Monday, May 20, 2013

Service completed & some slight adjustments

It turns out that my dry Final Drive spline appears Okay.  There are no metal shavings and the splines look to be in good shape, only a trace of white grease in there from the factory

I was reading some BMW forums and the best stuff to use is Honda 60 moly which I had to special order from my local Honda dealer and it had to be shipped in from Calgary.  As Richard mentioned, there is not much flexing on my R1200R.   Originally the factory made mention that this did not have to be lubricated for the life of the bike, but due to drive line failures on their GS models they revised their recommendation to lube the splines every 2 years or 40K kilometers.  So for now I should be okay for a while

I was also going to replace the 4 plugs (2 per cylinder) but my R uses the 2 electrode model and I have to get them from the BMW dealership.  Then I was going to have new brake pads; front and rear installed

I had them order them in last month so that they would be "on hand" but it seems that they must have sold the rear set.  Upon closer inspection my brakes are both nearly new and it was their opinion they should last for my trip this year.

so the plugs were removed but then re-installed.

The exhaust is re-attached and my bike is bolted back together so I can head on my way.   I ordered a new battery which should come in next week.   I am trying to replace anything that needs replacing so that I don't have to worry about these things whilst "on the road".   Except for oil/filter changes I should be okay

I now prepare to leave and head home.  I still have to do some grocery shopping as Mrs Skoot has requested what she wants for dinner tonight.   I decide to park my R1200R and head out on my

Vstrom.   I am still not used to riding my R and I am a bit unfamiliar with the querky signal light system.   I mean why can't they use one button on the left like everyone else.   Sometimes I just don't bother to change lanes because my right hand has difficulty pushing the "signal off" button while turning the throttle at the same time.  I must have small hands

Here I am riding my Vstrom home with  groceries in my topcase.  

I am getting my R ready for my trip this summer and I purchased a special Garmin power cable.

The cable on the right is the standard cigarette lighter power cable with the mini USB on the other end to power my older model Garmin.   A standard USB cable will not work as then it goes into USB mode and will not charge nor power the Garmin GPS unit.    The cable on the left is the special cable which is powered by a standard USB plug

It is made by 3br powersports, and here I am holding my dual USB adapter

I wired a cigarette lighter socket onto my handlebar to power my Garmin but the supplied adapter cable is very large.   This is where I plug in my USB adapter.  I have two outputs; one for my Garmin and the other can be used to charge my Sena BT headset when I am parked for lunch.  I am trying to switch over to USB power cables whenever possible

I plug in my USB cable and now my Garmin is being powered by USB instead of their clumsy large 12v to 5v adapter

I also received a shipment of parts from so I wanted to mount my Spot2 GPS messenger

Another thing that has been bothering me is the large amount of buffeting I get from my Cee Bailey windshield.  So I get out my tool kit and remove the windshield

Most, if not all fasteners on my BMW are Torx bits of various sizes so I bought a set to carry with me

The R1200R is a naked bike.  Here it is devoid of windscreen.  It is held on by a bracket on the front, and two torx screws at the rear

I thought that if I could put some shims under this bracket that it would force the windshield to rake backwards a few degrees and let some airflow come under the windscreen from the front.   I only had 4 washers and I think I may need a few more and perhaps a longer screw.  I still think the windshield is too vertical and creates wind being aimed directly into my helmet and this creates a lot of noise

Here the front bracket is back in place and you notice where the windshield bracket goes into that U-shaped part.  That is all that is holding the leading part of the windshield frame

I get a bit antsy when there are chores to be done and my grass waits for no one.   It is actually too high for my mower and it struggles,

 but I eventually got it done


  1. Bob, I am getting excited for you with all the preps for the big journey.

    1. Sonja:

      I'm getting both excited and nervous at the same time. It's a long way to ride SOLO and I get to talk to myself the whole way. I'm trying to replace everything so all I have to worry about are oil changes

      You are also on a life changing journey too, except you have someone to share these times with. Everyplace I go on my bike(s), will have to be duplicated in a car

  2. Bob

    You need to fit one of these:

    I'm very pleased with mine!


    1. Nikos:

      I went to that website and it said

      ACHTUNG !!!!!!!! We do not ship to Kanada

      looks like I have to make a home-made one. My fingers are too short to reach at the same time I have to hold the throttle . . .

      Send me yours and I'll paypal you the funds to get another one. I need it now

    2. I will send you one - email your address Bob


    3. Nikos:

      I was just kidding when I wrote "Send me one". I would like one but I don't expect you to remove the one from your bike. They won't ship to Canada, they must check IP addresses. How would they know I am here in Canada. They must be protecting another distributor here. If I knew where to buy it I would order one. I still have a bit of time before I leave. I am going to see if there is a way I can make a home-made one. Too bad I don't have any spring steel. I'll look at it more closely when I get home as I know now what they look like.

      I am a hobbyist and I will figure out something, produce them by the thousands and sell them on the Web, then I can retire

  3. Does your generating system provide enough juice for all those electronics? You might have to pack an extra (small) gas generator. :)

    1. Canajun:

      You shall see for yourself soon. My alternator is rated for 600 amps so I have 200 amps surplus . . . All of these things take virtually little power draw and the Spot2 uses it's own internal battery. The cameras have their own batteries which must be charged every day. I am hoping to have power each night, as well as WiFi

    2. 600 watts, 600 amps would be about 7200 watts, almost enough for a small home!

    3. Richard:

      OK smartie. You know what I meant. I was worried about using an inverter. I have a small 75 WATT one (6.25 AMPS) but I know now that my alternator can "take it". I may need to charge my Laptop battery (but I bought another one as a spare, just in case). I just have to remember to unplug it when I stop but I'll keep it in my tank bag

  4. BTW, weren't you looking for another seat as, I think you mentioned. this R had the low seat option.

    I've seen other Beemers with this little adjustable Touratech ($$$) gizmo on the top of the windshield to manager to manage airflow. Some love it, others despise it. Maybe it depends how much you paid for it...

    1. Richard:

      I still need a normal seat. I have the low seat option and my legs are bent and going to cramp. My bike is perfect for someone who only has 28" inseam. I tried to find a normal seat but shipping is the problem when coming to Canada. I can't pay $700 for one when I found one in Atlanta for under $100. but they wanted $240. to ship it.

      This seat is going to kill me. I have to sit higher. My McGiver trick is to raise my height by sitting on GEL pads. I bought a few GEL pads and with one, it is better already. I am going to try two the next time I take a ride.

      The windshield buffeting has to be solved. I won't be able to take wind onto my helmet for this many days. I need more back rake angle. I am going to try more washers. I don't mind buying the windshield wind deflector gizmo but I don't want to drill a hole, I hope it is glue mounted.

    2. Richard:

      Now, where to buy a laminar lip for my Cee Bailey short windscreen. Maybe I should just buy a touring one instead ?

    3. Bob: Years ago I had Rich in Seattle build me a custom fitted gel seat using my V-stom seat as a base. I had fooled around with Corbin, Mustang, gel pads, sheepskin etc and I found the Rich seat the only solution that was worth the money. I had the custom fitting done at his shop and they guarantee comfort.

      The price was reasonable and Rich does good work. The Beemer seat is an excellent base to build from since they use far better materials in their seats than the V-Strom.

  5. Bob, I can understand you wanting to do all that preparation. I went through much the same. If it helps put your mind at ease, my friend Rodney took his 1982 Yamaha 750 west with me last year without incidence. He did want to stay below 70 mph so as to not stress it, but all went well.

    With the care you are taking, you should also be fine.

    And, you will enjoy it for sure!

    1. Ed:

      The top speed of my R1200R is in excess of 120 mph (192 kmh)

      but because I am alone I will keep to the limit or perhaps 5+ over. My Beemer is new to me and it is not yet set up for touring. My Vstrom is ready to go and I trust it. of course, I bought it new and have it serviced all the time. My "R" is unknown as to what has been done, so I have to do it all. All fluids changed and splines lubed etc.

      If I were to take my Vstrom all I need is a new chain and sprockets as they are original and showing approx 30K kms, but they look like new.

      My BMW is now ready to roll. OF course it will always be in this condition so next year I will have to do nothing. Just turn the key and ride. I still need a new battery and perhaps some Roll-on in the tires.

      and of course, try to find a normal height seat, and a laminar lip for my windscreen

  6. Bob if the signal button is on the right, where is the horn situated - on the left? That would be weird, I am not sure I could get used to that. Glad Nu2U is back in its moto lair and ticked up for your trip!

    1. Dar:

      Until just recently, BMWs have a different, stupid system. The horn button is still on the left side, but underneath where you can barely notice, is the left turn signal button. There is no cancellation switch. On the right side is the right turn signal button. and there is another button located farther up and to the left a bit which is your turn cancellation switch. You need big hands because as you are turning your throttle to maintain your speed, my thumb cannot reach over far enough to "hit" the signal light cancellation button, which turns off both left/right signals and stops them from blinking.

      So when you make a lane change to the left, you hit the left button, and then you cancel by hitting the right button.

      My Beemer also has "automatic signal light cancellation", so if I do nothing, they will automatically cancel after you are traveling over 27 kmph and after 20 seconds, so it is based upon both speed and time. I don't like it because they stay on too long. It would be better if they cancelled after 5 seconds.

  7. Your doing a good job prepping that Beemer, Bob. In the forums, any mention of specific spare parts to be carried on Lon trips which are known to fail or are difficult to get while on the road?


    1. Dom:

      I don't think there are any items of concern. I have nearly new everything and next week I get a new battery. I have a special spark plug wire removal tool and a front axle adapter, plus I am carrying torx bits and a small expandable ratchet/breaker. I took apart a mini air compressor and the pump fits under the seat with the tire plugs. I am going to have roll-on tire sealant installed before I leave. I think I am going to be too far north of Denver to visit

      On the forums the only thing of concern with the R1200 is the fuel strip failures and there is a recall for the front brake lines, which I am waiting for the dealer to order the parts and get it fixed before I leave

    2. I'd be in the rely on the trip odometer for knowing when to fill up and if the fuel gauge agrees, then cool, it's still working!

      It's kind of fun to watch all your preparations but kind of wish there was a road trip to look forward to.

  8. Looks like the preparation is there. Now I want need to go on a trip too. Glad I saw the pic with the Go Pro in. Now I see how you tethered it. I will use that one mine too! Thanks!

    1. Kathy:

      I like to use RAM© mounts as they are very secure. I also prefer to use the handlebars as it gets benefit of the shocks for a bit less vibration and also because I have the Hero1 I need to make sure it is recording. I also bought a Hero3 but I haven't used it yet. I have the remote control too, so I may mount it under the engine for a low angle view of the road. I have a RAM ball mount secured under the left engine guard

      My bike is "nearly" ready to go and I am just tweaking a few little things to make it more comfortable. I am waiting for the front brake line factory BMW recall to be completed when the parts come in

  9. Hey BS! So good to hear from yet another I thank u muchly for leavin' me yer take on the matter. And speakin' of......

    "We are creatures of comfort and resistant to change for fear of the unknown."

    I dunno about the fear of the unknown part. Honestly, I was just too damn fat & lazy to pack up all those years of household crap and actually have to physically move it all outta that dump. But I reckon that's what movin' companies are for ;-) and I'm now sooooo very glad that I did just THAT :-)

    "welcome back to our world . . . and don't disappear for so long"

    Thank u, kind sir. I will try my hardest.

    1. MDJ:

      Humans are resistant to change but sometimes it is for the better. Thank you for coming back to the blogging world

  10. You're doing so much prep! I admire that. I just got on and rode mine, but we've stopped along the way to get a few things touched up. 6 months is a long time to prep for. We just got her in the best shape possible then left. Highway took his ST in for service before we took off.
    We don't have all the bells and whistles either. I've considered a GoPro, but I'm too lazy to go buy one. LOL!
    Your BMW is beautiful!


    1. Tina:

      My Vstrom is ready to go without being prepped, but my BMW is new to me and I don't know what maintenance had been done so I have to do everything I can think of. Now I am happy to know that it is ready too.

      BMWs require more maintenance and also it has a dry clutch which meant that I also needed a transmission flush, and with the drive shaft I also needed the diff change and also the spline lube.

      ride safe out there and see you when we see you