R&G Crash protection for the BMW K1200R

A bit of background

I once rolled up at a bike shop and parked the bike. Suddenly a big shiny Mercedes comes elvising into the car park and at usual mindless manners parks in front of the door. Amongst all the bikes. I then went inside and thought nothing more about it... I hear a bike's alarm go off and when I go outside I see my precious bike on its side and the Mercedes driver aplogizing for reversing into the bike.
Net result was about £1000 worth of damage. Several scratched panels etc. It took me almost 2 years to get the money for that incident. I wish I would have had proper crash protectors on the bike.

The solution; R&G Racing products

I know now that one of the best crash protection products on the market is manufactured by R&G Racing. Pretty much anyone you ask recommends their crash protectors. My girlfriend has got them on her ZXR400 and her GSX-R600.
The products are made from solid nylon blocks and they stick out enough to actually be able to take the damage.
So without further ado I got my wallet out...

My R&G Selection for the K1200R

R&G Racing products: Crash protectors, fork protectors and shaft protector. , Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The three packages; Crash protectors, fork protectors and shaft protector. This is, bar the bar ends (pun intended) all products that R&G do for the K1200R

As my bike is a BMW I'm extra careful of not damaging the parts that have got an OEM BMW roundel on them. They cost, and cost a lot. Therefore I didn't hesitate very long to go for the full shabang.

  • Crash protectors
  • Fork protectors
  • Shaft protector

Having had use of fork protectors on my Husky SM570R I thought that the more expensive BMW wheel/forks could do with some protection. On my BMW R1200GS I also managed to damage the shaft - just a scratch - but still, so the shaft-drive protector didn't get much of a 2nd thought.
I managed to bag all three products for about £93 at M&P thanks to a 10% discount. Not too bad.

The Crash protectors

The main crash protectors mount to the engine mounts on the frame and are the ones who'll probably take the majority of the spill.
There's already a set of OEM BMW protectors on the K1200R, but they're not going to do much good in a spill. After removing them you can see that they're virtually hollow on the back, meaning that when scraping against the tarmac they'll wear out quickly. They're also very short and I doubt that they'd actually touch the ground first.
Fitting the crash protectors is easy. The left hand side one is just a matter of unscrewing the factory one and replacing it with the R&G Racing one. Easy peasy.
The right hand side one is a bit more work. The top engine mount uses an aluminium spacer that needs to be turned around to suit the R&G protector. To turn it around in turn you need to loosen the pinch bolt, which is in an awkward position. I managed to use a torx spanner and loosen the pinch bolt, turn the spacer around, and tighten the pinch-bolt back up. Other than this, the process is merely a remove and replace one. Done n dusted!

What's in the R&G Racing Crash Protectors box, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The content of the R&G Crash protectors box

Comparison of the original BMW crash protector and the R&G Racing one., Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

This picture clearly shows how big the difference is between the original BMW crash protector and the R&G Racing Crash Protector. What you can't see on this picture is that the BMW one is pretty much hollow on the back side. Not good when you're skating your bike down the tarmac!

Pulled out spacer before turning it around to fit the R&G crash protector, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The aluminum spacer has to be turned around to fit the R&G protector. Loosen the pinch bolt just visible below the pulled out spacer

Using the torx spanner, tighten the pinch-bolt., Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

Tightening the pinch-bolt can be a bit of a nightmare because there's no real room to fit a socket into the hole. I managed to use a normal torx spanner. Notice the aluminium spacer has been turned "inside-out"

Comparing the original BMW crash protector to the R&G Racing one., Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

Here's the right hand side crash bobbin fitted. Notice how small the BMW one looks next to the R&G one.

The Fork Protectors

The fork protectors are really easy to install. You'll need two 13mm sockets or equivalent. Then unscrew one of the nylock nuts, remove the protectors. Push the bar through your hollow front spindle. Put the protector back, the spacer, and then the nut. Tighten, (lather, rinse, repeat). Done.
These little babies will (hopefully) protect the bottom end of the forks in the event of a spill. On my Husky they did quite a good job, but they weren't R&G stuff, so I didn't expect much from them.

This is what you get if you buy the R&G Fork Protectors, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The spartan but still plentiful content of the R&G Racing Fork Protector package

The R&G fork protectors mounted on the bike., Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The R&G Racing fork protectors mounted on the bike. This is easy-peasy. Just stick the bolt through the hollow front wheel axle, and mount the protectors, a washer and nyloc nut on each side. Tighten. Done.

The Shaft Protector

The only complaint I could muster would be that the instructions to fit the shaft protector is two lines long and it doesn't explain how to assemble the different bits in the package. And to add to the confusion there's a spare bolt/washer.
But fear not, it took me only a few seconds, and I'm revealing the secret right here!
Remove the original cover with a flat screw driver. It'll come out nice and easy, just wiggle it a bit and have an ounce of patience.
Asseble the shaft protector by putting the washer onto the bolt, then the bolt through the protector. Then use the conical nut, with the narrow end towards the protector, on the bolt. The conical nut will expand the plastic "neck" once the bolt is tightened.
Now all you have to do is to put the "neck" into the hole where the OEM part was placed. Then use an allen key to tighten the nut enough to keep the protector in place. Perfect!

The content of the shaft protector package, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The content of the shaft protector package

Using a screw driver I pulled out the OEM shaft link cover., Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

To remove the OEM cover (I'm not calling that a protector), I used a flat head screw driver and carefully pulled it out.

How to assemble the R&G shaft protector, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

Put the screw through the washer and the protector, then use the conical "nut" on the end. Tightening the screw will expand the plastic "shaft" on the protector to secure it to the bike.

The R&G Racing shaft protector in situ. , Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

The R&G Racing shaft protector in situ. Nice and neat.

The final step: Stickers

The R&G Racing sticker on my BMW K1200R, Click here to view larger image (NaNkb)

To finish it off, I used two of the smaller stickers to pride the bike with. Surely I have to show the world that I'm protected... hehehe

To finish the work off, you'll "have to" put a few of the supplied R&G stickers on your bike. Just to make her proud of your newly displayed care. I was left with 2 large stickers and 4 smaller ones. As I'm more for discrete looks, I used two of the smaller ones. That'll be enough.

Conclusion

The R&G racing stuff is of high quality and the instructions are OK. If they wanted to make the product better they could spend some time with the instructions and add a bit more detail along with some pictures.
They fit very well and there was no problems at all. Hopefully my bike should be able to handle a low speed spill without too much damage.