Product Review: Beemer Bits Oil Filter Wrench
by Deryle Mehrten
Over the years I have had to search out and buy a variety of oil filter wrenches to match the filters in my past and present Japanese and European bikes. Some of those filter wrenches weren’t cheap either, check out the price of the BMW factory oil filter wrench, whew! Whenever I sold any of my bikes it was my habit to keep all the special tools that I had acquired for that make and model, like special oil filter wrenches.
In December of 2008 we traded in our 2004 BMW K1200RS for a brand new and very shinny, silver 2008 BMW K1200GT. Although the oil filters on the new K4X motors are exposed and by just looking at their placement it appears they would be easy to remove, not quite so. The filter is behind the mounting plate for the gear shift linkage and the side stand. None of the cup shaped filter wrenches would fit.
Lucky me, only a few months after buying the ’08 K1200GT I won a Jesse Luggage System’s oil filter wrench at a BMW rally that was advertised to work on just about every filter out there…and it does, if you can get it on the filter. With the help of a metal lathe the wrench was turned down 7 mm shorter. Even at 7 mm shorter the wrench didn’t quite fit - the shift linkage bolt protruded though the mounting plate just enough that it had to be backed out three or four turns before the filter wrench would slide through.
At the GT’s 48,000 mile service I got a bit of a surprise. BMW is now calling for an oil filter that is about one half of an inch taller. This substitute filter for the K4X motors will not allow any of my wrenches to fit between the mounting plate and the filter, even the shortened Jesse wrench. To remove and install a new oil filter I had to take the shift linkage/side stand mounting plate off the bike.
Necessity is the mother of invention and the guys at Iron Horse Motorcycles came up with the fix. Jim Strang, Iron Horse General Manager and Beemer Bits General Manager, got together with Alan Speert, The Metal Man, and is now producing an oil filter wrench that not only fits between the mounting plate and the filter, its easy to use and very reasonably priced. Two styles are available that will fit most if not all the newer R bikes, F bikes and K bikes, including the new K1600. They are made of 3/16” steel.
The Beemer Bits oil filter wrench makes the removal and installation of the oil filter on our K1200GT an easy job again. Priced at about $20 US it is an excellent addition to the tool box of the owner of a newer Beemer who likes to do his/her own maintenance. You can find them at www.Beemerbits.com.