Help me Farkle my GSA

BigLew55

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#1
I have taken the leap into the BMW world with hopes of expanding my experience opportunities. I recently purchased a 2018 R1200 GSA Rallye. It has some goodies on it, but I am looking for some of your insight on farkles as they relate to making this a long distance and rally-ready steed.

My initial impressions are very positive. Without adding an aux tank, I have roughly the same fuel range as my Harley did with a 5 gallon Aux tank. I have added a set of pegs to the crash bars for additional riding positions. I have switched my phone to a quad lock case and charger set-up, and that seems to be working well. I have ordered a bar riser to give me some lift there.

I am getting a little more wind on my ever-dwindling pectoral muscles. I suspect I will need a wider windshield. @Greg Rice lists a FJR windshield on his list of farkles on his 1250, so I hope he chimes in here, or I will have to stalk him at an event. :D

I had a RTIC 1 gallon cooler in a Yeti bracket on the HD. The cleanest looking mounting option on the GSA looks like it involves drilling the pannier. I'm not sure I'm ready to do that yet, so I may purchase a MotoJug cloth carrier to see if I can make that work.

I am working on a mounting solution for two GPS units and my radar detector. This will replace the Nav Prep mount above the display. The wiring will be an experiment with the CANBUS system. I know what I could get away with on the HD, but this is all new.

I also have to figure out a tire set-up. It came with new tires (Dunlop TrailSmart), but they are being discontinued. I have been reading good things about Dunlop TrailMax Missions, Michelin Anakee Adventures, and I'm also not ruling out a car tire. I'd be interested in hearing what experience you have had with any of these and how they worked out for longevity and versatility.

Thanks for any insight you can offer.
Lew
 

Jim Craig

Premier Member
#2
As far as tires, if you're mostly doing on road riding, I recommend the Dunlop Roadsmart IIIs. I generally get 10K out of a rear tire and 15K out of a front tire, but your mileage may vary. I've run the Anakees and they were okay but they don't handle anywhere near as good as the Roadsmarts. I have a motojug, but usually I just keep a bottle of Gatorade in my Wolfman tank bag. I use ledrider.com LD5 lights with a HEX EZ can and they work really well (basically the same illumination as Clearwater Ericas, but not as fancy). I also put a Denali sound bomb horn, which cars actually hear when I honk. I use a Puig wind screen and my latest farkle is the Puig brackets since the stock brackets broke under the strain of trying to hold up a larger windscreen (if you're replacing the wind screen - you will need some reinforcement the standard brackets are plastic). I also mounted a Givi Trekker 58L top case.
 

EricV

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#3
We used to have a '16 GSA in the garage.

+1 on the Denali Sound Bomb, (I felt the split version was easier to mount underneath and out of sight), and the Denali BWM wiring adapter, (Vs the Canbus controller), you need to go with it.

You can peg mount a hydration jug fairly easily by removing the passenger peg rubber, drilling one more hole in the peg and bolting either an aluminum mounting plate for a base to which you mount a container to hold your jug, or adapting something of your choice. It does get in the way a little bit when paddling the bike, but that varies by rider. I found it desirable to wedge the peg so it wouldn't fold up as well.

Consider MotoZ Tractionator GPS tires if you want something a bit more aggressive that still holds up to 12k+ miles in the rear. However, do NOT run the 170 width. BMW spec'd the wheel too narrow for a 170 and you will get cracking at the lugs on some aggressive tires. MotoZ suggested the 150 width, which is far more common anyway, and it ran excellent w/o cracking. Bonus, you can swap the tire direction for off road Vs mixed use.

A couple of pics of a Bubba Keg install.



You will also want to consider some form of crash protection for the cylinder heads. They are not protected by the OEM system unless you count being torn off completely. The GSA in it's natural setting with stock crash bars. vvvv
 

BigLew55

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#4
I noticed the vulnerability of the heads. I will look into something there.

That's an interesting note on those tires. I may revisit that when the time comes for a new set.

I appreciate the insight so far. I hope others continue.

I realized I hadn't posted a pic of the new ride on this forum yet, so here is the obligatory shot from about 5 minutes after I got it home from purchase.

18 GSA Day 1 2021 08 06 (2).jpg
 

Marc11

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#5
I have a passenger footpeg mount for the GS to mount any cooler you want laying around. I also have the Excel exhaust extension to move heat away for the side cases left over from my R12GS. If interested PM me.

I'd also recommend the Machine Moto Art fender extender, rear mud fling, head covers and a better skid plate from someone like Black Dog.

Before changing wind screens try one of those knock off MRA spoilers form Ebay. That and the GSA screen was near perfect for me, after trying four screens, including an aero flow, and I continue to use it on my F850GSA.

Get a headlight protector and get one now. Any brand, just get one.

I ran a CT there is only one that fits and life wasn't great. If you really want long life and can manage a bit of slip in the rain, nothing will beat a Michelin Commander II. Cheap, and you'll get 20k plus from a rear, and that's in miles not kilometers.

Only comes in a 160, so you'll stop down 10mm but that isn't a big deal at all.
 
Last edited:

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#6
Lew,

I have exactly the same model GSA with nearly 40,000km on the clock, (all of mine). I purchased this bike new for the sole purpose of using as a LD bike here in Australia and to date I've completed multiple Saddle Sores, a 100CCC and a couple of local 24hr/36hr (2 up) rallies on it.

This bike was also my daily commute bike for 18 months in Sydney while I was working there and was excellent for dealing with large city traffic.

The farkles I added to the bike include:
  1. Clearwater Lights, A Sevina and a Erica (offset pair)
  2. V Stream windscreen (this is excellent)
  3. Highway pegs fitted to the engine guards
  4. After market seats for rider and pillion
  5. Beadrider for the riders seat
  6. Quadlock mount for my IPhone (this is the best system by far)
  7. Motoart Fender extender for the front and a hugger for the rear
One of the other significant advantages for me with this bike is it is robust and can take the knocks plus I can pick it up if dropped. My wife also prefers it for the longer rides due to its long travel suspension making it more comfortable on our "roads". Will post some photos later
 
Last edited:

Martin Little

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#8
Lastly, in terms of tires, I run Michelin Pilot Road 5's. These are outstanding in the wet (and suit me as most of my riding is on road) and provide excellent mileage. I also take the bike on dirt roads but just modify my riding to suit these tires
 

Greg Rice

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#9
Welcome to the other side, I think you will like it. The biggest drawback I have found with a GSA is the seat height. If you are not on the tall side it can be a little challenging in some kind of road conditions when you need to stop and put your feet down. I am 6 feet even for reference.

I am on my third GSA ( not good ) because I totaled my first one ( 2019 Rally HP ) that I bought new for the 2019 IBR. I bought a new 2021 earlier this year only to have it stolen 4 weeks after waiting 3 months to get it from Germany. :mad:

Now I have another 2019 Rally HP and I have found there are a few things I did to all of them to make it more comfortable and more capable for long distance riding.

The first 2019 GSA was a lowered version and it fit me pretty good and I did not do anything to lower the seat, I did get a Sargent seat and was happy with it as I don't remember anytime in the 2019 IBR that my butt hurt.

The 2021 and now the 2019 GSA were / are not the lowered version and I was a little uncomfortable at first at some types of conditions where I had to stop. So I started looking at some options to lower the seat height. For the 2021 I still had the stock seat when it was stolen for the 2019 I bought used it came with a Russell seat for a taller rider than me.

While looking for some ideas and options to lower the seat height I came across a couple items that together can lower the seat about 1.8 inches which does not sound like much but in the scheme of things it is a lot. What ever I found it needed to be cheap. :)

The first one is a replacement for the rubber on the seat high / low adjuster. As you can see the holes are not in the middle but closer to the side which makes the seat sit lower. Cost $15.00


The second item can go together with the firs tone above. It is a replacement for the high / low seat adjuster. It has longer arms and the parts where the rubber bumpers above are .8 inches lower than the stock ones. Cost $20.00


So together it makes a pretty big difference in the seat height especially the front part of a seat.

After doing this I noticed that I was sliding down a little in the seat and looked for options to lower the back of the seat. On the GSA there is a plastic part where the back of the seat rest so I removed it. Also the bottom of the seat has some tabs that stick out and I cut them shorter so now I am pretty level in the seat and my feet are flat footed when I stop.

More to come...
 

Greg Rice

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#10
Lew,

A couple more things I did after the changes in the above post where to find a low cost rider foot peg lowering kit and looked into a different seat.

I found a nice foot peg lowering kit for $60 that allows you to make many different adjustments to the foot peg location.



After installing the foot peg lowering kit I spoke to Sargent seats and had them make me a modified lowered seat, not as low as the one you can get for a GSA. I am still testing the seat and not sure if I am going to keep it or go back tot he Russell seat.

Once I did all of the modifications I noticed that my boots stuck out a little more ( mostly from the foot peg lowering kit ) and I had to turn my feet in to get tot he brake pedal and gear shifter. So I started looking for low cost options for brake pedal and gear shifter extensions.

I found two different brake pedal extensions that were cheap. $10.00 and $15.00






I also bought a gear shift extender from Ilium for $22.00.

 

Greg Rice

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#11
Lew,

More farkles.

Nice low cost tool box - $60.00


Garauld TechWorks Hydration System - $120 This is the best hydrations system for the GSA. It is mounted on the passenger foot peg. You remove the passenger foot peg and replace it with the part that comes with the hydrations system.
 

Marc11

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#12
Lew,

More farkles.

Nice low cost tool box - $60.00


Garauld TechWorks Hydration System - $120 This is the best hydrations system for the GSA. It is mounted on the passenger foot peg. You remove the passenger foot peg and replace it with the part that comes with the hydrations system.
The Garauld mount is what I have a spare laying around. He made me a one off for my F850 so I'm using the bottle holder. But if he has the yeti holder all he needs is the peg mount I have. Agreed, great system and he went out of his way to make me the ONLY F850 hydration system mount on the market!
 

Greg Rice

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#14
Lew,

Another thing I did to get comfortable was to install risers for the handle bars. I first added a set of ROX risers, very nice, but I was still not feeling it so I bought another set of risers off of eBay and I installed both of them in a custom configuration. o_O

The first photo is the set of risers I bought on eBay. ROK riser photos are easy to find.

Look closely at the second photo of both sets of riser installed. This gave me a few inches of up and back for the handle bars.



 

Greg Rice

Premier Member
IBR Finisher
#17
More information.

For wind / weather protection I have the following farkles that really make a big difference. Some of these parts were not so cheap.
  • MRA X-Creen Spoiler
  • FJR Puig Touring Windscreen - I think the Wunderlich GSA touring windscreen is probably better
  • AeroFlow AeroGards
  • AeroFlow HandFlare Extensions
  • Givi Handguards Extensions