DrNeo's F800GS Alaska/LDR bike build

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by drneo, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. drneo

    drneo mmm... delicious

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    Rochester - Med. City
    A few years ago I bought a 2009 BMW G650GS to attempt to accomplish the Iron Butt Association's famed “Ultimate Coast to Coast” ride, which is Key West, Florida to Prudoe Bay, Alaska. I made it from Minnesota to Key West, but the little thumper didn't make all the way :(


    I went back to the drawing board and decided that a 2013+ F800GS would be a better bike for me to try again with (thanks to the input of everyone here). I was able to find said bike earlier this year, so this is the story of me setting up my new (to me) bike for some long distance riding. I've been fortunate to be able to complete a long list of Iron Butt Association rides – ranging from 48 states in 10 days, to the Piston Diversity Challenge. After all these miles and challenges, I feel like I know what works well for me and what doesn't. This will be the story of setting up this "new" bike for this adventure.

    The bike was pretty well farkled already, but here's a list of things I'm going to do:
    - Add two sets of aux. Lights (one set for conspicuity and the other set tied to the high beams for better down-range throw)
    - Add a Denali CanSmart system – this will help reconfigure all of the auxiliary wiring that's on the bike as it's a mess currently
    - Add a small top box
    - Secure a way to carry extra fuel. I have a Best Rest peg packer already, but I may explore the Camel Tank
    - Install a MCCruise cruise control system – this will be a big project
    - Set up the suspension for proper sag
    - Brake fluid flush – I did one when I first got the bike (the first flush that the bike has had since it was new AFAIK), but I like to flush my brake fluid in all my bikes each year. It - doesn't take long and prevents some very, very expensive parts from having problems in the future. Also, it could reduce the likelihood of becoming a hood ornament.
    - Install Scottoiler – reduces the time I need for chain maintenance during long rides
    - Replace steering head bearings because they already have slight notches :baldy
    - Replace wheel bearings – reducing the chance for more problems
    - Repack the swing arm bearings? Haven't decided yet if this is necessary
    - Finally I'll add some reflective tape to the back bags to increase conspicuity


    Now, I fully understand that I probably don't need much of the above list to go out and ride, but I have big plans beyond just Alaska for the rest of the year and 2021 :)


    A picture of how the bike came home:
    [​IMG]

    Before starting:
    [​IMG]



    Here's where I'm currently at:
    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

    Joined:
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    Sounds good! A few comments:

    I just replaced my headset bearings a while back, and in retrospect I could have just replaced the lower bearing.
    The upper one does very little work, and I think is good for 500K miles....

    There are a lot of chain oilers out there I installed this one: https://www.webbikeworld.com/cobrra-nemo-2-chain-oiler-review/
    I just like the minimalist manual approach.

    I've never heard of anyone wearing out the swing arm bearings....
    #2
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  3. cgguy09

    cgguy09 Scientiæ Cedit Mare

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,647
    Location:
    Astoria, OR
    Just read your ride report.... can’t believe the G650 did that to you.... those engines are allegedly bullet proof.... I had a G650x model that I put 20k+ on and I never had a problem, not a one!

    Did you ever determine what caused the engine to Eat itself? Was it the water pump failure?

    yeesh, I was stationed in STL for 5 years and used Honz and his merry men more than a few times and rode with them too. GATEWAY BMW is a top motorcycle shop. I’ve met plenty of woeful travelers that were able to get in and out the same day while passing through. I’m glad to hear they treated you well.

    Two notes, I’ll be in Key West in the beginning of March for two weeks, if you want to grab a drink. If your passing Through Seattle before July, shoot me a PM. I have a garage you can drop your oil and toss on some new tires.

    ride safe!
    -cFogs
    #3
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  4. Tacticalmedic

    Tacticalmedic Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Vancouver-ish
    I’m in.

    Get a Cameltank they’re worth it. Very easy install and looks great.
    #4
    drneo, BMW-K and Adanac rider like this.
  5. nvklr

    nvklr Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    782
    Location:
    Carson City
    I like my CamelTank - make sure you get the one that fits your bike/luggage setup
    #5
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  6. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,075
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    CamelTank. Yes, all day, every day. There is a way to replumb an air vent so that the Camel Tank becomes “optional” where you can leave the Camel full and only drain from the main tank except for emergencies. It’s a lovely thing!

    I went with a PD Oiler instead of a Scott. My wife’s ‘07 F650GS had the Scott. Either way, an oiler for a chain is a win.

    Wheel and Steering bearings: yeah, agreed. My first set of wheel bearings failed at 13k and my head bearings at 28k. They were easy enough to change...if a bit time consuming.

    I’m really looking forward to the MC Cruise detail - that’s something I’d love to install.

    Good luck!!
    #6
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  7. DENALI Electronics

    DENALI Electronics Been here awhile

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    329
    Location:
    Exeter, RI 02822
    #7
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  8. drneo

    drneo mmm... delicious

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    Rochester - Med. City
    Thanks for the great comments so far everyone! Cameltank is on its way and I already have the Scottoiler from a previous bike.

    It was a big problem on the single cylinder bikes, but after more research, I think I'll skip it for now. Thanks!

    No, I never did hear what the problem was. It was too costly to bring the bike back home for further analysis, so it was sold to the dealer. :(
    #8
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  9. drneo

    drneo mmm... delicious

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    Rochester - Med. City
    Yep - Ultimate Coast to Coast is the plan! Thanks!
    #9
    1oldsickle likes this.
  10. 1oldsickle

    1oldsickle been over there awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    842
    Location:
    Land of Lincon
    @drneo read your RR awhile back ,it was a epic beginning but a terrible ending . I’m looking forward to following along. With your mad LD riding skills this will be a walk in the park . Best wishes on a successful UCC
    #10
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  11. drneo

    drneo mmm... delicious

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    Rochester - Med. City
    Thanks 1oldsicle!



    Yesterday was spent fitting the BestRest Peg Packer. I'll use this as extra insurance throughout the UCC trip, but it won't live on the bike full time. The can holds a little over 1 gallon.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I also spent time looking at where I want to mount my Caribou Top Box. There's like 200 holes drilled in the thing for various bikes, but none line up for the F800GS :baldy- That's the price you pay when you buy stuff that's used.

    [​IMG]
    #11
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  12. BMW-K

    BMW-K F800GS FTW!

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,075
    Location:
    Anaheim, CA
    /snicker Pelican box...I swear I have that same box with too many holes drilled in it. LOL!
    #12
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  13. Tacticalmedic

    Tacticalmedic Adventurer

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    Oct 10, 2016
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Vancouver-ish
    Sorry, I’ll stop drilling holes in them before I sell them...
    #13
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  14. 1oldsickle

    1oldsickle been over there awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Oddometer:
    842
    Location:
    Land of Lincon
    #14
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  15. drneo

    drneo mmm... delicious

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
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    Rochester - Med. City
    #15
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  16. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    Jul 5, 2008
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    6,535
    Location:
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    Does Bestrest still sell the peg packer I can't find it on their website?
    #16
  17. BigBrian

    BigBrian Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Oddometer:
    441
    Location:
    Eastern, PA
    Read your first attempt with the 650, that's sad, however victory will taste even sweeter now! I have a 2013 F800GS, it is a great bike!

    As far as your mods;

    I have the camel tank, it is awesome!

    I went with a Nemo 2 oiler mounted on the handlebars and I have no regrets.

    If you don't already have the bearings and seals, I am a sales rep for a bearing distribution company and would be happy to sell them to you at my cost. I have the high quality SKF bearings.

    Good luck!
    #17
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  18. Duitser

    Duitser Been here awhile

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    Jun 1, 2019
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    Location:
    South Africa
    Hi BigBrian. Seeing you are a bearing rep do you perhaps know what make head and wheelbearings BMW used to use or still use which do not last
    #18
  19. BigBrian

    BigBrian Been here awhile

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    All I can tell is that there is KACO on the seal of the bearing. KACO is a company who makes seals. They most likely made the rubber seals that cover the actual balls of the bearing. As far as the bearing goes, I have no idea who the manufacturer is as there are no markings.
    #19
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  20. Duitser

    Duitser Been here awhile

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    Thanks
    Cheap no name brand the answer to all the failures.
    #20