Tag: 1200gs

Adventures with Plastidip

Let’s have some fun with the silver accent trim on the front of the 1200gs with Plastidip.


2008 1200gs before Plastidip
2008 1200gs side view


2008 1200gs with Plastidip
Let's call it the "Double Black"

Ignore the pannier tape, of course, just playing with the front trim here. Could be a keeper.

  • Trim panels are easily removed via torx screwdriver
  • Plastidip available from local hardware store…$6/can.
  • 3 coats, sprayed evenly, 30 minutes apart.
  • Let dry 8 hours. Re-install to bike.
  • Tear it all off if you don’t like the looks.


Zen and the art of road spray maintenance

The tipping point arrived after a drizzly morning commute: I dismounted the 1200GS, hefted it up on the center stand, and my gloved hand came off the frame with new layer of road spray that spread to my clothes. A little bit of wet scrappy dirt by itself is no big deal to a GS rider (right?), the wet Seattle roads were building a grime layer on suit and machine, and it was time to investigate added fender protection.

“Support innovation, buy the original”

After a bit of industry research, I realized that the fender protection product segment is occupied by an innovator specializing in BMW twins, and a lower priced product with virtually the same specs. The decision point for me was easy: I believe in supporting innovation in the industry, as well as design originality, much like a Kickstarter project. So I went with the MachineArt Moto front/back fender combo.

Front side

The front fender extension is called the Advant 12, and adds a little more than 5 inches to the back side of the front fender to reduce the spray coming off the front wheel. It installs in about 5 minutes with 3 clips and a Torx screwdriver.

Before / After front fender extension
Before / After front fender extension


Back side installation with a Jesse luggage high pipe mount

I have the Jesse Odyssey II with regular mounts, which means that the left side mount overlaps with a key anchor position on the MudSling MAX.

Left side of 1200GS
Notice the Jesse bag mount location and MudSling mount area.


Notice the overlap
Notice the overlap.


After a quick consult with Andrew @ MachineArt Moto, I decided to carve out the overlapping segment with a Dremel.

MudSling MAX before Dremel surgery
MudSling MAX before Dremel surgery.


After surgery
MudSling MAX after surgery. I used the Dremel cutting wheel for the major line cuts, and a small grinder to smooth out the edges.


I performed a few back and forth fit/cut iterations before the left side lined up snugly. I attached the two upper screws, zip ties on the bars, and examined the clearance between the extension and the Heidenau K60 tire…about a quarter inch clearance while on center stand, no rubbing while on side stand.

Finished extension, nice and tight
Finished extension, nice and tight to the frame tube


Let’s ride

As timing would have it, the next day featured another drizzly commute, so I was able to get an early preview of the extensions in action:

  • Frame bar where I lift the bike onto center stand was dry.
  • My boots were far more dry than in previous rides
  • My commute takes me through a park with six speed bumps, which I took at various speeds to see if the rear tire hit the fender: no contact at low speeds, some contact at ~25-30mph. This translates to keeping the rear extender on for all street riding and light off roading, and likely removal for rougher off roading, so I can avoid a repeat of what happened last year on the ALCAN with the BMW rear spray guard.


Bye-bye mud guard
BMW recommends removing the mud guard before riding rough roads. Ooops.


Good stuff, glad I did this. Only wish I had these installed on my Alaska trip year, would have saved a bunch of Dalton calcium chloride from riding up on the machine.

Highly recommended.

How to: hockey puck on BMW 1200 GS sidestand

The BMW 1200 GS sidestand is notorious for digging into soft dirt when deployed with a loaded bike, which can result in a bike tip over. Not fun putting a 600 pound bike back upright, even more of a hassle if you’re solo. There are several workarounds to prevent a sidestand dig in, ranging from free (coaster on a string) to $30-40 (manufactured metal plate extenders to surround the sidestand base plate).

Let’s go with the hockey puck approach – it’s cheap and easy. There are a few different ways to install, I went with the ‘sandwich’ approach:

Hockey puck base on sidestand

1) Acquire a puck. They’re $3-5 new in a store, or perhaps you have one lying around.

2) Cut it in half like you would slice off a stick of salami, using a band saw or cross cut saw. No need to be super precise, helps if they are relatively even.

3) Select one half for the bottom, and the other for the top.

  • On the bottom half, trace an outline of the sidestand base with a Sharpie. Then carve a slight indent of the outline with a dremel or pocket knife. This will enable the sidestand base to sit within the base.
  • On the top half, carve out a notch for the sidestand arm so that the top and bottom puck halves will line up with each other.

hockey puck cut in half with notches

4) Center both pieces below and atop the base of the sidestand. Identify three locations where to bolt the pieces to each other without hitting the base. Drill holes through both pieces at the locations. This is what I used:

  • three #6-32 x 1-1/4″ machine screws
  • three #6 washers
  • one 9/64 drill bit for drilling

After drilling, taper the holes on the bottom of the lower pieces so that the machine screws will sit embedded within the puck. This allows the bike to rest on the puck and not the screws.

5) Attach screws through the bottom half of the puck, and align with the sidestand base. Place top half atop the sidestand, and fit the screws through the top half. This may take some juggling, as the screw hole size should be snug and tight with the screws.

6) Secure screws with washers and nuts. Tighten down. Add loc-tite.

Sidestand with puck in up position

There should be clearance between the puck and the center stand in up position as well as the muffler.

You’re good to go.

UPDATE July 2011: alas, this approach failed after a week of use. Cutting the puck in half reduced it’s durability, and it shortly broke apart. Moved over to the Touratech sidestand solution, works great.