BMW Enduro skidplate cracked my engine case

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Jaws, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Jaws

    Jaws Awesome Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Lockhart Basin Cracked Engine Case Adventure Results: BMW Enduro Skidplate -1, Black Dog Cycle Works :thumb

    Just got back from my first trip out west and had an absolute blast, possibly too much of a blast. Ended up doing the Lockhart Basin with some friends and my BMW Enduro skidplate punched a hole in my engine case (with the help from some rocks). It pushed the rear boss right into the engine. This really makes me wonder why a company would mount a skidplate to a cast aluminum engine case??? On the trail I thought all was well, until we stopped to take some pictures and noticed oil leaking from my crankcase :eek1

    Apparently, taking a fully loaded R1200GS over rocks and boulders at speed is not recommended, at least not with a BMW style skidplate. This happened towards the end of the trail so I was able to get to camp without incident. I have to say, the boxer engine really held up during this short ride and didn't even get hot with the cracked engine case.

    Here's a sad picture of my wounded GS back at camp:
    [​IMG]

    This pictures shows the crack around the boss that was bolted to the BMW skidplate:
    [​IMG]

    Luckily, the next day I was able to get the engine case welded in town. If you're ever in Moab you need to look up Dale from Elite Motorcycle Tours and Ride with Respect. He is a jack of trades and an excellent welder.

    Here are some pictures of Dale in action:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The finished product:
    [​IMG]

    And, as luck would have it, Kurt from Black Dog Cycle Works (BDCW) was in town for the Adventure Challenge. He hooked me up with one of their plates and center stand guards. I really can't say enough good things about BDCW or their plates.

    Here's a picture of the BDCW tent at Moab and Kurt on Hurrah Pass with his decked out GSA:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The BDCW plate is much thicker gauge than any of the other plates out there and IT DOESN'T MOUNT TO THE ENGINE!!! It mounts to the frame with some stout custom mounts that aren't going anywhere.

    I ran this plate hard the rest of the weekend and only manged to put a couple of scratches in the paint. This was on the same trails that crushed the BMW skidplate.

    Here's a few pictures of the BDCW plate after the trip:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The good news is my GS made it all the way back to Michigan without incident. Here it is showing off the BDCW skidplate at my local BMW dealer in Canton (BMWMCSEM's Oktoberfest last Saturday).
    [​IMG]

    Lastly, For Sale - one slightly used BMW Enduro skidplate.......
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. RobStar

    RobStar Still On Training Wheels

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Oddometer:
    437
    Location:
    Las Vegas Baby!
    I've seen the video and photos on FB of your group doing Lockhart Basin; it's a bitchin' rough road and probably not exactly what BMW had in mind for stock bikes / components. You guys are expert riders and then some but a manufacturer builds things for the middle ground ride / rider.

    Good on you guys for the great ride and a huge salute to you for the awesome fix!

    RobStar
    #2
  3. Poway

    Poway SHED (Shit Head)

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    603
    Location:
    Formerly San Diego CA/ Shitholeistan
    Congratulations on your double good fortune:
    A) Finding an outstanding welder at Moab
    B) Having Black Dog Cycle's Work's at Moab and having their product on hand.

    Thanks for pointing out how their skid plate is significantly better than BMW's. I thought their product looked over built compared to BMW's. But, not now.:clap
    #3
  4. MJS

    MJS Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,426
    Location:
    Off the grid in San Felipe, Baja
    Did you have the rubber pad between the engine and BMW plate?
    #4
  5. Plane Dr

    Plane Dr Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,146
    Location:
    North TX Metromess
    I would put much to the BMW plates or the rubber mounts and blocks. I was doing some urban assault and managed to literally tear the stock plate off. :huh I was thinking the same that the black dog type was overkill but not so much anymore.
    #5
  6. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,482
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Lastly, For Sale - one slightly used BMW Enduro skidplate.......

    Based on your overwhelming endorsement...I'll bet you'll have buyers lining up to snatch up this beauty.:rofl

    PS...aluminum is now going for about $1.15 per pound. Consider re-cycling, as it were.:rofl

    Glad, at least, that you weren't hurt in the incident(s).:clap
    #6
  7. drewcrew

    drewcrew Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Hartland, MI
    I'll have a matching one for sale soon. If you get to many takers on that one. :freaky
    #7
  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    75,987
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Wow, you hit HARD.

    BTW that whole isn't "punched", it is cracked, based on a very hard hit.

    Glad you could get it fixed. Nice to know that is possible.

    Jim :brow
    #8
  9. Jaws

    Jaws Awesome Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    Hello Robstar - I have to give props to Ryan, Jason, Mike and Mick who are the experts. I was just along for the ride, but had a lot fun for my first time in Utah.

    I agree about BMW building stuff for less severe applications. However, I don't think that mounting the skidplate to the engine case was ever a good idea. IMHO, cast aluminum is pretty brittle and won't take much abuse. It would be good to see BMW update the mounting location.
    #9
  10. Jaws

    Jaws Awesome Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I did have the big molded rubber pad installed when this happened. That rubber pad is actually one of the reasons I bought the BMW plate in the first place. Unfortunately, it didn't help in this case.

    The real problem is the "H" bracket that is used to mount the plate to the rear of the engine. It acts like a big ole' rigid lever arm and actually cracked the case (as JimVonBaden pointed out). Anyone using this style plate should probably disconnect that H-bracket. The other bolts will hold the plate in place and then the rubber pad might be more effective at preventing engine damage. The mounting bosses are really the most susceptible to engine damage, and are not protected by the rubber pad.

    The BDCW plate addresses all of these issues and also has a rubber pad. I wish I had seen one in person before buying the BMW plate.

    As for not getting hurt, there really was no "incident". Just some spirited riding on the easier part the trail and then a bad line on technical descent. I rolled a boulder which caused the suspension to load and I cased the next rock. The bike stayed upright and I had no idea of the damage at the time. This wasn't even a high speed descent.
    #10
  11. dougprintz

    dougprintz dougprintz

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Northern California
    Great write-up. Just one look at that damage had me rushing over to Black Dog. Thanks to Jason and Ryan for installing the Black Dog skid plate for me so I could ride the rest of the rally without worrying.

    I'm glad you were able to get it repaired, ride the rest of the rally, and and get back home without incident.

    Doug

    BTW - I also have a slightly used BMW oversized skid plate for sale.
    #11
  12. LarryGee

    LarryGee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    West Central Florida
    Yeah, I fell for the "BMW" designed this plate for your bike BS.... I have a nearly new plate on my F8 and I've seen the Black Dog products on a bike when I took the Rawhyde class. I'm selling the BMW one and buying the Black Dog ....
    #12
  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    29,268
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    now would have ever sent them down Lockhart Basin? :scratch
    :hide
    #13
  14. drewcrew

    drewcrew Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Hartland, MI
    ummm..... I think we used a Butler map :D :freaky Great ride thou even on a loaded GS

    [​IMG]
    #14
  15. Jimmy Dark

    Jimmy Dark n00b

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Lake Tahoe, NV
    I too need to switch off an early version BMW enduro skid plate (rubber block not included and not sold separately by BMW). The skid plate has taken a few hard shots similar to the ones shown and bent the brackets. I am running Leo Vince headers and found that most skidplates do not fit them due to their larger diameter. I had to use a press to open up the BMW plate slightly in order to get it to fit.

    Anybody know if the BD skid plate will fit Leo Vince headers? Until I can get that sorted out, anybody want to share or sell their surplus BMW rubber block? PM me and we can make arrangements.

    Thanks!
    #15
  16. Jaws

    Jaws Awesome Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    125
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    I can fit my fingers between my plate and stock header pipes on each side. You may want to call Kurt though. The good thing is all of the mounting points on the BDCW plate are adjustable to make sure it gets centered around the pipes. That also makes for easy installation.
    #16
  17. RupeCA

    RupeCA Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    86
    Location:
    east TN
    Hey Jaws,
    Great write-up and thanks for the pics!
    I also personally know someone who had a similar experience which I was the reason I ditched the stock plate and put on a BDCW skid plate. Could not be happier. It fit fine with my Remus headers and just one less thing to worry about.
    My plate has a few dings and scratches but everything works as advertised.

    Hopefully your pics and notes will help prevent a nasty surprise for someone else down the road (or trail!).

    I have no affiliation with BDCW, just a satisfied customer.
    #17
  18. Wallowa

    Wallowa Diver Down

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,003
    Location:
    NE Oregon
    OK...please help me here... as I can't see how any plate mounted to the engine case, regardless of rubber buffer or pads, can prevent case damage if the mount bolts/boss is pushed up into the case.

    Does the BDCW skid plate mount to the frame? Thanks in advance...
    #18
  19. L21

    L21 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    PA, usa
    Rear of skidplate mounts to frame. Skideplate forward mount is to the engine case with plates made to crush to absorb impact to help protect engine case.
    #19
  20. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    75,987
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    Add a big rubber cushion and you have described the BMW alternative version.

    Jim :brow
    #20