Lower Cowl - Removal/Installation - CBR 1000RR DIY

This page describes how to remove and reinstall the lower cowl on a 2008 CBR1000RR Honda motorcycle and is applicable for 2008 to 2010 models.

Time and Tools

This is an easy DIY task. A first timer may spend 1 or 2 hours doing it, an experienced around 20 minutes.

Be patient when fidelling arround with the plastic tabs on the cowls. Honda has made a very clever "snap them together" system, which is easy to dismantle and reassemble if you do it right, but is difficult and frustrating if you do it wrong. Hence take a good look on step number 6 here below, which explains how to do it right.

Tools needed:



Removal Procedure

1) Put the bike on a rear stand - or if you don't have this, just use the side stand.

2) Remove the screws holding the right side of the lower panel.
In case the screws are corroded this may be supricingly difficult. See the Troubles section further below for details on this.
Removing special screw Removing screw Removing special screw - right side
Removing screw Removing screw Removing standard screw - right side

Tip: Whenever possible, leave bolts, nuts and screws in their original positions while you continue work. Then you have them in the right place for reassembly.

3) Remove the screws holding the left side of the lower panel.
Removing special screw Removing special screw Removing special screw - left side
Removing special screw Removing special screw Removing screw - left side

4) Clean the area around the two plasic tabs inside the front of the lower cowl.
The picture (below left) shows how it looks from the rights side of the bike when looking through the venting hole of the right cowl.
You will need a bright lamp or torch to see anything inside there because the lower cowl is dark as night.
It is important that you remove all gravel which might obstruct the tabs from sliding gently out of engagement. Click on the picture to see it in large version and notice how there is still some gravel to be removed from the ridge at the left tab.
I used pressurized air to blow the gravel and dirt away, and a small screw driver to scrape it free from the surfaces and ridges. As you can see from the right image there is quite an amount of gravel after 12.000 km.
Removing gravel and dirt Amount of removed gravel Remove gravel and dirt around tabs

5) Release the upper left tab of the lower panel by bending the lower panel outwards and pulling it gently 1 cm backwards. On the picture (below left) I'm bending it much more than required, and moving it much more backwards to make it clearly visible how the lower pane disengages from the tap on the left middle cowl. Do not at any time use so much force that the plastic might break. If it does not disengage at low force, you are doing something wrong.
Releasing the upper left tab Releasing the upper left tab

6) At this point tfrepsol suggests (link) to refit the left and right front screws to the lower cowl. This will hold the lower cowl in place when you in step 7) push the middle cowl forward to release the tab. Furthermore tfrepsol explains that it is easy just to lift and push the tap forward with your finger/thumb instead of using a screwdriver as I did.

7) Release the locking tab on the right middle cowl using a broad flat screw driver as shown on the picture (below left) and separate the right middle cowl from the lower cowl.
Do this by inserting the screw driver from below up throug the opening under the exhaust pipes. Press the screw driver in behind the tab and then twist the screw driver a little to release the tab. While doing this apply some pressure to make the right middle cowl slide forward and the lower cowl slide backwards. A helper will make this much easier.
Releasing the locking tab Releasing the locking tab Separating the cowls

8) Release the upper right tab of the lower panel by bending the lower panel outwards and pulling it gently 1 cm backwards. On the picture (below left) I'm bending it much more than required, and moving it much more backwards to make it clearly visible how the lower pane disengages from the tap on the left middle cowl.
Releasing the upper right tab Releasing the upper right tab Lower cowl removed

9) Release the locking tab on the left middle cowl using the screw driver and separate the left middle cowl from the lower cowl. Again a helper will make this much easier.

10) Lower the lower panel and remove it from down under the right side of the bike.
The lower cowl The lower cowl The lower cowl

Installation Procedure

Installation is simply to reverse the removal procedure. Just make sure the tabs snap correctly into position. Also smear the threads on the four mounting bolts with a thick layer of grease to prevent corrosion. If you don't do this, you may not be able to get the screw off next time. See the Troubles section further below for details on this.

Tip: Remember to smear the threads on bolts and screws with copper grease before you remount them. Then you will have an easy task, next time you have to disassemble.

Please help with review and discussion via this thread on www.fireblades.org. Thanks to tfrepsol for input to step 6) in the above procedure.

Finished.

Troubles

When my bike was 3 years old, the screw holding the front left side of the lower cowl was so corroded that I was unable to get it out. The rubber which attaced the nut to the frame had gone loose and the nut with its attached rubber simply turned arround with the screw.
I was unable to hold it by finger force and could not reach it with any standard tool behind because it was hidden behind the cowl. I solved the problem by cutting a number of sharp teeth on the end of a 50 cm long steel tube, and used this to reach from the other side of the bike to hold onto the rubber on the inside of the cowl. You can see the teeth on the end of this rod on the right image below.
lower_cowl_22_small.jpg lower_cowl_23_small.jpg
At the time of writing this section, I have not yet remounted the cowl (I'm doing valve clearance inspection), but I will come back with further details later.

See also:
How to DIY (warnings, tips, tools, methods, ... etc.)
First Year with my Fireblade

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Copyright 2010 FireBladerDk - Last updated 2012-02-19