2014 BMW F800 GSA
By Eric Hall
This should apply to the GS as well and to all the oilhead models.
No pics (yet) but I am happy to report no bloody knuckles. I got one minor scratch on my right middle finger.
For anyone looking to change their front shock (rear is pretty easy), here's how to do it...
First you want to remove your lower engine guards. This can be a challenge for some because the top fasteners tend to be hard to get to and loosen without stripping.
Then you wan to remove the alternator belt cover. Why? Because it gets in the way of pulling out the shock and putting the new one in later.
Next you want to remove a screw holding the front brake line on the right side of the bike. If you don't do this then you won't have slack to droop the front suspension low enough to get the shock out. It's tight in there and I found an L-shaped torx from my tool kit was the best solution.
You have to somehow jack the bike up from the skid plate but with the rear still on the ground. I was able to lift it (with a friend) on top of my pannier, but a floor jack is probably ideal and safer. I also secured the bike with a strap from the middle of the handlebars to a hook firmly screwed into a beam in the roof of my garage.
Then remove the top tank panel, as well as the two side panels and gas cap (four black screws). I put a rag in the tank opening so those screws holding the gas cap on don't accidentally fall in. Leave the front screws on the side plastic pieces secure; just take off the other two. These are just metal panels; it's really not that hard. Remember the longer screws go in that middle hole of the side plastic pieces. The rest should be roughly the same length.
At this point you should be able to put a socket on the top bolt of the shock and take that top nut off. If you have a nifty ratcheting box-end wrench then you may be able to get away with not removing the top tank panel. It might be 15mm or 17 mm or in my case 11/16ths". Not a lot of room to work with. Keep the top bushing/spacer and remember to put it back on top of the new shock later.
Remove the lower shock bolt from the right side. At this point, the shock should fall out of the top bracket and come loose from the lower mount. If it doesn't come loose from the lower mount, you can knock it back with a rubber mallet or something until it comes free. Also be sure to keep the rubber bushings and/or spacer that goes on top of the shock but below the top bracket.
Then simply put the new shock in but make sure you put the top rubber washer below the bracket back on the new shock. Put the top end in first, then you can slide it forward and down into the lower shock mount. Tighten down the lower shock bolt to 30 ft/lbs/40 Nm and some blue loctite.
At this point you can lower your bike back to the floor and on its center stand. Make sure the top of the shock is properly seated through the hole in the bracket. Place that other rubber washer you removed from your other shock on top and then secure with the top nut. I put a bit of blue loctite on it. Tighten down to 25 ft/lbs/34 Nm. Ah, but the shock turns when you try to tighten it! At first I tried a strap wrench but it wasn't really gripping. I finally found the crescent wrench from my tool bag (or 19mm open end wrench) would fit on the very top nut below the top bracket and prevent the shock from turning when you're tightening it. Yes, you will need the assistance of a buddy (two man job).
Then you can put the alternator cover back on (not a bad time to consider changing your belt if it's been on there for more than 24K miles), as well as re-secure the front brake line on the right side.
Then put your lower engine bars back on. That also can be a challenge and take two sets of hands and maybe some straps to pull the upper bars into alignment so you can attach them to the lower bars.
By Scott Schwartz
My first post. My wife Michele is why I have a GS. She had one when I met her and got me to sell my BMW road bike for my GS so we could adventure together. And thanks to Eric Hall for welcoming a new guy like me into this group. Adventure is not new to me but Big Bikes are. Her's to a great XLADV!
The solution for carrying more cargo on BMW adventure bikes
Sandpoint, ID, December 18, 2015 - Black Dog Cycle Works (BDCW) announces their new BDCW Pillion Rack for BMW R1200GS and GSA Liquid-Cooled motorcycles. For solo adventure riders, a great solution for carrying more cargo is to replace the passenger seat with an integrated rack. BDCW's new rack puts the additional weight immediately behind the rider where motorcycles were originally designed to carry it, making it the ideal location. By moving the weight forward from the rear of the bike, riders should expect greatly improved balance and control.
The BDCW Pillion Rack is a highly functional, rugged yet beautifully-machined product that greatly increases the carrying capacity of the Big GS. And, it works especially well with the BDCW Multi-Function Rear Rack for the GSLC or GSA-LC, but is compatible with most rear racks from other manufacturers, as well as the factory grab rails on the standard GS and GSA.
Avid adventure riders will appreciate how the BDCW Pillion Rack mounts to their bikes. "Unlike other versions on the market, we intentionally engineered our rack so that it doesn't use the mostly plastic stock keyed release system. We found that the stock release doesn't take to the off-road punishment many of our customers give their bikes. Ours bolts directly to the frame." says Kurt Forgét of BDCW.
The BDCW design has several notably unique features and benefits:
A great compliment for the BDCW Multi-Function Rear Rack for either the GS-LC or GSA-LC Made of industrial grade gauge 1/4" aluminum Bolts to the frame for solid mounting-designed to take a beating while securely hauling gear Quick and easy removal with four bolts to replace the passenger seat Generous-sized perimeter holes give multiple tie-down points for gear Compatible with the factory grab rails for both the standard GS and the GSA. Anodized hard black for a durable finish Spacers and stainless steel hardware provided Approximately 12" wide x 14" long Designed, tested and manufactured in the U.S.A.
Topic for my upcoming plans with the BMW R1100GS.
Some of you might know/saw some video's or pictures of me and know that I have Big plans for my Hyperion.
I'll try and keep this topic updated with our progress.
First of all we are trying to get in perfect riding shape. This is going slower than expected because of money, time and most irritating of all, delivery failure of some parts. Very short, we want to get a Dakar fairing and a selfmade subframe on it. Kinda like the one Touratech made, but then lowbudget ;-).
When we bought the 1100, it wasn't in a good shape, hadn't seen a toolkit in years and almost everything needs a revision or has to be renewed.
*October 2014 : bought the bike, placed new battery, sprayed the windscreen yellow, installed new gear box
*November 2014 : steel brake lines
*January 2015 : new throttle cables, synchronisation, risers, crashbars, new rims with Heidenau M&S
TO DO :
* mount crash bars
* revise Wilbers suspension
* decide which fairing kit to use and adjust
* do I want a lowering kit or not?
* mount slimmer heated grips
Hyperion is a R1100GS from 1994 and had 147 000 km on it when I bought it. I have full confidence in that he will take me everywhere to see the world and explore what our earth has to show.
He wasn't the youngest one on the market, but we have a saying, you gotta learn how to ride on an old hag... The biggest reason we chose this R1100GS was the price, for 2500 euro plus he had Wilbers suspension and a set of R1150GS Panniers. (And maybe I did like the color)
So, this is him when he first got home.
Me getting a lesson on how to get my bike on his centerstand.
So I didn't like the silverish windscreen, got a yellow spraycan and got rid of the silver.
More important was, during my first rides I noticed that I couldn't wheelie the bike. The bike just popped out of gear whenever I tried. Our first cost was a new gearbox then. We found one for about 175 euro and placed it ourselves.
The operation was a succes,+ fitting in a new battery, and now Hyperion happily lifts his front wheel in the air.
With the costs from the insurance, the gearbox and the bike itself there wasn't much to spend left, so I kep riding with it like that till November.
In November it was really time to do something about the failing rubber brake hoses. The brakes got stuck because of mush that came out of the brakelines that were detoriating from the inside. So we bought some steel brake lines and that made a big difference.
Instead of slowing the bike down, I was now able to stop it completely...
I did not like the positioning of my arms, it looked as if I was on the road with daddies bike. My upperbody was pushed to much to the front which had a big influence on my technical riding. We ordered risers for my handlebar that inclined backwards too. Got no problems with the cables, everything still runs smoothly. Positioning on the bike is great at the moment !
Got him synchronized this week too, both cilinders got calibrated and now he runs brilliantly. Gas respond is so much better. If anyone still rides with an older version, get that thing synchronized. It is unbelievable how smooth the engine runs now. In the beginning when standing on idle, the bike rocked between my legs, now it just rests at one place.
And last for now, but not forgettable. I bought new rims from the first owner and mounted them with Heidenau M&S, Scout. Was an excellent choice, but I'll leave this open for a tyretopic. ;-)