Friday, June 2, 2006

BMW R1200GS Hepco Becker Crash Bars

It's not a proper GS until it has crash bars (engine protection bars) installed. I picked the ones made by Hepco-Becker.

Installation is pretty simple, once you figure out what goes where. The included instructions are in German (which I can't read), so they were pretty useless. Here's how to install them. One thing to note - don't tighten anything until the very end. You'll need a rubber mallet to beat on the side bars to make them fit into the center part of the bar. Once it fits, then you can tighten to specified torque.


The bars come in 3 parts


These little bolts hold the top center part to the bike


These tiny bolts secure the 3 parts of the bars together


These bolts and spacers are for mounting the side bars


Bike before installation

The top center part of the bars mounts in front of that black plastic cover above.

It is mounted with one bolt on each side (with the 2 small bolt holes in the tubular section facing down and back). The mounting hole on the right side of the bike is already open, but the left side hole has a bolt in it that is holding the silver oil tube in place. You can see the silver bolt in the following picture, it holds the vertical oil tube to the black thingy behind and to the right of it.


Silver bolt holding the oil tube

You have to use a T30 Torx bit and a 10" extension to remove that bolt. Nothing will fall off if you remove it (you'll replace it with another one shortly).

Now you need to install (don't tighten yet) the top center part of the bar. Take the 2 small bolts included, their 2 washers, and the one small aluminum spacer. The spacer goes on the left side between the bar and the bike, and mounts with the longer bolt. The washers go on both sides between the bolt and the bar. Install the left side first (loosely), then slide the right side on and install that bolt (also loosely).


Left side bolt, washer and spacer (upside down)


Left side installation


Right side bolt and washer (upside down)


Right side installation


Top part loosely installed

Don't tighten anything until the end!!! You'll need a rubber mallet to get everything in place correctly before tightening anything!

Test fit of the left side of the bars:

The side bars attach to the bike using 2 bolts each. The thinner bolts (M10) go into the hole (on each side) in the engine case that doesn't have anything in it on a stock bike. You can see it in the picture below between the silver oil tube and the oxygen sensor:


Left side of the engine case

The shorter M10 bolt and spacer go on the left side, the longer ones on the right.

The other 2 bolts (M12, the thicker ones) replace the frame-to-engine mounting bolts. You can see the existing bolt in the picture above to the right of the silver oil tube, holding the frame tube to the engine. Their spacers (both bolts and spacers are the same) end up inside the frame hole where the existing Torx bolt is hiding.

Here is how the left side bolts fit to the bar:

Don't forget the washers between the bolts and the bar!


Closeup of the left bar bolts

You need to remove the left side engine mount bolt first. Don't worry, the engine is not going to fall out. There are at least 3 other bolts holding it. Make sure that you install the replacement bolt on the left side (don't tighten, but make sure it's screwed in most of the way) before you start on the right side.


Engine mount bolt on the left side

You need a T55 Torx bit and a short extension to remove the engine mount bolt.

Here's the engine mount bolt removed:


Engine mount bolt on the right, its replacement on the left


The hole that the mounting bolt was in


Left bar attached

As you can see, the left bar doesn't fit all the way into the center part. You'll have to use a rubber mallet later to beat it in. Same thing on the other side. Don't do it yet though - make sure that you have both sides loosely installed first.

Now that the left side is loosely installed (make sure the bolts are screwed in most of the way, but the bar is still loose), you can repeat the same thing on the right side. Once both sides are done, you'll need a rubber mallet - use it to hit the side bars from the outside in, to make them go all the way into the center part of the bar. It doesn't take too much, but you'll definitely have to hit it a bunch of times. Once they are all the way in, you can tighten all 6 bolts to specification. The M12 bolts (engine-to-frame mount) should be tightened to 35 ft lbs and take a 10 mm hex bit. The M10 bolts (the lower front bolts) should be tightened to 30 ft lbs and take an 8 mm hex bit. The 2 little bolts on top (they are M6) need to be tightened to 8.85 ft lbs (12 Nm, hand-tight really). I used Loctite on them. They take a 5 mm hex bit (and you'll need a 10" extension).

Finally, you just have to install the 2 tiny bolts that connect the bar parts to each other. Just use an angled hex key (3 mm), put Loctite on them and make them hand-tight.