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Old 05-31-2012, 04:03 PM   #1
Thunder Pig OP
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1200GS valve cover guard

New to this forum as I'm getting my first BMW next week and looking for help from the inmates.

I'm looking for to get some valve cover guards for my 2012 Rallye. Have the AltRider bars coming and wondering if I need the valve cover guards or not. My choice for now is the X-Heads as they have the most coverage. I don't know if they will keep heat in or if dirt gets in between and just grind down whatever it touches. Dealer of course want to sell me the BMW aluminum guards. So are the composite ones better/worse or the aluminum ones?

My use will be mostly street but will be doing some off roading but not hardcore as I have a KTM525 with a tag for that.

Looking forward to a new group of bike nuts to join.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
Callisto224
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I like the composite/plastic ones better but they may not fit with crash bars. The aluminum ones will usually work with crash bars. I had a couple of tip overs while stopped in a parking lot and the composite ones worked very well. I think the aluminum ones would have been dented. I now have the BMW crash bars so the plastic ones don't fit.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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I got the AltRider bars partially because of the extra room for guards and that valve covers come off without bar removal.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:25 PM   #4
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huh, even altrider says there bars need to come off for adjustment??

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Old 05-31-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
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Really? I thought I read on someones post they didn't have to. I guess I'll find out. Even so I still like em and since they come in red they'll look good to me. Don't even have the bike yet! Some one said the bike is just a starter kit, so true.

PS: Yup I looked and it does say that they have to come off. Oh well no biggie.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:42 AM   #6
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Bars should be enough

I think you are getting a belt and suspenders . The crash bars are the best protection. From there I do not think you really need to add valve cover protection. I had become quite good at dropping my bike and the crash bars deal with most all falls. The only areas where the extra protection might be good is in rock gardens, which we do not see much here in Florida, or the southeast. Again, how aggressive your plan to ride off road will be a factor. Have not run across that many GS riders that would have a need for both types of protection. I think you can use that money for other bling. By the way I really like that rally bike you are getting. Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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Regarding the Machineartmoto X-Head guards vs BMW aluminum guard question, I'd recommend the X-Heads.

My OEM aluminum guards did their duty and fully protected the valve covers during both off-road drops in rocks and during a lowside & slide on pavement, but they were bent a bit by these actions and getting the mount holes to line up again after valve clearance checks was tough. Yep, the guards have seen contact even with the GSA's full crash bars.

I replaced the OEM units with X-Head guards, figuring their nylon polymer will remain true after being put to the test (they have).

BTW, congrats on your new bike!
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:22 AM   #8
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I guess I'm going to go with bars only for now and see how it goes. Never a shortage of farkles to be had.
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Old 06-01-2012, 09:25 AM   #9
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having had both the OEM alu guards and X-heads....go for X-heads. also have altrider bars. the X-heads were a bit tricky to install. had a bear of a time on the left head, maybe due to part tolerances? getting the holes to align enough on the back that i could hand thread the bolt...made all the more difficult because they came pretreated with loctite which makes it a bit impossible to thread those bolts by hand to avoid stripping...i had to really muscle the piece to pull it into place...and scrub off their loctite and use my own...

also, re: altrider saying that their bars have to come off for valve adjustments? based on my experience with altrider they probably haven't tried it...and are just going with the lowest common denominator....they also said that the remus header wasn't compatible with their bars....until i installed the combo, and let them know...a few inmates have done valve adjustments with the bars intact..
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:02 PM   #10
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Glad to hear some people have done adjustments and I'm not seeing things. X-Heads sounds like a winner.
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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Well, I've got both... the AltRider crash bar & the aluminum BMW head guards.

Yeah, the AltRider bar covers a good portion of the head, and will do a great job of protecting it 90% of the time, provided the bike happens to drop on somewhat level terrain.

But there's always that stray half-burried rock/boulder that sized just right to fit through the bars, and punch a hole right through the head. Hence, the aluminum covers. Of course, your mileage may vary...


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Old 06-01-2012, 02:33 PM   #12
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I guess I'm a belt and suspenders sort of guy, but I have the X-Head covers as well as the Adv Designs bar extensions on my GSA. I actually removed the OEM BMW cylinder head guards and replaced them with the X-Heads, which seem to offer more complete coverage. The hard plastic bit covers more surface area, and the rubber bumper underneath also covers a larger area than the OEM rubber bumper.

I had a really tough time installing the left-side X-Head. I e-mailed the company and they sent me a replacement rubber bumper, and it then installed very easily. If anyone encounters this, I'd recommend going this route vs. muscling it on there. MachineArt Moto very great to deal with.
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gato View Post
I had a really tough time installing the left-side X-Head. I e-mailed the company and they sent me a replacement rubber bumper, and it then installed very easily. If anyone encounters this, I'd recommend going this route vs. muscling it on there. MachineArt Moto very great to deal with.
thanks for this. i've emailed them...i had the exact same issue, see post above.
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