AdamChandler's "Rosie Red" 2018 GS Adventure Build Thread

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by AdamChandler, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

    Joined:
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    Finally, a place to call my own and suddenly, a million moderators lay out a breathe of relief at the possibility of Adam's off-topic posts (spam to most of you) will not bleed onto dozens of threads like they did last year.

    This is my build thread, participate here at your own risk because while we may be on topic sometimes, I can't make any promises so long as at least one post per page is related to the build and actually, now that I think about it, if we go TOO off topic, mods will surely start removing posts so how about some ground rules?
    • Posts should be related to the build of my bike
    • Criticisms of how I build out the bike should be constructive (basically follow site-rules) and if you don't like it, go build your own bike the way you want
    • I may reply to you with a GIF, Meme, JPEG or MPEG file that is satirical in nature or just fun but it's just me being me and these will be funny to me and not you again, it's my build thread.
    • To people who are new here or are just finding this thread, well sorry turn back now, do not proceed! You have been warned!
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    Around these parts, I'm semi-known for taking my brand new 2017 R1200 GS Adventure and spending a lot on aftermarket accessories, powder-coating, paint correction, all kinds of stuff to make the motorcycle beautiful to me and fully ready for any adventure but when I started riding it after a winter of completely disassembling the bike, it felt so distant from a stock GSA and I was actually quite disappointed with the final product but I had spent so much, this wasn't something I spoke about here. The reason was in adding everything to the bike, I made it very heavy, likely 75 pounds heavier than stock and on the road, this was awesome. Off road, the bike lugged around like a fat pig. I also am a person who never owned Japanese bikes where you could break stuff and easily replace / modify it so I modified my GSA to the extreme, stripping threads, cross-threading, ignoring torque specs and just really screwing the bike over quite a bit and I feel as if I really lost some years on that bike and the overall reliability of it down the road. I was outside of my comfort level way too many times.

    Every modification improved the bike but in aggregate, all modifications made the bike worse than it was coming off the show-room floor. Was it a touring bike? An off-road bike? A showroom piece? a bike deserving of a museum in Berlin? I had no idea and through this experiment I did learn one thing.

    The R1200GS / Adventure is not a dirt bike. This bike is about 100 pounds heavier than a Dual sport should ever max out at so it is properly marketed as an "Adventure Bike" as it can go many places but it's going to do it slowly and you gotta pick a good line and you have no room for error when the momentum of you + 600 pounds are barreling down a hill approaching a water crossing.

    Throughout 2018, I got more and more tired of dropping the bike and breaking $500 parts, picking it up and buying tires for it as it eats knobby tires for breakfast.

    I once made an Excel spreadsheet that I'll put below. This is the price of running knobby tires full time with how many miles I ride per year: (click for full-size)
    [​IMG]

    I made this spreadsheet and a month later, I bought a street-legal dirt bike (Beta 500 RR-S) and decided to go through the last of my knobby tires and then go to a more conservative tire like the TKC70, Conti Trail Attack, etc and keep the GS on-road if I could help it.

    Here's the list of mods to my 2017:
    http://adamchandler.me/blog/2018/04...ification-and-farkle-on-my-r1200gs-adventure/

    -------

    Due to a crash in September, my 2017, R1200GS Adventure Triple Black which I paid $21,429 for a year ago was totaled out by my insurance. With 13,900 miles on the odometer, they valued the bike at what I think is a fair number.

    With my broken bike in the other room, I sat at the sales desk at Max BMW and signed on the dotted line for a 2018 R1200GS Adventure Racing Red with every bell and whistle except the alarm system (which I had on my 2009 GSA and hated because it was always going off).

    Out the door price including doc fees and other rigamarole was $20,279 with incentives, discount, specials and corporate discounts I have through my employer TomTom.

    Note, I always buy Demo / Used bikes so both my 2017 and 2018 GSA motorcycles were demos, the 2017 with 500 miles on the odometer, my 2018 with 441 miles. Given how much I ride per year, 441 miles is nothing and that meant BMW threw in two things:
    • The 600 Mile service ($350 value) was thrown in for free
    • The warranty is extended by 6 months from 36 to 42 which is true on all demo bikes and this one had only been in rotation for 2 months
    I didn't get GAP Insurance because as my salesperson said, "you're already under depreciation right now. Pay a few extra payments the first year and you'll be fine"
    -------
    Revisiting the thoughts I laid out above of over-modifying my 2017 GSA, there will be a theme to this year's modifications which is setting up the GS to be a wonderful touring bike with a consideration for my appetite for dangerous situations and I don't state that to cause my insurance to increase my rates, I mean I tend to find myself on dirt roads a lot more than I intend to mostly because of all of the riding I do in rural New Hampshire / Vermont.

    So, there are going to be a lot of similarities between this build and last year's but the approach will be a lot cleaner because last year, I bought a lot of stuff and then sold it when I discovered it wasn't going to work for me. Not doing that this year.

    What i will do on things I buy for the bike that are the same as I had on my 2017, I'm not only going to talk about the install process but the pros and cons of that modification. Risers are great for your bars if you're tall but it changes the way your bike rides. Same with shocks, different seats, different guards, etc. There are a lot of cons that may outweigh your pros and I hope to inform others of that in this thread.


    Protection:
    AltRider will be the primary company I use for protecting the GS. Last year, I mixed vendors with hardware from AltRider, Wunderlich, Touratech, Twalcom, Wild@Heart, Machine Art Moto and eBay (stuff from China). The AltRider Order I put in will be around $1700 followed by a $500 order from Touratech for their Final Drive Guard & Slider (but honestly, eBay might be where I go because the eBay final drive guard on my old bike held up really well)

    I won't run the bike without Machine Art Moto's X-Head. It in my opinion is more important than crash bars so this is essential to protecting the cylinder heads.

    Visibility:
    I plan on going Clearwater Dixi as my only auxiliary forward facing lights because the Erica + Darla Combo I ran in 2017 was very challenging with some water-ingress, wiring failures and the constant thought that the Darla Fork-Mounted lights were susceptible to snapping off in an off road crash. Every time I dropped the bike, I checked the Darlas were still intact.

    Clearwater's Dixi light uses a center-Darla light which will be my visibility light and high-beam engages the Sevina like maximum lumens which is my setup before where Darla was always on at 10%, Erica always off until I engaged High-beam so this will be a bit more light, less wiring and i think trouble-free.

    I will once again add a Billy Brake Light to my bike because people see you stopping and that's really effing important.

    Luggage: Jesse Luggage's boxes that were used when I got them worked their butt off in 2018. They sustained a lot of abuse and their new Challenger boxes look even better but one big difference for me, I ran Jesse's top box which was a lot of grief last year. I had to remove my GSA's grab handle OEM rack and buy their $200 top box rack which bolted in and was not removable and when off roading, I like to remove the top box so I'm glad to be rid of that situation so I'll likely grab an OEM BMW or Bumot Top Box that mounts to the stock GSA mount which is quick release to go with my Jesse Side-boxes.

    I have my OEM GSA Top Rack powder coated black still and my black Dog cycle works luggage rack to hold me over for now along with the Mosko Moto 40L Duffel so I'm not in need of luggage immediately anyway

    Comfort / Ergonomics:
    I'm going to talk to Rox Speed about Bar-Back risers versus the Anti-Vibration I had before. While the Anti-Vibe were nice, I want risers that are more static since I never once adjusted them since the first time I had them installed.

    I'm a big fan of Pivot Pegz so I will most likely stick with them but this is TBD as the bike will be more Touring focused so wider, static pegs without huge teeth that eat up my boot soles may be in order.

    Grip Puppies are going back on as is a heated front & rear Sargent seat. I contemplated switching to Russel but for $100, Sargent is going to re-upholster my existing seat and change the welt from grey to red to match the new bike and I'll gladly let them take up that task.

    The final element for comfort is that I will once again be changing the shocks on the GS. I know that this is a highly debated topic but I have already done 50 miles on the new GSA and the shocks are boring (to me) and I want to get back the amazing High/Low compression with responsiveness that Tractive offered.

    One of the most immediate things I noticed about the new GSA which has a static steering damper is how much I missed the progressive damper on my 2017 made by HyperPro. This upgrade is monumental and if you tour on your GS with a lot of luggage behind you, a steering damper with adjustability is essential. I can't imagine not running that now.

    Finally, Double Take Mirrors are going back on the bike

    Here is my rough estimate for this build:
    [​IMG]

    This is buying everything new at full price. I'm always on the look out for deals so don't expect this list to be accurate.

    And while this does seem like a huge list, I had over 60 receipts I submitted to insurance for my 2017 build. The new bike's build sheet will involve just 16 total orders to get everything the way I want it. It's a huge consolidation of the amount of time, money and research I put into making the 2017 GS perfect and that complication and hit or miss build is something I don't want to repeat.

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    Design / Beautification:
    One thing I haven't spoken yet about is the overall design of the new bike. What's the color scheme? I have been trying to figure that out. Red & Black are great contrasts. I run red lenses on my black Oakley carbon fiber glasses, I run red leather on my black iPhones and most of my things are red & black and I went all black / grey for the Triple Black 2017 GSA and the build was gorgeous but the problem with it was black is impossible to keep clean. Scratches show much more, they stand out and when you drop the bike a lot off-road, the beautiful black just starts to look gross in the light.

    So, I'm going to be carbon ceramic coating my red fairings and tank and hope they hold up to most surface scratches, I'll be going black for the Luggage& Racks I think but crash bars, guards, various farkles on the bike will be grey or silver. When powder coating things, I'll resist the urge to go red but black will most likely be my default if anything.

    I do want to try again to make the headers and exhaust black. I liked that look a lot and hope it holds up this time using a different method.

    --------

    I expect this build to last through Spring of 2019 when I finally get to ride the bike again. I'm going to subsequently reserve a few posts below this one for major updates.

    --------
    Last minute Housekeeping:

    Before we dive in, there are places you can stalk me before this thread is updated:
    Technology Used to Log modifications:
    The content on this report is primarily shot on iPhone XS with a DJI OSMO Gimbal as my primary video camera these days. I've sold all of my other cameras that shoot video. Helmet camera / on-Bike videos are shot with the GoPro Hero 7/6 or Session 5 with a Microphone Adapter And Shure Lavalier microphone. Still images are shot with the Canon 5D Mark III generally with my 50mm f/1.2 lens and sometimes a 24-70 f/4. I edit in Adobe Lightroom and Final Cut Pro on the iMac.

    ...and last but not least, I'm so happy to have an outlet to talk about the bike. I should have had a build thread for last year's bike but it was going to be so scattered and un-focused. This is going to be a ton of fun. Thank you all for following along.

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

    Joined:
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    September 27th, 2018. Signing Paperwork on the new bike:
    [​IMG]

    October 4th, 2018. Taking Delivery of my 2018 R1200GS Adventure:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    First Ride on the new Bike filmed on the GoPro Hero 7 at 4K 60FPS with Stabilization so it looks great although the audio clips a few times:

    #2
  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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  4. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Reserved for future update (Likely tear down of bike for design and powder coating )
    #4
  5. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    Reserved for future update (Likely finished product and first ride / video)
    #5
  6. krussell

    krussell Gravel Warrior Supporter

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    Glad to see your back on two wheels! Congrats on Red, all the cool kids ride 'em.
    #6
    AdamChandler likes this.
  7. mlbraptor

    mlbraptor Been here awhile

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    Near Charlotte, NC
    I'm looking forward to seeing how you're bike progresses....
    #7
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  8. KHuddy

    KHuddy Survivor

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    I for one am breathless with anticipation. GSA Build 2.0 should benefit from the missteps of GSA Build 1.0 and the experience gained using doodads that proved to be less useful than expected and, hopefully, the contemplative eye of your girl friend. What I most anticipate is your selection of color and coating method for riding yourself of the hideous scarlet badge of shame. Paint, vinyl wrap, matte...
    #8
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  9. lhendrik

    lhendrik Putins Puppet

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    Reserved for future snide remark :)

    So, after watching all this develop and after viewing the Youtube video of the crash, I just wanted to wish Adam good luck on the new bike build and happy he wasn't hurt in the low side crash.

    Since I have an 09 GSA and cannot really afford to upgrade to a newer bike, I'll be happy to live vicariously through Adams build..
    #9
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  10. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    the first thing I'm ordering is a set of Wera Sockets / Torx bits. The Home Depot (Husky) Torx I'm using stripped more bolts than I care to admit..a dozen MaxBMW orders due to shitty tools that had no business touching a german machine.
    #10
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  11. Beairmo

    Beairmo Keeping it real Supporter

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    QUOTE: "I won't run the bike without Machine Art Moto's X-Head. It in my opinion is more important than crash bars so this is essential to protecting the cylinder heads."

    Will be following for sure.

    I looked at the Machine Art head protection but with the factory crash bars I decided to go with the Richochet's instead. I think it adds structural strength to the crash bars and really protects the head. But its a coin toss. Just adding to your thread.

    https://ricochetoffroad.com/product...for-bmw-r1200-gs-adventure?variant=3548100611
    #11
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  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    I am definitely taking note of this thread. It looks like your experience is paying off with smarter choices of farkles!

    Edit, your GF is a saint, and a decent photog in her own right! :deal
    #12
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  13. Switchglide12

    Switchglide12 Been here awhile

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    Wow that is a lots of $$$ for mods. Adam don't take this in wrong way we are all different but, if I were you I would put that $12915 towards the note have clean title in my hand. Have fun with the new bike. That RED starting to grow on me. Hmmmm maybe time for me to change it as well.
    #13
  14. LittleWiggler

    LittleWiggler Been here awhile

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    I would recommend revisiting Black Dog stuff.
    I picked up their skid plate, risers, foot pedals, and radiator guards when replacing my bike. I had the Alt Rider stuff in parts but found the Black Dog stuff was a better fit for me.
    #14
  15. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    AltRider / Touratech Crash Bar Reinforcements + Ricochet Guards are an excellent solution for a low cost way to enhance the OEM GSA Bars versus replacing them completely. I'm still set on AltRider for a few reasons but that will have to come when it's time to install those.

    I had great email conversations with BDCW in May regarding their luggage rack and enjoyed chatting with them. Their skid plate looks very intense and while I can't personally say if their design is better or worse than AltRider's, I know that I put that skid plate through a lot of abuse and it took it. I also think it's slightly lighter than the BDCW plate but I could be wrong. The one area the AltRider falls short in general is lack of header protection. Something to consider but header guards are $50 so that's an easy fix.

    I could just buy a KLR 650 is put a deck on my house and pave my drive-way, too. :p There's better ways to spend money than a GS and further, better ways to spend money than modifying a GS which, by default is already pretty well equipped. Throw the Mosko Moto bags on it and away you go.

    The red will come out looking much better than the black. Less striking but way easier to keep clean.
    #15
  16. Tremblay

    Tremblay Been here awhile

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    If you are naming the bike Rosie, you should find someone to do some 40s style nose art on your bike.
    #16
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  17. rtrider

    rtrider Lost

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    Probably his point is that cyl protection that directly and as completely protects the cyl covers as possible is paramount. Protection against rocks that may fit between the gaps on the crash bars.

    Personally I use the MAM covers sans crash bars and I can say with confidence that they did their job when I smacked a rock hard. There is no question that the cover would have been completely punctured.

    Crash bars + something like the ricochet (there are several brands that follow that philosophy of "filling the gap" in the crash bars are probably just as good as MaM+ crash bars (save perhaps an impact hard enough that the crash bars get pushed into the cylinder - depending on the design of the crash bars).
    #17
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  18. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b Supporter

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    @rtrider / @Beairmo

    Sliding on pavement at 40MPH for 45 feet and this is how the Machine Art Moto X-Head / AltRider Crash Bars look:

    [​IMG]

    At one point, no other part of the bike was touching, just the cylinder head and sparks were flying up in my face.
    #18
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  19. murdock84

    murdock84 Been here awhile

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    Congratulations on the new bike. Looking forward to this.
    #19
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  20. Dackrover

    Dackrover Been here awhile

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    Sounds like a streamlined and improved build.

    Consider adding a steering stop again: negligible weight added, zero clutter to the cockpit.

    We know you are ultimately going to ride dirt on this one too at some point -- Beta be damned -- so remember: that alloy triple tree is the only current steering stop, striking a steel nub on the frame.

    It's an expensive repair (that can be entirely avoided) and in my direct experience, was not at all hard to cause. For me -- via a low speed, off-camber flop that left the wheels higher on the hill than the bars and tank...the weight of the drop unfortunately focusing on one handguard, turning the bars into the tank and cracking the underside of the triple clamp at the steering stop contact point.

    It sucked and wasn't cheap to repair...my tank still has love bite scars from where the bars turned through the stock stop. Compared to a couple other (imo less critical) areas you are again protecting, I urge inclusion also of another 5 ounce stop clamped to your new telelever lower pivot!

    Anyway...enjoy and cheers!
    #20
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