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Old 07-08-2010, 11:29 PM   #1
Camel ADV OP
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Adventurizing my F800GS

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:



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Old 07-09-2010, 12:02 AM   #2
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Upper Shock Bolt

Not that this forum really needs more pics and talk about upper shock bolts but heres mine:



No pics of the brace but I'm sure you all know it.

Exhaust

I don't have any belief that changing the muffler will give me better mileage or more power. The two reasons I did it was the ability to have balanced panniers and the weight loss.

I couldn't justify the $$ for the Akrapovic. $700 + for a slip-on...can't do it! In the past with other bikes and quads I've just jumped on eBay and looked for a slip on from a bike with a similar size motor and I just make the mount and mid pipe. That's exactly what I did this time. $120 got me a brand new, in box, never opened Leo Vince Titanium pipe from a ZX10R Ninja with all the hardware. They had aluminum and carbon-fiber too.



The first thing I noticed was the weight difference, wow! That stock stainless can is heavy, infact well over twice the weight. The LV is a tad longer and roughly 1/2 the width which is exactly what I needed to make room for my new pannier racks.



I started working on making a mid pipe but pulled out the calipers and noticed the stock pipe welded to the muffler was EXACTLY the diameter I needed. I hmmmed and huuuued about cutting up the stocker but decided to not be a puss and just pulled the trigger so I clamped it in the bandsaw and cut the pipe off.





Cleaned it up on the bench grinder and viola! instant adapter:



Fits like a dream:



Stuff it in the stock location, attach springs and use supplied mounting hardware, 30min from start to finish and I have a $120 Titanium Leo Vince for my effort.



Looks like it should free up just over 2" to move my rack over:













The bike goes in Monday for chain and sprockets. Hopefully by then the Shiver forks have arrived and I can start tearing into that next. If they are delayed getting here I'll start building the new racks.
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Old 07-09-2010, 02:15 AM   #3
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Looks like youve got a list of things to do there. I think you should add cleaning the bike to that list though!
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:02 AM   #4
CheckerdD
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Thanks for the info. Like yourself I am skeptical of folks who say a new exhaust improves performance. There are too many psychological factors after one spends the bucks. I look forward to hearing if you notice a difference. Dave
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:22 AM   #5
Nictrolis
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I'm not really into spending the $$$ on a new exhaust, though the size + weight reduction is tempting. But as far as performance - I've seen numerous reports with dyno charts for improvements from putting on a new exhaust, even just a slip-on. Of course, you're still probably right: a couple horse is probably in the realm of a psychological improvement.
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Old 07-09-2010, 07:40 AM   #6
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I'm interested that you're unhappy with the Hepco frames (so am I), but are planning to keep them?
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raider
I'm interested that you're unhappy with the Hepco frames (so am I), but are planning to keep them?
The only thing I'll be keeping from the frames is the rectangular hoop that the cases actually clip on to. I like the latching/locking portion of the program but dislike how that section mounts to the bike. There are just too many rotating/flexing mounting points. The system would be great for someone who rarely needs the panniers and likes to pull the racks off when not in use. The 1/4 turn fasteners are handy but lacking for an adventure rider in my experience. I'm just planning on "remounting" the hoops with my own brackets.

You can see how far out the left Pelican is compared to the right. Also, the cases aren't straight or square to each other.



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Old 07-09-2010, 07:52 PM   #8
raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNP77
The only thing I'll be keeping from the frames is the rectangular hoop that the cases actually clip on to. I like the latching/locking portion of the program but dislike how that section mounts to the bike. There are just too many rotating/flexing mounting points. The system would be great for someone who rarely needs the panniers and likes to pull the racks off when not in use. The 1/4 turn fasteners are handy but lacking for an adventure rider in my experience. I'm just planning on "remounting" the hoops with my own brackets.

You can see how far out the left Pelican is compared to the right. Also, the cases aren't straight or square to each other.



Thanks for the reply! My problem is more fundamental than yours, in that I can't get mine to fit at all with the Akro pipe (check out how tight the fit is with your new pipe - the Akro is a bit taller).

The panniers not sitting parallel to each other is almost a Hepco trademark - my Strom was the same.

Did you think about a steering damper? Ever feel the need on such a long trip?
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Old 07-10-2010, 01:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raider
Thanks for the reply! My problem is more fundamental than yours, in that I can't get mine to fit at all with the Akro pipe (check out how tight the fit is with your new pipe - the Akro is a bit taller).

The panniers not sitting parallel to each other is almost a Hepco trademark - my Strom was the same.

Did you think about a steering damper? Ever feel the need on such a long trip?
Yeah I know what you mean. The rack mount that runs over the pipe just clears. I will be cutting those mounts off and moving them as well. I was going to make the mounts similar to the factory BMW set-up. The only good thing I can say about the HB racks is that they never bent even with the crashes. I'm guessing it is due to all the movement as they can just flex and return to normal after. I keep thinking that if I beef them up I may be risking sub frame damage in the event of a crash. I guess the easiest thing is to not crash!

A steering damper is definitely on the list. This is my first off road bike (it's all relative) and I've never ridden a bike with a damper but I did have one on my last ATV and it made a HUGE difference in fatigue after a long day. After a few thousand km of sand, ruts and washboard in Mongolia I was wishing I had one on the GS! I'm waiting to see what the price is on the Scotts then decide between it and the RalleMoto.
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Old 07-10-2010, 07:11 PM   #10
raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNP77
A steering damper is definitely on the list. This is my first off road bike (it's all relative) and I've never ridden a bike with a damper but I did have one on my last ATV and it made a HUGE difference in fatigue after a long day. After a few thousand km of sand, ruts and washboard in Mongolia I was wishing I had one on the GS! I'm waiting to see what the price is on the Scotts then decide between it and the RallieMoto.
For what it's worth, hours of forum trawling has led me to conclude the RalleMoto is the way to go. Proven, reliable, reasonably-priced (in a big-picture way).

You'd think the fact that they're made in Gosford, half an hour from my house, might tip my hand - but no, it's cheaper to buy one from the USA and re-import it than to buy from the manufacturer here!
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Old 07-11-2010, 12:24 PM   #11
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LeoVince

Just curios if that exhaust needs occasional repacking?


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Old 07-11-2010, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoriley
Just curios if that exhaust needs occasional repacking?

This from the Leo Vince site:
"LeoVince uses the industry's best ceramic composite based packing and typically does not need to be replaced very often, unless exposed to unusual wear conditions. For those rare cases, re-packing material kits are available from LeoVince."

I have no idea what the timeline of "typically does not need to be replaced very often" is exactly but from what I've read and hear from ppl using the LV it is wears very well.
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Old 07-11-2010, 08:00 PM   #13
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FYI. This bolt isn't really bent. BMW would never allow it. You are the first person we have heard of w/ this problem... You must be jumping your bike off cliffs...

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Old 07-11-2010, 08:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoriley
Just curios if that exhaust needs occasional repacking?
I have to find the link - there is a guy who makes 'pillows' which replace regular exhaust packing. I have one in the can on my ZRX and it has held up like a dream. Service interval has gone from every couple of months to every couple of years. It also quieted everything down a bit, I'm sure at the cost of power. I like my neighbors and frequently ride early so I'm willing to make that trade off.
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Old 07-11-2010, 09:49 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trout
I have to find the link - there is a guy who makes 'pillows' which replace regular exhaust packing. I have one in the can on my ZRX and it has held up like a dream. Service interval has gone from every couple of months to every couple of years. It also quieted everything down a bit, I'm sure at the cost of power. I like my neighbors and frequently ride early so I'm willing to make that trade off.
The guy I did the RTW trip with has over 30,000km on his Akrapovic and there's no sign it's going to need repacking anytime soon. Hopefully I get the same life out of the LV.
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