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Gremlin's Tall Stories

Fitting a new Bash Plate and Toolbox (28/04/2012)

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Ah, another day of hapless mechanicing on my poor bike. If you thought the mods were over, youíd be well wrong. I have plenty of ideas left yet!

Of course, I shouldnít really be left to my own devices so GiJoe was drafted in (probably somewhat reluctantly Ė and yet itís like a train wreck to him, he simply canít resist watching).

In todayís episode, itís a new bash plate and a toolbox specific to the GSA luggage racks. After burning my leg during the Poronui weekend Iíd realised there was more functionality to the bash plate than just protecting the engine. The right bash plate would also protect me from the bike during our (somewhat) frequent disagreements on orientation v landscape.

All the aftermarket options are bigger than the stock one, which doesnít really pass muster and indeed already sports a good dent from the rough excursion in the USA. After a lot of reading and evaluation of the available options I settled on the BMW Enduro bash plate. The initial price from the dealer put me off, around the $1000 mark, but asking for a check on that resulted in a much more suitable price around the $400 mark.

The key difference between it and the others was that it includes a big rubber block that sits between the plate and engine and doesnít mount like a nuclear shelter. I believe it should still be sacrificial as the engine is going to cost a whole lot more, but the rubber block should spread any energy better than no rubber block.

The other item was an aluminium toolbox to sit inside the right hand pannier rack, something Iíd been thinking about for months, thought about custom options, then stumbled across an inmate on AdvRider that made them in the USA. He was a great guy and reckoned mine was the first in NZ, but heíd shipped a handful or two around the world. It opens on the side, so the pannier has to be off, but allows far better access into the box and I will use it to store some of my tools so for some adventuring I can carry less luggage (and have stuff like the puncture repair kit permanently on board).

So enough of the talk, Iíd already figured that working on the bash plate with the bike on the centre stand would be a pain in the arse and of course we donít have expensive work benches. Since Jessica has plenty of protection, over she went. Iím serious. We laid her on her side and while GiJoe was in disbelief, he admitted later it definitely made things easy.

Access to the bash plate was now super easy and we removed the old plate. A couple of rubber mounts halted our progress as we couldnít figure out how to remove them and eventually in desperation I cut all the rubber off. Still couldnít remove it. Lots of internet searching and a mild panic attack later Iím thinking Iíve now royally stuffed it up, when GiJoe finds that if you throw a spanner on it, it turns out and itís threaded into the engine block. Probably a good thing I donít have stuff like gas torches It also explains why the damn thing wouldnít come out with straight pulling.

The second rubber mount comes out easy as and weíre away again. We take plenty of time to get every detail correct and each part installed in the correct way with the correct bolt. The stock bash plate mounted with 4 bolts, the new one bolts with 6, the extra two at the rear as the bash plate is much longer rearward. Iíve read some installs online so knew it was going to be tricky, but after a bit of swearing we had the mount in place.

The fun part however was yet to come. I have a SW-Motech centre stand plate already installed and this protects the area around the bottom of the shock against debris and damage. The extra length of the large bash plate now meant they cross over each other and there was no way that could happen, otherwise the centre stand was unusable. The only option was to hack away some of the centre stand plate as the bolts on the bash plate were right at the end. Some drilling and sawing later (and one snapped blade Ė I have talent I do) the cut out was done. I might even go as far to say I was impressed with my handiwork as GiJoe made me do it myself. Everything fitted nicely and now I have a long section of plate protecting the whole underside of the bike.

Next up was the toolbox. It was side loading so we had to fiddle about to make sure the door could open inside the pannier rack and concluded the best option was pounding on it with a hammer a bit to dent the front around a mount on the bike. I assure you it was gentle and quite subtle (the result)Ö

We had to drill two holes in the bottom tabs of the pannier racks to put the bolts through, that took some time as the rack was made of some sort of hard metal (donít ask, I donít know). The bolts didnít play nicely with their nuts, so by some miracle I had some others lying around that were a perfect substitute so we used them instead.

The box sits perfectly on the side and offers some very useful space for keeping tools, regardless of what luggage Iím taking. Itís also secure and mostly waterproof (depending on how full you load the box the door might sit out a little, but water is unlikely to get in).

A good day of spannering with some useful tasks achieved!

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  1. gijoe1313's Avatar
    Fun and games with Gremlin about, by the time he (never) finishes modding his Beemer, it will end up like a KonigsTiger and invade half of Europe ...