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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Just purchased a 2008 GSA with super low miles. Test drove it, and coming from the cruiser side of things, I was blown away at comfortable ride, responsiveness, and capability. Hoping to do some overseas trips down the road and this is the bike a friend of mine rides everywhere he travels so it made sense in every way.

Obviously the bike is night and day different than my cruiser. In almost every way this is a good thing. A couple of things I'm curious as to whether things can be adjusted or tweaked more to my liking, or perhaps it's just the nature of this style motorcycle and I need to get used to it.

First, clutch pedal. I have size 14 boots and angling my foot that far down is not a natural angle at all. Not asking to adjust it as if the bike had a floorboard, but something closer to slightly below parallel to the road would be preferred. Is this adjustable to that point or do I need a different pedal ?

Brake pedal. That thing is tiny. Do they make a wider pedal for those of us with gigantic feet ?

Battery. My previous bike lived its life hooked up to a battery tender and I was lucky to have the last battery last 5 years. However that bike was zero computer, carbureted etc. Can I just get the standard hookup for the batt tender or does this bike require something special ?

The bike has the brackets for what I believe are called panniers, the aluminum box luggage. Not really best for my needs for the sides. Was hoping for soft or resin boxes/bags for the sides. Is that an option ? Keep seeing warnings about the exhaust on lots of sites.

Any other tips and advice anyone has I'm all ears. I'm looking forward to getting to know the bike and putting some miles on it. Trying to find somewhere close to get it Maryland State Inspected so I can get it tagged and start having fun. Still can't believe how comfortable it was to ride and how my body wasn't sore going over bumps etc. Night and day difference from my 22 year old cruiser, despite all new suspension and tires.

Thanks so much for the help and guidance.

Jeff
 

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Hi, JD: If you get down and look, both the gear shift and brake pedal should have up/down adjustment using a threaded barrel and locknut assembly, at least that's the way the newer GSA's work. There are manufacturers of soft luggage that mount directly to the OEM pannier racks,. Check out the Bumot Xtremada line at Advmotorrad.com, for example. GSA's are remarkably comfortable and nimble, you're right. Welcome, and Enjoy!!
 

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2018 K1600GTL / 2020 R1250GS
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Battery - standard tender hook-up is fine. 12V battery
Panniers - if you like soft luggage, lots of options. I have the Mosko Moto ones. There are several others. There is also a toolbox you can get to mount on the racks from a number of places. Search this site and you'll find opinions.
Gear shift - there is an adjustment for it ("turnbuckle style"). They also make aftermarket ones with wider adjustments (longer shift peg, other adjustments)

Have fun!
 

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Riding a 2009 R1200gs
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Welcome onboard, on my 2009, I installed this Touratech adjustable shifter
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The tip is also folding, a good thing if the bike is dropped.
 

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Welcome. Plenty of threads on your bike...pretty easy maintenance on those. Your questions...

Shifter adjusts...loosen, move up a notch, tighten.

Brake pedal does not adjust on the oil cooled bikes, but extenders are available.

Any good tender should work. Only use mine if off the bike > 3 weeks.

Soft luggage there is a BMW adapter to keep off the exhaust (~$120) or Giant Loop makes quick release mounts for your racks (~$300). BMW rack:
 

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Riding a 2009 R1200gs
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About the luggage, OEM from BMW, the GS's have the plastic Vario luggage and the GSA's have the aluminum panniers. Many GS owner are selling the Vario and install something else.

The Vario that I got with my bike
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There are not many options for plastic luggage beside the Vario's or some converted Pelican case

My photo luggage (homemade)
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Congrats for the choise of the machine! Change all consumables, if you dont know what happens with bike, from previous owner. You will be glad with this, Good Luck!
 

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If you want to plug in the charger intro the “cigarette lighter”- socket on the dashboard you’ll need an Optimate 4 Dual or the original , more expensive, less reliable BMW charger.
If you use another type, the canbus of your bike will shut down the charging cycle after a few minutes.
 

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If you get a GSA brake pedal they have a flip down portion the effectively raises the brake pedal to make it easier to actuate. Its supposed to be used when standing on the pegs and not have to push you foot down so far. I leave it in the down position all the time.

If you are simply looking for a wider foot print then there are bolt on options as other have mentioned.
 

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'14 R1200 GS Adv "Freya"
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The brake pedal is really not adjustable. You need to have 1.0-1.5MM from the top of the pedal lever to the frame.
 

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I just got my 2009 GS out of a storage unit last Saturday. It spent a little over three months in it. Started just fine. The clock is the only thing drawing current and it’s negligible. I have all accessories hooked up to the switched GPS power port except for the accessory lights main supply which is relayed from the above switched source. So there is zero parasitic draw. No charger needed. Lead acid batteries are good for about six months before self discharge becomes a problem. Even longer if temps are kept low.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all so much for the responses and guidance.

Am glad to hear my regular tender will still work well. It's easy and cheap enough for me to order just the battery terminal connector and I'll be good to go.

As far as the pedals go, I'll follow the guidance suggested and go with adjusting first. Will also check out the add on for the brake pedal listed on ali express as that will help out immensely.

Bags wise, I'm happy to hear there are some soft and more affordable options. I'd heard of people using pelican and pelican like boxed with success so it's nice to know that's an option also.

Maintenance wise the bike has 12K miles despite being an 08. It was serviced yearly at Bobs BMW dealership in MD so I'm lucky in that the service history is thorough and complete. Only issue I know of is the tire light is on, and the seller told me the sensors weren't communicating with the bike. Looking into that it seems a common problem with the batteries in the sensors going bad. I'm happy to replace the batteries myself rather than be pillaged by BMW for new sensors. I don't have extra hundreds and hundred of dollars to replace sensors that aren't broke but are just needing batteries and reset with the tool. That's an easy fix.

I also am getting a number of accessories with the bike including an extra heated lower seat, which I can test to see which fits better.

He struggled with the gps to get it to work. Despite downloading the latest maps to the card and loading it, the system apparently still isn't working. Will have to mess with that in time. Having my phone, I don't see an immediate need for that anytime soon.

Again, I thank you all for the help. Truly appreciate the warm welcome and advice.

Jeff
 

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If you are in MD and or Bobs you are most likely not too far from me. Remember everything is in walking distance if you have enough time If you need help with service and don’t want to break the bank at the dealership I’m in Chambersburg and know my way around a hexhead.
 

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Thank you all so much for the responses and guidance.

Am glad to hear my regular tender will still work well. It's easy and cheap enough for me to order just the battery terminal connector and I'll be good to go.

As far as the pedals go, I'll follow the guidance suggested and go with adjusting first. Will also check out the add on for the brake pedal listed on ali express as that will help out immensely.

Bags wise, I'm happy to hear there are some soft and more affordable options. I'd heard of people using pelican and pelican like boxed with success so it's nice to know that's an option also.

Maintenance wise the bike has 12K miles despite being an 08. It was serviced yearly at Bobs BMW dealership in MD so I'm lucky in that the service history is thorough and complete. Only issue I know of is the tire light is on, and the seller told me the sensors weren't communicating with the bike. Looking into that it seems a common problem with the batteries in the sensors going bad. I'm happy to replace the batteries myself rather than be pillaged by BMW for new sensors. I don't have extra hundreds and hundred of dollars to replace sensors that aren't broke but are just needing batteries and reset with the tool. That's an easy fix.

I also am getting a number of accessories with the bike including an extra heated lower seat, which I can test to see which fits better.

He struggled with the gps to get it to work. Despite downloading the latest maps to the card and loading it, the system apparently still isn't working. Will have to mess with that in time. Having my phone, I don't see an immediate need for that anytime soon.

Again, I thank you all for the help. Truly appreciate the warm welcome and advice.

Jeff
You should also look at the Giant Loop soft panniers. Great stuff and quick detach.
 

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Jeff, something also to consider that hasn't been mentioned on the great replies. If you're planning on actually doing lots of terrain riding and offroad, etc, invest in yourself. Adventure bikes handle much differently in the dirt and require different techniques than what most people who've been riding road all their lives may be used to. It will greatly improve your technique and ultimately...fun factor. There are quite a few quality offroad training companies out there. BMW has a school on the east coast, there is RawHyde Adventures in SoCal, Jimmy Lewis in Vegas area, etc. Plenty to choose from and worth the investment to keep yourself having fun and being more knowledgeable (ie safe.) Full transparency, I am a coach at one of the above establishments, and I'm speaking from experience.

Different take on the shifter- if you're planning on wearing the more protective, stiffer offroad boots that don't flex in the ankle, just get used to using the side lip of the sole to shift up. It sounds weird but you'll get used to it in one day of riding- muscle memory. That way you won't have to lift your leg as high to downshift. This is my preferred setup and what I teach, but your mileage may vary.

I own Mosko Moto soft bags (which are great but require mounts), and I also own Wolfman Rocky Mountain soft bags. They also have water-proof inserts and have a loop system to easily mount to your existing pannier rack. If you plan on doing road-only touring, I highly recommend Al Jesse bags. (I own the largest Safari panniers also.) They're much, much tougher and have thicker aluminum w/ powder coat and still cost less than the dealer bags (which a good punch will bend them.) One tip over with OEM bags and the grooves no longer seal/seat correctly.

Just my $.02. Best of luck!

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Again, I cannot thank you all enough for the input and advice.

I ended up picking up a set of Vario Cases and mounts for a very reasonable price. Unfortunately that means I will need to remove the stainless rack and mounts that came stock on my adventure but for my kind of riding the varios will work great and the price just couldn't be beat. Based on what I have heard I should be able to sell the Adventure rack for good money which will offset my Vario case purchase substantially if not all.

Thanks for the offer to help. I'm not far from Chambersburg, a couple of hours. May take you up on that offer for sure moving forward.

Thanks Chris for the recommendation for training. I've actually been looking into a school not far down in VA that offers beginners and advanced ADV courses for motorcycles. Definitely going to be looking into that to gain good experience and training so I can do things off-road. I've never driven off-road and I want training before I do.

GPS wise I can't even get the thing to turn on, so I think the battery is toast. Going to try to pop the battery out and do a soft reset first, and if that doesn't work I'll go from there.

Seat wise, he gave me a lower sargent seat I'm going to try and see how it feels. He said it's even more comfortable than the stock seat, which honestly I found to be very comfortable. Hardest thing I'm finding is the need to shift very fast. The bike decelerates extremely fast when letting off the throttle to shift and my body slams forward when that happens, so all of my weight is being stopped by my hands on the grips. That's going to take some getting used to. I'm sure I just need to shift my posture and let my body do that but it's just not what I'm used to.

Going to order the battery tender hookup for direct to the battery. It's what he used and will work with the tender I already have.

Pedals wise, I'm just going to make little adjustments and ride and see if I get used to it before dropping hundreds of dollars in pegs and pedals.

Can't wait to get more miles and experience on the bike. It's such a difference compared to a cruiser which is all I've ever ridden. Just excited to be riding something I enjoy riding and that's comfortable to ride.
 

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Let me know what racks (pannier and or top) you are selling?

As a word of advise I'd keep the OEM GSA pannier racks as you may find the shortcomings of the Varios. They are heavy, the expandable mechanism is like a Swiss watch and bulky taking up a lot of space in the interior of the pannier, they are side loaders and the exhaust side is all but worthless as the muffler cutout takes up 90% of the case. Also with no crossover the Varios when loaded swing back and forth like a cows udders as its running across the field at feeding time. If running a lot of rough terrain or overloading them they plastic hooks have a tendency to break.

My 1str GS came with Varios and I originally thought the expandable feature was great, Turns out it was something I rarely if ever used. Then I got another GS with top loaders and the Varios quickly fell out of favor. Over the last two years I have bought 9 GS's and at least 4 of them came with Varios. Now they are the 1st thing I sell and then install OEM GSA or Touratech racks and aluminum panniers in their place.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I appreciate the input. I don't ride off-road so the goal was to be able to have something I could store a jacket, gloves, some tools etc in. Also something I can easily take off. I ordered a knockoff aluminum top case 45L box I plan to mount on top, and that I'll use to store my helmet if I go in somewhere etc.




I'll happily take your advice and keep the adventure rack until I see how the varios work out. If down the road I do off road riding I may be compelled the get hard cases. I didn't intend on using the expandability function really. Just wanted something more compact but didn't want soft bags that relied solely on straps either. There was only one semi rigid option and the price point was insane. I picked these up for not a huge amount of cash so I'm confident I'd get my money selling them if I decide I don't like them. I'm a little disappointed there's no adapter bracket to be able to mount them to the gsa rack but it is what it is.
 

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JD, just an additional comment on your riding style when downshifting. It may take some practice, but try to build the habit of using more brake to slow down velocity (and then start to downshift) versus using the strong back-torque caused by (early) downshifting. You will find that it will become a much smoother ride. More importantly, and I speak from experience on this, I used to be a heavy engine/gear braker, and it wore out my clutch prematurely. On the 2011, you literally have to split the bike in two to get access to the clutch and I believe it's a similar design on your bike. Trust me on this one, it's much, much cheaper to go through brake pads (and even rotors) versus replacing the clutch.

Good on you for getting training! Smart choice, my man. Best of luck!
 
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