Heather_B's "Buzz" 2019 F750GS Build Thread

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by AdamChandler, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    [​IMG]

    "Hey, that's Adam, not Heather" yeah yeah I know! The thing is, I love doing build threads. I love taking photos, videos, crafting a bit of text and being a part of that process of a bike coming together. heather loves customized things. Enjoys creature comforts, wants a bike built up for her and wants to be a part of the build process. But let's face it, there are very few people who take documentation to the level that I do. I have some other build threads on this site and elsewhere that I'll link here (1, 2, 3, 4).

    First and foremost, this is a build thread. I do actively report posts if we go off the rails for a full page. No offense but off-topic = thread locking over time or a move to a more appropriate forum on this site. This is not a build & retire build thread either. Heather and I will actively make updates as things break, are taken off the bike, sold or warranty work is done. It's a great way to keep people up to date on how things are going. Not all modifications will be compatible with each other so this thread can act as a mod-bible for many detailing everything as it gets bolted on. You can address Heather or I for questions but I'm more appropriate for installation and fitment questions and Heather for the experience and usability. She will touch everything 99% more than me because she's the one riding the bike.

    Each modification will have its own post. There will be narrative, technical commentary, photos and a video for nearly every modification and I will ALWAYS disclose instances where I received a discount, promo or free item from a company. I will also disclose if a link is an affiliate link and I'll even put a link that is a non-affiliate so you can click a button to get heather 1% back to pay for gas OR you can click a link that gives her no money at all. Up to you. This is the first time I'll be using affiliate links on this site and mods can and may put a stop to that but I think disclosure is paramount to the success of that.

    This F750GS is being built up as a Touring bike first, followed by commuter and off-road bike dead last. Heather has no intention of being an off-road rider based on our talks but we live in northern New Hampshire. If you tell your GPS you want windy roads or to avoid interstate, you'll spend 15% of your time on dirt. If you avoid highways entirely, you'll spend 50% of you time on dirt. It's the nature of our world up here but with a low suspension model w/o spoked wheels, we will not be intentionally riding this off road. If she finds that she loves that, we'll instead get a street legal enduro like a KTM or Beta and make that her dirt bike. That doesn't mean the F750 won't be protected but comfort comes first.

    I will use eBay knock-offs when I can but the f750GS is so new that this market doesn't really exist yet.

    ---------

    Let's start! You're going to realize that I LOVE Excel spreadsheets. I've made this handy sheet to breakdown everything I want on the bike, the price and such. I have a hidden column called "2nd choice" this is a way for Heather and I (who are both project managers) to track things we order, weigh pros and cons and discuss options. Here's a digest


    The first 8 posts in this thread will all receive periodic updates until the build thread is completed Spring of 2020 then we put a freeze on it and we actually ride the damn thing.

    If you'd rather not wait for me to upload the build thread, modification content will go up first on YouTube (link) and Flickr (link) but I feel this thread is the best place to get everything in a single post (Text, Video, Photos) w/ commentary by myself and Heather.

    Here's Heather. She's great!
    [​IMG]
    Last updated, 8-23-2019
    #1
  2. Heather_B

    Heather_B New Rider

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2017
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Lyme, NH
    The bike is here!! It’s gorgeous and I’m really excited to pursue my licensing class over Labor Day weekend.

    I’ve received mixed messages from people - some think I’m brilliant for starting with this bike as long as I’m careful and others think I’m an idiot who should have invested in a 250 of sorts to minimize damage costs/potential for injury/embarrassment. Frankly, the latter just make me want to succeed all the more. I understand where they’re coming from but I also know that starting on a bike that I love the look and feel of is going to be a driving force in my goal to best understand how to operate it. I’ll be careful. We live in a quiet enough area that I don’t have to worry about working through crazy traffic. I’m lucky in that way.

    A lot of people have asked me why I’m starting this now. I’m 29. I’m a female. A brand new rider. I am very risk averse. I already own a reliable German car… so why the German bike now? Well, Adam has certainly influenced me. He’s careful to emphasize (and so I will confirm now) that he did not push me into anything. Slowly, over the last couple of years that he has ridden and we have gone around town 2-up, I have realized that the experiences he’s able to have on his bike are enviable. Yeah I can drive to remote areas but in a car you’re not really SEEING them. And honestly, some remote areas you really can’t drive a SportWagen through.

    In my head, this bike will serve partly as a commuter to offload mileage from my car onto another means of transportation and partly as a longer road tripper. There are trips that I’d like to take and I think would be more fun on a bike. I want to see Jasper and Banff in Canada. I want to drive through the West Virginia hills to Kentucky’s bourbon trail. St. Augustine to Key West sounds like a nice ride to me. You can Fly Your Bike to Europe. I’d even like to consider crashing his Alaska trip (without crashing, we hope).

    I know there’s a lot of practice that will go into me feeling comfortable with myself - and other drivers - before I’m ready for any big trip. There’s other work that I’ll be doing on the side. I can already tell given the weight of the bike that I need to up my exercise efforts. Build my strength. But I’m excited. So, now we start the process of modifying the bike a bit to make it as safe as possible for me (new bright lights!) and safe FROM me (crash bars, etc.).

    I’ve given Adam the go-ahead to produce this build thread. He’s done it very well before so I know it’s in good hands. From a mechanical standpoint he understands more about it than I do, though I’m learning as we go.

    So, why the F750GS? Well, I sat on a LOT of bikes. Many were way too tall. Most of the shorter options were really best equipped to stay on the road full-time – I didn’t want a cruiser for this reason. I did sit on a Honda 250 and a shorter Versys 300 both of which were lighter. But I had this concern in the back of my head: when I commit to something, I go all in. I want to practice, practice, practice until I’m good at something. And I really didn’t like the notion of buying something just to have to sell it three months later. Maybe this is a bad view – I guess we’ll find out IN practice.

    When I sat on the low Triumph Tiger, it was the first bike that I said “Oh crap. This thing is awesome.” A week later, we went to MAX BMW and I sat on the low F750GS and had the same exact reaction. Both bikes have such nice features – many may be overkill as I first start out but I won’t want a more feature-forward bike anytime soon. This has everything. More to come on that.

    Once I sat down and compared the Tiger to the 750, I realized the BMW warranty was better. Plus there’s a shop within 100 miles at us (we’re legit at mile 99) who will pick up the bike in their radius for any service/warranty issues. That’s very desirable in our relatively remote area.

    So, go big or go home.

    Happy Riding!

    Heather
    #2
  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    Pie Chart & Graphs:
    I will include charts here as I have them. For now, all I have is the price-breakdown which is USD cost (minus shipping and tax) per modification. All modifications will be done by us so no labor needed and we live in New Hampshire so no sales tax :)

    This is updated as parts are removed or swapped for others. This price is all "1st choice" modifications at MSRP. If I receive a discount, I won't reflect it here but in the individual post.
    [​IMG]
    Last Updated, 8-23-2019
    #3
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  4. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    Here is everything installed on the bike. Each bit of text is a hyperlink that links to a post in this thread for people that want to avoid the back & forth chats. I will include name of modification, date and price I paid for people following along at home.
    1. 8-21-2019: Barkbusters Storm Handguards from Twisted Throttle, $139.85
    2. 8-21-2019: DynamicMotorrad LED Turn Signals, $111.98
    3. 8-26-2019: TFT Screen Protector, $13.99
    4. 8-28-2019: Akrapovic Slip-On Muffler, $869
    5. 8-30-2019: Remus Linkage Pipe, $236 (removed due to incompatibility)
    6. 8-31-2019: R&G Tank Traction Grips, $30.59 (removed due to user preference)
    7. 8-31-2019: Jesse Luggage Racks, $379.95
    8. 9-01-2019: SW-MOTECH Front Axle Sliders, $47.18
    9. 9-01-2019: BMW NAV Bracket Relocation to the proper location, $27.50
    10. 9-02-2019: Madstad Adjustable Windscreen, $271.56
    11. 9-02-2019: GIVI TN5127 Crash Bars, $256.50
    12. 9-02-2019: Grip Puppies, $18.99
    13. 9-16-2019: Rubbatech Tank Grips, $96 including shipping
    Here's a screenshot of the build-sheet I've been working with which is the way Heather and I keep track of the build offline. You can click these to view full size.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Last Updated, 9-02-2019
    #4
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  5. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    Delivery of Buzz on 21st of August 2019 with 251 miles on the odometer ( minimum to qualify for demo bike discounts and a BMW extended warranty from 36 months to 42 months. This is the bike in fully stock form. This only lasted about 4 hours before the modifications began to be installed.

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    You can always check out my Flickr Page if you want the latest updates before they're posted to this build thread - https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamjackson
    #5
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  6. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    How Buzz Looks right now (updated periodically as modifications are installed) Nothing to post just yet so this post will be empty initially

    Last Updated, 8-23-2019
    #6
  7. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    Link to parts in the build, links to vendors, indication of any deals /sponsors. Affiliate links indicated if heather gets a 1% kick-back if you make a purchase with a $ sign next to them. This goes into an Amazon Account which is used to buy more farkles :)

    Vendors who have participated & their posts:
    • .
    • .
    • .
    • .

    Modifications I've removed and why:
    • .
    • .
    • .
    • .

    Here is every part planned or executed with a link to purchase and MSRP:

    Protection:

    Ergonomics:


    Electronics:


    Comfort:


    Storage:


    Performance:


    Visibility:

    ------------
    Sponsors:
    Disclosure, I have partnerships or promotional deals with the following companies. Occasionally, I will receive free shipping, have a dedicated customer support person for issues or receive a discount. If I receive any perks, I'll disclose them in the post when I install the part

    • Jesse Luggage
    • Clearwater Lights
    • AltRider
    • SW-Motech
    • Twisted Throttle
    • Denali
    • MachineArt Moto
    Last Updated, 8-23-2019
    #7
  8. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    Finally, this reserved post will be used for Drama, Riff-Raff, Memes and other things. I could also re-purpose it as the final post when the build is done and we'll have heather on the bike riding off into the sunset (May 2020)

    Last Updated, 8-23-2019
    #8
  9. Solo Moto

    Solo Moto Hands are bruised from breakin’ rocks all day

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2014
    Oddometer:
    355
    Location:
    Northern Idaho
    In. Welcome, Heather!

    Nice bike. Will follow this build with great interest. My wife decided to start riding about two+ years ago. We’re both 59. I ride a ‘17 R1200 GSA and a DR 650 (lifelong motorcyclist). We decided to go small, entry level for her first bike - a new leftover DR200. Knowing she would outgrow it quickly. Third summer in, still enjoying the 200, and she is also now riding my DR650 without issue.

    Been discussing next upgrade bike for her and considering the F750GS or maybe DL650 Vstrom for street/ touring use. Likely just keep the 200, add better knobbies and we’d both have touring machines and dual sport machines for the vast forest service roads minutes from our door.

    Will be interested to see your progress and how the build goes, along with overall impressions of your new bike.

    Adam’s build threads are a great service to this community - especially for us with the same bike or next bike considerations.

    Be safe and enjoy your new ride!
    #9
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  10. WADE-O

    WADE-O Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    595
    Location:
    SAN DIEGO, CA
    I would always take people's recommendation on what bike you should ride with a giant grain of salt. Honestly, I think that is a great bike for you to start your riding career on. I think it is smart to start riding a bike with all the safety nets that these bikes have because it's nice to have that backstop. Looking forward to this build thread!
    #10
  11. TimmyTheHog

    TimmyTheHog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2017
    Oddometer:
    226
    Location:
    Surrey BC Canada
    yup!

    There are always "better bike" out there if you really want to dig about it.

    But honestly, the "best bike" is the one that you are most comfortable with and always will look back at her/him when you are walking away.

    So what if the bike comes with a million safety thing, it is YOURS. Same thing vice versa if you dislike all the safety things...

    Either way, looking forward to this build and the process of making it YOURS.

    Ride safe and see you out there!
    #11
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  12. TommyTuenz

    TommyTuenz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    Colorado Springs
    Ride on, Heather! My wife got the same bike, in the same color, and she's a new rider too. So far we have added crash bars, Barkbusters, Weiser 2-in-1 lights, the BMW GS tank bag, and she is using my previous Givi pizza delivery box for extra storage. The 750 is a great platform to learn on. Really looking forward to this build story (rider and bike), and thanks to Adam for enabling all of us with his wacky spreadsheet antics.
    #12
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  13. Ritch814

    Ritch814 n00b

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Oddometer:
    6
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    Heather, Welcome to the group. I'm going to be following this thread with great interest. I've enjoyed Adam's other build threads and I'm sure this one will be great. Maybe I missed it in the intro, but I would be interested in reading your thoughts and experiences with your training, as a new rider. Will you be documenting this, also? I would be interested in what types of training you will be going through, and your thoughts on what you gained from it. I'm thinking of more training for myself, so I'm curious as to what others are experiencing.
    #13
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  14. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    #1 - Barkbusters STORM Handguard Kit, Installed 08-21-2019 by Heather and I. I purchased these from @twistedthrottle and thanks to them being in Rhode Island I got them super quick (like within 48 hours free shipping) which is bomb! You can order them here - https://www.twistedthrottle.com/barkbusters-storm-handguard-kit-for-bmw-f750gs-19-f850gs-19-bhg-075 and while I sort of regret not ordering the LED light option, I don't think I'll need it and it'll keep the OEM cables fairly organized coming from clutch, brake, throttle, etc. Price paid, $139.85

    Here they are on the bike:
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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Here's the install video:


    This is my first time ever touching these up close and personal and installing onto a bike. The aluminum construction feels really heavy duty. There was no instruction at all about the use of Loctite so initially, I'm going without it but if they ever loosen up, I'll be applying the 242 Loctite to ensure they don't come loose again. The Storm is their largest hand guard by coverage and given our short riding season in New England, these will primarily serve as a way to keep the May & October riding months easier when the temps are in the 40s (or lower).

    Instructions were easy to follow but I fouled up the plastics install getting the internal hook the wrong orientation leading to the plastic being loose. We solved that issue. The one instructions area that needs improvement is they specifically call out the F750GS as requiring 2 spacers. It comes with 2 per side but when I installed with 2 spacers, the aluminum skeleton overshot the inner clamp by about 1 spacer link. I'm of the opinion that no spacers is best. It shows the company truly made a solution for my bike. Spacers are lazy and show their tolerances are shit or they're building a one-size-fits-all product. I do love that Barkbusters have removable plastic covers so after a few years of abuse, you can just replace them and keep the aluminum skeleton. Heck, you can run it without plastics if you're just trying to protect your expensive $200 BMW Levers. Replacement plastics cost $39.99 from Twisted Throttle.

    If I'm speaking candidly here, if Machine Art Moto offered their ADVance hand guard, I probably would have made that my first choice as it feels made for the bike and the design is so thoughtful. But Bark Busters are proven, have a big following and are pretty much the standard so I don't think we'll be disappointed with them.

    Here's a remark from Heather:

    #14
  15. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    #2 - Dynamic Motorrad LED Turn Signals. I've had these on EVERY BMW I've owned with CanBUS and while Weiser is a popular choice among the Farkle-Addicts, I consider these to be so simple and easy and effective that they're one of those modifications everyone with a modern BMW should do. Cheaper than everything else you could buy except your Starbucks cup holder. No errors, long life and when I had a bulb fail on me, they mailed me 4 more new ones without even questioning it. Great support so honestly just go buy these - http://dynamicmotorrad.com I paid $111 with shipping for 4 bulbs with the coupon code, BMWMOA.

    This is a modification non-North American BMW owners are confused by. The issue is, BMW's globally available LED Turn Signals aren't DOT compliant because the stalks aren't long enough (seriously) so while LED Turn signals from BMW are brighter, DOT is like "yeah but they're only 1.75" away from the body of the bike. fAIL!!!" yeah, whatever. And now, NHTSA and DOT have blocked BMW from selling us the LED Stalks so we have to buy a $18K motorcycle all the way up to a $32000 USD K1600GTL and have halogen turn signals. It's offensive. So, we make due with products like this. I think these are brighter than BMW's Euro LED Turn Signals anyway.

    Photos:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Install Video (but seriously, you don't need this video):


    I asked heather what she thought:
    I agree.
    #15
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  16. BDS

    BDS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2015
    Oddometer:
    30
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    I ordered a set for my 2019GS today... thanks for the promo code
    #16
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  17. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    #3, Speedo Angels TFT Screen Protector (Matte)
    On my R1200GS, I have the Speedo Angels Glossy screen protector. I love it and it's held up well but it is showing surface scratches due to the glossy nature of it. It turns out, Speedo Angels sells a matte version so we ordered that. However, thinking I could find a deal, I ordered a no-name brand for slightly less money and we attempted to install it and it was flimsy, cheap and went on pretty bad with the included cleaning cloth actually causing clouds and streaks that I had to buff out with a neutral cleaner. We still shot that video and it is below.

    Heather and I both felt that this protector was not up to snuff so we ordered the Speedo Angels one which has lasted me well. It comes 2 in a package and if I had known a year ago that Heather would be buying a bike with a BMW TFT, I would have saved the 2nd one but I didn't :p

    No photos of this one just a link to both below and some videos:

    This is my first use of affiliate links on a build thread so I'm including the first which offer a kick back but the 2nd links do not:
    Link to the protector we threw out: https://amzn.to/2Hk1C4m - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07SRWW78V
    Speedo Angels: https://amzn.to/2HgQUv5 - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JYWF2BR






    I asked heather what she thought:
    and the bubbles that we saw initially worked themselves out after an hour.
    #17
  18. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    #4, Akrapovič Slip-On Muffler for F750GS (Works with F850GS As well)

    Purchased from Revzilla for $869. You can buy it here. I think it's overpriced personally and should be more like $700. The R1200GS muffler is around $900 but you can occasionally find it for $750 but given this is a brand new bike, this can isn't even available on Amazon yet.

    Install...a total cinch except for one hang up. The lower link-pipe clamp allowed a lot of play when I torqued to spec (10ft lbs). the clamp still moved all over the place. Thanks to their heavy dose of Anti-Sieze. I torqued down to 40lbft and it's finally not moving but I'm concerned about this clamp being too stressed and eventually breaking but at least the muffler is no longer moving with little input from me.

    Sound....It's louder at idle and slightly louder when running it. When you really get on the throttle, it's pretty substantial but it sounds more like a proper twin. I'd say though on the bike, I still hear the motor more than the exhaust. Under my butt, it's still super loud and I don't really hear the exhaust so if you're looking to save 5 pounds of weight, add 1 horsepower and increase the tone a bit, this is a nice way to spend $850 but I wouldn't recommend it. It looks fantastic though on the yellow bike:

    [​IMG]
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    I've made a few videos as some people want different things (unboxing, install, sound test)







    I asked heather what she thought:
    PS: I've also ordered the Remus pipe so I look forward to hearing how that sounds and deciding if we keep the remus or just deal with the slightly louder muffler.
    #18
  19. ontrip

    ontrip Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    706
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    Toronto, Ontario
    Surprisingly not a bad looking stock pipe.
    Not much of an enhancement for $865

    The Akrapovich was a big improvement on my F800r as it came with that big round Buzzuka
    #19
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  20. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b Supporter

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    Part of me blames Euro5...the HP Akra you buy from BMW is close to $1300 and customers who opted for that as a factory option say it really doesn't have much grunts or noise and kind of regret it. At least this looks better than the HP option but It's a BMW, I don't really want obnoxiously loud. I wanted style first then tone then noise. I think it nails the style category. rest is meh. So yeah, waste of money but some people want to know how it looks and sounds so I'm happy to be of service.
    #20
    ontrip likes this.