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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    I know, I was only teasing. I’m sure a good replacement will be available soon. How are your welding skills Jenny? I’m sure you could bulk them up a bit.
  2. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding... Supporter

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    Jenny, did you happen to do a weigh-in before (when 100% new) and after the conversion to see if BMW fudged the numbers at all, and if you created any significant weight saving without luggage
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  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Paul - no sorry, I did not have the facility to weigh the bike overall, although I did weigh various components and that corresponded to what John (KTMmitch) had ascertained during his development work.

    In a nutshell, the pair of spoked wheels weigh 1.15Kg more than the OEM wheels (the rear is 2kg heavier, mainly due to the size of the hub to accommodate the OEM cush-drive assembly, while the front spoked wheel is actually 0.85Kg lighter than the OEM cast version) - however, the TracTive rear shock, complete with remote preload adjuster is 1.4Kg lighter than stock - so the bike is essentially weight neutral with the spoked wheels and suspension kit fitted.

    The Scorpion exhaust also saves 2.6Kg over the OEM system, so that gives you some margin for adding the engine guard and hand-guards etc. while I also deleted the OEM rear rack on my bike (replaced with the R model grab handles instead), which saved around 2.5Kg.

    As I'm sure you are aware, it is very difficult to remove significant weight from any bike without starting to compromise it's integrity and usefulness as a genuine RTW style travel bike.

    I like to think that my set-up (with just my 27lb of luggage in a Coyote over the rear seat pad, and all my tools stashed under the seat) is about as realistic as it gets for this particular bike.

    [​IMG]

    Jx
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  4. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

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    Wow. 27lbs of luggage, I thought I was super lightweight with my 47lbs "minimalist" setup on my trip.

    [​IMG]

    Jenny you put me to shame.
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  5. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

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    Jenny, I'm seriously considering buying this "perfect-sized" Beemer. Your report is timely and awesome. Thank you!
  6. Nomad88

    Nomad88 n00b

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    Excellent write up Jenny! Looking forward to your thoughts after Moab & meeting you at the Overland Expo.

    Safe travels, Chuck.
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  7. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Thank you everyone!

    Just to let you all know the bike was finally registered in California this morning (it was on a temporary plate from Virginia during the past few weeks), so I am all good to go indefinitely now!

    [​IMG]
    photo. took me over 3 hours of sitting around in the DMV this morning, but it sailed through the inspection (even if one of the fed stickers is hidden behind the seat side panel! - good job I had my tools under the seat!), and I was able to walk out with my Cali plate.

    Although the oil change is not scheduled until 6000 miles, after so many long days at high speed on the highway last week, I'm going to replace the oil and filter again (currently 4600 miles) before heading off next week for Arizona...

    Update soon, once I'm all packed up again!

    Jenny x
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  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    Great ride report, especially your summary. Have you noticed any oil consumption after your high speed run?
  9. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider Supporter

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    Sweet!! I gotta feeling those little Beemers are going to be indestructible!
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Woodworks - so far, not a drop - but then to be honest I'd be disappointed if any modern engine started to use oil before about 20,000 miles (I know the older 1100/1200 Boxer BMWs were notorious for using oil early on, but tended to get better once they'd bedded in 10,000+ miles).

    For info. I took it easy running-in for the first 500-600 miles, trying to keep it under 6000rpm (so about 60mph in top gear) - but at the same time, was reasonably aggressive with acceleration and shut-off/deceleration to help bed-in the rings.

    Once I'd changed the oil at 600 miles I soon took it up to 7500rpm (again, much as per the instructions/suggestions in the manual), and once I'd got back on the TAT route (around the 1000 mile mark), it was then as many revs as were required ;o)

    I have to say, I noticed an appreciable loosening up of the engine again after about 2500 miles - whether that was simply due to familiarity, or that it had bedded in further after some prolonged higher-speed runs I'm not sure... but it feels pretty lively and willing now.

    Jx
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  11. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Thirsty - certainly the engine feels very strong and willing so far, and the gearbox is a gem - which ought to allay any fears (or prejudices) people may have with regard to where the engine is assembled.

    Whether the rest of the bike will stand up to prolonged use (with little maintenance) I intend to find out all over this summer - although currently, I'm confident the general build quality is sound. I'm confident that the chassis and running gear seems more than capable of handling more serious off-road riding than the initial brochure/press information might have suggested - certainly I feel this bike (with the Rally Raid kit fitted at least) is more than capable of being used in a genuine dual-sport Adventure role.

    So far, my only reservation are the cush-drive rubbers are [too] soft for even prolonged on-road, never mind off-road use; and some of the wiring looks potentially vulnerable.

    We'll see eh?

    Jx
  12. JungleDeath

    JungleDeath Been here awhile

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  13. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Jungle' - it's a Garmin Montana 600t.

    [​IMG]

    The T version has all of the north American TOPO maps built into its memory (and came in this natter camo colour scheme too, rather than plain grey) - then you can add whichever other maps you want: I use Garmin City Navigator for North America and also Europe - that software has all the street/address and routing functions you'd get with a Nuvi or Zumo, and a surprising amount of dirt-road/trail detail too, especially in the USA.

    The nice thing about the Montana (compared to any other device I've tried) is that it has a nice big screen (but not too big to crowd the cockpit), the touch screen works well with gloves, plus it has a lot more functionality to customise your routing and map options - particularly on the fly - than you get with other more road-biased units.

    It is properly shock and waterproof, and if the rechargeable battery does ever die-out on you (if you are using it as a handheld away from the bike/cradle) you can also fit AA batteries in there instead.

    I'd say it is the best dedicated bike GPS unit for on-road/off-road use you can buy (although the 600 model number has been superceded, the current Montana is still physically and technically the same).

    Jx
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  14. stevetheb

    stevetheb mashed potatoes

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    Good info, and love the reports! Thanks, Jenny!
  15. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    RTWPaul also backs the Montana. Looks a damned sight more user friendly than my old 60CSx
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  16. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Personal prepping...

    Another quick update... because I elected to come all the way back to California this past week (and get the bike registered etc. before heading back east again), once the bike was back in Lisa's garage I took the opportunity to pull various panels off and see how easy - or as it turns out, not easy - it is to access and service things like the air-filter, coolant tank, and general wiring (note. there are a pair of auxiliary 12v power tails tucked up next to the headlight behind the dash, but that necessitates pulling the whole thing apart to access them - makes the Honda auxiliary feed by the right front turn-signal a doddle in comparison!)

    So first of all, one thing I wanted to do is remove the side-stand cut out switch - not least as on this bike, the side stand hangs down precariously low, and the switch itself would be vulnerable to damage on a rock, or just by the general ingress of mud and water...

    Chasing the cable from the stand back up to the loom (it connects behind the right hand side panel - next to the rear brake master cylinder), and a bit of internet deduction - note. this info is not out there until now, although I based my assumption on a YouTube video from a guy who bypasses a similar design switch on a R1200RT - is that you need to join the middle and rear two wires from the switch together, in the case of the G310GS, this is the black/green and blue/yellow wires, leaving the red/green wire free.

    [​IMG]

    I elected to remove the switch and wiring right back to behind the side panel, and neatly joined/soldered and heat-shrinked the wires there (note this is technically reversible should you ever wish to).

    [​IMG]

    The next job was to wire in my GPS properly (to a switched 12v feed, which I prefer) and also a USB socket to the dash - something I'd not had time to do during the initial build at the dealer in Virginia.

    This necessitated pulling the whole front-end of the bike off, or more accurately, to pieces - as [typically BMW] everything seems to interlock and is held together with at least six bolts, when I'm sure just two would do!

    Still, I now know how long it's going to take should I ever need to access the air-filter:

    [​IMG]
    photo. note the snorkel just unclips with the two spring-clips, and there is a paper K&N style [albeit replaceable, not washable] filter inside.

    Behind the dash are two 12v power tails - these have covers on to protect the male terminal, but unfortunately they are not simply the regular female side, but blanking panels, so you need to purchase the correct connecters and corresponding pins to do a proper job. I did.

    [​IMG]

    I attacked the dash with a hole-saw (wood boring bit actually), and finished it with Dr. Dremel.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    photo. Waterproof covered USB socket from Rally-Raid Products.

    [​IMG]
    photo. 2 x 2A USB 5v sockets to charge your phone/camera etc. and a natty back-light when active (with the ignition on).

    cont.
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  17. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    cont.

    A few other personal details I've chosen to incorporate on my own build are as follows:

    [​IMG]
    photo. as you may have noticed from the original photos, I elected to remove the chain guard, and also the stock shock cover would not fit straight on with the remote preload adjuster fitted, which I've subsequently trimmed with the Dremel to fit around the knob.


    I chose to replace the stock mirrors with a pair of DoubleTake ADV versions (that use RAM arms and fittings) straight away - the left side fits straight into the Clutch perch clamp (traditional right-hand threaded M10 bolt hole):

    [​IMG]
    photo. You'll notice I've also included a second RAM ball on this side - useful for mounting a range of accessories - either my GoPro Session camera, an X-grip for my phone (which doubles as a remote for the camera when it's mounted lower on the engine bars) or even an iPod cradle - these things are important you know ;o)

    On the right hand/brake side, the perch clamp actually has a left-hand thread M10 hole - Rally Raid make an adaptor which is the simplest way to mount aftermarket mirrors (almost all of which have right-hand threads on both sides), but ultimately I chose to buy an inexpensive replacement mirror mount clamp, and fitted the right hand mirror RAM ball to that:

    [​IMG]

    Rather than fit an AMPS RAM ball to the Rally-Raid bar clamp to mount my GPS cradle centrally, I elected to use a bolt-through ball mount on one of the sockets so that I could still see my little BMW badge*

    *I don't actually care it's a BMW, but I really like the fact that John bothered to incorporate the recess to mount the OEM badge in there ;o)

    [​IMG]


    Other cockpit ergonomic improvements you can see above include Renthal RC High bend fat-bars in the Rally-Raid billet bar clamps, and I chose to include 10mm packers/risers to dial-in the hight to my preference... note. the combination above means the bars are about 45mm higher than standard, and there is plenty of cable length for this increase - although it is a good idea to release the left-hand switchgear wiring from the frame clip, and reattach it to the brake hose:

    [​IMG]

    This rise/sweep means my Barkbusters fit perfectly into the cut-out in the stock low screen:

    [​IMG]

    You may also notice I've drilled a second set of M8 holes (20mm centre to centre inboard of the originals) in the Barkbuster spines - this allows everything to fit very neatly around the brake master cylinder/wiring hoses etc. while the Barkbusters remain nice and level/parallel to the ground (when using their universal fat-bar mounts):

    [​IMG]

    Finally, an indulgence was to have my lower fairing panels painted to match the rest of the bodywork:

    [​IMG]
    photo. Keeping it classy San Diego... ;o)

    And also the two side panels under the seat - although these have since been rubbed by my Giant Loop Coyote bag:

    [​IMG]
    photo. Note. all my tools are contained within the Kriega Pocket pouch, which fits really neatly under the GS seat. The only other tools I carry are a trio of MotionPro T6 combo tyre levers/wheel nut wrenches, which actually fit inside the right hand side panel too - very neat!

    So those are the personal touches I've chosen to incorporate - as I've said all along, I've tried not to add anything to this build which I don't consider absolutely necessary - even to the extent of deleting the OEM rear luggage rack and fitting R grab handles in it's place (note. there are slots in the R handles that the clips from the Coyote just about fit in, although you really need to trim them down slightly so they sit home in there).

    [​IMG]
    photo. Slots in the perfect position, but original hooks slightly too wide...

    [​IMG]
    photo. Dr. Dremel to the rescue again.


    I factored-in that with the weight saving from removing the rack, and the lighter weight Scorpion exhaust, I've saved at least 12lbs of OEM weight - which in turn allows me to fit the engine guard, Barkbusters and a few RAM/electrical components, and still remain at or around the same weight as the stock bike, just vastly better prepared and equipped.

    Now it's time to really get this baby off-road - starting out again tomorrow and going via Death Valley and Las Vegas/Spring Mountains en route to Overland Expo next weekend!

    Toot toot for now!

    Jenny x
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  18. skibum69

    skibum69 slave to gravity Super Supporter

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    One question, why put in a double USB plug instead of a Powerlet plug? My KTM came with a Powerlet plug on the dash which is great for running my 12v pump. I just bought a Powerlet to SAE cable and I have a couple of SAE to USB adapters. I’ll run the cable into my Mosco Nomad tank bag and have the option of charging everything in there.

    I still haven’t decided where my iPad will live or if I will actually get enough together to do a N L presentation at the MOA which will necessitate bringing my computer. A few weeks to come up with that decision.

    Second question: where did you get that secondary RAM mount? I’d love to have an extra for all the same reasons you mentioned.:D
  19. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

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    Very intriguing ride report and review of the 310.

    It's impressive that you rode a sub 400cc transcontinental... And with as much highway/ high speed/ high mileage stretches on what could possibly be considered a scooter motor. It's no secret how durable these small displacement single motors are as Europeans have relied upon them for many years of dependable scooter commuter travel. BMW has benefitted greatly from their scooter R&D. And It's not uncommon for scooters with smaller motors to be used as 2 seater commuters.

    I'm curious if these G 310 motors are made by their Chinese partners and if they will maintain their reliability? It would be comforting to know if Rotax had oversight of the motor development and production.

    Do you feel the frame and suspension is designed more as a "significant other's" option or if it has enough cockpit space and suspension to handle the larger American male species?

    This seems like a potentially growing sub section as KTM and Husky release their 400cc single adventure bikes.

    I think your research is hugely valuable... where manufacturers can look at how to grow new motorcycle interest and sales through this segment.

    Nice insight JMo, Thx!
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  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Skibum69 - I have no need for a Powerlet plug to be honest, while a pair of dedicated 5v USB sockets will keep both my phone and GoPro charged on the run with the cables I currently carry with me.

    I realise you can buy any number of Powerlet to USB and other adaptors, but since I already have a 12v power-tail under the seat for connecting to a trickle-charger and my Cyclepump compressor for example, I felt the dedicated USB socket/s was the simplest option for my intended use. Plus they glow blue at night!!!

    With regard to your AV presentation, for info. I've just bought a Lightening to HDMI adaptor for my iPad - although I save/render my presentations as a Mpeg movie anyway, so they can copied to and played (and stop/started) on pretty much any device with a media player, or even straight off a memory stick.

    Finally, the secondary RAM ball is their 'flat base' motorcycle mount (with 11mm hole) - you can get the direct/online from eBay/GPS Warehouse etc. although I actually picked mine up at a local dealer that stocks RAM accessories: https://www.rammount.com/part/RAM-B-252U

    I'm also tempted to get the RAM cup-holder especially for the MOA later this year - the intention being to totally subvert the ATGATT genre with my open face helmet, Levis jeans and a can of IPA.

    Rock and Roll!

    Jenny x