt and no leaks so I figure I'm good to go.

clap.gif

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This evening I installed "my final answer" in the form of BMW's glass-filled plastic guards. Instructions were overkill, telling me to remove more bits than required. I did remove the RH side cover, but just released the lower cover at the various mounting screws without actually removing the thing which allowed me to splay the lower portion away from the cylinder enough to access the mounting points (good thing I had torx sockets!). No surprises on appearance - lots of pics available showing installed. They do look good as if they were designed for this engine. Oh yeah, they were!

 

Jeff

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Jeff:

 

I just removed my BMW head protectors. The sexy black ones. I put on the Wunderlich bars. Here's why:

 

1. On an RT, it takes forever to remove and replace these things. I can do my valve adjustments in less time. The Wunderlichs allow full access to the valve covers, oil filter and drain.

 

2. When you drop it, it's easier to pick up with crash bars.

 

I can tell you that the protectors do work well in a drop situation. I had minimal bike damage.

 

BUT...I had a drop on a 3 point turn in a forest on a gravel road. I thought I might not get out of there because I couldn't pick up my bike. It took 30 minutes of prep and a lot of praying for me to get out of there. I cracked a rib lifing it, but I got out OK. The first 5 inches of lifting was the worst so now it's crash bars for me.

 

-TB

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Jeff:

 

I just removed my BMW head protectors. The sexy black ones. I put on the Wunderlich bars. Here's why:

 

1. On an RT, it takes forever to remove and replace these things. I can do my valve adjustments in less time. The Wunderlichs allow full access to the valve covers, oil filter and drain.

 

2. When you drop it, it's easier to pick up with crash bars.

 

I can tell you that the protectors do work well in a drop situation. I had minimal bike damage.

 

BUT...I had a drop on a 3 point turn in a forest on a gravel road. I thought I might not get out of there because I couldn't pick up my bike. It took 30 minutes of prep and a lot of praying for me to get out of there. I cracked a rib lifing it, but I got out OK. The first 5 inches of lifting was the worst so now it's crash bars for me.

 

-TB

 

++ on Easier picking it up. Have done it both ways--with the Wunderlichs it almost feels like it's half way up already! The handlebars are hanging there at just the right angle to grab--the bars do half the work for you.

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