Beware Aftermarket Parts Fitment

by Elden Carl

Over the years I have seen lots of poor fitting aftermarket parts. Many of them did not contribute to rider safety and in fact some negatively affected handling and performance. The internet has accelerated this “dumb” idea syndrome; Rotella truck oil, raising links and 16/43 gearing for KLR’s comes immediately to mind.

On a recent mountain ride I came upon a parked P/U truck with the rear gate down and M/C ramps installed.  As I often do I stopped to help two guys load a 2012 BMW S1000RR sport bike into the truck bed.

I asked the owner how such a top of the line BMW could need to be hauled back to town so early in its life. He replied that the oil filler cap had come out and oil had soaked his right leg and the right side of the near new motorcycle. He went on to say, “since I didn’t know how much oil was missing and I didn’t have extra oil and another filler cap, I had no choice but to haul it away”.  When I replied that I’d never heard of such a thing happening to anyone before; he went on to say that he had purchased and installed a beautiful, fancy, aftermarket oil filler cap when the bike was brand new. Of all the aftermarket fitment nightmares I’ve seen or heard of, this took the cake. Before leaving I glanced at the BMW’s oil window which showed no presence of oil and I thought, wouldn’t it be a shame if this approximately twenty grand machine ended its life so early because of a poor fitting aftermarket oil cap?

Even if an aftermarket part appears to fit properly, it could end up becoming an attractive nuisance if it loosens or disappears leaving (in the case of an oil filter cover or oil filler cap), a leaking hole in your engine.