R1200GS Farkles

Over the time I added quite some accessories to my bike. Here's a - probably incomplete - list of farkles and experience with them.


Windshield

That's always a big and important one for me. The first thing I did was adding the Winglets from the GS Adventure:

Adventure Winglet

Adventure Winglets

This did something, but definitely not enough to make me happy. Being aware that three things are important here:

  1. Width
  2. Height
  3. Angle
I got a Givi Airflow AF330 windshield. This was actually pretty good. I used it on my multi-day trip down to San Diego and it worked fairly well. Not perfect but definitely good enough for long riding days. 

Givi Airflow Windshield

What I didn't like about it was the look and that it was shaking quite a bit. It has support brackets that go higher up but in the end, that didn't help too much. When Andrea finally said that it created really bad buffeting for her I started looking around again. After a while I got my hands on a GS Adventure Windshield and tried that for the last few weeks:

Adventure Windshield

That alone works pretty well, not surprising to me that not many Adventure riders don't bother with aftermarket shields. Some add spoilers to the top for long rides and I have one of those sitting here, too, but don't have a photo with it installed and will probably only use it for long rides that involve lots of fast roads.

I also added Tobinators to be more flexible in the adjustment and used different lock disks at the side adjusters.

GSA Windshield and Tobinators

The Tobinators work great, but Wunderlich has a similar set that only allows about 20mm adjustment which would have been plenty for me - for half the price. So, take my recommendation and use those and not the Tob's. And btw, they work just fine on the GS Adventure or with the Adventure shield. No problem at all.

I also tried a Ztechnik VStream Z2416 windshield, but it didn't work out for me. Might be perfect (better than GSA shield) for somebody sitting around 2" lower than me, but for me itself it plain didn't work. About the same noise level as GSA, looks not as good, wobbles more due to vibration, didn't fit perfectly.

During the test of the Z2416 I also removed the Tobinators which I had used since I got the Givi and just installed the standard mounts together with the Adventure windshield. This is about the best I can get without compromising the look. The GSA shield looks very good, fits the bike, and has good protection. Fairly loud though. With the Tobinators removed, the angle adjustment also works much better. Not so much sweating and swearing anymore. I'll leave that part alone now.

Seat

Overall I like the seat of the GS. It's okay for my weight, not too hard, not too soft, nearly no forward slope and decent looks. Still I wanted to sit a little bit higher, so I tried a GS Adventure seat and absolutely didn't like it. Too much forward slope, Andrea was sliding into me, and the overall experience wasn't good enough to keep it. So I sold it for what I paid for it.

R1200GS Adventure Seat
I also didn't like the look so much. With a black top part and grey lowers, it would have been okay and I might have given it more time, but in the end, it wasn't working for me.

Some things I don't like about the standard GS seat are that it is a very fragile plastic. I nearly burned a little hole into it with a bottle of water strapped to the rear, also, every bug that ends up dying there is a cleaning nightmare.

Foot Pegs

Somehow everybody agrees that the standard GS foot pegs are a piece of crap. They are installed high and are not wide enough. So when you stand on them they cut into the boot and having them 20mm lower would really help with comfort.

What did I do? I started out with Fastway F3 pegs (photos). Those worked just fine, especially with the OEM rubber inserts, but I somehow got the idea that I needed to try Pivot Pegz. So I did.

Fastway F3 and Hammerhead Shifter
They do work great but the pivoting is barely noticeable and I really wish there was a rubber insert for them as the typical boxer vibrations are quite strong through these pegs. I might switch again if the Pivot Pegz guys don't come out with rubber inserts, but this time to OEM Adventure pegs with the rubber inserts from the G650 XCountry. This would make it again a bit higher but at least it would have some vibration damping.

Another alternative are the SW Motech foot pegs. Those are fairly low plus they have a rubber insert.

After a lot of back and forth - I'm using Fastway F3 with two rubber inserts per side again. They were the most comfortable, the best position together with the Hammerhead Shift Lever and overall just work pretty well for me. Installed last week.

Shift Lever

Given that most foot pegs I tried where wider and lower than the OEM ones, I wasn't comfortable with the stock shift lever anymore. So I got a Hammerhead that is slightly longer, has a spring folding tip and more adjustment. I love that one. I can be seen in the picture above.

Hand Guards

My GS came with the BMW hand guards which are just fine for wind protection but they normally come with the small, light grey spoilers which look like shit. Immediately installed the larger black spoilers. Looks better, works better. BMW - get real and use those as standard.

Handguards with Large Spoilers
Grips

As the grips on the R1200GS are quite skinny compared to the ones on the R1150GS and some other bikes I rode, and also as the heated grips set to level 2 burned my hands, I got some grip puppies.


Those might be the absolute value winners on this page. Less vibration, more comfortable grips, less burning sensation with heated grips on high - all for $10 bucks. Great! Get some!

GPS

For routing and tracking I wanted to mount a hiking GPS. After some back and forth I got a Garmin GPSMap 60CSx for a great price and installed it with a Touratech cradle and a RAM mount. Works great - nothing to complain about. I'd love to have a larger screen, but in the end it doesn't really matter as it works well enough as it is.


The GPS is powered directly from the bike plus it has it's own batteries. The combo works really well and I can also use it for hiking.

Handle Bar Crossbar

That was a quick decision while having an order done anyways. It's said to give the handle bar a bit more strength (unimportant), but also to prevent some high frequency vibrations through the handle bars (interesting). Also a good place to mount a GPS and a SPOT tracker.

It's installed now and I'll see whether I'll move the GPS, so far I like it where it is but I'll give a relocation a try to see whether this might be better. No vibration reduction noticeable btw.

Tip Over Protection

As I didn't want to add large and heavy engine bars to the bike I had BMW throw in the OEM aluminum head protectors as a deal when I bought the bike. Haven't tested them yet but I don't think they would fair all too well even in a tip over.


What you see are just rub marks and some dirt. Never had the bike down. Next time I get a pair of the X-Head protectors. They are more durable and look better.

Top Case

I always had Givi top cases. They work well enough, are large, and I got this one for a real killer price from a co-worker:


Together with the Givi SR689 mount it looks well enough, clean mounting, easy on and off. Things I don't like about it:

  • It rattles. Not the content. The case itself in the mount. It's all plastic and rattles and shakes when going over bumps. That could be better.
  • It doesn't stay open. So, WTF Givi - can't you get that right? On virtually every bike I had those things just drop closed. That sucks. Can't be that hard to get this right.
  • Second key is kind of annoying, but I'll survive. 
Other than that, it swallows two helmets or a lot of other stuff, so it is really handy.

Side Luggage

Still TBD. Probably Micatech V-Pilot 8" side cases. I already got the Hattech exhaust to make room for a full sized left pannier.

Exhaust

As mentioned above, I installed a Hattech Double Exhaust. This was not for sound or performance but purely for being able to use a full sized left pannier without getting too wide.

I'm kind of still undecided as I have the feeling that the new exhaust makes vibrations a bit stronger. Not sure whether it's the exhaust or whether I was just prissy today, but my hands and feet are still a little bit tingling and I hate that feeling. 

Might get some rubber washers and put those between the frame mount and the exhaust hanger. The OEM has a thick rubber piece there, but the Hattech has a different mount so I will have to "McGyver" something.



Bash Plate

Something I might take off again and sell it is the bash plate I installed a while ago. I got on sale and didn't really question whether I need it, but for my kind of riding I think it really just adds useless weight. 

BestRest Bash Plate with Extension
It's a BestRest plate with the extension that hooks up to the center stand. It probably works well but was a PITA to install. Might sell it and install the original again. I don't see me riding hard off-road now with Andrea on her new bike. 

Glare Guard

When I installed the Givi windshield and the Tobinators I was quite surprised how much glare I got on the windshield from just the headlights. No problem at all in daylight but once your riding at night, it's kind of disturbing. At least for me. 

So I installed this:


It's an AltRider glare guard and works really, really well. Definitely worth it for me. Their products seem very well designed.

What's Missing?
  1. Side Luggage (Probably Micatech V-Pilot)
  2. Tankbag [ordered SW Motech quick release hardware]
  3. Additional lights (Idea: Fog lights and Photon Blasters)
  4. A fuse box with relay for the lights
  5. Splash Guards (front and rear) [front on order]
  6. Side stand enlarger (yeah, sounds weird, but on soft ground it helps - and it doesn't lean as much any more)
Probably a few more things I don't think about right now. 

The saga continues. Installing bits and pieces to the bike is nearly as much fun as riding.

What's Currently On Order Or Awaits Installation

Tankbag Mounts: I finally ordered the SW Motech quick release tank ring and the counterpart and will fit my existing Cortech Super Mini to it. Finally a place to put all the little crap that I really don't want to carry in my pockets (phone, wallet, keys, tissues, ear plugs). Hopefully the gas cap ring isn't too much of a pain when filling the tank. Lots of people use it so I think it will work.

Front Mudguard: Found a special offer for a Maier front mudguard and ordered it right away. This prevents the front wheel from throwing road debris and water against the front of the engine case and the exhaust pipes. Really looking forward to this! And it's just a cheap piece of plastic.

Short Levers: I had ordered a set of short levers from a guy in China over eBay. They didn't show up after 5 weeks so I pressed hard for a refund and got it. This sucks, I'd rather have the levers. Will have to look around to find a similar set from someone who can actually deliver.