R1200GS Adventure - Remove petrol tank, install Hyperpro shocks

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by The Other JC, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. The Other JC

    The Other JC Lurking since 2004..

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    This will be a four part post.
    It's too long for one post.

    CURSE YOU ADVRIDER... I don't know I need stuff until I read it on these forums. :lol3

    I tried for a long time to ignore the posts on dampers, but finally it got the better of me and the itching to add stuff to the bike became too strong.

    After a lot of investigation and reading on the advantages of aftermarket shocks I finally decided on a set of Hyperpro shocks front and rear. I was not unhappy with the stock shocks, but with a tendency to bottom out on occasion I thought new shocks at 36000klm would be a nice upgrade for the bike, and make it ready for the off road trip planned this year.

    I also thought it opportune for a write up of the petrol tank removal and refit that others have asked for. It is detailed, and while it may all seem obvious, you never can know exactly what is helpful or not. Rather have more info than less. I will also add that I always take the path of caution and remove anything that seems like it will get in the way. I would rather spend an extra 20 minutes stripping items than the bikes lifetime wishing I had done a little extra to ease the job when damage occurs.

    Some discussion pages for reference on the Hyperpro shocks that helped sway my decision.


    After much consideration ($$$$$) I finally settled on a front 360 emulsion shock and rear Type 467 MX body shock with fixed reservoir. The addition of a $300 pre-loader for the rear was just too much $$ to rationalise. Speaking with Walter, the owner and resident suspension expert, it became apparent it was probably more than I needed.

    So the order was made.

    Additionally I ordered a dirtskin for the rear shock from http://www.dirtskins.com. Manuel of Dirtskins advised they could make a custom skin when I enquired for the Hyperpro given the dimensions required. I ordered a solid black 270mm circumference x 260mm length dirtskin. Very impressed with the quality. It wraps round and secures itself with Velcro. I have just found they have a custom order page which I did not know about!!.

    So with shocks and dirtskin in hand the day was upon me to start the conversion.

    [​IMG]

    Part 2 tomorrow, this is taking longer than I expected :huh ..maybe not so long, part 2 posted.
    #1
  2. The Other JC

    The Other JC Lurking since 2004..

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    Removing petrol tank.

    As noted in comments following these posts, you do not have to remove the tank to change the front shock. It was my preference, is not a difficult task and made the overall job easier.
    Removing the tank in this instance also served to document the procedure for the GS Adventure.
    If you do undertake this option and remove the top panel, I urge you not to ignore the advice to cover the fuel filler hole.
    Removing the tank is daunting the first time no doubt about it. A slow and methodical approach is always the best way.

    I always replace screws and nuts and bolts from where they come from when I take the item off the bike. This way I generally do not lose any and always know where they go back, and which size screw is required.
    This is the process I undertook.
    • Remove tank top side panels (with BMW logo)
    • Remove tank side panels
    • Remove fuel cap and top panel
    • Remove side bolts
    • Remove pump cover, unplug wires, breather hoses and fuel lines
    • Remove air box breather pipe
    • Remove tank.
    ===========================

    Rmove tank top side panels

    The BMW emblemed top tank panels are held in by two screws, the visible one and one under the tank, and also held in place with a rubber grommet just above the BMW badge.
    Remove the screws and pull the panels off. A little force is required where the grommets are concerned.

    [​IMG]

    Remove tank side panels

    The small left side panel just pulls off. The grommet hole is a part of the aluminium tank side panel.
    Undo the three screws on the aluminium cover. Gently ease the panel clip from under the top panel (at the arrow below) to remove the side panel.

    [​IMG]


    The right plastic cover is held in with a screw which also secures the right aluminium panel. Again, undo all screws and ease the corner clip from under the top panel.

    [​IMG]

    Remove fuel cap and top panel

    I am not sure others will have removed the top panel. It is my preference to do so as the chance of damaging the panel while the tank is off is too great. It also makes tank removal and refit much easier. It does not take much extra effort to remove the middle panel either.

    My first piece of advice is to cut a cardboard circle to cover the open hole. The last thing you need is a rubber bung or screw to fall into the tank. I pierce a hole in the middle with wire to lower in and take out later. Editing this post, I noticed I had put the rubbers back in the wrong way up, thanks to the photos I have now corrected this. During correction I dropped a screw into the hole. Lucky I did not take a chance without the cardboard. The screw just fell out my slightly unclenched hand.

    [​IMG]

    Undo the 6 screws evenly around, and pull off the cap when all undone. There should be 3 rubber supports under the cap, or they may be stuck to the underside of the cap. Take a moment to notice how they fit so you know how to refit.

    [​IMG]

    Undo the screws either side of the panel holding the front fairing and remove top panel off the tank.

    [​IMG]

    Replace the petrol cap to prevent crap falling in and petrol coming out.

    [​IMG]

    Remove side bolts

    Remove the left and right side bolts.
    There is metal framework at both these points, keep them with the petrol tank. They are the framework for the side panels to screw onto.

    [​IMG]

    Remove pump cover, unplug wires, breather hoses and fuel lines

    Next remove the fuel pump cover (if you have one), the wires, breather hoses and fuel lines from the tank.

    [​IMG]

    The fuel lines just clip in, push the metal clip forward and the tubes will pull out.
    Heat the breather hoses if cold, and push from the open end with a large screw driver while gently pulling also.
    Trying only to pull them off stretches the rubber tighter and makes it harder to remove.

    [​IMG]

    Remove air box breather pipe

    The Adventure petrol tank cannot be removed without the air box breather pipe also being removed.
    Firstly undo the clips that hold the breather tube in place against the airbox. Pull the clips towards you, they are held with fishhook lock so push down on the hook end to help release.

    [​IMG]

    Lift the back of the petrol tank and place a block of wood on the airbox and lower the petrol tank onto the block of wood. You now have the room to remove the breather pipe. Pull the pipe towards you to also release the rubber grommet holding the centre of the breather. Don't be shy, give it a tug. Out she pops.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Remove tank.

    You can now lift the tank free of the frame of the bike. Pull the tank backwards off the rubber holders. Put safely out the way.

    [​IMG]

    As a side point, for the curious, this is how I have my Accelerator Module fitted.

    [​IMG]

    Right, now we have the room for the shock change.
    #2
  3. The Other JC

    The Other JC Lurking since 2004..

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    Front shock replacement

    To get access to remove the front shock you will need to remove the front cross crash bar and alternator belt guard.
    To remove the front bars undo the bolt at the bottom of the engine. Not the yellow one, that is the rear frame bolt, the front crash bar is just sitting in there.
    Next remove the top screw over the cylinder. Long extension needed.

    [​IMG]

    Undo the screws and bolts holding the top and middle bar. Remove the lower bars.

    [​IMG]

    Undo the 5 screws holding the alternator belt guard. I had trouble getting the guard out.

    There is some foam at the bottom inside the guard which had stuck to the engine. Not realising it was OK to pull it off at that stage I proceeded to undo the bottom bolt holding the shock to make room to get the guard off. The bottom bolt is on tight, it had the micro encapsulated thread locking agent on it. My new breaker bar made short work of that, with heat applied before hand to help loosen the locking compound. That gave just enough wiggle room to remove the cover. If not wait till the top of the shock is also undone for more wiggle space.

    I then remove the foam and cleaned the area. The belt inspection showed no signs of wear at 36000klm, so it remained in place.

    [​IMG]

    To remove the shock undo the top nut holding the shock in place. You cannot just turn the nut as it turns the shock rod. Insert an allen key in the top and turn against the frame to allow the nut to be undone. Undo all the way, and the shock will drop down. Keep hold of rubber and washer for new shock.

    If the front forks have not already lifted themselves when the bottom bolt was remove, yank upwards on the handlebars to extend the forks to give a little more room. Remove the shock from frame by letting it drop down and pulling the top of the shock forward and out.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Installation is the reverse of removal.

    Refit the alternator cover.

    To install the shock, do the bottom bolt up first, align the top and roll the bike off the centre stand onto the side stand. The bike weight will push down the forks and allow the top nut to be installed.

    I could not torque the nut back up as there is no easy way to hold the rod from spinning that I see, so I just used hands and did it as tight as I could with locking compound on the nut. Any advice from anyone on this is welcome.

    Just one note of caution.

    The day after I had installed the shock and torqued up the bottom bolt, I discovered the bolt was only a third of the way in. The remnant locking compound caused enough friction to stop the bolt screwing in fully at the prescribed final torque, hence why I did not realise initially. Something had kept me awake that night and not knowing what it was I checked the fitting thoroughly the following morning to discover the issue.

    I noticed by looking in the open end and seeing the bolt was still way down the hole. Visible below, you can see the clean thread against the shiny previously covered thread. It was getting late and dark the previous evening and I had not noticed in my race against the setting sun as the head of the bolt was not sticking out beyond the telelever. I removed the bolt, cleaned the threads up with WD40 and steel wool wound through the thread. Refitting the bolt with Loctite 243, it wound all the way in at 40NM. Lesson learned. Yes I had to remove the tank again for this. Did not want to risk any thread damage by having pressure loaded while undoing the bolts, so took the top nut off first to release the shock, on the side stand.

    [​IMG]

    Replacing all the fairing and tank and crash bars is a reverse of removal. Take your time.

    The petrol tank sits nicely on the middle of the bike, a good place to rest when getting on an off. I had a bit of trouble with the tubes and wires getting lost under the tank during the first fit and had to take it back off a couple of times.

    [​IMG]

    Next was the turn of the rear shock. I was glad the tank was off again, it makes moving the bike around that much easier.
    #3
  4. The Other JC

    The Other JC Lurking since 2004..

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    Rear Hyperpro shock replacement

    Remove the rear wheel and exhaust silencer. I recommend soaking the silencer clamp bolt with WD40 for a while before undoing.

    Breaker bar again required to move the bottom bolt. I tried blowing some hot air into the gap by the thread to get some heat in to soften the thread locking agent. Brace the rear arm so it does not fall to the ground when the bolt comes out.

    [​IMG]

    Undo and remove the top nut and bolt, remove the shock.

    [​IMG]

    This was also an opportune moment to check the rear pads and confirm the rear break unit was sliding correctly on the sliders.

    Spread the pads with a large screw driver and confirm the break unit slides freely.

    Check this thread for full photo documentary of rear brake caliper maintenance.

    With the shock out.

    [​IMG]

    This is the plain black custom dirtskin I ordered.Did I mention I was very pleased with this item :).

    I meant to photograph the Velcro side opening, but forgot. Suffice to say you can remove the dirtskin with the shock in the bike.

    [​IMG]

    Fitting the new shock was the reverse of removing, and simple after the doing the front.

    And all back together for the test ride.

    [​IMG]

    As for my planned off road trip to Far North Queensland, well, work is getting in the way. Looks like a smaller trip instead to central Victoria will be the way to go. Oh well, there is next year. Only a 6-8 week window for the FNQ trip in reasonable conditions, and there are reports in the news of lots of water that way at the moment. :cry <br>
    #4
  5. Semper Fi

    Semper Fi Runs with Scissors

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    Very well done

    A Hall of Wisdom candidate
    #5
  6. PARIAH

    PARIAH Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to the review.
    #6
  7. zingo

    zingo @ ?

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    Good job. Thank you
    #7
  8. Garp

    Garp Long timer

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    When I switched the front shock on my 2007 GSA, I was able to reach the upper mount for the Front Shock without removing the tank.
    #8
  9. malloy

    malloy Been here awhile

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    What GARP said ^^^^.

    On my 2005 R1200GS after disconnecting the beak from the side panels I removed the 4 tank mount bolts and pulled the tank back as far as it would go. Then I used a 15 mm "crow's foot" wrench head to remove the top bolt. The rest was easy, so to speak:lol3. Thanks JVB: http://www.jimvonbaden.com/Ohlins_Shock_Install.html
    #9
  10. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud

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    Great write-up, The Other JC!

    When I first fitted my Elka shocks and then removed them later for servicing (refitting the stockers to keep the bike on the road), I only went as far as removing the top panel of the gas tank to gain access to the front shock mounting hardware. After looking at it again when I refit the Elkas, since I was now familiar with what needed done I realized I really didn't have to remove anything at all for access to the front's top nut. Everything below still had to come off, especially since the Elka shocks are a bit larger diameter than the stocker's. Just thought I'd add this as food for thought and to save some work next time you remove the front.
    #10
  11. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

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    Great write-up!

    Thanks,

    Mike
    #11
  12. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    Wow, beautiful write up. Do you do documentation for a living? Nicely done. Cheers.
    #12
  13. VanIsland Rider

    VanIsland Rider Intrepid Adventurer

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    Thanks for a great pictorial!!
    Bryan
    #13
  14. trc.rhubarb

    trc.rhubarb ZoomSplat!

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    Awesome! This is my next project once I get my pennies saved. Thank you for a thorough write-up. Looks really easy.
    #14
  15. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    Me 2. I had more trouble with the plastic crap than the actual shock mount. Mine are Wilbers and I really like them.
    #15
  16. The Other JC

    The Other JC Lurking since 2004..

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    Hey people, thanks for the input.

    To clarify for some, this was for the Adventure model, not the standard GS. The GSA tank does not move back without removing the breather pipe.

    It seems there is the choice to either move the tank or move the beak, or jdubs way (double joint fingers!!! :lol3) I chose to remove the tank.

    Removing the tank is only about a 10 minute job. Once safely out the way working on the front shock is so much easier, as is moving the bike around. I speak from my own experience when I say removing the tank is one of those daunting jobs that seems harder than it is, and so people are less inclined to attempt it.

    As stated vaguely in the Intro, experience has taught me I often save time going the longer route. 'Short cuts' have a habit of being time consuming in their own way, trying to squeeze in to turn the screw or nut, scraping knuckles, dropping spanners in small spaces. I have done and seen it all in my time.

    My main consideration was getting a good description for the tank removal that others have requested. Having the shocks to replace gave me incentive to do so. Advrider has given me so much, I like to give back.

    Regards Julian
    #16
  17. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Good write up, and well done.

    As for the ADV tank, it can be done either way. Moving it back is not hard with just disconnecting a couple hoses. You do not need to remove (and I would not recommend removing) the top cover on the tank. You run the risk of dropping stuff (the rubber spacers particularly) into the tank.

    Otherwise very well done. :thumb

    Jim :brow
    #17
  18. Loggiebone

    Loggiebone Adventurer

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    Me too! 08 GSA. Used a deep well 17mm socket and a swivel and bingo...:clap

    Even if you want to get better access you don't have to remove the tank but just slide it back enough for clearer access.
    #18
  19. AwolArn

    AwolArn Ride-Fly-Boat-Fish

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    I found this thread searching for tips on how to replace the suspension on my 07 GSA. It has 41,000 miles with the original shocks and it was way past the time to replace them. I picked up a set of gently used HyperPro's from BMWRich. I used this thread extensively to guide my way though the process. I am submitting this add-on to document a few things that I learned along the way. I am mechanically inclined, but inexperienced in doing this type of stuff. As I often tell others, I know just enough to get myself into a pickle! Many thanks to the OP, The Other JC for documenting hit replacement so well. His efforts made it so much easier. I also read a Touratech post about replacing the suspension on a GS.

    Front Shock Notes: I followed the order of the OP and removed all the side panels and gas tank. In hindsight it would have been much better for me to burn more gas out of the tank. It was move than half full, and that made it much harder to move around with all the gas sloshing around inside. I cut a small cardboard piece to cover the hole, but did not end up dropping anything in there. I'd do that again though just in case. I figured I could get to the front shock without removing the tank, but I also had a pair of malfunctioning BD Squadron lights that were wired underneath the tank.

    I purchased a decent motorcycle lift from Harbor Freight for under $90. It was on sale for 50% off. I was able to use that and rock the bike back enough to extend the forks when needed. I chose to install the top nut first, then was able to adjust the compression on the shock to fit the bottom bolt in by adjusting the height of the jack. I purchased a new wrench to hold the top bolt still while I ratcheted the top nut on. I did it all solo, and it was manageable. I took the time to clean all the bolts and nuts in the process.

    The biggest problem in the whole project was getting the dang crash bars back on. That took hours. I posted here to get help in trying to get them aligned. Another user suggested I roll the bike off the stand and make sure the front shock was compressed. That did the trick and i was able to get the bars aligned and re-installed, after much cursing and gnashing of teeth!

    Rear Shock Notes: The rear shock was much easier than the front. I did not take the rear tire off for the install. I was able to work around it and just used a ratchet strap to hole up the rear wheel while i had the shock off. To make removing the rear bolt easier, I used a cheap heat gun to warm up the swing arm. I worried that maybe I heated it up too much, but in reality, I did not. Another user suggested that you put water on it and just when the water starts to boil off, you know you are around 200*. The bolt came out with a little effort, but not so much that I was worried I'd strip it or damage anything.

    The biggest thing I did differently, is what was suggested on the Touratech write-up. They said to knock out the spacer in the lower swing arm that the bottom bolt goes through and in which the bolt hear rides. I used a socket wrench that fit the hole and hit it with a hammer and knocked it out after a couple good whacks. I cleaned the spacer and hold and put anti-seize on it and re-installed it. Their wording on this step reads: This is a very important step! Remove lower shock mount bushing from swingarm by pushing it through the hole. It may be stuck and require force to remove. Clean bushing and hole, apply anti-seize compound to exterior of bushing, before re-inserting into swingarm. (If you do not ensure the bushing floats freely in the swingarm, there is a possibility your shock bolt can not reach proper torque and risk breaking the bolt under heavy use.)

    Summary: The job was easy yet frustrating at times. One thing I bought that made it easier was a small magnetic dish to put screw and nuts in. I tried to be meticulous about everything, but I still managed to misplace screws and pieces and spent way too much time looking for shit that I dropped or misplaced. Next time I will use a spare fishing tackle tray to hold the screws and just label where they go with post it notes. I also will pay better attention with removing stuff. I failed to notice that the center piece of the lower crash bar is built slightly off center, so it has to be put back the same way it was taken off. 50-50 chance to get it right means I'll be wrong 80% of the time, and I was on this endeavor too. I didn't keep track of the time spent because I also did several other projects in conjunction with this. Besides replacing the wiring on my Squadrons, I also installed Maier mud slings, and did a canisterectomy, and cleaned up some other loose wiring issues. One thing I did the last day I worked on it was to put my cell phone in airplane mode so I was interrupted as much. All-in-all, it's a straightforward task, just in-depth and one to pay attention to. It's a great way to learn about the bike and to test your mechanical mettle. I was frustrated at time and beat the floor with a hammer once or twice...but that's how it goes when you're learning sometimes. Hope this helps someone else along the way. Cheers!
    #19