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Valve cover damage

904 Views 20 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Stray_Trons
Hello,

I’m looking at a used 2021 gs that has some damage to the right side valve cover. The valve cover is pretty banged up and scratched. No huge dent or anything though. The dealer has offered to replace it (and the engine guards) prior to purchase, but I’m worried about damage to the internals. Is that something I need to worry about, or is the cover there to take the abuse and protect the engine?

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It’s a low mileage demo bike, but someone clearly had fun with it before returning it. I’m also worried that the break in period wasn’t respected in any way, shape, or form. Only 750 miles on it. It’s still under warranty.

is this too big of a risk?

Thanks for your help,
Adam
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The cover is there to keep oil in and dirt out. Its not sacrificial protection although sometimes it ends up being that. The bike is under warranty (full 3 years correct) and the dealers is replacing the damaged parts so the worry is minimal.

As far as break-in most people treat demo bikes like rental cars. Good news is they probably did you a favor by not pussyfooting it and lugging the motor around doing its early stages.

If you cannot get over the fact that someone or several people had beat on the bike prior to you buying best to let it go and look for something else.
Thanks that’s super helpful. So, it’s unlikely something got whacked out of alignment, etc.

I can deal with previous misuse. I think the purpose of babying the bike during break-in is for the pistons to gently match themselves against the cylinders?

I don’t know what the long term effects are from a poor break-in period.

thanks again,
Adam
Thanks that’s super helpful. So, it’s unlikely something got whacked out of alignment, etc.

I can deal with previous misuse. I think the purpose of babying the bike during break-in is for the pistons to gently match themselves against the cylinders?

I don’t know what the long term effects are from a poor break-in period.

thanks again,
Adam
I found this article… says there’s basically no difference between a gentle vs hard break in.

In many cases the best break in is near full load at low to mid rpms. Not easy to do but as video points out not a big deal.
If only is scratched - dont worry so, if is damaged (deformed with different shape than original) just replace it.
I found this article… says there’s basically no difference between a gentle vs hard break in.

And for that one article there are a thousand other articles saying follow the manual or ride it like you stole it for break-in.

Everyone has to decide what is the best for themselves when it comes to this. Funny thing is I have bought a lot of used bikes and have never been concerned or would know how it was "broke in". It's just not a factor.
Kind of looks like the bike was used in an off road training role. Those scratches look like they accumulated over time, not on a demo ride. If they fix the scarred up valve covers and crash bars, the only thing I would be concerned about would be the clutch.The clutch could have taken a lot of abuse in the 750 miles.
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Good deal, thanks. I’m assuming that if the clutch fails while it’s still under warranty, it’d be covered?
2
I would be less focused on the break in and more on how I was going to prevent a repeat of the crash bar from contacting the valve cover on future off-road adventures. Since I ride my 2014 GSA off pavement, I added AltRider Reinforcement Crash Bar Braces. I like their design better than the Tourtech.
AltRider Reinforcement Crash Bars BMW R1200GS / Adventure 2013-2018


I also added a set of Ricochet Aluminum Crash Bar Engine Guard plates. The additions address two issues: the crash guards don't get pushed into the valve covers and the valve covers are protected from rocks,/hard protruding ground if the bike goes down on the trail. Learning from my experience-the fancy pretty cut out just let gravel/rock into the space between the plate and the valve cover. I fixed my opportunity by riveting 1/8 inch plate AL on he inside to close off the fancy hole.


I know I went a different direction but hope it helps.

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Is there any other damage to the bike other than to the cylinder head cover and crash bars? I would really take a few minutes to carefully examine the bike for any other damage before I decided to buy that particular bike just to be on the safe side. It's highly unlikely there's any internal damage to the engine so that wouldn't be a concern and I think most BMW buyers don't abuse bikes on test rides so that really wouldn't be a concern for me either. Tip overs happen and more damage can occur when trying to pick the bike up. Take the bike on a long test ride to make sure it rides smooth and straight and so long as the dealership is offering to replace the damaged pieces, there's no other damages on the bike and the bike is being sold at a good price I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
Is there any other damage to the bike other than to the cylinder head cover and crash bars? I would really take a few minutes to carefully examine the bike for any other damage before I decided to buy that particular bike just to be on the safe side. It's highly unlikely there's any internal damage to the engine so that wouldn't be a concern and I think most BMW buyers don't abuse bikes on test rides so that really wouldn't be a concern for me either. Tip overs happen and more damage can occur when trying to pick the bike up. Take the bike on a long test ride to make sure it rides smooth and straight and so long as the dealership is offering to replace the damaged pieces, there's no other damages on the bike and the bike is being sold at a good price I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
Yes, the hand guard, air intake cover, both engine gaurds, and the one valve cover are damaged/scratched. Was definitely crashed off road.

good call testing for alignment, etc. It’ll be hard because the bike is 7 hours away, but it’s worth the time investment.
Yes, the hand guard, air intake cover, both engine gaurds, and the one valve cover are damaged/scratched. Was definitely crashed off road.

good call testing for alignment, etc. It’ll be hard because the bike is 7 hours away, but it’s worth the time investment.
I think I'd do a pass on that bike, between the cause of the damage, distance involved and inability to take it on a lengthy test ride are all reasons to look elsewhere in my opinion. If it were simply tip over damage I would buy the bike but since the bike was damaged while in motion that's reason enough for me to look for a bike that hasn't been in an accident. If you're patient you can probably find a better bike at a good price that hasn't been involved in an accident
Yes, the hand guard, air intake cover, both engine gaurds, and the one valve cover are damaged/scratched. Was definitely crashed off road.

good call testing for alignment, etc. It’ll be hard because the bike is 7 hours away, but it’s worth the time investment.
I don't know what the price of the bike is but I can tell you that bikes sales are really slowing showroom floors are packed and it won't be long until dealers are doing what they can to sell of inventory.

If you bide you time either nice used bike will come up for sale at a reasonable price or dealers will start being on price of new units.

Before I found my 2020 GSA fully loaded premium and comfort package w/ 18,000 miles with a price more than $1500 below KBB trade-in value I was looking at a stripped down new 2023 GSA that the dealership has lowered to $19,900. If it would have had cruise control I would have bough it several weeks before I go the 2020.

Deals are out there. Just gotta keep an eye out and don't panic buy. I know its easier to say than to do.

Good luck,

P-14
if the price is right have them replace the bars and valve cover. . Like PreazziMx14 said , "they probably did you a favor by not pussyfooting it and lugging the motor around doing its early stages." 100% agree , riding it hard for the first couple of heat cycles is much better for a proper seating of the piston rings then low RPMs . Pro Moto GP teams figured that out many years ago.. The suggested manufacture " break in " that's in the Manual is for liability reason only.
Good deal, thanks. I’m assuming that if the clutch fails while it’s still under warranty, it’d be covered?
Clutch like brake pads are a wear item. Hard to know if they would be nice enough to cover it.
Thanks everyone for your advice. I’m taking Wellcraft’s advice and passing on this one. It’s listed on the Century BMW site in Alhambra if anyone is interested.
This looks like the bikes we had at the BMW offroad training where bikes get dropped regularly at mostly low speed. A lot can happen in 750 miles if used in this way. Not that these bikes can’t take it but I would definitely factor in some wear and tear and eventually a new clutch in the pricing. Having said this, I would have bought my training bike on the spot if I needed one and the price was right. I fell in love with it, one could say. I definitely fell, a lot 😂. The 1250 is an awesome bike all around. Good luck finding yours.
It’s not showing anymore on the New Century BMW site now.

Both sides of my '15 GSA has damage to the covers. One side had damage when I bought it. The crash bars did almost nothing to protect the engine. All of my falls were in dirt or mud. Surprisingly, the mud did the most damage. Don't trust the factory crash bars. Get some Alt Rider crash bars and never worry about dumping your bike again.
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