Beemer Beemer chicken deener!

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JMo (& piglet), Apr 16, 2018.

  1. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Nice Doubletakes! How were your knees on the panels after that day? I rode the first Roaming Rally on a DR650 with an aftermarket seat that had piping around it, that left a mark for a few days.:lol3

    And another off topic pic for a little colour not to hijack your thread:krusty
    [​IMG]
    #81
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  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Yep, they work pretty well (although I admit I never even rode the bike with the stock mirrors), with only some vibration at higher speeds.

    As for my knees, when seated the bike is fine (and I do tend to stay seated as much as I can at the moment since the stock pegs are so uncomfortable when standing!) it's only really when you stand up do you notice how the tank splays them out as you move forward against the tank... Therefore to answer Jungle's question too - having ridden the bike over a series of seriously high-mileage days recently, I haven't found the seat particularly uncomfortable, although I think the US bikes get the low seat since the padding under your bum doesn't seem especially thick, and I do tend to start squirming around once you go past the 400 mile mark...

    Because I'm running the standard travel LEVEL 1 suspension on my bike, personally I could easily handle an inch or more foam in the seat and not feel the bike was too high.

    Jx
    #82
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  3. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    Good info, sounds like a footpeg mod will be in the works from your friends with the wheels and suspension. That being said stiffer boots would help too.
    #83
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  4. Monterey_BS

    Monterey_BS On or Off - not sure Supporter

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    Since the G3GS pegs are almost an exact copy (a bit wider and longer) of the original G/S pegs, you could just swap in some Pivot Pegs 'til some platforms show up, or not...
    upload_2018-5-10_7-56-36.png
    The RR folks have got a lot on their plate and I've no idea where platforms are in the queue.
    #84
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  5. Dillo

    Dillo Almost Awesome

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    What sort of mileage do you think you'll end up getting out of the Shinkos? They look like they're holding up well so far.
    #85
  6. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Dillo - they are actually Continental TKC80s on my bike... so far I've covered just over 4500 miles, and the rear is about 2/3rds worn. The front is doing very well, with no sign of ramping of the blocks yet (although this tends to happen more under aggressive braking).

    Jx
    #86
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  7. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Day 12: Friday 4th of May 2018: Oklahoma City OK to Grants NM

    628 miles.

    Life on the road...

    "Wake up Piglet, we've got another huge day ahead of us..."

    I really felt I'd pushed myself to the limit yesterday - not that 650 miles in itself is not far enough on a small capacity single, but particularly as I'd spent all day riding trails and rural roads, and eating well and chatting with locals (at the TAT Stop), before then deciding to embark on another 400 mile shlep on the interstate late into the night... and I was still over 1000 miles from my ultimate destination of Cottonwood, where I'd planned to be by tomorrow evening.


    There was only one thing for it really: Waffles.

    [​IMG]
    photo. I'd been given a 'free waffle' token at the branch in Roanaoke (goodness, that already felt like a lifetime ago!), so thought I'd best get my syrup fix before their locations petered out the further west I went...

    For here on in, I figured there would be nothing much to report on today - the world flashed by in a blur of iPod enhanced surreality - punctuated by fuel stops typically every 130-150 miles and the regular ingestion of sugar and caffeine - sometimes a combination of solid and liquid form, but most usually combined in a single can.

    I have to say, while I consider the G310GS perfectly comfortable cruising at higher highways speeds - I found, as John from Rally-Raid had also suggested, that the bike is probably sweeter (and feels less stressed) cruising at 70mph rather than trying to push 80mph... although it will certainly do that too with out much complaining - certainly on the flat and without too much of a headwind - however, the fuel economy does seem to take a dramatic dive over 75mph...

    [​IMG]
    photo. stopping for a little roadside relief, I pulled off the main interstate onto the frontage road and realised that Route 66 actually shadows I40 for much (in fact pretty much all) of the distance through western Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico... I mention this here for anyone contemplating riding the entire length of the Mother Road - my advice is, don't bother (unless you're planning on doing it on a Monkey-bike or roller skates), it is dull as hell... trust me - the best part of R66 is from Williams AZ west.

    I had plenty of helmet time to start drawing up a list of likes and dislikes so far (I'll post these in a separate list a little later), and on the whole I was increasingly impressed with the way the bike was handling the mundanity of a long highway journey, certainly now the engine had really begun to loosen up (have passed over the 2500 mile mark a while back now)...

    However, if I'm honest - this kind of riding was not it's forte, yes it will do it, and do it comfortably (ergonomically) and reasonably fuel-efficiently too, but so far this trip, the bike has not really offered me anything that my Honda CB500X does while feeling far less stressed and with a significantly longer fuel range and more comfortable seat.

    I will continue to reserve judgement of course - certainly until I've had a proper chance to really put the GS through it's paces off-road (which would have to wait until I got to Moab the following week) - terrain where I trust the 50+lb lighter weight of the GS (despite the 25% power and torque deficit) is likely to give you a little more margin for error, if not make the bike 'feel' ultimately more capable off road*, or at least be ultimately less wearing to pilot in really technical terrain.

    *note. I'm speculating here, as I consider myself pretty handy on-board the 430lb Honda CB500X, and that the Rally-Raid kit fitted to that bike gives you the confidence to ride it much as you would a 650cc class dual-sport thumper - indeed, you really are only aware of it's weight when you are faced with a steep/step climb, and/or have to pick it up, otherwise, it is incredibly nimble and has excellent traction for it's size and weight - honestly, I really do believe it is the BEST 'Adventure' bike with regard to combined on and off road performance... as John and I designed it to be of course ;o)

    Sorry, my mind was slipping away from the task and subject in hand there for a moment - time we stopped for fuel again Piglet... uh oh, look at the fuel range!

    [​IMG]
    photo. I rolled into a gas station in Amarillo Texas on fumes (in fact I want to say I even felt the bike hiccup briefly at the intersection off the interstate), and sure enough, it appears I had maxed-out it's range on this particular leg:

    [​IMG]
    photo. I think someone is lying - either the BMW tank capacity is a touch larger than advertised, or that Shell need to calibrate their pump more accurately (although I did fill it part way up the filler neck too!)

    So with the pithy consideration that I might just drop Tony Christie (and Peter Kay, UK fans ;o) a note that the way to Amarillo is indeed straight along the I40, I ploughed on through the hot afternoon towards the next state-line, New Mexico. With the wind picking up, and an average speed of 67mph on the comprehensive dash display (the wealth of information is one of the things I like about the baby Beemer, although it's design is a little fussy), my economy had now dipped into the high forties... yep, I really might as well be on the Honda for this kind of riding - it would feel both more relaxed, and be more economic!

    By mid afternoon (3pm) I'd reached Tucumari NM - and this is where my 1000 mile Iron-butt would have ended if I'd counted all the way from Counce TN the previous morning - ie. 6 hours* more riding on top of what I'd already managed before hitting the motel at midnight last night, so technically I could have completed the distance in about 21 hours - although not something I would even consider based on the route and timing I'd actually taken...

    *7 hours actually, I'm sure there was a time zone crossing in there somewhere!

    [​IMG]
    photo. This was on the old Route 66 near Moriarty NM (as part of a fruitless attempt to find a Starbucks that was showing in my outdated 2015 GPS database) - if God was giving me a sign, it wasn't to where I could find a proper cup of coffee!

    I finally sated my lack of caffeine with a quad-shot of espresso and a correspondingly high-octane refuel of the bike too in Albuquerque NM - it was starting to get chilly now (a quick glance at my GPS showed I'd been steadily climbing all afternoon as the sun was going down, and had been riding at over 7000ft - so no wonder!), and continued counting down the miles towards another Motel 6 (in Grants NM), where I finally decompressed the day while taking the opportunity to launder all my clothes from this past week, in preparation prior to spending the next few days camping with friends.

    Sitting there in my last clean set of underwear and a sarong (what a vision eh?) - I totted up some numbers: rolling into the motel car-park at 8.30pm, I'd racked up another 628 miles today - which since leaving Counce TN yesterday at 9am, means I'd covered 1280 miles in just less than 36 hours, so not quite an IBA 'Bun-burner' then (which is 1500 miles in 36 hours), but still pretty impressive for such a small capacity machine I thought.

    Interestingly, I had actually covered the last 1000 miles from Brinkley AK in approximately 28 hours, so factoring in the 8 hours I spent in a motel from midnight last night, technically I could have ridden an 1000 mile Iron-butt had I not elected to start late afternoon and also take a break overnight... although I'm not sure I'd want to spend 20+ hours* on any bike, especially not straight through!

    *note. it would actually have been around 21 hours when you consider the time change.

    In other news, apparently I didn't quite make it Back to the Future either, having only managed to max-out the G310 at 87.6mph this afternoon.

    More soon...

    Jenny x
    #87
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  8. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Day 13: Saturday 5th of May 2018: Grants NM to Cottonwood AZ

    348 miles.

    "Pie, and Pancaked rubbers"

    7am alarm: I really didn't know what day it was anymore... ah Saturday, according to my freshly charged phone piled high on my stack of clean laundry.

    I elected to forfeit breakfast now (other than a splash of free coffee for the motel reception, which I have to say was more than reasonable in this instance) for the promise of a tasty pie a few miles - 67 as it turned out - down the [dirt] road...

    I'd stayed in Grants before in the past, right after a pretty epic day of dirt road riding north, en route for Colorado - and knew of a network of fun trails that ran north and south to the west of here.

    However, I had commitments in Arizona that afternoon, so elected to take a more direct dirt road south via Pie Town New Mexico, a section of road which actually forms part of the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada.

    [​IMG]
    photo. I don't know what's at the end of the rainbow, but I'm pretty confident that I know what I'll find at the end of this road...

    [​IMG]
    photo. this was my initial destination - the Pie-o-neer restaurant in Pie Town, which I last visited ten year's ago when riding my Yamaha XT660Z - that happened to be another black, single cylinder, ADV bike, with minimal luggage - I seem to have a thing for those ;o)

    edit. aha, here's a photo of that very instance!

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately this time my beloved Pie-o-neer was closed (I hope not indefinitely), so I took my pick of the two other establishments on this dusty main street (which is effectively highway 60), electing to eat from the plate less populated, and try the Pie Town Cafe which was 'under new management' and spread the pie love around...

    [​IMG]

    While it may not have been the best piece of pie I'd ever had (no whipped cream, no ice-cream!), it was an interesting twist on a traditional apple pie with green chilli and pine nuts - a quick google seems to suggest that '[New] Mexican apple pie' is indeed a genuine thing, and not just the bastard brain-child of a sun-addled hippy who lives off the grid in the middle of the desert. ahem.

    I have to say, the new owners were very relaxed, topped up my coffee with an attentive but not obtrusive regularity, and let me avail myself of their reasonably efficient WiFi to upload a few photos from the previous days. It was also getting proper warm sitting outside in the sun. Result!

    But it was still like three hundred miles to Cottonwood the way I intended to go, so it was time to split.

    A few notes from the road: Great Donut/lunch restaurant in Show Low AZ - I can recommend the Crunchy Pig sandwich (don't tell Piglet!) and their brew coffee is not bad either... however, the icing on the cake, both literally and metaphorically is their traditional glazed donuts - divine!

    It was a fun ride/route that afternoon winding my way west though the Arizona highlands (still typically 7000+ feet around these parts), and I picked up a fun and fast dirt section: 'Fire Control Road' that cuts the corner of highway 260 north of Payson, and is highlighted on the Butler Map of AZ (FS64) as a recommended through route on dirt - nice.

    However, as I was ragging along at 50 even 60 mph on the loose gravel (this bike is actually deceptively fast off-road with the Rally Raid suspension fitted), I started to notice a bit of chattering from the rear end...

    Nothing seemed much out of the ordinary, although I recalled an email that John had forwarded me from another G310GS owner who'd just got back from a big cross-country ride (around 4000 miles as I recalled) and said that his cush-drive rubbers had worn significantly and prematurely, and had been replaced under warranty by his dealer - and who was passing this info on for both Amy [Harburg, who's riding from Mongolia to the UK] and myself [all over North America this summer] to keep an eye on things.

    Sure enough, when I inspected the cush-drive there was now at least a good quarter inch of fore/aft movement of the sprocket - so it was actually pretty f**ked after what was currently only 3500 miles, and of primarily on-road riding. Now that is a bit disappointing I have to say.

    Still, there was nothing I could do for now (until I got to camp, where I'd have facilities to service the bike), so took it easy for the rest of the ride into Cottonwood. A sign said that the next dirt road I'd intended to take (708 between Strawberry and Verde lakes) was closed part the way along, which was a further disappointment but would at least mean I put less stress on those cush rubbers; and I have to say, the long decent through the Fossil Springs Wilderness along hwy 260 to Camp Verde (another highlighted 'gold road' on the Butler maps in case you were wondering), was a joyful compensation.

    cont.
    #88
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  9. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    cont.

    Day 14 & 15: Sunday 6th/Monday 7th May 2018: Cottonwood AZ.

    I have to admit, I was utterly exhausted after these past few days hammering across the country. Fortunately it was lovely and warm in Cottonwood, the campsite agreeable with clean facilities, and the perfect opportunity to finally relax with friends, and to check over the bike which had now covered over 3800 miles since it had first turned a wheel out of the dealer in Roanoke just two weeks ago!

    Rather than prop-up my bike on rocks or logs in lieu of a centre stand (don't get me started on that subject again!), I was able to borrow a hydraulic lift-rack that a friend uses to carry her trail-bike on the back of her car, and plugged it into the receiver hitch on Lisa's 4Runner:

    [​IMG]

    I'd elected to spend the day around camp today (rather than go out trail riding with the tiddlers), not least as I was not feeling great with both blocked sinuses plus a chesty cough that I'd been nursing this past week, and which the long days on the road had exacerbated. the weather was also proper roasty too, so I factored this would be a good opportunity to finally get a day off, and get to know the bike a little better.

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    photo. Access to the rear shock is really easy on this bike, one of things I consider a positive for my list (see below).

    I wanted to try and reduce the preload on the spring. For info. the shock (120 weight spring on my bike) comes set from the factory with 11mm of static preload already added, and I'd specified the remote preload adjuster to allow me to quickly dial in the exact amount of sag I'd require, depending on the load being carried - typically trail-riding unladen vs. riding with all my luggage attached). However, during the initial set up of the bike, I considered that I already had more than enough preload for my weight and preference, and so the hydraulic adjuster (which offers around 10mm range of adjustment) had remained in the minimum position, rather than somewhere between the two which is far more preferable.

    So removing the shock allowed me to easily wind back the base setting a few turns (5mm), which in turn could be reinstated by setting the remote adjuster in the mid position, allowing me to add or reduce the preload by 5mm in each direction. Bingo.

    I also pulled the rear wheel, and inspected the worn cush-drive rubbers - sure enough, the three fingers of the sprocket carrier were now loose between the compressed rubber cushions on either side - so as a temporary repair I packed the free space with strips of rubber cut from an old inner-tube (a trick I'd picked up from the XT660Z owners forum - another bike which tended to suffer from premature cush-rubber wear, albeit not quite as quickly as the G310 seems to have worn).

    [​IMG]
    photo. Initially I tried two strips of rubber (one either side of each finger on the sprocket carrier), but ultimately it would only go together using a single piece in each segment.

    The other thing I wanted to try was to fit the taller screen that Rally Raid had included with my order. Initially I had wanted to see how the stock screen handled riding big distances (plus I really liked the all black look of the polythene screen you get on the US bikes), then would be in the position to make a proper comparison with the Rally-Raid Adventure screen during the next leg of this cross-country trip.

    [​IMG]
    photo. Tall screen fitted, and minimal luggage - all you really need to cross the country ;o)

    Although I didn't get much of an opportunity to test the screen at higher speed until I left Cottonwood for California on the Tuesday, I have to say it does make an appreciably difference to the wind noise that I get from my Icon Variant Dual-sport/Adventure style helmet... Certainly when I'm on my Honda (with the Honda Accessory Tall screen fitted) I notice a considerable wind-roar from the sides of the peak on that helmet when travelling above 60mph. On the GS (with the stock screen) it was already appreciably quieter, and I'd experimented with raising my hand to approximately the height of the Rally Raid screen which seemed to cut the noise even further.

    Sure enough - for my height and wearing this particular helmet at least, the tall screen on the GS, makes a noticeable difference particularly at higher highway speeds, and especially if you just dip your head/the peak of the helmet slightly so that the wind is deflected over the top. it was so much quieter than I was used to [on the Honda] that I could even hear my iPod without having the volume cranked up to the max.

    I really enjoyed the time off the bike, soaking up some sun and catching up with my riding buddies. Ultimately however, it transpired that the next stage of my plan would have to change slightly - I had hoped to head straight up to Moab after this sojourn, meet with Juan Browne, and put together some video of the bike in action on the slick-rock trails and more technical terrain you get in that area.

    However, logistically this would then make getting my bike registered in California (it is currently on a temporary tag from Virginia of course) a bit of shlep, particularly as I also had committed to (and paid for!) attending the Overland Expo back in Flagstaff the following weekend (18-20th May). I was also a bit narked at the worn cush-drive - it wasn't a deal breaker by any means, but I'd want to register the issue with a dealer at least, and try and get some replacement rubbers as soon as possible.

    So I elected to head straight for California this coming week instead, get the bike sorted (included a couple of wiring jobs I wanted to incorporate during the initial build, but had run out of time), and basically really get everything dialled-in properly before heading to Moab to meet Juan the week after Expo instead. In turn, this logistical about-turn would mean that rather than have to leave the bike in California while I returned to the UK next month, I could feasibly leave it somewhere more in the middle (either Utah or Colorado), and collect it again early in July - dramatically reducing the amount of time it would take to get back across the country to my scheduled commitments in Toronto and the following week in Iowa at the BMW MOA rally (where I intend to debut my dedicated G310GS video/slide show of the adventure so far...)

    This would mean another long road ride of course - something I was getting used to by now admittedly, but which turned out to be the longest ride yet!

    More soon!

    Jenny x
    #89
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Day 16: Tuesday 8th of May 2018: Cottonwood AZ to San Jose CA - yes really, in one day, on a 300cc bike.

    746.1 miles (that 0.1 is important you know!)

    As if two 1000+ kilometre days last week were not enough, I think today proved the ultimate long-distance capability of this bike beyond any doubt!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Honestly, there really isn't much to report (or that I can even recall) about this particular day, other than a tasty breakfast sandwich at the Red Rooster Cafe in Cottonwood (I can recommend everything I had - including the bacon & goat's cheese on sourdough sandwich, the banana & blueberry smoothie, although it was quite possibly the smallest 'double' espresso I've ever inhaled) before hitting the road at about 10am.

    On average I'd be stopping about every 2-2.5 hours to refuel, and as I crossed into California (having detoured off the I40 along what I consider is the nicest part of Route 66 - between Kingman and Needles, via the cowboy/donkey town of Oatman), the weather got proper hot*

    *Lisa (who was driving her car about an hour ahead of me the whole way) later confirmed it reached 106°F across the Mohave Desert east of Barstow that afternoon.

    I knuckled down, dipped my peak a touch to minimise that wind roar, and cranked up the tunes in my earphones. The ride was uneventful, other than fighting against a strong headwind as I rode up the pass near Tehachapi - the fuel economy dropping to as little as 39mpg while trying to maintain close to 70mph as I could - WTF?!

    As the evening got cooler, and the wind subsided, I settled into a peaceful and almost trancelike state for the final shlep up I5 - pausing only to ingest over twelve hundred calories courtesy of Carl's Jr. and finally rolling onto Lisa's driveway at two minutes to midnight.

    The odometer clicked over 4590 miles as I pushed the bike into the garage.

    Crossing the country - done!

    Jenny x
    #90
  11. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    I used to live in Ash Fork AZ on old route 66. I miss that country.
    #91
  12. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    So a quick summary of my thoughts on the new bike, now that I've racked up nearly 5000 miles (in three weeks of ownership to the day today).

    To recap, before flying to the east coast and collecting the bike from the supplying dealer (Frontline Eurosports in Roanoke/Salem), I'd probably ridden a G310GS less than a mile, and spent as little time actually looking over the bike, other than the photos and information that John at Rally Raid had been sharing between us of course.

    Unlike the Honda CB500X 'Adventure' project which I'd been instrumental in developing, the G310 range of upgrades has been much more of John's own work - and while they are effectively a derivative of what we'd already developed for the Honda (ie. dedicated heavy-duty spoked wheels with tubed/tubeless options that accept all the OEM drive and braking components, together with a choice of standard travel or longer travel high quality and adjustable front and rear suspension; plus substantial engine protection and a range of ergonomic and longer-distance travel specific accessories), I'd not spent any time myself on the pre-production examples, so would effectively be approaching this build and subsequent 'adventure' on the bike in just the same way as any other regular customer might be - and therefore the perfect opportunity to appraise the bike more objectively that otherwise perhaps?

    I will be putting together a series of build hints and tips over on the main Rally Raid G301GS Vendor thread (as that is likely to be more useful posted there), but generally speaking, the kit went together perfectly, and was very straightforward to fit (My LEVEL 1 GS kit being less time-consuming than the equivalent LEVEL 2 Honda kit, which gives that bike similar travel, ground clearance and wheel size/wheelbase as the GS has as standard).

    One thing I did appreciate with the GS was how easy it was to remove a lot of the superficial plastic parts: the chain guard and shock protector for example are separate items that you can leave off or replace individually as required*. Another example is the front fender bolts on using 3 x 5mm allen head bolts each side, and can be completely removed while the brake hose stays in place - meaning that if conditions got particularly muddy, you could feasibly continue with the fender bungeed to your back seat/luggage.

    The rear fender extension (and stupid rear light location) is very easy to remove and replace with the R&G Tail-tide assembly, and if you choose the red rear lamp lens option as I did, I think looks very factory still with the OEM rear turn signals reattached?

    [​IMG]

    I noted that the headlight bulb is also easy to access too if required. Conversely however, it does seem rather difficult (or at least long-winded) to remove the fairing and other bodywork panels to gain access for wiring-in accessories neatly for example.


    *One thing I did have to do (you may notice that initially I had not refitted the rear shock guard) is to trim the plastic with a Dremel if you want to fit the remote hydraulic preload adjuster, but otherwise everything is completely bolt on, and therefore off again should you ever wish to remove the kit and revert to standard.

    [​IMG]

    So, having ridden this bike right across the country, on a mix of dirt roads and trails, back roads and byways, and a huge amount of highway and interstate miles too - what are my conclusions so far?

    In no particular order - Things I like (and don't like, where related):

    1. Generally speaking, the body/plastic parts all strip down relatively easily, and all seem to be secured using the same size 5mm allen head bolts - meaning you really only need that size tool readily to hand. However, I did notice that rather than use captive nuts welded to the frame, almost everything is secured using the clip/spring-nuts, which is cheap, and doesn't provide as easy/secure location until the bolt is done up (ie. they can slide around a bit on their respective mounting tabs.)

    2. The side stand seems suitably strong for hoiking the bike up to get a wheel off the ground. It does seem to hang down rather low and directly under the left hand footrest, but so far has not proved to be a liability.

    3. The fuel economy is good. Initially while keeping the bike under 60mph, I got as high as 67mpg, and typically 62mpg was my average according to the dash display. However, it does start to increase once the speed rises - 70mph or thereabouts sees it drop to 57mpg (and as low as 48-50mpg in a head wind), while pushing 75-80mph means I didn't get over 50mpg, and as low as 39mph into that strong headwind and uphill over Tehachapi on Tuesday. note. This is based on the dash readout, not calculations between actual fuel fill-ups.

    I'd say that at typical trail riding speeds (ie. sub 60mph on the pavement and around 30-40mph off-road), you will get 60+mpg even on the TKC80 tyres, which is technically close to a 180 mile range. I do like the fact that the dash offers fuel/miles remaining display too. Realistically though, you need to factor that 150 miles is about your limit on the stock tank.

    4. The headlight low beam I thought was very good - the high beam conversely, is useless - removing all the foreground light but not giving any appreciable penetration further down the road. edit. it turns out the High-beam is much better once the headlight is adjusted down slightly - see later posts...

    5. I've already mentioned the dash display in the main text and some of the functionality above - it has two trips, fuel range, engine temperature, average speed, plus a gear indicator together with the traditional fuel gauge, revs, speedo and clock.

    The one button control does take a little getting used to (I did bump the year to 19 at one point, requiring me to press the button over and over another 99 times to get it back to 18) and I do wonder if a date function is strictly necessary (especially as it has that silly month first then day/year order so beloved of Americans ;o) The downside of having such a comprehensive display is that the single button means you also have to step through every function in order, rather than have the ability to skip backwards and forwards between your favourites as desired.

    6. The side cheek panels below the seat on either side have actually proved to be really useful - I can stow all of the tools and bodge-it spares I carry on my Honda under here too (including a trio of MotionPro T6 tyre-iron/wheel wrenches), other than my 12v compressor. However, I do wonder why BMW made these panels so bulbous (unless stowage was the intention), as it means my Giant Loop Coyote has already rubbed the paint away on either side.

    7. I like the easy access to (and simple number of) fuses under the seat - however, it is a shame there is not a dedicated fused 12v auxiliary socket under there for attaching accessories and or heated gear if you wished. The seat (and latch) itself is very easy to operate and secure on and off as required.

    8. I like the fact there is plenty of hose/cable/wiring length as standard. I have fitted the taller RC High bend fat-bars, with risers and 10mm spacers (so approximately 45mm higher than the OEM bars in total) and the cables do not appear to be at their limit yet, although I did have to release one of the cable ties on the headstock that holds the loom, and reattach the wiring to the brake hose with a zip-tie instead so that there was sufficient free-play on full right hand lock.

    9. I like the fact that the pillion footrest brackets are bolt-on/easily detachable, although the location of the exhaust mount means you'd need to replace the right hand assembly with something similar to support the silencer.

    10. I like it's general on-road refinement - especially when you consider it is a small capacity single cylinder engine. It does seem to be a bit buzzy and vibrate around the 5000-6000rpm mark - something that can affect a number of single cylinder machines on the highway (they all have a rough/sweet spot it seems), but it does smooth out again once you get over 6750rpm, and is more than acceptable at 70-80mph. However, if you touch the tank side panels, you can feel it's heart is busy buzzing away under there.

    Things I don't particularly like (most are quantifiable, some more subjective I admit):

    1. The stock footpegs. They look great, but are far too small and skinny for standing up on for any period of time. Now I know I'm wearing some pretty soft touring boots on this ride, but really, the pegs are so uncomfortable, and also too short - my boots feel like they are about to slip off the ends the whole time. I really hope John can get a version of the CB500X platform pegs to me as soon as possible, as I'm not really looking forward to riding this bike aggressively off-road with the stock pegs.

    2. The rear brake pedal is a little low (as a number of reviewers/owners have already commentated) and is unadjustable. you get used to it, but it's not ideal for off-road riding. Conversely, the gear shift leaver is easily adjustable - I wish they'd had the forethought to include a similar threaded adjustment for the brake too.

    3. Both the gear lever and the brake pedal are cheap and rather clumsy looking pressed steel parts. However, in general steel is a good material for such extremities, as it can be bent back into shape rather than snap. I'll be interested to see how they fare in the rocky terrain around Moab at the end of this month, but so far they work, and I have to say, the gearbox on this bike is a delight to use with or without the clutch.

    4. The stock front brake and clutch levers work well enough, but are way too long (to fit neatly with hand guards) and unadjustable. I find their span and action fine, but would prefer a more tactile and adjustable throw set. Again, this is something Rally Raid intend to offer very soon.

    5. Cush-drive rubbers. Mine were seriously worn at well under 4000 miles. I'll be speaking to the dealer about some replacements asap.

    6. Air-box access. While the packaging of the reverse cylinder engine dictates the airbox/filter needs to be high up under the front of the tank (a good thing, especially when crossing deep water or in dusty conditions), it seems inordinately tricky to gain access to the filter to check it/clean it/replace it as required. I know the service schedule only suggests replacement every 12,000 miles, but if you were riding in a group in dusty conditions, you want to inspect and potentially change it much more frequently than that. I need to get my spanners out now I'm back home in the workshop, but it appears you have to remove half the body panels just to get at the filter cover.

    7. Fuel-filler splash back. I noticed more than a few times that the angle you hold the pump hose can result in quite serious splash-back when filling - resulting in a Long Way Round Ewan-get's-fuel-in-his-eye scenario. You do need to be careful, and I've found that angling the nozzle slightly towards the rear of the tank seems to help minimise any splash-back.

    8. Mirrors. I never even rode the bike with them so cannot comment on their effectiveness, but to me the OEM mirrors seemed very small and not much use. I fitted the Double Take ADV mirrors on RAM mounts straight away, and while they do buzz a little at higher speeds, they offer a nice wide field of vision on this bike I've found.

    9. Coolant bottle access - again, much as with the air filter - the coolant overflow (and level indicator) is hidden underneath the right hand fairing side, and seems rather tricky to access/top up, never mind actually try and read the reservoir level.

    10. Tank covers/side panels. While seated I find the ergonomics pretty much spot on with this bike (keeping in mind the scooped seat doesn't really offer you a lot of room to move around), conversely I've found that when standing up, the side panels on the tank splay your knees out far further than you'd like. This is particularly irksome, as they are essentially cosmetic trim to make the tank assembly appear larger and more macho (in the style of the 1200GS) than it actually needs to be, especially when the internal tank is the same 11 litre size as the R version. I do hope that either BMW themselves or at least the aftermarket offer a larger fuel tank for this bike, that actually utilises that otherwise wasted space - then I wouldn't mind the knee splay quite so much! Certainly my Honda CB500X has a far narrower width between the knees when standing - although admittedly the pegs are located a little further back.

    11. On a more subjective, but related note to the above - I generally find the bodywork/styling overly fussy (this is a BMW trait in general of course). Where Honda might incorporate a swage or scallop primarily for ergonomic reasons, BMW seem to add recesses, steps and other '3D' detailing just for the sake of it? An example is those side panels under each side of the seat - not only are they quite bulbous in the first place, but they appear to have four 'lumps' moulded in for no reason, other than to perhaps replicate the pannier slots you get on the 1200GS. If that is the case BMW, then please tell your design team no-one, even in emerging Asia markets is going to be impressed with such superficial flim-flam.

    12. I do like the shape and general brightness of the OEM turn signals (for info. conventional bulbs, but orange with clear lenses), but feel the stalks are a little overly long, making them potentially vulnerable in the event of a drop. note. This is a US specific detail. The EU model GS's have much shorter stalks, particularly on the front.

    13. Bouncy headlight. Again, this is something previous owners have already commented on. Some might say it helps to draw attention to you when drivers are looking in the their rear-view mirror, but personally I've been a bit embarrassed when following another vehicle hoping they don't think I'm aggressively flashing them for example. That said, even oncoming traffic doesn't seem to be unduly put out by the bounce, so perhaps it's simply more noticeable when you see the reflection on a roadside sign for example?

    14. Did I mention the headlight high-beam is utter crap? Oh yes I did. It's crap. I feel a visit to MotoMinded coming on when I'm passing through Colorado Springs later this summer ;o)

    So, that's about the size of things so far.

    Overall, the bike has continued to impress me - I'd had high hopes for this machine, and in general it has not disappointed so far. I do feel there are better/more appropriate bikes (not least my own Rally Raid CB500X) for embarking on exactly the same trip as I have just done, but the fact that the 310GS can do it too just shows it's potential versatility too of course.

    The real proof of the concept of a lighter weight [than even the twin-cylinder CB500X] Adventure bike is going to be once I really get it into the rough stuff - and that starts next week with my revised trip, starting here in California and heading back to Arizona for the Overland Expo - indeed, a journey much the same as that initial proving trip I undertook with the first Rally Raid CB500X in the US back in 2015.

    From there, I'll be heading up to Moab UT, and I know Juan is itching to see what this smaller bike can achieve on the more demanding trails - film at eleven as they say.

    Then, well, the second chapter is only just beginning... but you can expect a lot more dirt, plus some entertaining stories and associate photographs of course.

    In the meantime, if anyone is looking to invest in stocks and shares, I'd suggest Starbucks, Waffle House and Motel 6 as good a place as any. Plus any and all of the petrochemical companies too of course.

    It's going to be a long hot summer - I hope you can join me!

    Toot toot for now!

    Jenny xx
    #92
  13. davidp14

    davidp14 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    402
    Location:
    va
    Was there anywhere to easily shed a few pounds from this bike? Also how do you think this bike compares to the cbx or any 250 you've ridden (I ride a wr250r) in terms of power?

    I'm always looking for a reasonable replacement for my wrr but with only 60ccs more and nearly another 100lbs on it, I'm concerned this bike will be a little underpowered in comparison.
    #93
    No-Fret likes this.
  14. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    866
    Location:
    Honduras
    Just took an hour and caught up. Fantastic update and glad to hear you're happy, for the most part, with the bike. I'll stay tuned for the next leg where you get to put it through the tough stuff.
    #94
    JMo (& piglet) likes this.
  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,251
    Location:
    California
    Hi David - yes you usually can save some weight from any bike, but you're only ever talking a few pounds (without taking hacksaw to it and fundamentally compromising/changing the nature of the beast) - certainly nothing like the 100 or so lbs required to get it anywhere near the weight of a 250cc dual-sport enduro.

    I wouldn't say it's underpowered (it has 34hp after all, not sure what the WRR actually makes), but it is still a small capacity single.

    I've not ridden the WRR for any period of time to make a direct comparison, but all told - and I'm sure you're as much an advocate as anyone for that model - the WR250R is great dual-sport/trail bike, that can be well-adapted for longer-distance Adventure riding too. There is already an established aftermarket for that bike (tank, seat, luggage. screen options) - although adding those also adds weight too of course, so the difference between a loaded WRR and this 310GS is not perhaps so marked?

    As I say, without spending some time on the Yamaha, I can't really say what the GS is going to offer you over and above what you already have - other than I can tell you it is very smooth and refined at higher highways speeds, does not get blown around too much in high winds at that speed, and has a lower seat height than the Yamaha too of course.

    I guess ultimately you need to ask yourself what you want/need to do on your bike? I've ridden this GS over a series of back-to-back high mileage days on the highway, and it coped surprisingly well with that kind of journey. How it handles more technical dirt/dual-sport riding remains to be seen, but certainly I'm confident it will go anywhere I'm prepared to take it.

    Sorry I can't be more categorical at this time...

    Jenny x
    #95
  16. davidp14

    davidp14 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    402
    Location:
    va
    Indeed I am a bit of a wrr advocate. It really is a great little bike that punches way above it' weight. I've added a full FMF exhaust and a 4.7 gal ims tank, among other things. She' s quite snappy and capable of long highway runs with no fuss.
    IMO, and many others, it's just about the fastest 250 you can buy, excluding the Germans.
    But...at the end of the day, it's still a 250. Hence my reason for asking. I'm looking for the unicorn that's got a little more power without a whole lot more weight.

    Thanks for the reply and good luck on your travels.
    #96
    JMo (& piglet) likes this.
  17. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Oddometer:
    15,561
    Location:
    New Melbourne, Newfoundland
  18. Monterey_BS

    Monterey_BS On or Off - not sure Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    359
    Location:
    Monterey County, CA
    Good thought, but the stock KTM pegs are close to twice as wide as the G3GS, so CJ's extensions won't really work. Also, because of the BMW peg design it would be almost impossible to attach this kind of extension with screws.
    #98
  19. TTGator

    TTGator 2016 BMW S1000 XR, 2018 G310 GS

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    343
    Location:
    Kernersville, NC
    @JMo (& piglet) How did you get a hold of that R&G tail tidy? Online I can only seem to find the version with the LED signals and white brake light... I much prefer the look of yours!
    #99
  20. Citizen

    Citizen Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2017
    Oddometer:
    201
    Location:
    USA
    JMo (& piglet) and TTGator like this.