X-Head’s Durability

via email from Will –
X-Heads. Do you feel this will prevent a cracked valve cover in a parking lot tip over? Or is it more designed to stop rash on the aluminum?

Will:

I’ve attached some images below showing how the X-Heads survived, from a driveway drop to racing on an HP2.  Through several years of testing and making mistakes, we now use a SuperToughTechnology Dupont Nylon that has a no break rating and is high heat and UV stabilized.  Our first products did crack but the newest generation of products do not. They are slightly ductile enabling the material to move in the process of absorbing the force of impact and prevent cracking.  Behind the outer shell is a thick thermoplastic rubber liner that rests against the valve cover, contributing to the dissipation of impact force.

The shot of the X-Head DOHC shows the effect in a driveway drop.  They are designed to cover 80% of the face of the head to protect, not only the bottom/front initial impact area in a drop, but also the upper part of the cylinder head.  Even in a stationary drop in a driveway, inertia can cause a bike to roll partially onto the face of the head before it settles down. In a more severe test of endurance, you can see that the surface of the X-Head on the HP2 is well worn from multiple drops but it remained intact saving the head cover.

MachineartManfallen DOHC
scratched
Sasaki HP2 s
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Mounting X-Head cylinder guards, or crash bars, or both?

Cylinder Head Protection

By email from Frank F.

I am awaiting delivery of a 2014 R1200GS LC in early March. I will ride the bike mostly two-up on both street and dirt, but probably do more gravel/FS roads and off-road than most people do on their GS bikes.

Here in CO, the tertiary mountain roads are often rocky and loose, as you probably know. Tip-overs and slow falls have occurred on our trips and likely will with the new bike.
I am grappling with the question of whether to buy crash bars or not. It seems that the most likely scenario for a tip-over on a rocky trail would be puncture of the valve cover by a sharp rock and crash bars might not prevent this from happening at all. It seems to me that crash bars are more useful in higher speed falls and what I really need are your valve cover protectors. The bike will probably come to rest on our luggage bars and the cylinders as they already stick out.

Any comments and insights are appreciated.

Frank:

Regarding using crash bars or not, for mostly street riding either X-Heads or crash bars will be sufficient. Some riders do not like the look of all that plumbing around the engine so opt for X-Head guards instead.  X-Heads are designed to cover 80% of the face of the head to protect, not only the bottom/front initial impact area in a drop, but also the upper part of the cylinder head.  Even in a stationary drop in a driveway, inertia can cause a bike to roll partially onto the face of the head before it settles down.

For off-road riding, X-Heads alone are very effective because of their broad coverage and the Super Tough Nylon material we use is the best that can be had for this application, preventing breakage and punctures.  For heavy duty riding and frequent drops in rough terrain, X-Heads complement crash bars to protect heads from weird strike angles onto rocks  that can get past openings in the bars, especially at the rear part of the cylinder.  Adding bars is another layer of defense.

X-Heads for the GS_LC were designed with clearance for BMW’s crash bars in mind so you will be able to fit them at any time.  I cannot yet vouch for other brands of bars.

MachineartMan

XH_LC with_wo bars