We get occasional emails from customers who have had some difficulty mounting X-Head cylinder guards for R1200 liquid-cooled models. Here are several helpful tips to do the job right the first time:
1 – First on the list – use a Torque Wrench! Most problems reported by customers who try installing X-Heads themselves involve breaking one of the long T50 Torx bolts that secures the X-Head and valve cover to the cylinder because of over tightening and not having used a Torque Wrench. A Torque Wrench must have calibrations in Inch/Pounds or Newton Meters. Tightening torque is 10 Nm = 88.5 inch/lb, or a little less. That equates to screwdriver tightness – NOT socket wrench tightness! DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN! If you have any concern about installing X-Heads correctly, have them installed by a qualified BMW technician.
Installation instructions state that “All parts manufactured, designed or sold by Machineart Moto (“MaMo”) should be installed by a qualified motorcycle technician. The risk of injury or component damage is increased by improper installation or misuse of equipment”.
2 – Handling the rubber seal without damaging it – When you remove the T50 Torx bolt that fastens the rear end of the valve cover, the rubber seal and cup washer must be slipped off the bolt before inserting it through the X-Head and re-inserting into the head. Use this technique to remove the seal without damaging it:
First, apply a little WD-40 or light oil to the ball and bolt shaft. Then, place your fingers behind the cup washer to evenly pull the seal over the ball and minimize distortion. It slips off easily this way.
Then proceed with the installation as shown in the instructions. Also refer to the installation video:
3. Installation with crash bars: To install X-Heads on R1200 GS/A already fitted with crash bars, they will have to be removed to provide enough working room for X-Head installation.
The image below shows the fasteners that will have to be removed on the R1200GS/A_LC. If there is any concern about the procedure, we recommend that removal of the bars and installation of the X-Heads be done by a qualified BMW technician .
Some correspondence between customers and MachineartMan:
SW Motech crash bar fitment with X-Head_LC: Have purchased a set of X-Head cylinder covers for a 2016 r1200gs tripple black. These were purchased from Sierra BMW and sent to Australia ($320 aussie dollars delivered). Your site says they will fit with SW Motech crash bars. That is half correct, the right side will fit easily but the left side won’t fit as there is not enough clearance between the bottom part of the cylinder head cover and the crash bar to install the X-Heads with the crash bars fitted. I was wondering if you are aware of this issue? Any solutions? spacers? Or do you need to remove the crash bar to fit the X-Head on the left side? and will there be enough clearance if I do install them in this manner? Seems like a lot of work especially if I will have to take the crash bars and the x-heads off to do valve checks or even to check the spark plug. You have a well made product which looks good and will function very well. I don’t think this issue is your problem as I can see the fabrication of the crash bars by SW Motech is where the problem lies (not enough clearance on the bottom bar) You could possibly note on your web site that with these crash bars the issues you will have on the left side. Cheers Jody Australia
How does your design not interfere with the cooling of the heads. Thanks much! Craig H.
The cylinder heads are liquid-cooled so this new model so they are efficiently managed thermo dynamically. Our X-Heads are designed to cover about 80% of the face of the head to protect, not only the bottom/front initial impact area in a drop, but also the upper part of the cylinder head. Even in a stationary drop, inertia can cause a bike to roll partially onto the face of the head before it settles down. This product is about protection so we cover a broad area, and the new engine design keeps temperature stable.
Thanks for your quick and thorough response. One last question, if I install you cylinder head guards, do I really need crash bars if my riding is primarily, if not exclusively, road?
For mostly street riding X-Heads will be sufficient. Some riders do not like the look of all that plumbing around the engine so opt for cylinder guards instead.
For off-road riding, X-Heads are a good complement to crash bars to protect heads from weird strike angles onto rocks and terrain that can get past the bars, especially at the rear of the cylinder. Here’s an example of what can happen without an X-Head, even with crash bars installed.