Getting the bike ready
I spoke with Rick at my local dealership about my trip, the owner of Adventure BMW in Chesapeake, for advice on what I needed to do. He’s taken a few trips himself and his advice was to keep it simple. I have a capable bike already and can find service for it in most major cities and I am not really planning on hard-core moto-crossing anyway. Additionally, the bike has a good reputation for not stranding you, so I am not too worried before starting out.
I began with THE bike I wanted to do an around the world trip riding. I did a wee bit of write up here on my BMW R1200GS. Needless to say I love this bike. But, I still did some things make it even better for my journey. Mostly I made the bike more durable off road and added a bunch of “farkles” to suit me and my riding style. One of the first things I did was add Touratech engine and body protection bars. I can drop this bike on its side and not worry about damaging the Boxer engine that protrudes from the side or the radiators hidden beneath the upper plastics. With these guards came weight, but it’s low weight and instills a great deal of confidence.
I also tried and trained with the knobby tires, TKC80s. These are GREAT tires off road but are like pencil erasers being dragged down the highway on roads, and are noisy as all get out. I think I got about 4,000 miles out of the rear tire whereas typically I would expect double or triple that on a road tire. I settled on the Anakee 3, which provide a good compromise between on road performance and on the harder packed off road stuff.
I have made several other mods to the bike: Touratech Brush Guards, Touratech Side Bags, Givi Top Case and Rack, BMW Adventure Pegs, Conspicuity Rear Brake Lights.