Another gripe new owners of a BMW R1200GS or GS Adventure will have is that the original skid plate that BMW gives us is a bit of a joke.
Directly from the underside, it's probably not too bad. It'll take some pounding from rocks or whatever kicks up directly underneath, but not too much, as it's pretty thin and not too rigid.
What about that cross-pipe / exhaust balancer that resides directly behind the front wheel though? It just sits there, directly in the line of fire of any rocks or road/trail debris that the front tire decides to kick up. For this reason alone, you need better protection, and the good folks at AltRider have once again come up with a solution.
The simple curl on the front of the AltRider R1200GS Skid Plate protects the exhaust balancer and the rest of the front engine housing (like that front cover of your alternator belt.) Easily installed in about 10 minutes with easy to use instructions included, the AltRider skid plate will easily pay for itself when you start hearing that "PING!" noise on the trail (the sound of big rocks kicking up and hitting your new skid plate.) Without it, your exhaust balancer is likely to sustain a serious dent, after which it can't equalize backpressure the way it's supposed to and further problems can develop. In addition to not doing its job properly, once it's been damaged, rust and corrosion will become a factor and you'll have to replace it for sure.
SPEAKING of header protection, did you know they made these clamp-on Universal Header Guards as well? Another easy 10-minute install job for both sides, see the picture below for how they look.
Spend a little now, and save a bunch down the road. Not to mention the sharply farkled look these items add to your bike!