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BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/12/24 12:29 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Can Motoscan activate the ABS actuators? IIRC that's needed for being able to change the brake fluid. If it doesn't, I believe GS-911 can.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
2/12/24 8:41 a.m.

In reply to BoxheadTim :

Yes, it claims to be able to. 

rdcyclist
rdcyclist GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
2/14/24 10:55 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I've got about 400k miles on these things and seen most of the "They all do that" things. The rear brake pads can be a problem but only using the pedal when needed, like off-road, seemed to mitigate it for the most part.

There's a way to fix the sender once and only once by using of all things, a gas BBQ ignitor. You connect it to two of the terminals on the sender and push the button ONCE. It fixed it for a number of my friends years ago and it seemed to stay fixed for quite a while. I've always had the float in mine so I dodged that bullet. There is a procedure outlined on ADVrider for the fix.

BTW, the BMW replacement part is warranteed for a year even if you replace it yourself. 1.5 hours of BMW technician time is still serious money and it's not hard to do if you have the tool to remove the retaining ring for the tank plugs. I have one I would be glad loan you. Lemme know...

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
2/24/24 1:12 a.m.

Whelp, I've been stuck on the couch with the flu all week, so progress has been pretty slow here. Tires did arrive, though! Minor progress is still progress, right? 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/8/24 4:59 p.m.

I've been sidetracked for the past few weeks, but finally spent a little bit of time on the BMW today. Bike Week this week means there's no way I'm stepping foot in the dealership, so tires will have to wait. Instead, I've been working on the electronics. 

I love the Garmin Zumo 396 I put on my last bike, but didn't want to transfer it to this one. Why? Because threading its power supply back out of the other bike would take 2-3 hours of removing plastics and swearing, and because I'd like both bikes to be adventure-ready at once. Why? So my friends can ride with me, and for resale value. I think an adventure bike is worth more if you can honestly say "turn-key bike ready for a trip this weekend."

I wasn't willing to buy a new GPS unit for $250, nor was I willing to buy a spare mount and power supply for $100, then swap the GPS unit back and forth (seemed like a bad deal). Instead, I found a poorly-described "BMW navigator" on eBay and bought it for $100 from a motorcycle junkyard. 

Why? Because it wasn't a BMW navigator--it was actually an identical Garmin to mine, along with its mount, power supply, auxiliary fuse box, and some extra hardware to attach it to the windshield crossbar on my new bike. Score! 

I didn't actually need the fuse box, as the previous owner of my bike already installed the same model, but it's a $50 item and great to put on the shelf for the next project. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/8/24 5:04 p.m.

I started by mounting the GPS, then pulled a few plastic panels off of the bike to understand the previous owner's wiring. There are a few random wires running around the bike, and even if I don't change anything I'd like to understand what he changed. 

And, fortunately, the bike's harness is totally unmolested (he seems to have spent a fortune on splitters and OEM plugs to tie stuff in without cutting). I'll neaten things up, add some zip ties, and relocate the front fork driving lights to a little safer location that makes pulling the front wheel easier, too.

I'm not going to power the Garmin from the fuse box, though, as I have an OEM BMW GPS pigtail sitting on the shelf. These bikes come pre-wired for a GPS unit, with a plug near the cluster. I'll just wire this pigtail to the Garmin's power supply and plug it in.

I'm waiting on some hardware to arrive tomorrow, then I should be able to button the wiring up.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/10/24 1:59 p.m.

Finished mounting the front fog lights. When I bought the bike, these were mounted on a piece of all-thread through the front axle with 3D printed spacers. And that whole arrangement was just... inelegant. Removing the front wheel meant removing the lights, leaving them dangling. And dropping the bike meant the lights were the first thing to hit the ground. As it turns out, the GS's forks are exactly 2" in outside diameter, which means a set of cheap light bar mounts from Amazon are a perfect fit. For $30, I still have lower fog lights, but they're out of harm's way and way sturdier:

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
3/10/24 5:45 p.m.

I'd want those higher, like above the fender...

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/10/24 6:01 p.m.

I checked the air filter, and it's brand new. Score!

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/10/24 7:18 p.m.
docwyte said:

I'd want those higher, like above the fender...

That was my first instinct, but the advice I got was to separate my lights as much as possible, with the goal of making the bike more visible. Fog lights work better when they're low, anyway, so I'll see how these work in this spot. 

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
3/11/24 9:46 a.m.

I guess.  I'd prefer to have them higher as they're not going to get hit by rocks/branches and will cast more light down the road

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/14/24 10:17 a.m.
docwyte said:

I guess.  I'd prefer to have them higher as they're not going to get hit by rocks/branches and will cast more light down the road

Remember, this is a GS. The second set of driving lights are mounted up high. So many lights! I've gone full BMW dork.

Speaking of full BMW dork... I dropped the bike off at the dealership this morning for tire mounting and fuel gauge fixing. 

 

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
3/14/24 10:26 a.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Then I would've just removed those.  All the lights?  Ugh....

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/14/24 10:31 a.m.
docwyte said:

In reply to Tom Suddard :

Then I would've just removed those.  All the lights?  Ugh....

I was so ready to tear them all off, but wow this bike does have great lights at night. Who knew--putting 27 on the front of your motorcycle makes it easier to see. They'll stay on for the first big adventure, then I might slim things down depending on how it goes. 

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
3/15/24 4:25 p.m.

Without repeating docwyte's comments too much, there is one more reason to move or remove those...they're moving with the wheel. Yeah, unsprung weight isn't great, but more importantly those flimsy little tabs that mount to the aluminum clamps are not going to last long rattling around at the same velocities the front wheel sees once you get off the pavement. You'll probably notice once the light swings off on its harness and gets sucked into the spokes. I have some firsthand experience with this happening on my first adv build, if you're lucky like I was it will just rip the harness apart and make a bunch of noise until you get the bike stopped.

If you choose to keep them there, at least keep an eye on those tabs for cracks.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
3/18/24 9:33 a.m.

Okay, fine, you guys have convinced me on those lower lights--I should have just followed my first instincts and removed them. 

In other bike-related news, Tim and I spent our weekend at the BMW U.S. Rider Academy at the BMW Performance Center in Greenville, South Carolina. We did one day of instruction on track, and one day of instruction off-road, with the goal for each of learning how to better handle these giant bikes and keep ourselves upright. I'm not a fantastic adventure rider yet, but I learned so, so, so much in two days--and I'll probably at least be able to keep up with the rest of the group now. Plus, I spent the weekend dropping BMW's bike for free (err, pre-paid), instead of dropping mine. 

We also got to spend time on track with every bike in BMW's lineup, which let me get my first real taste of sport bike life. There might be something to this....

 

By the end of the weekend, I was feeling a little bad for breaking a clutch lever ($150 part, though BMW doesn't charge for damage at this school). But I found this for sale in the gift shop, so I think BMW will be okay financially.

 

The first day on track, our class had three instructors and ten students. The second day off-road, our class had three instructors and three students, which meant all the 1:1 coaching we wanted.

And I know what you're wondering: How much did all this cost? As long as you sign up for a school during a show (like Bike Week or Barber Vintage), the price is about $720 per person per day. That includes the bike, fuel, lunch, and eight hours of instruction. Aside from 30 minutes in the classroom to start the day and a break for lunch, you're riding basically all day. And as I said, you can do as much damage as you want to the bike with no consequences. 

That's not cheap, but compared to what the same experience would cost at a track day or rallycross in a car, it felt a screaming deal. And I definitely walked away with my money's worth in new skills. 

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
3/18/24 6:23 p.m.

That looks like a great time! And honestly, considering the small class sizes and the fact you get to ride their bike without paying for damage, the price doesn't sound bad at all to me. Looks like they've got a good training setup out there, and the track experience is a cool bonus.

your last comment there is why I race bikes now instead of cars. Especially off road, it is SO much cheaper as long as you first develop the skills to not destroy yourself or the bike.

GCrites
GCrites Dork
3/18/24 6:34 p.m.

In a world... of 150 dollar non-foldable clutch levers... one company steps up to end the chaos...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/18/24 7:13 p.m.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
4/11/24 4:10 p.m.

And a month later... my bike is back from the dealership! A month is a long time, but to be fair the dealership did move in the middle of that, and I made it clear I wasn't in a rush. Still, though, I'm getting the full BMW ownership experience....

I paid just under $1000 total for the dealership to replace the front and rear brake pads, replace the tires, replace and code both TPMS sensors, and replace the fuel strip.

I could have done this all myself for about half the price.

But, anybody at the Grassroots Motorsports Track Day on Monday probably noticed that I was there with three running project cars, and those wouldn't have been on track if I'd been working on my bike instead. It feels wrong paying for labor I have the skills to do, but at some point I have to pick and choose my battles, and I'd much rather pay somebody to work on this than pay somebody to work on a Project Car. 

Next step? Load some luggage and go on a massive trip... that's coming soon.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
4/21/24 8:48 a.m.

I got invited to play Airsoft with some friends yesterday, at a field down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere an hour from home. Sounds like the perfect territory for a BMW test!

I loaded up all my camping gear:



Then got rid of the fork-mounted fog lights.

Then, I unbolted about 5 pounds of useless farkles that the PO installed. I'm not trying to be a weight weenie, but it was shocking how heavy this flimsy plastic toolbox is when empty. 


 

And, after a few hours of riding split between highway/city/dirt, I think this thing is ready for an adventure. 

docwyte
docwyte UltimaDork
4/21/24 10:06 a.m.

That bigger side stand foot is very useful....

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
4/21/24 5:49 p.m.

In reply to docwyte :

It might go back on later with different hardware. As-is, it interferes with my boot pretty badly. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
4/21/24 8:10 p.m.

I noticed during yesterday's ride that the bike's horn was broken, so I spent $22 on a new universal Hella horn and an adapter to plug it into the factory connector. 15 minutes later, and I have a horn! I didn't even need to modify the mounting bracket, it was a perfect replacement.


 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Publisher
5/1/24 7:17 a.m.
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