BMW Airhead 'Hardhead' Guards

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by tradern, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. tradern

    tradern Toowoomba QLD

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    BMW "Airhead" Hardhead guards.
    Link to more photos:
    http://s1261.photobucket.com/albumonal s/ii589/tradern/

    [​IMG]

    G'day - I'm making another small run (36 sets) of bash guards for the air cooled 2 valve boxers. Due to everything increasing stupidly in price since four years ago, I've had to increase the price to reflect this. To mitigate this a small amount for some - I will ship a number of sets to the USA to make the postage significantly cheaper.


    *Update- 10/9/16* - The steel has been cut. I'm working on them currently.

    There are two variants that fit either 450/650 OR 800/1000cc.

    Both kits will be $200AUD through Paypal please.

    Shipping in Australia/NZ - please let me know your location for a quote.

    Shipping in the USA. There will be stock available from a lovely ADV inmate distributing them from within the US to make postage significantly cheaper.

    Shipping anwhere else - let me know where and I will get a price for you.

    Thanks to those who have been so patiently waiting :)



    What do they do?

    They protect the valve cover in a stack from being cracked open/ground away. Removal of the BMW crash bars is required and 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/weld them. 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.

    Why?

    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/shin impaling sticks.

    Its designed purely as an adventure bike/racing bit of gear. As you will have to loose the OEM side stand if you remove the crash bars (where fitted).
    Also to note, on oil cooler bikes, the oil cooler would have to be relocated if located on the crash bar.

    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.

    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.

    ---THE KIT DOES NOT COME WITH A CUSTOM SIDE STAND AND/OR OIL COOLER RELOCATION KIT----

    This is important to note. Something fairly major to consider when purchasing this product. But when your enjoying your custom length and high strength side stand and have the sleek, though highly protected, look of no more crash bars... I think it's worth it :)

    Side stands and oil cooler kits can be fabricated with reasonable ease by an engineering shop/hydraulic shop, skilled friend or family member. They can be bought online and through other inmates on ADV rider also


    Installation:

    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.

    Notes:

    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.

    The 650cc set is suitable for 850 motors (ie - 1000cc top end and 650 bottom end motor).

    The guards work on the peanut covers.

    Cooling:

    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.

    This is a hobby for me and not my day job. I try my best to answer questions/respond quickly but I do frequently travel interstate for work and work in remote locations away from internet.

    Now although every guard has been critically inspected by Quality Control (being myself) I'm happy to refund guards still in new condition 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 mechanically orientated person both professionally and personally. I'm slightly passionate about air-cooled BMW's and have owned a few. I enjoy fabrication of parts for our bikes as much as I do riding them!
    My three BMW bikes are proudly Paul Rooney specials. With the original guard design borrowed with blessings from Paul himself.

    [​IMG]

    Cheers,

    Neil
    #1
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  2. ontic

    ontic

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    Nice one Neil,

    I am assuming these don't work with penut covers?
    Is there any worry/history of impacts damaging/striping the thread on that center stud? (my r90 has one side stripped and helicoiled from past abuses).
    Being a borrowed Rooney design I can only assume that these are well tested.

    All up looks pretty damn good, especially for dual plugged bikes.
    I'm penciling myself down for a set for my soon to be 1000cc G/S- I have to figure out a sidestand (and oil cooler or sump extension) though.


    I've got a few shots your two bikes in various construction stages I got from Paul stored away in my files. I'll be sending my G/S frame to Paul for reinforcement and maybe get a couple of other things done by him- I'd love to quiz you a bit about your bikes but don't want to clog up this thread. Any chance you will be starting another thread here where that would be appropriate? or should I just hassle you by PM?:D

    Cheers,
    #2
  3. tradern

    tradern Toowoomba QLD

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    As soon as I measured I bike up with the peanut cover yesterday I guessed this question may come up!

    They don't fit/hug as well as the newer/thicker cover. I measured up a bike today with the penut covers and either a slight more material needs to be added or a piece of 2mm rubber would have done the trick between the lower edge of the valve cover and the hardhead guard. This is purely to transfer the hit to the head instead of it purely being taken up solely by that 8mm stud. It would be certainly fine to run them with a suitable rubber chock in-between valve cover and the hardhead itself though.

    I've had no dramas with the stud but certainly Paul's race bike after a number of serious high speed bins has done some damage. I know though that some of those stacks have been up near the 120km/h mark though...
    Within even the hardest duel sport riding Im sure you would be safe (although maybe people would love to test those bounds!).

    With any luck I want to do a post on the bikes but please do send any questions through PM you have. I can certainly show you a kick arse 10mm chromoly plate side stand that will do the trick!

    Thanks,

    Neil
    #3
  4. ontic

    ontic

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    thanks for the reply Neil,

    If a little packing is all that is required it sounds like it wouldn't be too hard to fit to the bean covers, I imagine that the rubber packing could also be done with a bit of sikaflex (or similar strong sticky rubbery goop)- put a thin layer of grease (for mould release) on the valve cover and then put a good pile of sikaflex onto the inside of your (perfectly cleaned/degreased) guard where it needs to contact the valve cover- then carefully assemble (without it torqued down)- the goop should mould to the shape of the valve cover, dry and release, and stick to the guard and stay there- then when dry torque it down properly.

    also,
    bump to top for a cool product and PM on the way.
    #4
  5. tradern

    tradern Toowoomba QLD

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    In regards to the peanut covers, I've fitted some successfully with no need for silastic or adding further material to the interference fit on the bottom of the cover.

    This was to a frameless bike (the 'Paul Rooney frame') so to speak but I believe it shall translate to standard framed bikes. Hopefully ontic can confirm this when he bolts his hardheads up!

    Cheers,

    Neil

    whatwouldulike2do.blogspot.com.au

    ps 10x 1000/800cc and 3x 650/450cc sets left for anybody interested.
    #5
  6. ontic

    ontic

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    Hi Neil,
    great to meet you and Clarissa at Paul's place. What were the chances of that happening?:D
    I hope things are going well.

    I just did a test fit of your hardhead guards on my penut covers- they fit great and are very solid. I only tested the right side, as I still require use of the stock sidestand.
    I don't think they would actually need anything else, but I will probably still do a good blob of sikaflex on the gaurd front and rear to spread the area where the gaurd contacts the valve cover- and to also dampen them a little bit (they kinda ring at the moment if I tap them:D).
    Just to repeat though, I don't think it would actually need this done. The guard snugs up very firmly and solidly against the two ridges on the valve cover.

    All up they are excellent. Easy to mount, light and strong, great work:clap


    I'm not quite sure, but currently I've got a spring washer on the outside- should they both be underneath the guard instead (on either side of the rod nut)?
    I've also put a different flat washer on the outside- in what must be a random chance thing, one of the high tensile washers provided had a series of hairline cracks- I flexed it and it fell to pieces:D.
    On that note, I think the Penut covers might require just a tiny bit of fiddling to find the perfect washer for under the the cover. Pretty easy really. I'm also going to try to find a stainless allen head counter-sunk-head bolt and slighty countersink a stainless washer to give the bolt head on the outside a slightly lower profile. I like fiddling with stuff like that:D

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    a bit of a comparison

    [​IMG]

    when I get around to sikaflexing the gaurds I'll post another shot,
    probably won't be for a while yet,

    Cheers,
    best of luck with your travels,
    Hans.
    #6
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  7. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    Those look pretty sweet, I'll have to look in to these. I got rid of the bash guards and have been feeling a little bare, since :D
    #7
  8. tradern

    tradern Toowoomba QLD

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    Sweet as Hans. Couldn't believe we timed that one bloody well!

    Very sorry about the high tensile 'cracker'. That's pretty poor quality control on my behalf. I certainly double checked to make sure that all the guards (which are all boxed up now ready to ship, as I be now in Singapore) had the correct amounts of washers and bits but not cracked HT washers. I found through my usual suppliers of those things that there was a number of different brands/suppliers being used. Was never happy in the end with what I was getting. So much for supporting the local supplier guy... I like the comparison shot against the tube crash bars!

    Definitely apologies to anybody else who's bought a set and seen this happen. I will go out on a whim here to say that would probably be a one in a 1000 type of faulty washer.

    Alas - one spring washer is run under the rod nut and one on the out side of the guard under the M8 bolt. Chris (who had the peanut covers also) on his Rooney framed bike ran the same rocker cover/spring washer/rodnut/guard/washer/spring washer/bolt system when we fitted them a few weeks ago. I agree that some shallow headed allen bolts could be a good thing. Not sure about stainless though. I've run into a few funny stainless fasteners one to many times, i.e. galling and too much cheese content. I think from the number of bitumen stacks Clarissa's had and the minimal damage her standard M8 bolts have suffered I probably won't worry to much. That and finding that hardware now on the road would be interesting :)

    Stagehand - I'm sure later this year you will see the original idea on a certain bike you may ride in Australia :)

    To anybody else interested - postage will be up to a week from first contact now as I have somebody posting the guards (from Australia) for me. She's reliable and can get the post office a couple of times a week (thanks Clarissas Mum!). This is due to the world trip beginning, and being away from home for sometime.

    Also from what I've sent thus far - postage to the US is about $50AUD with tracking (arrived quickly too from the last one) to most places. Postage is still $10 for AUS or Kiwi's.
    #8
  9. ontic

    ontic

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    Hi Neil,
    congrats on officially starting your journey:clap. It is fair to say I am a tad jealous!

    No probs about 'the cracker'. I'm sure it was a 1/1000 event if that. I doubt I would have picked it up either. I only mentioned it because it was actually kinda funny- braking a high tensil steel washer into 3 bits with my fingernail- yep, I'm actually that tough:D

    And yeah, you're probably right about the stainless fastener. I'll see how it goes- either way I'll be fitting an allen head countersunk bolt (either the stainless ones I have already anti-seized up, or some good steel ones if I find them) and will be turning up a nice thick countersunk stainless washer, so the whole bolt on the outside is more of a dome than a bolt head. More about aesthetics and catching my pants on the bolt head than anything crash related:lol3


    Have a great time mate,
    I'm enjoying your blog,


    And for everyone else, bump for a very well made product.
    Grab a set while they are available.
    One of my favourite things about the hardhead is how well it protects the lower plug on a twin plugged head- as I will soon be getting my heads twin-plugged.
    Cheers,
    #9
  10. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    A short video on why you may need a set of hard heads.

    flip to 9:10 if you have something to do, or if you're easily bothered or annoyed, or if you have no sense of humor at all. Otherwise, the whole thing is pretty entertaining.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/v_YE17X5UZg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #10
  11. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

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    That was pretty funny. "hey - where ya going? . . . . fucker left me . . . " :rofl
    #11
  12. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Long timer

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    Here's a few more pics:

    Excuse the mess, haven't yet cleaned up after 2k miles on leaky fork seals. :D
    [​IMG]

    Fits nice and tight on the valve covers, and around the lower plugs too:
    [​IMG]

    The other end:
    [​IMG]
    (Note scuff mark from the previous tumble. I've rotated the cover, but the original crash bars don't even keep the covers off the ground.)

    I like 'em. They look good, there's a lot more room (still plan to move the horn a bit more inboard), and they seem to be a lot more useful than the original guards. They don't quite work with where the "winter flaps" are supposed to go, but it's plenty good enough.

    (Oh, and I'd like to take this opportunity to curse whoever thought to fit the original crash bars with allen bolts. They were very nearly impossible to get out without removing the front of the engine. 1/6 turn at a time...)
    #12
  13. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Long timer

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    Oh, and about those bolts sticking out?

    Don't worry about them, they'll make a really satisfying scrape down the side of the car that suddenly changes lanes into you without indicating or anything. :D

    (Purely hypothetically, ofcourse.)
    #13
  14. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    Neil,

    Any chance you are still producing and selling these?

    I may need a set!
    #14
  15. billmendenhall

    billmendenhall n00b

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    Neil, do you still have any guards available?
    #15
  16. Screaming Chicken

    Screaming Chicken Long timer

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    Confirmed, they work well:

    [​IMG]
    #16
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  17. bleaknessengine

    bleaknessengine Adventurer

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    I am also interested, if you thought of producing more hardheads!!!
    #17
  18. tradern

    tradern Toowoomba QLD

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    Salutations All,

    Love the shots on the bikes!

    It has been a while since I've been in a position to manufacture more. I apologise to those who've been waiting! I've been working away from home for most of the year :(

    If anybody would like a set of hardheads, do please PM me your requirements. Thanks for your patience waiting :)

    I can't promise when they will be done, but by the end of the year/Jan16 should be doable!

    I do have a few sets to suit the 450/650cc range boxers available now. None in 800/1000 range until I slice up some more.

    Cheerio,

    Neil
    #18
  19. Sutherngintelmen

    Sutherngintelmen around the bend

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    Just got a referral to this thread after low siding my r80 g/s. Any updates on availability?
    #19
  20. tradern

    tradern Toowoomba QLD

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    G'day All,

    Big apologies to all who have waited a long time. I've finally been in a position to pick up enough 4130 steel to complete another 30+ sets of hardhead guards.

    I will post updates of how things are moving, but within my constraints, I'm looking to have these completed by the end of next month.

    The kits will increase slightly in price to cover increases in material costs. This will be mitigated a bit (for those in the USA) by having someone stateside to distribute the guards for me. Saving those in the USA on a chunk of postage from Australia. I do wish I could post them cheaper out to all around the world, but please do contact me for a price for shipping if you're unsure. I'm here to help with combining shipping and bouncing things around.

    There will be no significant changes in the construction of the guards.

    This is a good time to remind potential customers that you will need to aquire/fabricate/buy an alternate side stand solution if you wish to continue having a sidestand. There are a number of people on and off ADV rider that can do this. I've sent photos to some people with ideas before to help. It's a discussion in itself why I don't also sell them but long story short - the solution I personally fabricate, is too cost prohibitive/bike specific for sale.



    [​IMG]
    #20