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Topic-icon Valve Cover Opinions Wanted

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3 months 6 days ago #5493 by 2752
Valve Cover Opinions Wanted was created by 2752
I've recently acquired a very nice (not show quality, but very presentable) 1982 R100 (naked, with saddlebags; guess this is a "T"). It is black with white pinstripes, done years ago by Kent Holt. However, the PO installed hideous (to me) CC Products valve covers, which I cannot stand. Looking at current new offerings, I see that the rectangular (correct OEM type) BMW covers now come unpainted. I'm not interested in painting them; my efforts would result in a less-than-professional appearance.

I note that reproduction old-style (say, /6) rounded covers are available in either plain (unpainted) or satin black with polished edges. I'm inclined to go with the old-style covers.

Just seeking opinions as to what would look best on a black later-model (81-84) twin-shock airhead.

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3 months 4 days ago - 3 months 4 days ago #5502 by Blue-1
Replied by Blue-1 on topic Valve Cover Opinions Wanted
I currently have a set of painted rectangular covers on my bike. They're old, a little beat-up, and in need of replacement. I have a set of new already factory painted rectangular ones, as well as a set of the painted old style, which I really like.

But recently I saw a set of old-style covers polished to look like chrome. They look amazing and would match the polished tops on my Bing carbs. So I'm with you, caught in a quandary not knowing which to install. Lots of choices.

It's a moot point for now since I'm getting my heads rebuilt soon, they'll come back blasted and lookin' like new, then I'll have to decide since I won't want to put the old covers on the freshly rebuilt heads.

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Last edit: 3 months 4 days ago by Blue-1.

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3 months 4 days ago #5503 by 2752
Replied by 2752 on topic Valve Cover Opinions Wanted
No question the chromed covers would look sharp, but I don't really want to draw attention to the jugs or to have the bike look "modified". The PO had also added some very loud Hella horns with red outer shell. I replaced them with some equally loud Hellas that were black and unobtrusive.

The jugs and heads look the way 37-year-old pieces with (only) 42K miles look; I'm thinking that unpainted old-style covers will go fairly well with that. I don't think that the old-style covers ever came from the factory with satin black paint. Don't want the bike to look "customized", just "dignified". After all, it's a "gentleman's bike", isn't it?

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3 months 4 days ago - 3 months 4 days ago #5504 by Blue-1
Replied by Blue-1 on topic Valve Cover Opinions Wanted
I have just the opposite opinion. I like the idea of freshening-up my 40-year-old 1980 bike. Although, the red horns are a bit much, even for me.

I put polished Bing tops on my carbs that look so much better than the dull flat OEM tops that never clean-up nice. And added clear turn signal lenses with mirrored/amber bulbs. A no egg-yoke look. Some nice modern suttle touches.

The polished valve covers would also go a long way in freshening-up the old girl.

I don't want to go crazy, but a few touch-ups do look fresh, modern & nice.

PS: "Gentlemen" don't have to be borning.
Last edit: 3 months 4 days ago by Blue-1.

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3 months 4 days ago #5505 by 8166
Replied by 8166 on topic Valve Cover Opinions Wanted
I'm with you on the CC Products VCs; butt ugly.

If you wanna go with the /6 covers, leave 'em unpainted. They don't look right any other way.

Painting the later style BMW covers is easy. Clean 'em in solvent, then wash 'em in very hot water and Dawn dish washing detergent. Dry them with clean paper towels, making sure you don't leave behind any lint or bits of paper. Pick up a tack rag at an automotive paint dealer and then use that, just to make sure.. Get a can of Rustoleum satin black spray paint, apply one light coat, thin enough to see through, and let it dry about 15 minutes. Follow up with two medium coats to obtain uniform coverage. Let it dry for about an hour, then take an old t-shirt and tear it into rags. Get some lacquer thinner, double the rag over, and wrap it around a finger so that the part over the fingerprint is smooth. Dip a little lacquer thinner onto the rag, and rub it over the ribs on the VC to remove the paint. You need to work slowly and carefully so you don't drip any lacquer thinner onto the paint.

Or, if you've got a belt sander, put a 120 grit belt on it, and sand in a direction parallel to the ribs until the paint is rubbed off. I do mine every few years this way, and they come out looking brand new.

8166 Scot Marburger, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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3 months 4 days ago #5506 by 2752
Replied by 2752 on topic Valve Cover Opinions Wanted
Couple of hours ago I ordered the plain /6-type covers. I thought they looked just fine on my former 1976 R75/6, and they'll look nice on this R100.

And thanks for the instructions on painting the later covers, in case I get that urge . . .

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