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This thread is intendedasacaution to all with the «Belly Pan» engine spoiler fitted to their bikes.
It is not meant as a campaign against this product




At the time I bought my R1200R, it was fitted with a fibreglass "Belly Pan" (or maybe we should call it a spoiler) under the engine. I thought this looked butch and fitted it back after repairing a damage to one of the boltholes. Last year this spoiler (or me being an idiot, I freely admit) was the cause of a near accident.
I do not want to defame the maker of the spoiler or unnecessarily scare the users, but this is a true story.
The R12kR corners like no other bike I have owned. It's so smooth, responsive and so easy to control in bends it's just uncanny. I have fallen completely in love with it, head over heels infatuation!
This was what happened:
It was during a ride on the road through the hills over to Sweden last summer I got a bit over-enthusiastic, entering a bend a bit too steep. The bike scraped into the tarmac causing a slide, scaring the s...t out of me as I lost control. The bike careening away, with me holding on to the handlebars, wobbling and heading for the rocks and shrubbery, all a bit too fast for my liking. I managed to wrestle back control by straightening up, braking and steering myself to an un-dignified halt about a breath away from Kingdom Come with a distinct brown stain in the underwear. I never before had so many thoughts going through me head simultaneously, a definite Near Death Experience! Again I have to commend the bike for it's fantastic braking ability, which clearly saved me!
After the shakes had declined, limbs relaxed and tendons unknotted (etc), I made a thorough Inspection of the bike to see what had happened. I have experienced similar incidents a couple of times before without being this serious and I've blamed it on me being overconfident. The bike always handling reliable as long as I eased off on the "welly".
Not this time.
During the inspection I found, under the sides of the spoiler/Belly Pan, a considerable amount of fibreglass missing/scratched off. The last incident almost tearing a hole through it. This also explained the "bounce back" sensation I had, as the fibreglass probably had bent before pushing the bike back up from the leaning position.
I have been thinking a lot about the incident throughout this winter and have developed a theory on what really surpassed. Earlier I have been through similar corners, at the same speed, without experiencing the same thing. I believe, reflecting on it / considering the state of the roadtop, that in this same incident I probably hit a bump in the road that depressed the suspension, pressing the bike down toward the road leading to the spoiler touching ground. Thinking back, this never happened riding on a more even surface. Anyway, this is not a reason to not make fellow riders aware of what can happen
I have since removed the spoiler and have not experienced any "scrapes" since. I'm sure this kit was the cause of the problem and I will desist from fitting it back, safety first!
I have checked and confirmed that this spoiler was fitted before delivery in 2007 by the BMW shop. The same type of spoiler is also available as an aftertmarket kit on «boxer-design.de». Follow link: http://www.boxer-design.de , select english, select bike (R1200R), select Fibreglass and Carbon panels and you will find it a bit further down. This panel looks similar, but it may seem like it has been re-designed to accommodate for this problem.
I have attached images of the kit, so whoever having the same fitted on his/her bike can be aware of what may happen. I checked the position of the spoiler in case it had been wrongly fitted, but there was only one possible way to fit.
So: Either remove the kit or drive sensibly!


Brgds All


Halonk
 

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Halonk, Glad that you were not injured!! Thanks for the post and the pics. As we accessorize and farkle our Roadsters, it's important to keep safety in mind. Add-ons that can possibly reduce ground clearance and/or lean angle like belly pans, center stands, highway bars, or even large cylinder protection bars with lights/horns mounted that protrude too far could possibly touch down as the suspension bottoms. Let's be careful out there!
 

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:iagree: Always safety first but difficult to judge as the spoiler was already fitted when you bought the bike.
 

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Belly pan ache

Wow - really glad I saw this post and better late than never! I was about to order this item (identical to the pic posted) to complement the new 'Trophy' fairing I'm about to add to the bike.

I must say I had a very minor back-of-the-mind doubt about ground-clearance when looking at pix on the vendor's website, but this post has really saved me a lot of money - and possibly my life!

Thanks!!

L of S
 

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Belly pan ache...

Just to add a word or three to my post above - (1) I looked up the item mentioned in Halonk's original post at <boxer-design.de> and couldn't find anything resembling a belly-pan fairing. Maybe they have decided not to market the item in future.

But - (2) I did note when looking at the item (appears to be the same as in Halonk's pix) on another website from which I was going to purchase that the vendors do mention that ground-clearance may be compromised - not in those exact words, but enough to serve as a warning.

L of S
 

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Putting a warning that safety may be compromised to me means they shouldn't be selling it at all.
 

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The exact wording on that H----g site is "the angle freedom is somewhat restricted".

The protruding front part of the pan certainly does seem pretty low - in an emergency it might be useful to aim for some soft ground that it could dig into like a bulldozer blade and act as a very effective back-up brake!

L of S
 
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