F800GS Modification and Accessories (after three weeks)

I’m one of those people that has to “tinker”. I can never, ever, leave well enough alone. And since I obviously know better than the BMW engineers, I have done quite a few upgrades/mods on the GS so far. If you own motorcycles, you know they are just a down payment on all the cool shiny bits they will need.

  • Changed stock grips for Pro-Grips gel 714. The stock heated grips were awful for me.  Too skinny and not enough grip. Uncomfortable! Thanks to YetiGS on the advrider forum, I saw that I could carefully remove the stock grips and install new grips over the BMW heaters. You have to be extremely careful not to cut the heater elements. Other than that, it’s just a normal grip change. Cost = $20.
  • Jammed a 14g wire in the throttle pulley of the throttle body. What, you say? Oh, yeah, I read it on the forums. It makes the throttle less snatchy (on/off) at low speeds. Seems to work. Cost = 5 cents.
  • Added Wolfman tank panniers. Only need when touring. Cost = $0 (already had them but $80 if you don’t).
  • Added Wolfman explorer lite tankbag. Added electrical port to bag so I have SAE and ciggarette plugs inside the bag for charging gadgets and powering heated clothing. Wired direct to battery with fuse. Used powerlet products. Cost = $50 for the electric bits and $100(?) for the tankbag (but I already had it).
  • Added RAM GPS mount and hardwire for Garmin GPS. Cost = $50 or so. (GPS is Garmin 478C, retail $1,000)
  • Added handguards from HighWay Dirt Bikes. These are totally bomber and the best guards out there by far. They mount to the handlebar clamp. Google them, buy a set. Made for many models of bike. Handmade in Colorado. Cost= $160
  • Replaced stock seat with Sargent Enduro seat. Stock seat didn’t work for me, not comfortable! Sargent is pretty good and still lets you move around like you should be able to on a dual sport type bike. I also had good luck with Sargent on my KLR. They make nice seats. Now comfortable for hours at a time. Cost = $440 and the first and best thing I did for the bike!
  • Added Givi crash bars. They look good on the bike, and don’t ruin the lines. Check advrider, they have been crash tested and seem to work well. They also function as highway pegs! That’s nice on long rides. Kill two birds with the Givi’s. Cost = $200
  • Added skidplate from Ricochet armor (got it on ebay). The cheapest skid plate I could find (KLR rider at heart) but also 4mm thick and well built! I’m happy with it for $140.
  • Added rear luggage rack from cpilot on advrider. Great rack for lashing your stuff on (BMW doesn’t give you one) and a bargain at $75. Looks nice, works nice. Sweet.
  • Added Giant Loop Great Basin bag. This is in lieu of expensive metal panniers. It holds less, but it’s also bombproof, lightweight, and cheap (relatively!). No racks to break, no wide bags sticking out in the wind, on and off in 60 seconds. Nice! About 55 liters of space, I think, and extremely well thought out and built. Everything I need for extended self supported camping fits in the bag. Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent, water, food, lantern, lights, trekker chair, jetboil, extra fuel, and more. Cost = $400.
  • On order but not received yet : Rotopax 1 gallon fuel cell. If you need more than 230 miles of range, which is not often. Mounts to rear rack (rack is pre drilled). Rotopax are great fuel cells. Cost = $75
  •  Also ordered but not received : Adventure Spec tool kit. Everything you need to wrench on the bike in a kit that fits under the seat. Nice! Pricey but better than trying (and probably failing) to put together a sensible kit by myself. Cost  = $180

The only other thing I really want to address on the bike is the suspension. That could easily run big money and I won’t deal with it until next Fall or Winter.

As I get more time on the bike I will update on how my additions and changes hold up. I tried to go with quality stuff that will last. After over 100k miles of riding bikes I know what I like on my bike and what I don’t like. I’m picky. I’m also cheap so it’s a constant battle. 😉

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