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Damn!!! Can Valve Covers Be Repaired?


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I can’t believe this just happened!


Sunday, I spent the day attending the MSF’s ERC course, and must have mounted/dismounted the bike a thousand times.


After the course, I stopped by for my weekly visit with my parents, and somehow my presence of mind was totally gone, and I got off of my RT without putting down the sidestand. Anyway, because I didn’t have the side bags on, it looks like all of the weight got supported by the left hand cylinder jug and the feeler on the bottom of the foot peg.


Everything seems to be running OK, and there aren’t any other signs of ground contact.


So, replacing the cylinder cover looks like that’s about a $153 option.


Anyone have any experienced advice to offer? Can it be polished, or otherwise “repaired” for less $$? (The scratches have gone through the paint into the magnesium). Is there anything else I should be checking the integrity of?


What about engine guards? I was talking with another BMW owner at the ERC about getting some just hours earlier. Any recommendations about where to get them? Looking at the damage, I think they might have taken all the abuse if they were on.


Thanks for any help,



[edit: gave it meaningful title]

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If you got out of that one with only head scratches buy some guards, but them on and it will hide the damage. Then "forgetaboutit". you didn't say anything about the mirror. If there's no damage there you got off cheap!

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... about the engine guards ((Any recommendations about where to get them?))


9 out of 10 BMW dealers will have them on their shelf... at the slightly inflated BMW retail.


Call Chicago BMW and ask for "BMW parts sales" (also sell HD) and get the best price.

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Hey Eric, I bought my 02 RT last Sept. it had engine gaurds on it that hid the scratches of a past kiss of pavement from the previous owner. Almost a year later and none of my friends ever noticed. Get the gaurds and ride on.



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tom collins

mine has fallen over several times and scratched up the cover. i took a dremel tool and grinder and just smoothed it out. no, it doesn't look perfect, but it may drop again. i might buy the new cover if i decide to sell it, but for now, it doesn't bother me enough to do anything about it. you can't see it when you are riding.

good luck.


tom collins


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As mentioned, get the guards if it will cover the spot and forget about it.


Or, it is possible to body putty fill and repaint them.

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Hindsight is 20/20 - but the guards are less than a new head cover frown.gif Like the other poster said, if they will cover up the damage just put a pair on and forget it. Keep watching EBAY/Craigslist, etc for a used replacement cover - people crash their bikes from time to time and then part them out, so you may be able to find one, but you may have to wait.


I did what you did - forgot the sidestand, once in 1980 when I was in the Navy. I had a new Suzuki 750, rode up to where a group of my Navy buddies were waiting to take a training course, forgot the stand, leaned over, and the bike slowly fell over on me in front of all my buddies, many of whom were also riders! I have never forgotten the kickstand again! Knock on wood!

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somehow my presence of mind was totally gone, and I got off of my RT without putting down the sidestand.

Been there, done that. One in the morning after a grueling day at work. Such a bonehead move, all I could do was laugh rather than cry. FWIW, the engine guard, weight bias, etc. resulted in the bike resting on the guard only and not tipping over completely. Minimal scrape or two to the guard but that's it. Definitely worth the investment.


Hang in there. We've all got our horror stories.

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Don't bother with the guards. If anyone scoffs at the scratches, just tell them you were passing Rossi on the inside and scraped the valve cover.




Alternately, just kick it over on the other side so they match.

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I managed to do a number on my side cases (color matched), as well as the cyl guards. A gravel lot can really do some damage. Bought the brush guards for the side cases and no one is the wiser.. thumbsup.gif

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Last year I stumbled in to work one day and got off the bike. Rocked it back onto the centre stand but not quite hard enough. The poor thing rocked forward again and fell over on the RIGHT side (Just couldn't grab it in time).

Not only did it do the cylinder and bag scratch thing, but also fell against a brick wall, scratched the windsreen AND busted out the R/H lower pivot for the screen!!!

Straight away bought and installed the cylinder guards (They're right, you don't notice it once the guards are on) and fixed up the pivot with a 3/4 copper pipe saddle.

One of these days I'll get a new screen but that's the only evidence that the poor thing shows for my negligence. dopeslap.gif



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What about engine guards?

Contrary to other opinions on this topic, I suggest not putting guards on. I had them on and when my R1100RT fell over in the parking lot, the guard was ground into the cover and damaged the head cover as much as the concrete would have. Instead, I recommend filling the gouges with Bondo and repainting with silver paint. At one time, Duplicolor had a silver paint for use in painting wheels that was a very good color match. Since, they have stopped selling that particular color. However, if you look around you will find a color close enough to go unnoticed. This is cheaper and in the long run, you will drop it again and get tired of replacing the damaged guards.

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Yes they can and very easily. You will have to sand them down pretty close to the bare metal, or until all of the scratches/gauges are gone. Use a body filler for the samll scratches and a good primer. After that you can use Duplicolor Import Paint # 88-00910 Arctic Silver. You will need to spay on a clearcoat after the silver to get the color to be a close match.


I also repaired my damaged guards with a fiberglass material and an expoxy. then sanded them and repainted. They look good as new.


I got the paint and clear coat at O'Reily's.



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