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Thread: 1998 R1100RT side cover

  1. #1
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    1998 R1100RT side cover

    You know the side cover that goes below the seat and infront of the saddle bag? I'm having an issue with the one on the left side of the bike. The side with the lift handle. I keep breaking the nipple that goes throught the grommet on the body work. The reason seems to be that the nipple is about 3/4 of an inch out of alignment with the grommet. I can sort of fiddle things around and get it in there but there's too much stress on it and it breaks from the vibration on the bike. I've tried realigning the body work but there doesn't seem to be any play there. I'm wondering if any one else has this issue and has found a solution. Or maybe I'm just not putting it on right. Although it seems pretty simple.

    I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks

  2. #2
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    It's typically pretty simple to align - AFTER you get the hang of it and know what to look for...
    When installing: pull the lift handle part-way out, slip the cover over it, insert the bottom tabs, then insert the nipple into the grommet. A very tiny bit of silicone grease is ok here. Then turn the top rear lock one-quarter turn to seat it.
    And if it needs any force greater than a very gentle persuasion, it ain't right.
    Check the light gray plastic tab covers on the bottom edge; if these are installed backward, the cover won't align.
    The grommet is a [flexible] part of the body panel, so that begs the question: are you sure that this panel really is properly aligned and seated all the way around?
    Also, does the little quarter-turn fastener at the top rear also align properly & click right in?
    I've seen a couple of cases where the owner built up a thin "shoulder" of JBWeld epoxy around the base of this nipple, to add strength here, so you're not the only one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    It's typically pretty simple to align - AFTER you get the hang of it and know what to look for...
    When installing: pull the lift handle part-way out, slip the cover over it, insert the bottom tabs, then insert the nipple into the grommet. A very tiny bit of silicone grease is ok here. Then turn the top rear lock one-quarter turn to seat it.
    And if it needs any force greater than a very gentle persuasion, it ain't right.
    Check the light gray plastic tab covers on the bottom edge; if these are installed backward, the cover won't align.
    The grommet is a [flexible] part of the body panel, so that begs the question: are you sure that this panel really is properly aligned and seated all the way around?
    Also, does the little quarter-turn fastener at the top rear also align properly & click right in?
    I've seen a couple of cases where the owner built up a thin "shoulder" of JBWeld epoxy around the base of this nipple, to add strength here, so you're not the only one.
    I'm 95% sure the body panel is aligned. From my description and what I'm seeing it seems like it might not be but with all the screws and the way it hooks in to the tank cover and front of the bike it's hard for me to imagine it's misaligned. I didn't know that about the tab covers, I'll have to check that. The quarter turn fastener aligns perfectly and locks in as it should. The panel I've got does have an epoxy repair on that nipple. It was that way when I got the bike.

    Thanks for the suggestion Paul.

  4. #4
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Perhaps the PO's repair put the nipple not quite in its original place.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    Perhaps the PO's repair put the nipple not quite in its original place.
    Nope. Good thought though. I tried a new side cover and have the same problem. I haven't put it on yet because I don't want to break it.

  6. #6
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    I think it is a common problem. I have the same issue on my 99 RT and I am driving around with a sidecover with a broken nipple. I am trying to find an O.K. replacement and all that are for sale, have the nippel broken off.
    It seems like the 1996 and 1997 bikes don't even have the nippel. I wonder what happened there.

  7. #7
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that my '97 had the nipple, but can't verify that fer sure... but I also seem to recall buying a new sidecover... after rebonding a busted one... but that was so long ago.

    Mike, tho it's impossible to troubleshoot these things "long distance", I'd still suspect the fairing body panel being slightly warped (is the grommet there in decent shape too?); or maybe (and less likely) the footpeg plate below (where the tabs slip in) isn't mounted correctly.

  8. #8
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    On my 1150RT everything seems in the correct place but the post on the left hand cover doesn't hit the middle of the rubber donut. I "finesse" it every time, but after reading this thread think that I might just lengthen the hole in the fairing since the locking screw and lower tabs seem to line up.

    Curiosity got to me so I went and measured the misalignment. It's only about 1/16" but it results in a fairly high side-load in the cover's pin. I guess that's why both were broken when I bought the bike.
    Last edited by Roger 04 RT; 07-23-2013 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Measured mismatch

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauls1150 View Post
    I'm pretty sure that my '97 had the nipple, but can't verify that fer sure... but I also seem to recall buying a new sidecover... after rebonding a busted one... but that was so long ago.

    Mike, tho it's impossible to troubleshoot these things "long distance", I'd still suspect the fairing body panel being slightly warped (is the grommet there in decent shape too?); or maybe (and less likely) the footpeg plate below (where the tabs slip in) isn't mounted correctly.
    Like giving a haircut over the phone huh Paul? The rubber gromet is there and in good shape. I'm going to check the alignment of the panels and footpeg plate but I don't know how they could be misaligned. There's just not any play in the mounting holes that I know of.
    It makes me feel a little better to know I'm not the only one who has this issue but I'd feel even better if some one had a solution. I my just try lengthening the hole in the fairing or maybe modifying the cover a bit and see if that takes some of the stress off that pin.

  10. #10
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Mike, your question motivated me to fix mine. I'd post a photo but it was simple to adjust.

    1) Carefully push the rubber grommet out of the hole in the body panel. Toward the back of the hole there isn't much plastic so take care.

    2) install the plastic cover and see where the body panel hole needs to be enlarged.

    3) With a medium round file remove material. This took less than five minutes.

    4) Reinstall the grommet and spray the grommet with a bit of silicone spray.

    It's now a perfect fit.

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