How we prep our Motorcycles

How we prep our Motorcycles

Few bikes are set up for our kind of travel right out of the box. While we decided that the R80GS was the best base bike for us, it certainly needed a fair bit of prep and modification before it was going to ready. 

While we have the luxury of a full shop and the experience to prep motorcycles for different environments, we will also share other options that are readily available. Most everything can be accomplished on a tight budget and by doing it yourself, you will have the advantage of knowing your bike inside and out. 

 

FUEL RANGE

FUEL IS A BIG DEAL. THE MORE FUEL YOU CAN CARRY, THE FARTHER FROM THE BEATEN PATH YOU CAN GET AND THE MORE YOU CAN SEE AND RIDE. 

We have the stock 32 ltr/9 gallon tank on my R80GS PD and a 24 ltr 6 gallon on Joel's ST Conversion from an R100GS. This gives us a combined capacity of 56 liters and 15 gallons to split between the two of us in dire times of need. 

Under ideal conditions this gives us an average range of a little over 315 miles (506 km) . Fuel range is a fickle thing though. We know our range bounces all over the place depending on altitude, speed and conditions.

In post trip assessment, 8.5 gallon capacity is more than what is really necessary. But, I'm stoked we had it. It allowed us to do a handful of routes with out sweating it, or strapping on extra jerry cans, and we never had to adjust our course to chase gas stations. That being said, we wouldn't suggest any less than 6 gallons to do a trip similar to ours. 

SUSPENSION

WITH THE INCREASED WEIGHT OF YOUR LUGGAGE AND LARGER FUEL CAPACITY, YOU WILL NEED TO INCREASE THE SPRING WEIGHT ON BOTH ENDS OF YOUR BIKE.

We upgraded both our bikes to Wilbers from Shock seals and bushings should be replaced before you leave. They are cheap and much easier to do before hand in your clean garage. 

Fresh seals should last you well over 30,000 miles of rough riding assuming your boots are keeping the stanchions clean.

We upgraded both of our front spring to Promoto progressive springs from Wilbers. The GS already had a top of the line  Road & Track BM 317 but it hadn't been serviced since I got the bike.

The guys at Ohlins US completely rebuilt it and pre-loaded to our specs for passenger weight and load. The ST got a brand new Wilbers Type 530 Road rear shock. 


Due to their progressive spring rate they offer sensitive response at slow compression speed but also prevent the fork from bottoming out at higher velocities or if you have to brake hard.

EXTRA VISIBILITY

The 12 watt Glenda makes your motorcycle more visible to oncoming traffic during the day and at night provides a wide pattern of light which adds to side illumination.

They are a combination of a fog and visibility light meant to make you more conspicuous. If you ride mostly on the street, during the day, Glenda is a good choice to help make you safer and more visible.

Specifications:

  • 12 watts consumption each
  • 2" diameter
  • 800 lumens each
  • 7 ounces
  • Fully dimmable, comes with dimmer
  • Includes wiring harness
  • CNC machined
  • Made in the U.S.A.

THE MIGHTY KICKSTARTER

ONE OF THE BEST FEATURES OF THE R80 GS (NOT THE R80ST) IS THAT IT BROUGHT BACK THE KICKSTATER FROM THE DEAD. BUT YES, IT'S TRUE, WITH A DEAD BATTERY THE KICKSTARTER IS USELESS AS YOU NEED POWER TO WORK THE IGNITION. 

The starter solenoid requires quite a bit of juice from the battery to even engage, but if for whatever unexpected reason you find yourself with the tiniest bit of battery the kickstarter will save the day. Also it's incredibly handy to rotate the motor when doing a service instead of having to use the rear wheel or taking the front cover to reach the crank. 

EXTRA FILTERING

Even if our tanks already have a fine-mesh filter on each petcock it's never a bad idea to add some extra help. 

This fuel filters act as a second screen for small impurities, dust, lining, rust and gunk that can accumulate in the bottom of the tank over a long period of time. 

Riding through countries where gas stations are not every 100 miles or less there's a chance that we will be running our tanks pretty low more than a handful of times