Yesterday we bolted on some crash mushrooms and fork protectors to the mighty GSX-S750 termer (here). Today, we've finished the job, with some engine case covers, and a natty brake lever guard for all them close passes we make on the A24...
First up is the case covers. Simple enough - your typical bike motor has side covers over the ignition pickup, starter, clutch, alternator, etc. Now they're made of aluminium which is light and strong enough to keep oil inside - but not so good at resisting the impact of a kerbstone at 40mph. Or even 4mph. One unlucky drop can crack, smash or grind a hole in the covers, and you'll get oil all over the place, plus grit, dirt and local wildlife all inside your engine. Which is significantly sub-optimal.
Now, a thin layer of tough polypropylene might seem weaker than aluminium castings, but it's actually more resistant to abrasion and impact, and is generally better at dealing with the road without falling apart. Race bikes have been using tough plastic covers over the top of the metal ones for years, with the aim of keeping oil off the track surface in a spill. Indeed, they're compulsory in most race series these days.
The GSX-S750 probably doesn't need to worry about getting oil on the racing line - but we'd still like to keep her safe in the event of an emergency. So a set of R&G engine case covers seems like a solid plan. They're easy to fit, keep the engine covers safe and protected, and add a certain track chic to proceedings too. There are three covers in the GSX-S set - clutch, starter/ignition and alternator. Installation is a breeze - the stock cases stay in place, you just unscrew three or four of the case bolts, put the cover in place and use the new longer R&G bolts to hold it on. A quick wipe beforehand keeps dirt and grit from getting stuck in there (some folk put some duct tape in there as well for extra protection for the engine casings).
The covers themselves have little metal spacers, which are sometimes in two parts, and need to be carefully fitted into the mounting holes beforehand. Also - a couple of the bolts on the GSX-S engine have rubber lined sealing washers (there are oil passages behind them that need to be properly sealed by the bolt head), so make sure you refit them on the new bolts, between the R&G cover and stock case.
Tighten up the new bolts carefully and evenly, and the job is done!
The last mod is a lever guard. These are needed in racing, where their job is to stop anything hitting the front brake lever and causing a crash. Super-close passing in racing can result in elbows, knees or fairings colliding with an unguarded lever, and you'll go straight down. This little moulded guard simply replaces the bar-end weight - unscrew the stock screw, pull out the weight, and replace with the guard. There's a choice of two internal clamps for different sized bars, we used the smaller one on the 750. Five minutes has them swapped over, and we have a smart protector over the brake lever.
The case covers cost £185 for the full set (they are available separately), and the lever guard is £40. More info: www.rg-racing.com