Haven’t done a great job of updating this blog with what’s going on lately in regards to my bike. I’ll try to keep this from becoming an essay (edit, well I failed). I’ve had a few people outside of this forum ask me what my goals are for the bike. Where am I going with this when it comes to modifications? Well, the GSA will remain my only bike for some time until the house is paid down a bit more (doing double principle payments and double car payments right now) so I can’t go out and spend 5 grand on a real dual sport or get into a cheap project bike.
So the GSA has to serve two uses which stock, it does pretty well and honestly the stock form of this bike is capable of things beyond my skill level and that’s something I’ll never try to hide. The bike is brilliant and I am not so 2018 training is needed to fully realize more of its potential but a lot of the things I’m doing are:
- Road comfort so I can ride across USA without an issue. This is something I built my ’09 GSA up for as the dominant feature (wind protection, butt comfort, luggage)
- Off Road protection..I know my limits as a rider but I ignore them. Therefore the bike needs to be equipped for the kind of riding I do which is dumping the bike off road and going through muddy mystery puddles instead of around them.
So, here’s what’s done to the bike so far (from mostly memory) and split between off-road and touring mods:
- SW Motech Daypack tank bag & SW Motech City tank bag (FYI, I’m looking to swap both of these for the Electrified GS Tank Bag from SW-Motech)
- Dynamic Motorrad LED Turn Signals
- Upgraded 5-series horn
- Ztechnik Windscreen stabilizer (improves stability even on the OEM windscreen)
- Grip Puppies
- RotoPax Fuel + Water with altRider Luggage Rack
- Sargent Seat (had one of these on my ’09 and could ride literally all day)
- RAM Cup Holder mount (want to eventually get a hydration bladder setup)
- VStream Touring Deluxe Windscreen (versus the standard touring screen since I swapped one for the other)
- Bumot Defender Luggage (In 2 weeks, I’ll have swapped over from Bumot system to Jesse Luggage as I like the design of jesse more and it seems far more battle tested. This is probably a highly debated topic but Bumot didn’t do it for me)
- EZ-Pass Transponder (I’d like to get an alternate location that still scans w/o fail each time. I also want to paint the transponder black)
- BMW Hella DIN Plug to Dual Port USB Charger
- DoubleTake Adventure Mirror
- TKC80s (will probably swap to 70s on the rear once the 80 is ready for a change)
- Wild@Heart Headlight Guard
- AltRider Side Stand enlarger (nice to have but not necessary. adds weight to the kick stand which works on most hard packed surfaces. will only benefit me in mud / sand)
- AltRider front engine guard (doesn’t do anything. looks nice..meh)
- AltRider Radiator Guards
- AltRider Skid Plate
- AltRider Heel / Brake guard
- AltRider Rear brake cylinder guard
- Wild @ Heart Side Stand Switch Protector
- Mosko Moto BC35 Pannier Luggage
- Off Grid Moto Chadwick Bags (smaller and significantly lighter than the Mosko Moto bags for overnight trips where I don’t need more than a tent and change of clothes). I need to do a follow up video of these because I have a much nicer setup now with how they strap down to the bike using the Mosko Plates.
- Givi Tailbag mounted to AltRider Luggage Rack (extra storage when off-roading for the day where I can keep things back there and basically run the bike w/o any other luggage or bags for reduced weight)
- GS Rallye Frame Guards
- Wild @ Heart Frame Plugs (keeps the mud out and looks nice)
Already Ordered but not installed / Will order before riding season starts in April:
- Wunderlich Frame / Crash bar bags for a bit of extra storage w/o making the bike any wider or taller
- Denali LED Light Kit w/ Can Smart along with Soundbomb horn & brake light module (these may be cut from the order. I don’t need more visibility and total cost is $1200 for this system)
- GoPro CamRack for next to headlight
- Machine Art Moto Hand Guards
- AltRider upper luggage rack (I have the pillion rack) (this would allow me to mount both Rotopax boxes with soft duffel on the back of the bike w/o interfering with side boxes opening)
- Bottle Mount for Jesse Luggage
- PDM60 Power Module for eventually running an SAE connection to the tank bag, Jesse box and 2 additional USB ports to behind my butt
- —side note on the USB modules, I’ve moved over to a fully USB system. Headlamp, Flashlight, 3 Battery backups, GoPro Hero 6, iPhone, iPad, Lumix LX-10 camera, Canon 5D battery pack all are rechargeable with USB-A so don’t need a power outlet. Which means while I ride all day I can charge things that I use at night or along the road. I can even recharge 3 GoPro batteries off a USB plug. So I’d like to have 5 USB ports 2.4A each for charging while on the road.
- Machine Art Moto Head Guards
- Machine Art Moto Slipscreen windscreen (because now I’ve designed myself into a corner with the tall deluxe Ztechnik windscreen that it’s too tall for days off road but great on road)
- AltRider Lower Crash bars
- AltRider side-stand riser (didn’t think I needed this but it’s clear this would help a lot when parking the bike on a slight hill which I do more than I should admit)
- Tank Grips from Tech Spec
- Wunderlich Steering Stop
- Rear Splash Guard
- Rox Risers Adjustable Pivoting handlebar risers
- Touratech Final Drive Guard
- Touratech Slider kit for rear shaft
- Touratech Header guards (I already have a ding in my OEM headers from a rock)
Tools I have now / on order to go in the Jesse tool box inside of racks..although none of these will get me to cancel my roadside assistance through BMWMOA. Nothing beats a tow when you can get one if you are in a situation where it’s a tow truck and a night in a hotel versus making the situation worse by wrenching on a part of the bike you have no business wrenching on:
- BMW Pro Series Tool Set by Motohansa
- Moto Pumps cycle pump that works with the BMW plug
- Motion Pro Bead Buddy, Rim Board & spoon set
- Tire patch kit
- GS-911 (already have this)
- Euro 4 GS-911 adapter (on order)
- Zip Ties
- Allen Wrench kit probably from Wera
- GS1200 haynes paper manual in a zip-lock bag
- Gorilla Tape
- Marc Parnes Balancer (will keep this one at home)
One item that I want but may not happen until end of next year would be a set of Woody’s Wheels. These wheels would have a slightly larger front and I’d keep off road tires mounted to it so I could run something less aggressive like the Conti Trail Attack or A3s to my OEM wheels and keep TKC80s or A-Wild on the Woody wheel set. I think this would be the final bit that would allow me to make the GSA an on-road, off road bike much easier as I could do a 10 minute swap in the front yard before going out for my ride. I’d keep the road tires on for commuting and throw on dual sport tires every Friday for weekend adventures. These are low on my priority list but would complete the off-road situation for me to truly allow a dual purpose bike.
Long term planning and items:
- Uprated ESA shocks that are built for my weight. I weight 250…I hope to be down to 230 in the next year (was 300 a year ago) but with my GF and our gear for a touring trip, we’re looking at 575 pounds of total weight added to the bike. This is beyond BMW’s spec for the shocks so getting shocks to match my weight would be nice but maybe only when the OEM shocks begin to fail
- Remus Header + slip on. I like going for all black but I like the sound and price of this unit…not buying it for the power which is minimal and I rarely wide open throttle this bike. the power is more than enough for me.
- Powder coating my racks and upper crash bars in a dark grey to match the AltRider grey lower crash bars (should take place in February. found a shop to do it for $200.)
- Send in my Sargent seat to add the heated option to it when i finally get some heated gear
I’d like to close with probably what I should have opened with which is this is my bike. I can design myself into a corner, weigh it down with stupid crap and waste time and money learning what most of you already have which is the bike is brilliant stock, don’t waste money with stupid farckles where the ROI is not only poor but completely in the red.
With that said, I’m looking for constructive feedback. Not “sell all of that crap and learn to ride better” I assume the people here are a bit more respectful than that. I enjoy modifying and at this point, my videos where I install mods are making me $360 a month so even things that I try out and sell for a loss were still worth it to someone else in some way.
When I hit the road in April, I’ll realize the things that brought value and things that did not and I have no problem removing things that don’t add value or get in the way.
Finally, 75% of what I have on the bike was bought used and will continue to be the case. I watch the parts forum like a hawk and try to grab things that were already on my list to buy eventually when they can be had at a discount.
Finally, winters are boring times for me so this keeps me busy :)
- Asheville Area off roading & Tail of the dragon with the Quebec BMW Club
- 2 week trip on the Trans-Labrador down PEI and through central maine with a focus on getting lost off-road a few days of that trip
- Various BMW rallies around New England
- I should hit 12K miles on the bike next year..maybe more like 15K w/ commuting to work.