Manufacturers use lighter materials to save weight, but these lighter materials are often weaker than steel or aluminum parts. On the Suzuki DRZ400 and the Suzuki DR650se the engine case covers are both made of magnesium. While this saves weight over an equivalent aluminum or steel part, magnesium is not as strong. The stator cover is the most vulnerable and often breaks in minor drops. This happens when the gear shifter is pushed into the side of the motor by the weight of the bike.
My 2000 DR650SE actually has a cracked ignition cover that has been patched with JB weld. It doesn't leak, but it stresses the importance of having that vulnerable area of the motorcycle protected.
In order to solve this problem some companies have started producing covers to protect the engine cases in a tip over. While researching I found three companies that are producing these covers, and they are all similar. While prices and materials are slightly different the installation of them is nearly the same.
Advanced Motorcycle Products
I chose to order a kit from Advanced Motorcycle Products, AMP is based out of Alabama and all parts are made in the USA. AMP manufactures its ignition guard and clutch guard out of aluminum rather than stainless steel like some competitors. AMP offers each guard separately for $30 each, or as a full kit including an oil filter guard for $100. After talking to Perry, the owner of AMP, I felt confident ordering the full kit.
In the box
All three guards arrived quickly and well packaged with excellent color instruction diagrams. I was impressed with the quality of the instructions that were included. The machining of the oil filter guard is of great quality with only minor machining marks visible on the interior. The exterior of the guard was polished to a mirror shine. Both side cover guards were not polished or painted, rather in a natural aluminum.
Installation of the covers is very simple.
- Test fit both guards.
- Clean both the inside of the covers and the engine with a contact cleaner or alcohol.
- Spread high temp silicone cover the inside of the case cover about 1/8” thick.
- Place guard on cover and adjust to ensure inspection plug is centered.
- Tape with masking tape and let sit overnight.
Installation of the oil filter cover is also simple.
- Drain oil from engine (optional).
- Remove factory bolts on oil filter cover.
- Place new AMP cover over existing OEM cover.
- Using new supplied hardware re torque to spec.
- If drained, refill oil.
The fit and finish of all parts is excellent and there appears to be no clearance issues. The thickness of the aluminum on the guards seems adequate to stop most, if not all, side impacts in the covered area. The oil filter guard covers the front and side of the oil filter housing giving it a larger surface area to withstand impacts.
Advanced Motorcycle Products was an easy company to order from. The checkout process is straightforward, shipping is quick, and all items arrived intact. I feel that AMP is a better deal than other sellers due to the free shipping and quick order delivery.
I believe the case guards are the #1 upgrade needed for bikes with weak side covers. I strongly suggest you put these on your bike immediately after purchase.
The oil filter guard is a beautiful piece of aluminum that is probably overkill on many bikes. For those wanting the most protection that they can get, or want a great conversation piece, the cover is fantastic. It took me two tries to get mine mounted correctly. The first time the o-ring was not in the groove and became pinched spilling some oil. I was able to replace the o-ring and the guard went on the second time without trouble.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or would like to know anything I may have forgotten to mention please feel free to leave a comment and I will respond as quickly as possible. The opinions in this review are my own. If you found this review helpful, please consider supporting our sponsors with future purchases.
This review written by Jacob Roby, motorcycle product expert, power sports writer, and contributing editor for Spirit Strike.