Learnin' the trade...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BrzGSAdv, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Hi Folks!
    I own a GSA and plan to ride it to remote locations where mechanical help won't necessarily be available.

    Ok, I know these bikes are unbreakable (:D) but I am also a bit of a DIY kind of guy...

    So question is: where to find a good book/guide on BMW repair? I used to do a lot of work on my carburared 125cc back in the day but all the electronics, shafts, etc kinda give me creeps these days so wanted to be well prepared before taking any risks.

    Any online resources? As I live out of the US web-based solutions would be optimal or anything downloadable (e-book) format...

    Thanks a lot! ride on!
    #1
  2. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,435
    Location:
    On a set of 50,000 mile tires.
    #2
  3. mrt10x

    mrt10x Dumba$s Jarhead

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,217
    Location:
    Woodland Park, CO
    Clymer told me via email they are finally going to get a 1200GS specific book out by next summer... Or was it Haynes... whichever one doesnt have a crappy book out already. I know I am a lot of help :D
    #3
  4. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,631
    Location:
    Vagabond Hippie
    You changed your Avatar...can't tell what it is...and this time it does not match your UserName.
    #4
  5. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Thanks all for the help! Great resources! Looking fwd to that book!
    #5
  6. Pete O Static

    Pete O Static Adventure Seeker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    The Great White North
    Haynes has just published a very detailed service manual for the DOHC R bikes. BMW has the reprom but you will need a computer with optical drive to read it.

    Your most limiting factor will likely be which tools you can carry and have at your disposal in these remote locations. Any repair that requires a service manual to carry out is probably going to involve a tool you may not be carrying.

    A GS911 combined with a smartphone is a very compact tool which is great for diagnostics while travelling. An electronic torque wrench adapter is another very compact tool which turns any socket driver into a torque wrench.

    My advice would be a Haynes manual and review it before departure. Evaluate which tools you would most likely need and can be easily carried. Tear out the sections you feel may be needed and carry them with you in a duo tang binder. Or you could just scan the chapters you feel would be most relevant into your device.

    This book should give you more than what you really need. Best of luck with your endeavours!
    #6
  7. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Pete, sorry what you meant by "the reprom"?

    Thanks in advance!


    #7
  8. Pete O Static

    Pete O Static Adventure Seeker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    The Great White North
    "Reprom"

    The very overpriced BMW service manual in a proprietory DVD format. They sell for just over $100 USD. Would be great if it were an app or something that could be mobile but you need a laptop and to add insult to injury, it must be a Windows OS laptop. :cry
    #8
  9. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Nevermind I googled and found what the reprom is... Now question is where to buy it?

    On books: Haynes has a book that it says works for GS from 2004 to 2009, I am thinking of giving it a shot though I own a 2011 GS. Do you guys know if there are too many technical differences from 2009 to 2011 models that would make this book a DON'T?

    Some replies recommend owning a 911 tool, I visited the site, found it great, do you guys have any feedback (positive or negative) on it to justify (or not) the investment?

    Thx all!
    #9
  10. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    what about Jim von Baden's DVD's? Available here for repair and maintenance. Not portable but right now I need instruction to start with...

    Has anyone used them? Feedback welcome...

    Available here:
    http://www.hexcode.co.za/shop

    Thx all!!
    #10
  11. Pete O Static

    Pete O Static Adventure Seeker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    The Great White North

    You can buy the Reprom from any BMW dealer. I personally prefer Max BMW because you can enter your VIN# into their parts fiche. This works great because not all models of the same year are identical depending on which country your bike was made for.

    http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/PartsFiche.aspx

    http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/DiagramsMain.aspx?vid=52022&rnd=08102012

    Haynes publishes a book specifically for the 2011 DOHC.

    http://www.nippynormans.com/product...al-r1200gsadventure1200r1200rt-10-on-hay-4925

    Avaiable also at Amazon. Don't get the book for 04-09 as it is a different engine.

    Yes, a GS911 is invaluable if you intend doing your own servicing and the JVB Productions DVD is also very good. Everything he covers is also in the Reprom and Haynes manual. Having sid that, if you are not very familiar with working on the bike, the JVB DVD does a great job of demonstrating the basic service requirements.
    #11
  12. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,295
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    I see your a financial analyst,so as a DIY guy it takes more than a book & a 911 tool to properly work on a complex machine. Not trying to spoil the party but have you learned the basics of mechanical work & beyond,on motorcycles is a fair question? As a trained auto guy there's still things I don't know on bikes,even after many years riding & wrenching,e.g..
    Getting to where you do the routine maintenance is quite doable for many "shade tree's" but as you mention repairs in the boonies-that's another level entirely. Maybe one step at a time?
    #12
  13. Zuber

    Zuber Zoob

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,209
    Location:
    Main Street, Shedd, Oregon
    BMW - no user serviceable parts contained within.
    #13
  14. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Used to do a LOT on old carburated bikes... Mine + friends in the good'ol days... Idea is not to substitute my local bmw servicer but be able to know what is going on if/when in trouble on the side of the road or at least perform basic maintenance... That should be doable, no? Ah.., analyst by trade, engineer by education... Hence the willto mess with stuff!
    #14
  15. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,295
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    Kudos to you! Doing maintenance on your own bike makes the "machine connection" all the more meaningful.The real trick is to know where you are in over your head & stop. I am old enough to have zero need to toot my horn but I do know from having been a tech teacher & lots of observation that many "think" they know something & they don't.As an e.g.,the 8,000 hrs of training I had were not something that you make up for with ownership of a good manual & in reality were only the beginning of me being turned loose to direct my own work, NOT the indication of mastery & experience. I was actually a trained mechanic before I commenced the apprenticeship, it simply being a route to a particularly good job. Keep it by the numbers , as they say in the military. I/we have 3 sons that are all engineers & from living with me they know the line not to be crossed, thus that's one of those times when they talk to Dad, not Mom , on the phone with the hands on questions. I used to work with engrs on projects in industry, me the greasy guy them with their slide rules(yes, slide rules) & as many of them were young too, we had lots of fun exchanges of info.. The ones that got their hands dirty at home were often the more enlightened in practical applications, the others were a source of entertainment for the skilled tradesman. With the web these days it can be both encouraging to try stuff mechanically & informative or disastrous.Enjoy!:D
    #15
  16. BrzGSAdv

    BrzGSAdv Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    50
    Location:
    Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Thanks for the support! I could not agree more on the "machine connection", that's exactly the reason why I want to learn more... I did a lot of that in the past but these days with all the electronics it is a bit scary. Not doing anything crazy/beyond reasonable, I expect!

    Problem is that there is no training available around here (that I am aware) and I decided to have a shot at learning as much as possible on my own. A lot of great resources suggested by our folks will help there for sure!

    Thanks!


    #16