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V85 Engine Guards -- a review of all of them, more or less

Discussion in 'V7/V85/V9 Chat & Tech' started by DesertPilot, Sep 24, 2020.

  1. DesertPilot

    DesertPilot Just got it firing!

    Jan 28, 2020
    Likes Received:
    Mountain View, California, USA
    Due to some circumstances beyond my control, I was in a position to review function and installation of different engine guards for the V85 TT. As of today, 25-Oct-2020, there are four main options: the Givi, Hepco & Becker, SW-Motech, and OEM. Second-hand reports suggest the Givi is overkill – a baroque titanic assembly of bars that completely encases the cylinder and may prevent access to the valve covers. IMHO the Hepco&Bercker looks too effette – a whimsical curlicue some dandy might have his butler attach for venture to the club. That leaves the SW-Motech and OEM. I have now tried them both, and here is what I learned.

    They’re the same, There’s nothing to chose between them.

    They’re the same, There’s nothing to chose between them.

    Materials and fit
    They’re the same, There’s nothing to chose between them.
    Are they good enough?
    Yes. I have determined experimentally (see note above about ‘circumstances beyond my control,’) that the OEM unit is entirely capable of destroying the front bumper of a Mercedes SUV, then taking a substantial hit to the pavement while protecting the cylinder from even the slightest scratch.

    What’s different about them?
    1) The lower front strut of the SW-Motech bolts to the frame, and shares the lower front engine mount bolts. The lower front strut of the OEM unit bolts to a tunnel (!!!) the Guzzi engineers whimsically provided through the sump because hey, why not put a tunnel through the sump to mount the engine guards? Other motorcycle manufacturers are so unimaginative!

    2) The installation instructions that come with the OEM unit actually describe how to install it. The installation instructions that come with the SW-Motech unit assume an element of Teutonic independence and resourcefulness on the part of the installer. You’re also on your own guessing one Fairly Important Torque Setting (see below).

    Installation on both units is basically the same. For the SW-Motech, it's

    1) Pry out the 4 plastic caps that cover the bolt holes for the upper front and rear struts and save them for your Obscure Parts From Old Motorcycles collection.

    2) Unbolt and move aside the rear brake fluid reservoir. It won't leak.

    3) Remove the lower front engine mount bolt on the side you’re working on. I did one side at a time, rather than find out the hard way what might happen if I pulled the bolts on both sides.

    4) Loosely fit the bottom strut and bolt using the new longer bolt and spacer SW-Motech provides . Do not tighten it at this time. Trust me!

    5) Loosely fit the upper front and rear strut bolts. Unless you tightened the bottom strut bolt, in which case you’ll have to loosen it again to get everything to line up. How do I know this, you ask?

    6) Tighten everything in whatever order seems right. I did the bottom strut first. You’ll have some fun doing the left rear strut bolt with a hex key, exactly one flat at a time. You might even want to bend the key with a hammer so you can tighten the bolt more than one flat at a time. I used a crow’s foot wrench to avoid similar drama on the right.

    7) Torque everything down. Which requires you to know the Fairly Important Torque Setting for the engine mount bolts. Which Guzzi and SW-Motech both seemed to feel must be kept secret. I guessed 50 NM, which seems about right for an M12 bolt . If I was wrong and the engine falls out, I’ll let you know.

    8) Do the same on the other side.

    9) You’re done!

    10) No you aren’t! Bolt that rear brake fluid reservoir back on.

    11) And you did use blue Loctite on everything, right?

    Installation for the OEM unit is covered in the installation instructions and is basically the same, except that since both units share one bolt at the bottom. you install them both at the same time.

    NOTE: The instructions recommend you pull the heat shields from the exhaust to install that bottom bolt. This is not necessary. But if you don’t, you will wish to pad your tools so you don’t scratch the heat shields. (See note above about ‘How do I know this, you ask?’)

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