Ok, so it took me long enough but I've finally found the time to post my experience installing the R&G Racing Frame Sliders I scored from Jerry at The Pirates' Lair ($125). Some might not like the idea of sliders and associate them with training wheels while others may cringe at the thought of drilling through the Tupperware panels. All I can say is that after dropping the bike while standing still in my office parking lot, I wasn't ever
again going to pony up the cost of fixing and re-painting the panel, not to mention the down time for repair. I'll also be the first to state that I anticipate these sliders to only
be effective in a similar tipover and not
a crash at any speed. If I'm still alive after a high speed getoff it's time to order a K1300GT.
While the kit comes with a fairly
decent one page set of instructions I thought I'd share my install as I ran in to a few gotchas. As always, I don't encourage you to reenact the same insipid errors I did. Read the instructions first, take your time, use the correct tools, and send the wife and kids out to a movie.
First off, here's a shot of the frame slider for the left side of the bike. Slider, bolt, and spacer are shown:
Simply remove the Tupperware panel and black styrofoam engine piece underneath. I tried looking up this black piece of styrofoam on Max BMW's site for the "official" name but couldn't find it. Sue me. Those of you who work on your bike know what I'm talking about.
Look for the two M10 engine to frame bolts (now visible with the styrofoam part out of the way) and remove the top
bolt & aluminum spacer. Re-use the washer and slide it on to the R&G engine bolt that comes in the kit. Using a torque wrench, snug down the new engine bolt so it's tight but don't snap it off half way inside the engine like I did!
The instructions don't
mention a torque spec. Hey, use a little common sense here!
Here's a shot of the new upper engine bolt in place:
The kit comes with a sharp scribe that screws in to the new engine bolt we just installed (and didn't break off...) that is used to make a mark inside the Tupperware where you want to begin drilling a pilot hole. Here's a pic with the scribe in place:
I put some 3M blue masking tape on both sides of the fairing approximately in the area of where the bolt hole will be drilled. Simply put the Tupperware back in to position and mark the inside of the panel with the point of the scribe. What could be easier, eh?
Now here's where I took a left turn from the supplied instructions and did my own thing. According to R&G Racing, you're supposed to throw caution to the wind and attack your fairing with a 28mm hole saw and pray to all things good & right in the world that it lines up correctly. Huh? I don't think so, pal. I'd like to first ascertain whether the feisty Brit who penned these install instructions has ever priced out a side panel for a GT. Secondly, as I measured the black cylindrical spacer (see first pic way above) 28mm was way
too large a hole in my opinion. I wasn't too keen on introducing any unsightly gaps around the spacer. I'm also drilling on my brand new
GT for cryin' out loud and want to keep things to a minimum. Sayin'?
So I nutted up and drilled a small 5/16" pilot hole where the mark was made. I unscrewed the scribe and reinstalled the fairing. I then used a small screwdriver to ensure my pilot hole lined up with the engine bolt which it did. Next I drilled a slightly larger hole that was big enough to accommodate the long bolt that mounts the slider to the bike (again, see pic #1 above). From here I slid the black spacer on the long bolt and used that to trace out the larger hole that needed to be made. Here's a picture of what I mean:
And a picture with the lined up spacer traced out. I'm no damn art major so cut me some slack here!
Now we're getting somewhere. With the correct size spacer hole aligned and traced I was ready to make the final cuts. Instead of using the aforementioned hole saw (barbaric in my opinion) I reached for the variable speed Proxxon tool (the German equivalent of a Dremel) and took my time wallerin'
out the hole until it was the perfect size. I wanted it nice and snug with no
Finally, logic will dictate the need to also "waller" out the hole on the black styrofoam piece to accept the larger engine bolt as well as spacer. Obviously you gotta use your Dremel tool on both
sides of the black piece. I leave this terribly difficult part of the install up to you. Here's a pic (a poor one, I agree) showing the front of the black styrofoam piece after customizing:
Put the styrofoam part back on, button up the side panel, and finally install your frame slider. Pretty easy all in all. I didn't take a final pic of the bike as everyone knows what these things look like, besides Jerry's posted one over on his site. I'm tired and need to get back to work anyway.
Hope this helps someone out there,
: origin; Texas. Used first by good old boys needing to make any aperture larger, usually accompanied by far too much force and the use of incorrect tools. Verify with Grif if necessary.