I bought my F8 last April for the sole purpose of a last minute RTW trip (left 60 days after saying, "Hey we should ride around the world"). For the most part I was thrilled with the F8 on the trip but there were a few things I wanted to change before the next trip which is coming up this October.
These changes break down to 3 sections:
A) It failed me last time and caused me a ton of grief
B) It worked OK but I'd like to upgrade for next time
C) I like blingy sh*t, am single and have no kids so I'm going to spend my money where I like
First things first, here's what I broke:
Chain (replaced with DID VM2 @3000km). DID is now worn out (@33,000km)but the BMW chain and sprocket recall letter just arrived and they are going to replace my DID because my CZ broke in Siberia and there were no BMW Motorrad dealers for several thousand miles.
Battery sh*t the bed. Solution: Upgrade to DEKA. I'm currently still using the tiny Russian battery.
Bent the hell out of the rims (front especially). Solution: Replace with Excels from Woody's but am undecided on rear rim dimensions and whether to reuse the stock hubs or upgrade to Eagle/RAD.
Rox Risers kept twisting. If you have them you likely know what I mean. I'm 6'3" and went with the 3.5" tall version. Despite the eBay auction being for 1 1/8"x 1 1/8" risers, when they arrived they were 1 1/8" x 7/8". Apparently Rox doesn't make a double 1 1/8" version in the 3.5". They give you stupid "C" shells to shim up the difference...what a nightmare. The wheel was pointed straight ahead but the bars were way off to one side...no problem, I'll just crank on the bars and correct it, oops, went way too far... dammit, these things suck
not to mention are pretty dangerous.
Bent upper shock bolt. Solution: added RalleMoto brace and bumped up a bolt grade...and will carry a spare.
No other "breaks" really. Some annoying things:
The suspension was a bit soft and under valved for me (240lbs) and my gear. I didn't realize how bad it was until I had a chance to ride a few other bikes recently. The front definitely needs upgrading. Solution: Hybrid F8GS/Shiver 45s and upgrade to an Elka on the rear.
Despite kick ass fuel mileage the 16 litre tank is a hassle in areas lacking regular/reliable fuel stations. Also annoying once on the fast autobahn type highways @130-140km/h and having to stop every 1 1/2-2hrs for gas. Solution: Will be adding a Tourtech "Tanker".
I have the Pelican top loader cases which I LOVE! I can't believe how durable these things are. I had 2 huge crashes in Mongolia and the Pelicans were unscathed. What I don't like is the Hepco Becker racks. They move and sway a ton and the left case sticks out over 3" farther than the right. It looks stupid and is WAY too wide. Of course with plastic panniers it's not as simple as just cutting out around the muffler and welding new bits in to balance things out. Solution: New exhaust and modified/rebuild/reinforced racks.
The beginning of the mods:
I started with the ROX Riser issue. I tossed the "C" shims and had a local inmate (Wrekluse) turn an adapter tube up with an ID of just under 7/8" and an OD of 1 1/8" out of 6061 aluminum. He then knurled the 1 1/8" section for a bit more bite.
This tube solved 2 issues; it tied the 2 risers together which helps with the twisting issue and it also gets rid of the 7/8" to 1 1/8" shims. After pressing the risers into the tube I had a welder friend TIG the 3 pieces together. I also bought a bridged upper bar clamp from Highway Dirt Bikes to help control the twist. All the mounting holes in the upper clamp are useful too.
I know 3.5" risers look ridiculous but 2 1/4" aren't quite tall enough. Finished package: