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Thread: 2010 R1200GS Accessories: Skid Plate & Headlight Guard

  1. #1
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    2010 R1200GS Accessories: Skid Plate & Headlight Guard

    Hi guys,

    With a 2010 R1200GS now part of the picture in addition to my 2005, Karen and I have started the process of accessorizing it, and personalizing it to suit her tastes. We hope to post the changes as we make them, and hope you enjoy reading about what we add. This time around, we've added a skid plate and a headlight guard from AltRider. Check out our thoughts and a page about installation here: http://home.comcast.net/~emoto1/skidplate.htm

    Hope to see you all at the 2011 National!

    Thanks,

    Bob

    Last edited by Emoto; 10-18-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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    I'll be curious to see what you choose for an oil cooler guard. I've been considering one for my new GS too, but what I've seen might protect against big rocks, but would still let bugs through. Congrats on the new bike - awesome, isn't it?
    Chuck
    10 R1200GS
    94 VFR 750
    88 R100RT (dearly departed)

  3. #3
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3moskvichi View Post
    I'll be curious to see what you choose for an oil cooler guard. I've been considering one for my new GS too, but what I've seen might protect against big rocks, but would still let bugs through. Congrats on the new bike - awesome, isn't it?
    Yeah, not sure what we'll do on that, yet.

    I'll agree that it is an awesome bike, but she'll have to be the one to say, as it is her bike, not mine.
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    Registered User TOMRUNNING's Avatar
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    Oil Cooler

    I heard that any kind of oil cooler guard voids the warranty. Any truth to that?
    Tom Running, 51141 Greenville, WI
    "Love is when you like something as much as your motorcylce." Sonny Barger in Hells Angels
    by Hunter S. Thompson 1966

  5. #5
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomRunning View Post
    I heard that any kind of oil cooler guard voids the warranty. Any truth to that?
    I don't know, but the possibility of interference with airflow across the cooler concerns me...
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  6. #6
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    The next two posts are an attempt to post my Comcast page content here. Fingers crossed...

    Mounting & Review of an

    AltRider
    Skid Plate, Lexan Headlight Guard, and Glare Guard on a 2010 BMW

    R1200GS











    Text by Bob, Photos by Karen


    The R1200GS is the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles. It does almost anything and

    everything. Tour all day two-up, or scratch the twisties. Later in the day, find out

    where that poorly maintained dirt road goes. No problem. First released as the

    R80G/S 30 years ago, the bike has evolved through many iterations to where it stands

    today at or near the top of many "best of" lists.

    I was first in line at the local shop when they came out with the all now 2005

    model, and had a lot of fun adding accessories to it and making it my own. I think

    that is part of the fun of having a BMW; in addition to it being a fantastic

    motorcycle, there is so much aftermarket support that you can really tailor the bike

    any way you like, by making changes, either major or minor, to suit your

    preferences.


    With the 2010 model year, BMW made another evolutionary leap forward, and released a

    bike with numerous changes. Although still very much a GS like its predecessors, the

    new GS is certainly an advancement of the line. I did not think I would have the

    opportunity to ride or wrench on a 2010 GS, but then I happened to meet and fall for

    a lovely lady who just happened to have a 2010 R1200GS! Here they were before me, a

    beautiful blank canvas of a bike and a willing partner, both ready to see what's

    next. Although the girl is terrific just as she is, however, maybe the bike can be

    improved here and there. So, the quest for farkles began!


    With me not having been active in accessorizing a bike for some years, and her

    somewhat new to the idea, we decided to start looking around for what was new and

    perhaps more importantly, what was well designed, well built, and offered a design

    aesthetic that appealed to her. After all, it was her bike, so she needed to find

    any accessory more than just functional; it had to look good, too.


    At some point, through a post on ADVRider, we

    became aware of a fairly new firm called

    AltRider
    , out of Seattle. We both liked the look of their offerings. Although

    she did like some of the accessories on my bike, they're all fairly common by now,

    and she thought maybe it would be more fun to have accessories that you don't find

    on every GS you come across, so we decided to take the plunge with a couple of items

    to start. After some discussion, we settled on a

    skid plate to protect that gem of an engine, and a Headlight Guard to protect the costly BMW

    headlight unit. Along with the headlight protector, we decided on the

    Glare Guard, as we didn't want any reflected light to distract during night

    rides.

    Read about the Skid Plate or the

    Headlight Guard &

    Glare Guard


    The AltRider Skid Plate


    After much checking of online tracking, the package arrived. We opened it and found

    things neatly encased in plastic.



    Also included were good written instructions, with plenty of pictures. The

    instructions were reproduced clearly, and included a section on what tools you need

    right at the beginning, which saved on going back to the toolbox. In the case of the

    Skid Plate, they also pointed out differences in the installation process if you had

    a different year bike. This was a welcome and refreshing change from the "one size

    fits all" blurry photocopy instructions that some other vendors have. The

    instructions are also available

    online for each item, so you can see what

    you're getting into before placing an order.




    We started off with the Skid Plate, which meant first taking off the old one.

    Depending on what year GS you have, there will be different fasteners. On the 2010,

    there are a couple of 13mm nuts, and a couple of T30 Torx fasteners.





    Remove the old skid plate and be sure to put the fasteners into a container for safe

    keeping. I tend to lose them, if I don't. I like to use an old aerosol can lid.

    Muffin tins or egg cartons work well, too.



    Once I had the old skid plate off, we decided to compare the old and new, side by

    side. The difference was shocking. BMW makes a fine product, but I suppose that

    there are some decisions made to stay within budget. The OEM skid plate looks like

    one of those choices. The AltRider Skid Plate also comes in silver, which would

    probably have shown up more clearly in photographs, but we thought the black one

    looked really cool, so that's what we decided on.



    Not only does the BMW skid plate cover less area, it is also made of much less beefy

    material. I didn't pull out the calipers, but the AltRider anodized aluminum skid

    plate looks to be twice as thick as the BMW one. The BMW plate looks like an

    inexpensive stamping, the AltRider skid plate looks carefully bent and welded into

    shape.



    Now it is time to mount the new skid plate. It mounts to the same places the old one

    did. Re-use the two 13mm nuts on the back fasteners, but use the two new fasteners

    supplied for the front. You'll probably find it easiest to mount the skid plate

    hanging down loosely with the two nuts in the back first. Then you can put the left

    front bolt with its spacer in place and then finish up with the right front bolt.




    It should be noted that the all new fasteners supplied are stainless steel, rather

    than cheap zinc plated ones. Even more remarkable is the fact that AltRider supplies

    a small tube of blue loctite to use during assembly. I don't know of any vendor who

    does that. Use this loctite on all 4 fasteners for the skid plate. Be careful when

    you squeeze the tube, or you'll get too much, like I did in the picture below. A

    little dab will do ya. What you see below is several times more than you should

    apply.



    On the left side front fastener, the 2010 R1200GS has a nut plate that clips in

    place that is not used with the AltRider plate. Remove the nut plate and add it to

    your junk drawer.



    The left front of the new skid plate is held in place with a (supplied) 6x12mm allen

    head screw, and needs a spacer (supplied) between the inside of the skid plate and

    the mount. (The picture two shots up with the loctite shows the spacer in place.)



    Use a 5mm allen key to tighten the screw in place. The other front screw is an

    8x25mm allen head screw (supplied) that needs a 6mm allen wrench for tightening.
    Don't forget to use a torque wrench for final tightening! Re-check to make sure

    everything is still tight after your first tank of gas.



    Summary and Conclusion




    The AltRider Skid Plate offers significantly more protection than the original skid

    plate through the use of more robust materials. It also extends protection to the

    headers and cross tube between the headers; both areas that were left completely

    unprotected by the stock skid plate. The quality of materials and finish is first

    rate. It did not interfere with the sidestand or the centerstand. Unlike many

    aftermarket products, this one fit perfectly; there was no need to pry, bend, drill,

    or force anything. It just fit. No drama. The instructions were excellent. This is

    what we all want in an accessory, but is rarely delivered. This item is suitable for

    a beginner to install. Now that I have seen this one and mounted it to her bike, I

    want one for my 2005 R1200GS! It is that impressive. We recommend this product.
    Last edited by Emoto; 10-19-2010 at 02:14 PM.
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    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    The AltRider Headlight Guard



    The next items are the AltRider Headlight Guard and

    Glare Guard (the Glare Guard comes with the Headlight Guard for free, and

    should always be installed with it, but can also be ordered separately.) We're

    installing these on a 2010 R1200GS.


    This is an accessory combo that can benefit street and off road riders. Off

    road riders break lots of parts, so no explanation is necessary there, but what

    about the street, you say? The scenario is a familiar one: You're driving along,

    minding your own business, and the the next thing you know, you hear a loud POP and

    realize that a stone has been kicked up by one of the other cars and put a nice

    little chip or crack in your windshield. It has happened to most of us. The

    Headlight Guard from Altrider is there to make sure that you don't end up with a

    chip or crack in your ex$pensive BMW headlight unit.


    There are a number of headlight guards on the market, ranging from cheap vinyl film

    that you apply directly to your headlight, to heavy metal mesh screening. It is

    doubtful that the vinyl would stop anything with any size or momentum, and the wire

    mesh type throws shadows of itself when riding at night, which is distracting and

    cuts down on how much light your headlight throws. Far from desirable for any street

    rider. However, if you are going to spend your time pounding across Africa over

    thousands of miles of undeveloped ground, then maybe you do want the

    metal version. For our more modest ambitions, the Lexan

    version was the right choice. However, should we change our minds down the road, the

    AltRider woven stainless steel mesh version is interchangeable with the Lexan model;

    it uses the same mount.


    There are other clear plastic headlight guards on the market, but we selected the

    AltRider unit for a couple of reasons. It is made of very strong impact resistant

    Lexan, but just as importantly, the Lexan face removes in moments with handy quarter

    turn Dzus fasteners, which makes cleaning your headlight a breeze. If you do any

    night riding at all, a clean headlight is very important for safety. Having lived

    with a headlight guard on my own bike that does not come off quickly for cleaning,

    this feature is a must have.


    The headlight guard attaches to two stainless steel arms. These arms fit onto the

    turn signal mounts and sit between the base of the turn signal stem and the

    bodywork. The glare guard attaches to the headlight surround with two small screws,

    and prevents any light from reflecting back into your eyes at night. A very sensible

    addition that eliminates the problem that some other headlight guards have. It is

    clear that the folks at AltRider really think things through.
    Supplied with the guards are excellent sets of instructions, which are also

    available online. Also supplied are stainless

    steel fasteners to use in place of any BMW mild steel fasteners being replaced.




    Each front turn signal is held on by a single screw. Start by removing the screws

    from both front turn signals. You will need a T-30 Torx bit for this.



    Be sure to put them in a safe place, so you don't lose them. I like to use an old

    aerosol can lid.



    The next step is to separate the turn signals from the bodywork. You do not need to

    disconnect the wires.


    The trick to removing the turn signals is to twist them clockwise 180 degrees until

    it becomes possible to pull them straight out. There is a stud on the back of the

    bottom of the turn signal stem. On this stud is a small projection. The hole in the

    bodywork that receives the stud is shaped like an old-fashioned keyhole. Once the

    stud is through the hole, the turn signal is twisted 180 degrees, and the projection

    on the stud helps hold it in place. You must also turn it 180 degrees to remove it.

    Once the signals have been removed, you can just let them dangle temporarily.






    The next step is to put the side pieces that hold the headlight guard into place.

    they fit in between the turn signal base and the bodywork; the turn signals hold

    them in place.


    Position each side piece with the gap facing down, as shown.



    Slide the gap down over the turn signal wire and push the stud on the bottom of the

    turn signal stem through the side piece.



    Next, put the turn signal back on the bike just as you removed it. Insert the stud

    into the keyhole and twist the turn signal back counterclockwise 180 degrees to lock

    it into the bodywork. Hold the headlight guard side piece so that it is pointing

    forward as you do this.




    Once the holes are lined up, put the turn signal mounting screws back in and tighten

    them to spec. When you have done this for both sides, you are ready to put the guard

    in place.


    The next step is to mount the Lexan plate to the front of the arms. It affixes by

    means of Dzus fasteners. Dzus fasteners are very simple to use. You simply insert

    the pin end into the hole and give the small D-ring a turn until it stops. Reverse

    for removal. I recommend leaving the protective paper on until all work is complete.




    Last edited by Emoto; 10-19-2010 at 02:15 PM.
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    The AltRider Glare Guard


    The Altrider Glare Guard is next. It is a large eyebrow shaped piece

    of polymer that goes on top of the headlight assembly and attaches with two

    (supplied) stainless steel screws to the headlight bezel.




    In order to make this area accessible, you must partially unbolt the windscreen and

    tilt it back out of the way.


    Remove the two screws circled in orange below. You will need a T-25 Torx bit for

    this. Caution: the nuts that these two screws go into are in recesses on the back of

    the two little windscreen pivots. There is nothing holding them in, so when you

    remove the screws, the nuts may fall out and get lost, unless you put tape across

    the back of them to hold them in place.


    I used clear packing tape behind each nut. It didn't stick all that well because the

    pivots had lube all over them, but it worked well enough. Any kind of tape should

    work.



    Put a square of tape onto the back of each pivot. Try to stick the tape on the pivot

    and not the windscreen, because you will be moving the windscreen out of the way.



    With the tape in place, go ahead and remove the screws. I put a finger on the back

    of each nut, just to be extra sure they wouldn't fall out as I removed the screws.



    Note that the screws have a sleeve (circled below) on them. You can either leave the

    sleeves behind in the rubber windscreen grommets, or pull them out with the screws

    as I have done here. Just make sure you have the sleeves in there when you re-

    install the screws later on, or you might crush and crack the windscreen when you

    tighten the screws down again.




    Now that the two front screws have been removed, loosen both windscreen adjustment

    knobs and then carefully pivot the screen back to expose the top of the headlight

    area.



    Pivot the windscreen up and back out of the way, but don't push too hard or force

    it. You'll need just enough room to get in there from the back with a Torx driver.

    Make sure you don't knock the tape off of the pivots and lose those little retaining

    nuts.



    Remove the two little black rear-facing screws from the headlight surround. They are

    on the back side of the two little bumps circled below. You will need a T-10 torx

    for this.




    Once the two original small black screws have been removed and relegated to your

    junk drawer, place the Glare Guard on top of the headlight assembly and attach it

    with the two supplied stainless steel screws, using the same holes that the little

    black screws were in. You will need a T-15 Torx to do this, as the new stainless

    screws are beefier than the original ones. This can be a little fiddly getting them

    started, so take your time and be patient. Caution: Remember that you are putting

    metal screws into plastic, so you only need to snug them down, as too much force

    will strip the plastic.



    After you have both of the new screws in place holding the Glare Guard to the

    headlight surround, you can pivot the windscreen back down again and re-install the

    screws that you removed earlier. Even though you have tape holding those nuts into

    the backs of the pivots, I recommend putting a finger behind each one as you replace

    the screws. Discard the tape after the screws are back in place.



    Follow the factory specs for tightening the windscreen screws.


    At this point, you can remove the protective paper from the Lexan Headlight Guard.

    You're done!







    Summary and Conclusion


    Like the AltRider Skid Plate, the AltRider Headlight Guard and Glare Guard appear

    built to last and hold up to the rigors of their task. The sturdy stainless steel

    and Lexan construction of the Headlight Guard are also designed with a pleasing

    aesthetic that includes curves rather than the more simplistic and easier to machine

    straight lines found on some other guards. None of the parts showed any machining

    marks or had any burrs; everything was smooth and clean, proving that the folks at

    AltRider are sweating the small stuff, too. We always hope for that in an accessory,

    but are sometimes disappointed. Not so in this case. It was a quick and easy

    installation. The real kicker is the inclusion of quick release Dzus fasteners that

    make keeping your headlight clean a pleasure, rather than a chore. We recommend this

    product.


    "

    A very happy 2010 R1200GS with its new AltRider Skid Plate and Headlight Guard.
    Eventual Master of the Obvious
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  9. #9
    univers zero tessler's Avatar
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    Hey Bob! Holy Mackerel, man, we've got the same bike! (Alpine White/2010/1200GS/cross-spoke wheels).

    Great skid plate and glare guard application. Looking forward to riding with you again!

  10. #10
    Registered User Emoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tessler View Post
    Hey Bob! Holy Mackerel, man, we've got the same bike! (Alpine White/2010/1200GS/cross-spoke wheels).

    Great skid plate and glare guard application. Looking forward to riding with you again!
    Hey dude, long time no see! Same here.

    It's actually Karen's bike, not mine. I still have my blue & grey 2005.
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  11. #11
    just hangin' out 2bikemike's Avatar
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    Cruiser guys do it better!
    keep it light enough to travel.....
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    Thumbs up

    Nice setup, and I like the tip about the tape to retain the screen parts; I always find myself scrambling for them when I change screens :-(

    The bash plate looks like a quality piece of equipment, much better than the original piece anyway.

    I picked up BMWs version a while ago when a dealer had it posted for almost 50% off. It is shaped much like the ALTRider one, but comes with a big rubber bumper that sits between plate and sump and fits the ribs on the engine exactly.


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