Protection for 2016 R1200GS, crash bars, etc. ???

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by RangerJay, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. RangerJay

    RangerJay Sport touring since 1973.

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    I recently acquired a 2016 R1200GS and I need to set it up for my intended purpose. I want to try some light offroad type riding. I'm an older hardcore road rider with just little trail experience having owned but only mildly used things like an '89 Honda TransAlp and '96 Suzuki DR350S.

    My aim is to gradually learn. (I'm looking into adventure training too.) In the meantime, I have this like-new beast that I would really like to avoid damaging! (Heck, it's so perfect I'm almost afraid to get it dirty.) It needs crash bars and I'm trying to decide where to go from there. I don't plan hardcore riding and it's unlikely to go down at any speed.

    My question is: If I screw up and drop the thing, what parts are going to hit and what do I need to protect them? I've got Vario bags on it which I know are delicate and likely to be removed before any iffy situations come up.

    My budget is: I don't want to spend any more than I have to. I want the minimum amount of armor to do the job for reasons of weight, cost and appearance.

    Also looking for potential riding buddies in my area (Orange County, CA) who want to do some local on/off pavement stuff.
    #1
  2. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer

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    Bare minimum, in my view = Machine Moto Art valve covers.

    You can save money by purchasing knockoffs for AliExpress, etc., but I can't offer any opinion about their durability or effectiveness compared to the originals.

    My next step on a budget would be a used set of lower crash bars. Knockoffs of those are probably available too, but again strength is uncertain - though probably adequate for drops or falls in the "nap" category.
    #2
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  3. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler Ascending n00b

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    The brilliant thing about buying an R1200 GS (Oil or LC), is that the ADVRider Parts classifieds here have TONS of GS parts for sale all of the time. As more people buy new bikes or jump to the R1250, you'll see a lot of things for sale. No need to pay full price for GS accessories unless you want to - https://advrider.com/f/forums/parts.53/

    As mentioned above, China has successfully ripped off most of the R1200GS LC accessories so you can save some money going that route as well but don't expect those hard parts to stay hard for long especially if they are parts that will need to bear a load (crash bar, skid plates, risers). I'd stay away from China on stuff I relied on to safely get me home.
    #3
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  4. side-burn

    side-burn Long timer

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    Congrats on the bike, the R1200GS is awesome. Please post pics when you can. I'd recommend a good set of lower crash bars married with Machine Moto Art valve covers, or at a minimum the valve covers if your mishaps are likely to be parking lot dumps or low speed dirt. Besides that, I'm a HUGE fan of the Machine Moto Art handguards. They are crazy expensive but are crazy awesome and worth every penny. When you dump it light, the valve covers hit, when you dump it hard(er), it's bars and valve cover, so those are good. Skid plate really depends on what you'll be doing. I've never hit mine so take that for what it's worth. I'm a hard core off road guy, but the GS stays home when I know I'll have an IQ of less than 100 trying shit.

    You can also always look into soft bag options for when you're going to be offroad. I have a hardcase on top but side bags are Bumot Xtremada on my 1250. I've dumped it a couple of times on dirt where footing and balance didn't line up and the bags protect the bike and hose off and look new. Or I just take the top-case only.

    As @AdamChandler said, there are a lot of knock-off options but be cautious. I personally avoided all of it, but that isn't to say there isn't a gem buried in the pile of garbage.
    #4
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  5. Lead Wrist

    Lead Wrist Mehr Gelände Weniger Straße

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    There have been numerous threads in the past on the very same topic so you can get busy becoming familiar with "search" function... :D

    Here's one of the threads, although for R1250, but same type of logic applies: https://advrider.com/f/threads/best-engine-crash-bars-for-the-r1250gs-hp.1400747/#post-38192377

    :thumb
    #5
  6. RangerJay

    RangerJay Sport touring since 1973.

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    Here's the bike. It came with valve covers, factory I believe. There's also a skid plate. I don't know if that's OEM equipped or what? Maybe somebody can tell me.

    In the two weeks I've had it I added the Vario bags, the BMW Softbag 3 (which is nicer than I expected) and the phone holder in the nav base that fits perfectly and gives me two covered USB ports and solidly holds my phone for a mere $21.58: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07ZM4KG1F/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_Wj9fEbW8KSJ58

    There are thousands of posts on crash bars which is why asking here seems easier than hours of searching and reading other posts that may be obsolete. Pretty sure I want protection as well as easy access to maintenance items.

    I'll have to look into hand guards since the idea of the handlebars hitting next after the valve covers (or crash bars) seems to make sense.

    I've though about soft saddlebags. Is there an easy on/off mount for the muffler side to switch off the Vario case?

    R1200GS-curbside.jpg Valve-head-cover.jpg Skid-plate.jpg Softbag-3.jpg phone-holder.jpg
    #6
  7. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    1) Regarding the search function to avoid repetitive threads - the main reason to search first and ask second is to avoid multiple parallel threads where the same problem gets solved identically multiple times over. If you’ve searched and then decided to ask from an educated base, well, that feels better to the asylum. The easy fix is to make sure and report back on all of the solutions you glean from this group and your own independent research.

    2) Soft bags - most of the various soft bag manufacturers have adapter plates for the offset exhaust. Mosko, GL and Kreiga among others all have clean solutions. I personally have older Jesse hard panniers and Enduristan Monsoon soft panniers (no frame necessary). I fabricated adapters for the Monsoons so they work with the Jesse mounts. I can very easily switch between them. Mosko also has a very clean adapter to use similarly with their bags. Jesse also makes one for their Odyssey II rack to use with any of the above listed ones. Again, there are several threads in here detailing different solutions.
    #7
  8. RangerJay

    RangerJay Sport touring since 1973.

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    I see your point. I have poked around quite a bit trying to find a definitive answer. So far I'm learning toward a Touratech solution since that leaves me access to the valve covers, is kinda-sorta reasonably priced in stainless and the mounting system seems right to me.

    My main question on soft bags and adapter plates is which ones work most easily when switching between them and my Vario cases, not any other type of hard cases since that won't apply to my situation.

    And while I'm asking questions, can anyone point me to a thread that truly explains the complex onboard computer? Or a video? Or just tell me the difference among the three trip meters and so many displays for fuel consumption? The owner's manual doesn't explain that well.
    #8
  9. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    I'm not aware of any direct fit adapter plates for the Vario bags. My reason for referencing my own efforts with the Jesse's wasn't to suggest you buy Jesse's. While different, the Jesse Odyssey I mounting is conceptually similar to the Vario mounts. I was unable to find an off-the-shelf adapter so fabricated my own. You may have to do similar for soft bags. When it comes to soft bags there are two larger categories: 1) Requires a frame and 2) frameless. The vast majority of the adventure level bags fall into category 1 and need a frame for stability. Since you are using Varios you don't have a frame for these. In the frameless category, you are more limited in your options. Enduristan makes a high quality fully waterproof adventure level soft pannier (among other products). I have the Monsoon 3 which is the latest release (I also had the original Monsoon) -- there is supposedly a new Monsoon Evo coming for the 2020 season but I believe it will require a frame.

    With the Monsoons it could be as easy as removing your Vario bags and throwing the Monsoons over the seat then fixing the stabilizer straps fore and aft.

    Of course, most GS Adventurers use this as an opportunity to spend more on farkles (accessories) and buy new hard bag system along with the appropriate soft bag system ;-)
    #9
  10. scottdc

    scottdc Been here awhile

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    It's worth paying for the real thing and not the knockoffs. Folks like Machineart Moto are small businesses run by fellow motorcyclists and deserve to get paid for their creations, unlike the folks that rip them off.
    #10
  11. Lead Wrist

    Lead Wrist Mehr Gelände Weniger Straße

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    Trip 1 and Trip 2 are resettable by the user ie. you can use trip 1 for mi per tank and trip 2 for monthly/btw service/etc. Trip A is auto trip meter that resets at the end of the day automatically - no user intervention there...

    Fuel consumptions: Cons R is average per tankful ie. linked to how Range is calculated; Cons 1/2 are also averages, "linked" to Trip 1/2, Cons C is current (ie. non-average) fuel consuption...
    #11
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  12. Lead Wrist

    Lead Wrist Mehr Gelände Weniger Straße

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    To some yes, absolutely! To others, falling into "the cheapest thing on a GS is the knucklehead holding the handlebars" category where less is more, it isn't so chinesium knock-offs it is... :D
    #12
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  13. Boxerbreath

    Boxerbreath 2017.5 GS Black Storm

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    First and most important item is the MAM covers. When you drop it first thing to hot is the valve covers. Crashbars?...they’ll bend and cost you the replacement if your picky.
    #13
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  14. cwjb

    cwjb Been here awhile

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    A lot has been said about crash bars so I'll jump to hand guards. I went down pretty hard on my Barkbusters last summer. I ground a pretty good chunk off the right one after sliding down the highway on it. Didn't move a millimeter. No damage to the controls at all. Don't look as nice as the mams but significantly cheaper.
    #14
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  15. RangerJay

    RangerJay Sport touring since 1973.

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    I ordered the SW-Motech bars from Twisted Throttle, scheduled to arrive next week.

    My next step will almost certainly be to add Barkbusters VPS. I'd like a little more hand protection from the winter wind but with the heated grips don't think I need the storm plastic. (It's be getting down into the 40s later in in SoCal which is cold for us thin-skinned riders!) However, I do like I can relatively easily and cheaply change out the plastic if I change my mind on that.
    #15
  16. cwjb

    cwjb Been here awhile

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    I ride without any plastic in the summer. Still get plenty of protection from the aluminum bar.
    #16