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Old 09-06-2009, 12:34 PM   #1
Brahma OP
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Hepco Becker R1200GS Tank Guard Installation / Refit

Final Report
Hepco Becker R1200GS Tank Guard Installation / Refit
2007 R1200GS

The earlier posts found the well known fact that the Hepco Becker R1200GS Tank Guards will not allow removal of either side cover. It was stated by others on the forum that the side covers could be removed by loosening the bottom mounts of the tank guards and "pulling" on the bars, then removing the side covers. This was not even CLOSE in my case. It was also stated by some that removing the side covers is not a major concern- that is how I felt before my fuel pump controller died and left me stranded and towed. I ASSURE YOU that it is now VERY important to be able to pull the side covers.

Those of you who have these tank guards MUST know what a MAJOR PITA they are to install and remove, their extreme proximity to the oil lines underneath the beak (I absolutely HAD to grind my mount tabs way down), and necessary but frustrating non-symmetrical design, etc., so no further detail will be discussed here of their overall poor design as opposed to the very functional Hepco Becker engine guards.

I removed the tank guard bars and began stretching them with the assistance of a 6 ton bottle jack and peices of cement block. Initial measurements between the bottom mounting tabs of the bars in my case was 17.25 inches. Over the course of the evening and into the morning, the bars were slowly stretched numerous times up to to 24 inches apart, where in final form, they flexed back to only 19.25 inches. This stretching was putting exceptional stress on the top-most cross member, where it could easily be seen to be "bowing"! I suspect that the light mount tab welds were under considerable stress as well, which is why I went no further than 24 inches. At one point I left them stretched to 23 inches and went to bed for several hours. In the end I could not get them to stretch more than 19.25 inches from the intital 17.25 inches.

When remounting the bars I took the opportunity to cut over half the threads off of each side of each U bolt, and grind both mounting tabs down, well away from the oil cooler lines. Initially, the U bolts are so long, they are difficult to install to the frame, and the mounting tabs to the frame underneath the beak had only 1/4 inch clearance, if that, to the oil lines! One bad bump and oil would be going everywhere! Once the top mounts under the beak had been ground down and tightly reinstalled, I noticed there was a considerable difference in side clearance for the side covers.

Tightening the bottom mounts of the tank guards to the Hepco Becker engine guards finished the installation, and there was an inch more room on either side of each side cover! That actually is a huge difference, but still short of perfect. However, where it was IMPOSSIBLE for me to remove either side cover with the tank guards installed, there is room to remove the covers now, but some very light "marring" of their surface occurs. I feel this is acceptable for emergency, road-side issues, and the "marring" may be too harsh a term as it is very difficult to see due to the black, matte finish that plastice has. A little "buffing' would probably take the abberations out.

So from where it was absolutely impossible for me to remove my side covers without incredible issue that would be a show-stopper on the side of the road, these bars are now truly "functional" without having to cut them and weld in spacers, which was considered. I would say that this is definately still not going to work for a GSA, or GS-to-GSA tank conversion, but the GS covers are NOW able to be removed, as one would have hoped these tank guards to be designed from the beginning. After all, how #$#@ hard would that have to have been for Hepco Becker in the first place????

Regards-

D.
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Brahma screwed with this post 09-06-2009 at 12:49 PM
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #2
Brahma OP
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Clearance Pic1
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:41 PM   #4
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Clearance pic 3- This picture is deceiving, the space for the right side is much more even with the left side than this shows- see other pics... The left side is wider, but not by as much as this picture shows. I believe the difference was due to the overall necessary lack of symmetry between the two sides.
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Brahma screwed with this post 09-06-2009 at 12:53 PM
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Old 09-06-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
RichK
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I was reading your other post with interest as I ran into the exact same scenario with the controller. It's not clear to me from your post what helped you with your clearance, or why trimming the ubolts helped.

Thanks for the post. Your end effort looks like it should from the HB factory.

Rich
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