30 August 2010

Btw: I Love this Bike

Just wanted to mention that ...

Engine Vibrations

I know, the R1200GS is a twin. It's a twin with two big combustion chambers. It will vibrate. It does vibrate. There is just no way around.

But, the amount of vibration, the frequency, and how it feels matters.

29 August 2010

Sunday Trip With Breakfast

As Andrea is traveling with her parents in Nevada / Arizona / Utah, seeing all the great National Parks there I was alone for the weekend and did short (about 4 hours overall, including breakfast at Alice's Restaurant) trip in the area.

28 August 2010

Adventure Winglets

A while ago I ordered Winglets from the R1200GS Adventure to install on my bike. My R1200GS is the 2010 standard GS model which means it has a smaller windshield than the Adventure and no Winglets which reflect wind that comes around the low sides of the windshield.

Making Fastway Pegs Even Better

Last week I installed Fastway foot pegs on my bike and it was an immediate comfort increase. Nevertheless, as the boxer is an engine with some vibrations, I didn't like the all metal surface which connects me directly to the frame and the vibrations ...

A little trick made that better:

These are original rubber inserts from R1200GS foot pegs. They fit right in the Fastway as if they were made for each other.

The right one in that picture is slightly greasy - I just got it from SJ BMW and it was sitting on their shelf for ages, therefore I got them with a good discount and to be honest: I put my feet there, rain or shine, so it doesn't really matter whether they are a bit dirty or not, they'll get some serious kicking anyways.

27 August 2010

Short Review of the MC Products Luggage Rack

As I wrote in my last posting, I received and installed the MC Products Low Mount Luggage Rack.

It is a really fine piece of hardware made from black anodized aluminum, thick, very stable, very well made. The overall quality of the rack is really incredible and it is also pretty well thought out - except one little thing and I will come to that later.

23 August 2010

Received the MC Products Luggage Rack

Today I received the MC Products luggage rack that I got used through ADVRider.com. It's an incredibly well made piece of aluminum! Black anodized with precision drilled mounting holes and attachment points for luggage straps all around.

It mounts really low as you can see here:

22 August 2010

600 Mile Service Checklist

Since I had the R in the shop for the 600 mile service, I thought I'd post what was done / checked on my bike:

  • Setting service-due date and countdown distance
  • Reading fault memory with BMW Motorrad diagnostic system
  • Engine oil change, with filter
  • Changing oil in rear wheel drive
  • Checking brake-fluid level, front
  • Checking brake-fluid level, rear
  • Checking freedom of movement of Bowden cables and checking for kinks and chafing
  • Checking tire tread depth and tire pressure
  • Checking spoke tension, adjust if necessary (I have spoke wheels)
  • Checking lights and signaling equipment
  • Function test, engine start suppression
  • Check the synchronization
  • Final inspection and check of road-worthiness
  • Reading fault memory with BMW Motorrad diagnostic system
  • Confirming BMW Service in on-board documentation

I found it interesting that the final drive oil was changed and I plan to do this again at 6k miles on my own if it isn't included in the service. Also interesting that they checked the fault memory twice, maybe just to make sure nothing got messed up during the service.

Photos of Installed Fastway Pegs

So, I took more photos to compare the original pegs with the Fastway pegs in the low position. What I should have done is use a tripod with a camera installed, all in the same position and take a "before" and "after" shot.

21 August 2010

Installed Fastway Footpegs Today

Today I installed a set of Fastway F3 footpegs. My goal was (and still is) to maximize the distance from seat to peg to create a very comfortable riding position.

20 August 2010

Tail Rack

So, I thought I'd do the tank bag first but happened to stumble over a used tail rack on ADVRider. I was looking at this one just a day ago to solve my immediate needs for some storage on the bike. It's an MCP Parts Low Mount Luggage Rack.

19 August 2010

Tank Bag Selection

Today I checked out the BMW tank bags for the R1200GS. They are quite big, mainly wide. I don't think that I want such a large bag. It looks like they could fit an A4 sized sheet of paper in there. That's neither what I need nor what I want. I'd like to get a place to put the wallet, the phone, ear plugs, and some other small pieces and that's about it.

The other downside is that it sits right on the tank and therefore will sooner or later scratch the paint there. So, I have a different idea ...

16 August 2010

Slight Slide ...

Today I had a not so nice experience while riding: in a corner leaned over pretty close to the edge of the tires, the bike started sliding. I'm not sure whether it was both wheels or just front, but I caught it pretty easy. I was surprised how easy it was actually to catch it, but initially I was surprised it was sliding at all. The street was clean, no sand or dirt there and nothing that would indicate a slippy surface. I have done that corner on the F800GS with dragging parts on the road without issues before.

I think it was due to the Metzeler Tourance EXP front tire being already at the edge while the back still had a bit to go. Not sure what's wrong with this but so far I never had tires where the front was used up to the edge earlier than the rear - a sliding rear is much easier to control than a sliding front and I was always under the impression that tire manufacturers account for this.

On the F800GS I had Michelin Anakee II and had them easily to the edge on the rear but never fully to the edge on the skinny 21" front of the small GS. Not sure whether it's because of the different dimensions, but so far I don't have the best impression of the Tourance tires that are mounted on the R at the moment and will be happy to replace them once they are worn. At least they start sliding in a very controllable way, but an inexperienced rider might have gone down because of that. I had them slide a few times already and that was definitely after "roughing them up". New tires are slippery, I know that and deal with it appropriately but those are just a bit too slippery, even after more than 600 miles.

Next time I get tires I'll get pure road tires as about 99.9% of my riding is on tar. Continental Road Attack or Michelin Pilot Road 2 might be a good choice for my style of riding.

15 August 2010

Gas Mileage

Since I had the bike in for the 600 mile service the gas mileage (according to the onboard computer) is way down. I had around 46 mpg before and on trips with Andrea on her own bike I was around 48 to 49mpg. Today we went for a ride again and I had a hard time getting it to 43mpg.

I will monitor that for at least a tank or two but will also check with SJ BMW whether the service included anything that might affect gas mileage. And no, I wasn't riding faster, if anything I was slower and more careful with Andrea in the tow.

High Tech Farkle

One of the most important things to make your bike unique ...

13 August 2010

Side Luggage Options (Lots of Pictures)

Over time I've looked at quite some luggage options for the R1200GS. There are lots and lots out there, all with different advantages and disadvantages. Here is my collection.

First Ride after Throttle Body Sync

Today I did my first ride after the throttle body sync during the 600 mile service yesterday. I rode home yesterday of course, but it was too short to get an impression. Today I took the slightly longer way home (15 miles instead of 4 miles) and it was pretty obvious that it is much better now. Less vibrations, runs smoother. Vibrations between 3k and 4k rpm are pretty much gone now, only there under load.

So far I'm now really happy with the bike. As I also don't get headaches anymore when doing highway runs, I can also go touring now. I only tried a 1 hour run two days ago as I very much prefer to stay off the highway but I really wanted to know. And this is good now too. I'm still using the OEM windshield and get some wind right against the helmet at visor level which is not optimal for noise, to be honest it is really loud! I'm always using ear plugs, so it's not a real problem but still ... I have Adventure Winglets on order at SJ BMW and will see how much they do with regard to wind noise as lots of the noise seems to come from air coming around the bottom of the windshield. Still, I'm not unhappy with the standard screen, so as long as I'm not planning long tours that is okay.

For long tours it's just nicer to have less noise plus a communication system to talk to my lovely wife! If we plan something like this or if I start riding longer tours, I'll probably get a Givi Airflow and be done with it. One thing I learned is a windshield needs to be adjustable. Everything else just plain doesn't work.

Some Protection

Today I had the R1200GS in for the first service. When I picked it up, it felt a bit nicer, smoother, less vibrations, better throttle response. Chris from SJ BMW told me the throttle body sync was off a bit and that's a common cause for slight vibrations.

So, I'm continuing with just riding the bike, having fun on it and slowly adding exactly the pieces I like to protect it, to make more comfortable for me, and later on, to also carry some luggage.

Sometimes It's the Little Things

The R1200GS was in for it's 600 mile service today and came back running a bit smoother again. Or maybe it was just the switch from the R1150R loaner that made it feel so much smoother ...

The little thing that bothered my on the F800GS was that I could not lock the steering with the handle bar turned in to the right side. When I get off the bike I was used to turn the handle bar to the right, so I have lots of space. Couldn't do that on the F as this couldn't be locked in that position. So I left it straight, put it on the side stand, got off, turned the handle bar to the left, locked. To get on, reverse this procedure.

On my Hondas I was able to just turn the handle bar to the right and be good with it. The R1200GS now has that feature again to be able to lock steering on both sides. Nice little difference, but it really should be available on the F, too.

A retro R120(0)GS

This is - in my opinion - an absolutely awesome mockup combining the original R80GS looks with modern elements from the R1200GS. Would love to see such a beast. It would probably be in direct competition with a Triumph Scrambler and the like. BMW would of course have to make some trade offs to come at least a bit closer to the Scrambler price tag, but still.

It will never happen - but it would be awesome.

Source: MCN

R1200GS Photos - Second Try

Last time I was really short of biting my own backside when I saw the tissue just right under the bike in the photos. When taking the photos I was preoccupied, busy with the bike itself and so on and really just forgot to take a look around to see what could spoil the photo.

The New Toy

Last Saturday SJ BMW sold my F800GS and today I picked up the replacement: a brand spanking new white R1200GS. It's a gorgeous bike, I like the (non) color: alpine white. Like the 30th anniversary edition, just without the blue / red labeling. It was the last 2010 R1200GS San BMW had and it comes with pretty much everything:

New Blog For The R1200GS

While looking for an easier way to manage the blog just for the R1200GS, I'm trying now blogger.com as a blog provider. I'll transfer some of the blog posts over here and will see how it looks like and then decide whether to keep it or not.