Two years ago I made the mistake of taking a dirt road shortcut to my destination on my R1200R, with its sportbike-type tires. A couple of miles before my goal I came across a steep muddy hill. I attacked it with lots of throttle, but I only got halfway up before grinding to a halt in a hole of my own making. Eventually, I made it up the hill to dry land by getting off, moving the bike to the edge of the road and pushing it to the top with the rear wheel spinning and throwing mud all over me, the bike and the rest of the environment. The next time I took off my seat I discovered that the entire battery compartment and under seat area were packed with dried mud. Until then I had not realized that the R1200R has a large area under the rider’s seat that was completely exposed to the rear wheel and anything that it decided to fling off as I was riding along – such as mud.
While keeping an eye out for a solution to this gap in my motorcycle’s design, I finally found the seal that I was looking for. The Machineartmoto MudSling appears to be a great accessory to keep the inside of your motorcycle clean, as well as completely protecting your rear shock absorber – and I don’t even want to tell you how much a rear replacement shock costs for models with the ESA suspension system, as you probably wouldn’t believe me.
The MudSling is a large stiff plastic flap that fastens to the underside of the R1200R’s battery box and under-seat area enclosure, sealing it and also extending down to the front of the rear tire, completely protecting the rear shock and its attachment point on the swing arm. It is installed by removing the two recessed screws that attach to the plastic cover above the rear wheel and using the supplied two longer screws to attach the MudSling at this location. The cover also has two U-shaped molded sections that fit over the frame tubes and are attached with four provided zip-ties. Installing the MudSling only took me 15 minutes and I had absolutely no problems installing the accessory – just about a first for me. Attached are photos of what you get, how it installs, what it looks like and how the MudSling seals the under-seat area of the motorcycle. It is not clear from the photos, but when installed the fender sits about ½ inch from the front of the rear wheel. The MudSling appears to be a well designed and manufactured product equal in quality to a BMW OEM accessory.
The MudSling fender is also available for the R1200GS and the F650/800GS models, which probably need it more than does the R12R. It sells for $139 and you can purchase the MudSling direct from MachineartMoto at: www.machineartmoto.com (no big surprise there). I bought mine from my BMW dealer so that they would keep supplying me with coffee and pastries every Saturday.
(There is also a direct link to a review by Bike World of the MudSling fender for the R1200GS, including photos, in the NewsBot forum, posted on 07-29-10.)