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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Having sworn never to buy these due to the high price and the fact that such high cost items would be exposed to damage (the head covers to tumbles and the breastplate to stone throwing by the front wheel) when I saw they were heavily discounted at the dealer I caved and got both sets.

Here's the breastplate:
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An here it is with the Roland Sands branding disguised with black tape (why does BMW let them ruin these things like this?)
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A seldom seen view of it, the back:
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To install the breastplate, I removed the top 2 screws first. I read horror stories about this, removing radiators (BMW says so in the manual) and even the tank to get access to the screws. I have to say that, pre-warned about these difficulties and armed with a 1/4 100mm extension plus a 1/4 cardan plus a T15 1/4 bit, I did it without removing anything other than the screws themselves. There's 2 ways to do it, access it from below:

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or from above (which is actually easier):

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To put them back is a little bit trickier but can be done with a long thin-nose pliers:

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After putting them in place, torque them to 3Nm.
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To remove the lower ones, there's not much to be said, take them out, clean the threads with a wire brush and apply medium threadlock for reuse (I didn't use the new ones provided with the breastplate). Whilst I had the cover off, I gave a good clean to the area as well.
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To be continued in the next post.
 

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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Here it is, the blue stuff (Loctite 243):

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Then 5Nm torque with a T20 bit:
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Finished job looked like this:
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From the pic above, the lack of headers is apparent ;) They are travelling to the north of the country to apply a nice black satin ceramic coating. Can't wait to get them back.

Now for the valve covers and here's one still wrapped:
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To install them start by prying off the coil covers. DO NOT pull them downwards! They need to be pulled horizontally towards you. I use a large flat screwdriver as a lever.
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Then remove the coils using your favourite tool, here with a Wunderlich one, it takes a bit of force:
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Then place a tray below to collect the oil that will drop from the cylinder head and undo the bolts with a T40.
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Pop them out. It takes a bit of force:
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The covers will now still feel like strongly attached, they need to be convinced with some soft banging to undo the seal:
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To be continued in the next post
 

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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Then take the gasket off and inspect for damage. If damaged, replace them otherwise there will be a leak:
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Rotate the 2 top circlips making sure their open side faces the cylinder. This will allow for the head cover to be installed without interference with them:
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Remove the lower rubber stops which are not needed for the machined head covers:
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Clean the flange thoroughly. I used a paper towel soaked in contact cleaner. Brake cleaner will do it fine or any other degreaser:
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Then clean the gasket thoroughly as well. I used contact cleaner as well:

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Then do the same to the ignition coil seal that you have to remove from the removed covers and install both the gasket and seal:
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To prepare the new covers for installation, use a T10, remove the screws from the ignition coil cover. Note that the front screw is shorter than the rear two. Needless to say, they need to be reassembled the same way:
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To be continued in the next post.
 

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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Take the ignition coil cover off and set it aside:
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Then slide the cover onto the head, aligning it from above and rotating it down:
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Install the two long bolts and thread them by hand. This tricky because the covers have no guide for them. The best way is to slightly separate the cover from the head so that you can peer in and just see the bolt hole on the head. Use a strong light from below so that you can see the bolt inside as you wiggle it until you manage to thread it, just a couple of turns. Do the same on the other side. Then turn them by hand. All this, while ensuring the ignition coil rubber seal and the head gasket stay in place....
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When hand tight, double check on seal and gasket alignment and torque them to 10Nm with a T40 bit:
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Then for the ignition coils. Remove them from the cable, prying them off carefull from the plug with your fingernail or with a small screwdriver.
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Plug the extension that comes with the covers kit:
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Then install them this way, using a plastic tie to hold the cable. If you try to fit them the other way around, they will not fit.
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Push them as far inside as they will go. Push firmly, they need to sit perfectly on the spark plugs:
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Now to install the ignition coil covers. Start by applying medium threadlock on the screws. Note the different size, the rear two are longer than the front one:
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Put the ignition coil cover in place, ensuring the coil cable is routed without pinching in the inner channel of the cover. Thread the screws all in place by hand, just a couple of threads each. This is fiddly, it's easy to misalign and damage the threads, proceed carefully.
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To be continued in the next post
 

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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Screw them in carefully and torque to 1Nm:
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Now plug the coil cable extension to the bike cable and stow it properly. Looking at the photos, I think I will come back to this and apply heat shrink wrap to them I don't like the thought of leaving them there without protection, the poor things :oops:

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The left and right sides are different, so stowing these plugs and cables will be different. I followed what BMW says in the manual and used plastic ties to attach them. This photo is from the left side. Again, looking at it, I'll change this and re-route the cable behind the tube.
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And here it is, final product:
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Job done! Minus the probable changes I will end up doing in terms of stowing and routing the coil cables.
 

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2019 BMW R NineT (Classic)
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215 Posts
Thanks for the very detailed guide.

I am expecting mine in the next days and I needed a guide like the one you provided.

Still though I am not sure if I can install them on my own.

I would love too on the other hand.

My I ask what kind of protection bar are those ?

thanks again !

e.f.
 

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Super Moderator
2014 Classic
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4,312 Posts
Thanks for putting together this detailed and informative tutorial (y)
It's one thing doing the job, but doing it with a camera in one hand . . . outstanding! :D
 

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12,035 Posts
Excellent posting! Thanks very much for taking the time to do this. :)
 
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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
Joined
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thanks for the very detailed guide.

I am expecting mine in the next days and I needed a guide like the one you provided.

Still though I am not sure if I can install them on my own.

I would love too on the other hand.

My I ask what kind of protection bar are those ?

thanks again !

e.f.
Glad to be of help! The bars are Unit Garage. I made a DIY for them as well: DIY - Installation of Unitgarage crashbars (EUR4 version)

And installing the covers is not difficult at all, just take your time and the proper tools available. The correct torques are fundamental, so torque wrenches are some of the mandatory elements here.

I learned the basics of car mechanics as a boy hanging around a car shop and there I heard that all screws and nuts had to be tightened until just before the breaking point. Fortunately, I learned better, through studying for mechanical engineering (where I learned to calculate torque values) and then practicing that in my aviation profession and then in my mechanical hobbies.

As I reported in another thread, I had issues with a leaking clutch fluid cover, until I finally learned what was the BMW torque which was much lighter than I thought. Unfortunately, that torque value was not published where I expected it to be, and in the meantime, I had the leak, When I found out about it and untightened the 3 screws and tightened them again with the right torque, the leak stopped.

I'm saying all this because here, the head cover bolts are also only lightly tightened with 10Nm. It feels as if one should tighten them very hard to crush the gasket to avoid leaks, but it's the opposite, formed gaskets like these must not be crushed, they must be seated.

So, my advice, if you don't have torque wrenches, don't touch your bikes...

But with tools, patience and a manual (and DIY guides!), go ahead!
 

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2019 BMW R NineT (Classic)
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215 Posts
I have torque wrenches in my house so that's not a problem.

I installed the breastplate myself for example, the belly pan etc.

One aspect that i have missed from my previous bikes except my first one which was a BMW R51/3 is that i was

working myself a lot on the bike. After that and when i started buying new "contemporary" machines never touched again anything. Too afraid or i don't know what.

In the NineT this has come back to me. I love working on her as much as possible. So i would love to install the covers myself this time as well.

On the other hand i am not sure i have a tool for removing the coils as you show in your pictures. The one that you are having from Wunderlich i mean.

Anyway still have time to think if i am going to dare that until the covers arrive.

The bars are looking good and surely provide protection. Not sure for myself though i want to install them.

I am taking a risk i know but i will give it a bit more thought.

Again, thanks for the guide !

e.f.
 

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2020,R Nine T Racer
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155 Posts
Screw them in carefully and torque to 1Nm:
View attachment 137262

Now plug the coil cable extension to the bike cable and stow it properly. Looking at the photos, I think I will come back to this and apply heat shrink wrap to them I don't like the thought of leaving them there without protection, the poor things :oops:

View attachment 137270

The left and right sides are different, so stowing these plugs and cables will be different. I followed what BMW says in the manual and used plastic ties to attach them. This photo is from the left side. Again, looking at it, I'll change this and re-route the cable behind the tube.
View attachment 137271

And here it is, final product:
View attachment 137272

View attachment 137273


View attachment 137274
Job done! Minus the probable changes I will end up doing in terms of stowing and routing the coil cables.
I notice the covers on the oil cooler. Are they the BMW stock? See no oil cooler protector. Future project or prefer not to interrupt flow of air?
 

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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
Joined
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I notice the covers on the oil cooler. Are they the BMW stock? See no oil cooler protector. Future project or prefer not to interrupt flow of air?
They're the BMW accessory set, yep (P/N 77128396268). Not planning an oil cooler protector. I don't think damage is likely up there. If this would be an offroad bike, possibly, but I don't think it needs one.
 

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Premium Member
2018 BMW R nineT
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277 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Wow! the RSD head covers are stunning! You have inspired me. Thank you for the brilliant how to.
Thx! Notice that they are not really RSD, they're BMW but are made by RSD for them.
 
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