Drone's BMW G650 XCountry Mods

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by DRONE, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    This bike was sold in the Flea Market--April 2012. Not monitoring this thread anymore. If you have questions for me, hit me up with a PM.
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Here's my 2009 BMW G650 XCountry. Got about 40 mods here.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here are my mods in order based roughly on cost.

    Staintune Muffler from Adventure Motostuff with Luggage Heat Guard from Advanced Performance Accessories
    [​IMG]
    I wanted this muffler mostly because I thought the BMW muffler was just too freakin big! Made the bike look lopsided. The Staintune is just under 4” in width (10cm). The muffler seemed loud at first, but the first couple of times I rode with it I watched the pedestrians and other drivers and nobody turned their head or looked at me as I went by. The heat guard is just a silicone rubber tube held in place with a hose clamp over a piece of insulating tape. I plan to use “throwover” saddlebags on the bike and this guard seemed like the simplest solution for keeping the bag from getting too close to the muffler.

    HID Driving Lights from Martin Fabrication
    [​IMG]
    I did this mod because the BMW headlight is so weak. The bulb color is 6000k. Each light draws 35 watts and even with my heated grips on “high” my voltmeter shows over 12 volts, so the stator can handle the load OK. This mod was a bitch but the light output is freakin fantastic.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I fabricated the bracket for the ballasts from 1” aluminum U-channel (I have lots more if anybody wants some.) I cut a notch for the headlamp housing, then dehorned all the edges and corners before sanding and clearcoating. I mounted it using the lower headlight bracket that bolts into the fork brace. I couldn’t figure out any other way to install the ballasts where they would be secure and wouldn’t detract too much from the overall appearance of the bike. I wire-tied the pushbutton switch to the left mirror stem—the switch is part of the Martin Fab kit and acts as a momentary switch as well as on/off.

    (Edit 6 months later: fantastic light output, but the drawdown was too much for the alternator to handle. I could only use the lights for 30 minutes or so then had to turn them off to let the battery recharge. Ended up removing them. Still looking for a better lighting mod.)

    (Edit 1 year later: see page 7. Installed Visionx/Denali Solstice LED Aux Driving Lamps. Only 20 watts total draw.)

    Custom Seat Mod from Erwin’s Custom Interiors
    [​IMG]
    This seat duplicates Kicksave’s seat. I wanted to be able to slide back to the rear of the seat more easily and I got about an inch of seat height at the same time. Ron Erwin did a great job. I shipped him the seat then called him on the phone to discuss details. He got the job turned around in about two weeks for less than $300.

    Edit (one year later): This mod did not turn out so good. The fabric split at the red/black seam in the 1st 1000 miles, and got worse as I put on more miles. I shipped it back to Erwins and they repaired it for free, but I don't have much confidence in the repair being better than the original.

    Edit (two years later): Whatever Irwin did, it was the right thing. Seat is fine now, and looks good.

    Luggage Rack from Touratech
    [​IMG]
    I don’t really like this rack. And it’s overpriced. I’m waiting for something better to come out. (Edit 6 months later: Never did find a better tail rack so I made my own. See post #37 on page 3 of this thread.)
    #1
  2. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    Custom Paint from Chambers Creek Collision
    [​IMG]
    This is a local auto body shop. Just two guys—Ron and Mike. They own the place so when you walk in there you’re talking to the boss. They helped me pick a color to match the seat and then turned the job around in a week. Nice work! About $200. Of course, my helmet and jacket are red so this fat boy is stylin!

    Shiloh Tank Bag from RKA Luggage
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I don’t carry much in my tank bag so a small one is all I need. Though the Shiloh 11 is pretty small, it barely fits. It comes with straps in a “Y” formation and large rectangular strap pads (see pic above). These pads were too big IMO and there was no good place to attach the straps in the front. So I removed the two front pads, shortened the rear pad, added a single front strap, and I’m using a gel anti-slip dashboard-style “Sticky Mat” under the bag to prevent it from moving. If you’re not familiar with dashboard sticky mats, they’re pretty amazing. Check them out on eBay—only cost $5.00—and they work great.

    X-Challenge Belly Pan with BMW Engine Bars
    [​IMG]
    I wanted a belly pan stronger than the stock BMW ABS pan. But I didn’t want a TT pan because they are so fug-ugly and bulky-looking. So I got a X-Challenge pan from another forum member. And I wanted it black so I got it powdercoated. I like the way the BMW bars look better than HB or any others.

    Handguards from Highway Dirt Bikes
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Great mod! I know a lot of guys are having trouble finding sturdy handguards that fit the '09. The BMW handguards are nice but other inmates report that they don't fit the '09, only the '07 (different bars). Check these out! Strong as hell (Edit 6 months later: bike has been down now four times in low speed tipovers and yes, the handguards are tough as nails--no apparent damage) they protect my mitts from wind and rain, plus the HDB top clamp provides a platform for mounting my grip heater control panel. Cool! The only thing I needed to do to make them fit was to drill and tap the OEM bar end plugs for M8 bolts. Then the HDB guards bolt right on. No other adjustments needed. Local machine shop did the drill/tap job for $10.

    Fuse Box from Eastern Beaver
    [​IMG]
    The fuse box is compact enough to fit under the seat and give me three switched fused power leads—nice! My three switched leads go to my HID’s, grips, and GPS. Of course, the OEM 2009 XCountry comes with a female Powerlet outlet that I use for my air compressor.

    Edit--I discovered the hard way that the OEM Powerlet socket is on the same fuse as the starter and other engine management shit. Blow this fuse and your bike is dead. Easy enough to replace the blown fuse but decided to change this setup anyway. I cut the power line to the socket and spliced it into the power line serving the HID lights. This circuit has a 25 amp fuse and there's not much chance I'll be using the lights at the same time as some kinda power hungry accessory.
    #2
  3. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    Axle Sliders from Rhino Motorcycle Products
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Got these custom made by Rhino. Really great service and great people at Rhino. Came out nice, don’t you think? There’s an aluminum rod with threaded ends that goes thru the axle—the bobbins bolt directly into it. If you want some, call or e-mail Rhino and ask for Steffen.

    Techmount GPS Platform from Cycle Gadgets
    [​IMG]
    Nothing fancy here except I used two sections of vacuum hose to dress up the nylock nuts on the back of the mounting plate.

    Oxford Heated Grips from Lockitt Corp
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Very easy mod to do and an absolute must here in the cold and wet Pacific Northwest. I chose this particular product for two reasons: the heavy-duty molded shoes that protect the wires where they attach to the grips; and the sweet little solid-state 4-position pushbutton switch. I left a gap between the throttle sleeve and the brake so there’d be room for a throttle lock should I get one. These heaters have another neat little feature – to protect the battery they automatically power off if the bike’s electrical system drops below 11.5 volts.

    LIN3 Brake Light from Needlights
    [​IMG]
    I like a brake light that’s not a running light. This LIN3 uses three LED’s and it’s as bright, if not brighter, than the OEM brake light. This was my very first mod. Cheap, easy, and extremely effective.

    Front Fender Extension from Wunderlich
    [​IMG]
    I ride a lot in the rain and so when it comes to fenders, the bigger and badder the better.

    Stainless Steel Radiator Guard from Pegasus Racing
    [​IMG]
    This is just a piece of stainless mesh, painted black, then wire-tied into place behind the OEM rad guard. Extra protection from rocks, and I like the way it looks.
    #3
  4. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    6000k H4 Halogen Bulb from Luminics USA
    [​IMG]
    To improve the lousy light from the OEM headlamp, first I tried one of those PIAA anti-shock H4 bulbs. It was an improvement, but not good enough, so I installed the Martin Fabrication HID’s (see above). The color of the HID’s is 6000k, and the color of the PIAA H4 is about 4200k. This looked funny when both lights were on—the PIAA bulb looked yellowish in comparison to the pure white HID’s. I wanted all three lights to be a good color match to each other. This Luminics bulb is just the ticket! Looks great when illuminated and as a bonus when it’s off it gives my headlight a cool BMW propeller logo kind of look. Plus they only cost $35 for two of them!

    Valve Stem Caps from Accupressure
    [​IMG]
    Yeah, I know some guys hate these things. But I like ‘em! Been using them for years. They work great for me!

    Frame Protection Hard Parts from AdvRider Inmate - MTDewX8
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Got these powdercoated but I’m guessing that I’ll be painting and repainting them to prevent rust since they’re made from mild steel. Maybe I should get them nickel-plated? :oscar

    Edit--After only about 100 miles of non-paved riding, the hardparts are worn down to shiny steel on the bottom edges. They are definitely doing the job. Great mod! And cheap!

    Another edit--Hit bottom REALLY REALLY hard while doing the Lolo Trail in Idaho fully loaded for camping (stupid) and thought for sure I'd busted something bad. But all I'd done is bent over the left side hard part and broken the lower peg mounting bolt! Incredible! Rode another 500 miles on this trip, then replaced the $10 hard part and the $6.99 bolt. Wow, these things are great!

    Vinyl Headlight Film from Xpel Technologies
    [​IMG]
    Cheap, easy protection from stones. One kit does four headlights.

    Garage Door Mini-Clicker from eBay
    [​IMG]
    How easy is this? Velcro the clicker to the brake reservoir then secure it with a wire tie. Water-resistant.

    Neodymium Signal Changer from eBay
    [​IMG]
    See those shiny rectangular blocks under my pegs? Those are neodymium magnets. They wreak havoc on the electromagnetic fields created by the inductive loop detectors that turn red lights on and off at intersections. In other words, they make my bike look like a car to an ILD. Very handy in my part of the world where 99% of the lights are ILD controlled.

    Reflective License Plate Frame from eBay
    [​IMG]
    Increases my visibility from the rear. The only drawback to this mod is it will be difficult for LEO’s to read my plate number if the traffic camera uses a flash. WAAAH!

    For you slow-witted inmates, my vanity plate says "For Escaping" but with an "x" instead of a "s" as a play on "XCountry". Get it -- 'for "X"-caping'?

    Crampbuster
    [​IMG]
    I love my throttle rocker! Oops! I mean, my Crampbuster.

    Also -- no pics for these last two mods --

    Fork Springs - .57kg from Race Tech – I got these because the .47kg BMW fork springs were too soft for me. Race Tech did not have an off-the-shelf solution for me, so these springs were custom made.

    Ride-On Tyre Treatment from Inovex Industries. No tire treatment works great on TT tires, but it will handle small punctures while giving me perfectly balanced wheels at speed.

    The two big mods still to come are a windscreen and an aux fuel tank. The aluminum X-Tank costs $700 so I’ve been waiting for the $200 polyethylene Muckpee tank. For the windscreen, I like the looks of the Marathon screen from Wunderlich, but it’s not on the market yet.

    I got a couple other mods I may or may not do, but this is it for now.
    #4
  5. Tunngavik

    Tunngavik Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    195
    Location:
    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Nobody reposponds to this post? :shog

    Amazing job man! I just got the yellow on my 2009 X Country painted black - am going to install it this weekend.
    #5
  6. marcopolo27

    marcopolo27 The Tiny Ship was Tossed!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    163
    Location:
    In the Molehills, not the Mountains
    Great mods - and a great looking bike. Thanks for sharing it with us! :freaky
    #6
  7. manshoon

    manshoon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    346
    Location:
    Pnw
    Nice stuff, I see it now, the little links....Killer looking bike
    #7
  8. Somber

    Somber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    wow, thanks for taking the time to shoot the pics, write this all up, give us links and references, etc... great work on making your bike truly one-off unique... i may have to steal an idea or two but promise I won't do everything:D
    #8
  9. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,780
    Location:
    Northside Brisbane, Qld Australia
    What are your thoughts on the Staintune exhaust?

    Noise compared to stock?

    Weight?

    Fitting?

    Any power or ride difference?

    Do the BMW engine bars protect the frame the same as the 'hard parts' do?
    #9
  10. matloik

    matloik kludge

    Joined:
    May 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,524
    Location:
    Hood River
    Very nice!!! :thumb
    #10
  11. Duckfiz

    Duckfiz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    46
    Location:
    Murphy, NC
    Man, I've been thinking about getting a X-Country and after seeing yours I may drive to Louisville to get me one. Nice Job!
    #11
  12. trailrider383

    trailrider383 867-5309

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,779
    Location:
    NP, ID
    You need to quit spending time and money on farkles and ride the damn thing!!! The nubs are still on the tires!!! :ricky
    #12
  13. jckid

    jckid Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    384
    Location:
    CA
    Super nice Xcountry! I especially like the muffler and engine bars. I'm thinking about an Xcountry myself. The one thing causing me to hesitate is the tiny gas tank, but I see you mentioned that other tanks are available. Do you have any more details on the tank options?
    #13
  14. Bike#8

    Bike#8 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Socal=Mt. Laguna & Palomar Mtn.> Now in Idaho Yea!
    Sweet bike! Lots of intelligent mods, I like it :)
    #14
  15. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    The Staintune is much louder than stock. Much louder. It's about 6 pounds lighter. Fit was perfect, no adjustments needed, but you need a new exhaust gasket and it's not included in the kit. I used gasket goop in a tube. As for power difference, I'd have to dyno it to find out.

    The "hard parts" protect the frame down there near the pegs. The engine bars I think would protect only the engine in a fall and also act as sort of a "brush guard."
    #15
  16. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    My last bike I took it out and rode it BEFORE I installed stiffer fork springs and a belly pan. Bottomed out on a rough road on my 2nd ride and cracked the crankcase -- $3600 damage. So on this bike I decided I'd do the mods FIRST, then ride it! Getting the fork springs done took the longest. As soon as they came in, I buttoned everything up, then took the pics you see above. Five hours later the bike was covered in mud.
    #16
  17. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,062
    Location:
    Chambers Bay, WA
    #17
  18. Somber

    Somber Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Oddometer:
    351
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    also check the Bike specific thread for the X-Challenge stickied at the top of Thumpers... in the mods there are several options for extra fuel - everything from 1L MSR bottles, to some universal tanks that people came up with mounting options...

    I ordered the new 1 gallon Rotopax offering covered in Vendors (including options for an ADV discount) that I play to use to drag some extra fuel along on certain trips...

    also remember that the bike gets solid mileage, as has been pointed out in several threads across the board, the range is comparable to many bikes with larger tanks because of that relative efficiency - basically I'm just saying the small tank hasn't as big of a compromise/hassle/limitation as I thought I was swallowing when I chose the X-Co
    #18
  19. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,780
    Location:
    Northside Brisbane, Qld Australia
    Thanks for that info, wish the pipe wasn't so loud.
    #19
  20. gsd4me

    gsd4me 90% bluff

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    7,944
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    I have a Staintune on my Xc. On Staintune`s web site they claim; 4hp power gain, 3 kilogram lighter, 92 DBA (@3500 RPM) up from 90 DBA, and easily fitted. I didn`t need a new gasket, just used the one from the standard muffler. They do have a bit of a bark under load, but Staintune say they comply with ADR`s and can provide documentation if needed. I reckon they`re neat.
    #20