PRODUCT: Black Dog Cycle Works has designed a
guard to protect the fragile plastic rear-brake reservoir
on the water-cooled BMW R1200GS. Even though BMW
moved the reservoir tighter inside the frame, it’s still vulnerable to crash damage or a flailing boot during one of those
spectacular saves. The guard covers the lower frame rails
and has a handy mounting location for the Powerlet socket.
Like most BDCW products, this guard is powdercoated in
their signature black with a clear coat for protection.
POSITIVE: The guard is extremely simple to mount and
completely covers the BMW rear-brake reservoir. One
screw holds the guard in place making access for fluid filling or service easy. The dog-head logo cut into the guard
provides a window for checking fluid level. The Powerlet
mount is handy since it’s close to the battery, making it
easy to route power cables. Once mounted on the bike,
it’s one of those things you don’t see and can’t feel even
though it’s doing its job.
NEGATIVE: The instructions say to use the included
nut and bolt to attach the brake reservoir to the upper of
the two holes; the lower is for mounting the guard to the
bike. On our bike, the brake hose was too short to reach
the upper hole. We simply left the reservoir in its original
location and bolted the guard to the frame using the OEM
BOTTOM LINE: This is one of those add-ons that
doesn’t seem like it’s doing anything until you tip over and
find a scratch on the guard right where the brake reservoir sits. Losing a rear brake while riding can turn a great
adventure into an agonizing trip home. Plus, the option to
mount a power source for an electric compressor adds to
We decided to add a Powerlet socket to our guard during the install. We wanted a handy power source for our
Slime 12-volt compressor to make airing up tires after
off-road treks easier. The OEM power socket on our BMW
can’t handle the power draw required by our pump, so
we wired the Powerlet directly to the battery. Kurt Forgét,
owner of BDCW, has done thousands of hours of research
and development on adventure bikes and recommended
Here are the steps we followed:
1.) Install the Powerlet socket to the brake guard before
mounting to the bike.
2.) The positive battery terminal on the BMW is buried
inside the frame, so a jumper point is located under a rubber cap forward of the battery. We attached the positive
lead to this location. The Powerlet instructions recommend
using dielectric grease to inhibit corrosion. We ran out, so a
spray inhibitor was used instead (red coating on terminals).
3.) With the rubber cap reinstalled, the cable was routed
over the top of the battery and a frame crossmember.
4.) Now it’s time to plug the cable into the socket. Don’t
forget to slide the watertight cover over the connection. CONTACT:
5.) It’s time to mount the BDCW guard to the bike.
Before you get too excited about finishing up, put a couple
drops of blue Loctite on the bolt so it doesn’t jettison on
some far-away trail.
6.) Once everything is bolted up, put a couple of cable
ties around the excess cable and find a safe place for it.
We used one on the frame crossmember to keep it away
from the shock. The rest of the cable was looped and
secured with another tie-wrap, then placed on top of the
battery box. There is an in-line fuse block that just fit on
7.) If you’re mounting this on a 2013/’ 14 BMW GS, keep
an eye on the little rubber grommet used to secure the
bottom of the battery box cover. It loves to pop out when
the cover is removed and go to the nether regions of the
8.) Using our Slime pump, it was time to make sure
everything worked okay before we needed it on the trail.
If your electrical device uses the large, cigarette-lighter-type plug, you’ll need to pick up an adapter since the
Powerlet uses the mini 12-volt DIN socket. ❏
Price: $42; $46.95, Powerlet socket kit (24-inch)
BRAKE RESERVOIR GUARD
FOR BMW R1200GS &
POWERLET SOCKET KIT