Go Back   ADVrider > Gear > Vendors
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Prev Previous Post   Next Post Next
Old 03-05-2012, 04:30 AM   #1
tradern OP
Windsor NSW
Joined: May 2009
Location: Windsor NSW
Oddometer: 60
BMW Airhead 'Hardhead' Guards

BMW "Airhead" Hardhead guards.
Link to more photos: s/ii589/tradern/

G'day - I've made a small run of bash guards for the air cooled 2 valve boxers.

The following are available (with another run of guards to be done early 2014):

4x sets 450/650cc size
2x sets 800/1000cc size

What do they do?

They protect the valve cover in a stack from being cracked open and also allow removal of the BMW crash bars. Removal of the BMW crash bars is favoured by some as they can commonly move backward in a crash and bust the valve cover open.
Instead these guards provide a super tough skin over the valve covers using the excellent and capable strength of the hearty airheads engine design to take the brunt of the fall.

How they came about:

With my girlfriend getting to grips with her new R65 Adventurer, the slow speed falls on the bitumen were destroying rocker covers faster than I could quick metal them. Then I busted a valve cover on the Red Bull 'lost and found' rally in NSW, Australia last year. Which unfortunately allowed my engine take in a bit of unexpected 'go fast sand'. I have also managed to put a crash bar into a valve cover on more than one occasion...Sigh... The worst result in all of this can be a bent frame and smashed valve gear. So after making a set or two for my adventure bikes (650 and 1000cc) and friends it became obvious that there may be a few others out there that may like a set.


These specifically replace the BMW crash bars. They are designed to take the abrasion of a fall/slide to protect the valve covers and help the bike slide as gracefully as possibly down the track (knock on wood that never happens for anybody).They transfer the hit to the engine crankcase to deal with.
They also remove the possibility of nastiness that comes when the BMW crash bars move backwards in a fall. A bonus is they protect the lower spark plug caps (duel plugged bikes) and certainly may help deflect carburettor impaling sticks.

Its designed purely as an adventure bike bit of gear. As you will loose the OEM side stand if you remove the crash bars (where fitted).
Also on oil cooler bikes the oil cooler would have to be relocated if not already.
Both my bikes (650/1000cc) run custom side stands (stronger/longer jobbies) and I don't run an oil cooler on my 1000cc (a vented/extended sump instead).

What are they?

The guards are laser cut 1.2mm / 50 thou, 4130 chromoly steel that have been folded/welded and strengthened around mounting points.
They are first zinc coated (as they are intended to be used as crash protection and are likely to be scratched up) and then powder coated gloss black. Both guards total weight is just over 1kg. If your a weight watcher the 650cc BMW crash bars weight just over 1kg each side.
The basic design which has been built upon has been used on a BMW airhead rally bike through the Australian condo rallies and the Australasian safari. There's also a front lip to prevent junk being wedged between guard and valve cover and to provide additional frontal protection from nasty valve cover hating things.
They are fabricated by myself in a barn in Sydney, NSW, Australia

The centre valve cover acorn nut is replaced with a rod nut that will allow a M8 bolt to secure the guard to the valve cover and the bottom mount is the front engine mount below the pushrods tubes.

Each guard set comes with the required mounting hardware (M8 bolts, M8 rod nuts, spring washers, flat washers) and a left and right cylinder 'hardhead' guard.


This is important to note as this is kit is for your particularly modified BMW R45,65/ R80,100 bike. Specifically designed for off road riding for the long haul. For example in the pictures is my R100 bike that I'm riding around the globe very soon. For aesthetics I don't believe it would be a direct replacement for a 'bling' cafe racer with chromed BMW crash bars. Although would certainly offer more protection in a fall.


1. Removal of BMW crash bars is a straightforward task of loosening the mounts and removing them! At this stage you will either be loosing that integral side stand or you already have an upgraded side stand mounted elsewhere.
2. Ensure there's no large 'quick metal' repair patches on the lower part of the valve cover. If so file them down flush. This is to allow the hardhead to hug the lower valve cover, the fit is snug and the guard will place some pressure on the lower part of the valve cover.
3. Install the M8 spring washer and rod nut onto the central valve cover thread. Tighten securely.
4. Fit the hardhead guard on the engine mount (threaded rod that runs through the frame and engine) and tighten securely the M8 bolt on the valve cover with spring washer and high tensile flat washer.
5. The original engine mount washer/spring washer/nut is refitted with the hardhead guard and tightened to 55 foot pound/75 newton meters.


It is important to note that the rocker cover bolt is securely tightened before the engine mount bolt. Reverse on removal. This will allow for the easiest fitment and removal. The guards do hug and wrap a little around the lower part of the valve cover. They can rotate around the valve cover mount a little in a stack. This is normal and simply just rotate them back!

The guards are highly recommended to be completely removed when doing a valve clearance/oil change. Bending them down (which is certainly possible) will be no good for the powder coating and the guards structural integrity. They will also be in your way whilst trying to adjust the valves. They make nice little tables to keep the valve covers out of the muck when doing a 'bush' valve adjustment.


There's no numbers data to show in regards to the hardhead guards effects on cooling. Real world data though I have been running the guards on both the 650 and 1000cc (no oil cooler) bikes for over 20000km's now. Including city riding/offroad/highway and around town. The guards are usually quiet cool to touch after coming to a stop. Apart from noticing no ill effects and also knowing of their effective trouble free use on a race bike on a number of rallies, that's about all I can offer on what effect they may have at all.
The gap between the guard and barrel has been left just enough to facilitate a duel plugged bike and also allow sufficient cooling. The level of protection offered by the guard, coupled with smart riding (no excessive idling in city traffic at hot temperatures etc) gives me piece of mind that there's little to no effect on cooling in real world riding. At speed with the wind resistance it could also potentially be considered better than the OEM crash bars at not deflecting cooling air.

I've tried to answer as many questions as possible here but please do ask away and I will endeavour to answer swiftly.

Both 450/650 and 800/1000cc kits will be $150AUD plus $10AUD postage if in Australia or a Kiwi brother. Postage on average to USA and Europe has been around $40-60AUD

Payment through Paypal would be the easiest but if local I'm happy for people to PM to arrange a meet up to show/sell the guards. International postage quotes are available on request.

I have made these guards for fellow BMW airhead adventure riders at a low cost ( by giving myself a very low hourly labour rate...) Profit was not my aim and I'm more excited at the thought of providing something useful to the ADV community that has provided me many hours of good reading and information over the years.
Both feedback and reviews would be highly welcome though.

Now although every guard has been critically inspected by myself I'm happy to refund within a week of you receiving the guards if you feel that way. No questions asked. Although I would love to know why you didn't like them!

A little about myself:

A diesel mechanic by trade and I love my air-cooled BMW's and have owned a few. I enjoy fabrication of parts for our bikes as much as I do riding them!
Both my bikes are proudly Paul Rooney specials. With the original guard design borrowed with blessings from Paul himself.

It should be noted that the 1000cc bike (blue) has Lauchlan from MTD tours excellent panniers and racks!



tradern screwed with this post 09-29-2013 at 01:50 AM
tradern is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 01:16 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015