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Thread: My tutorial on BMW bikes (many many pics!)

  1. #1
    Rusted Haroon's Avatar
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    Default My tutorial on BMW bikes (many many pics!)

    It has taken me some time to put this together, but as promised, I have attempted to do a small tutorial with pictures on BMW bikes from whatever little knowledge I have acquired over the years after owning and riding many of these wonderful machines. I have clicked all the pics on either my bike/friends bikes or at the showroom in Jeddah. I am only covering some of the main external features on BMW bikes and that itself has made this post long. Hope you have the time & patience to sit thru the whole thing.

    As a starter, since the R1200GS is my present favourite, some differences between the earlier model R1200GS(red bike here) and the 2009 version (blue bike here). No aftermarket accessories on them. All standard equipment only. (yes, the funky turn signals on the 2009 are original BMW accessory)

    Gas tank metal shield(2009) Vs plain tank on earlier model



    Clear lens LED tail light(2009) Vs conventional tail light on earlier model



    Stainless steel exhaust(2009) Vs chrome exhaust in earlier model



    Legendary Shaft drive of BMW R-Bikes (right side)


    Shaft drive on the K-Bikes (left side)

    (BTW, this is the ‘K1200R Sport’)

    Belt drive on the F800S and other pics of that bike



    Hand-controls/switchgear on BMWs. One of the most distinct differences is having 2 separate turn signal switches on the left & right side as compared to a single switch set-up on Jap bikes, which is normally on the left (Yes, Harleys also have a set up like BMW). Press to activate it and then press again to deactivate the turn signal. Furthermore, when the left & right signal switches are pressed simultaneously they also double up as the hazard warning light (all 4 indicators flashing). The description of the other switches seen the pics here are- ABS (Anti Brake-lock System), ASC (Automatic Stability Control), INFO/BC (To get all info from the on-board computer), ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment)
    R1200GS 2005 & up


    R1200GS – 2009



    F800S


    R1200RT (it’s a similar set-up for all of the new R & K 1200/1300 series bikes)



    R1100RT (it’s a similar set-up for all the older R & K 1100 series bikes)




    Tubeless tires on spoke wheels???
    Yes, BMWs (and probably few Moto-Guzzis & Aprillias) are the only bikes that have spoke wheels which can mount tubeless tires. Reason is very simple as seen in the picture- the spoke ends at the edge of the rim as opposed to ending in the middle part of the rim for all other bikes. But the F series bikes have conventional spoke rims and CAN NOT take tubeless tires.


    Electronic cruise control
    Probably now found on Goldwings, Victory visions etc, the BMW electronic cruise has been here for a while and its similar to the system on cars. Not the throttle tightening screw mechanism. On long rides on flat highways, these really work wonders irrespective of going up or down an incline.



    Electrically adjustable windshield on touring models
    This first appeared on the K1100LT, R1000RT etc in the early/mid 90s and almost a decade later found its way on the Yam-FJR, Hon-ST1100/1300, Kaw-GTR1400 etc. (Its denoted on the switch with a helmet & windshield beside the Lo/Hi beam button)


    Down position R1100RT

    Up Position


    Down position R1200RT


    Up position


    Heated hand-grips & heated seat
    For those cold weather riding in sub-zero temperatures, these are not luxuries, but essentials. These are a factory option and they work very well and are very functional. For your/passengers butt you have 3 different heating levels.
    (the 2 buttons below the BC button)


    Built-in Stereo with Aux input jack
    The Stereo on BMWs are premium stuff and it also comes with the audio jack to connect your MP3 or I-Pod etc. We tried all stuff & it worked!
    Radio on the R1200RT





    Radio controls on the K1200LT


    Manually adjustable windshield on the R1200GS
    With the loosening of 2 knobs on either side near the grove, the windshield can be adjusted a few inches up (as shown on red bike) or down (as shown on blue bike).



    Rear wheel removal from one side (similar like a car)
    The R series and K series bikes have wheels with one sided swingarm (also called para-lever) and hence removal of the wheel is a piece of cake and quite similar to how you do it on a car. Just unbolt the nuts from one side and the wheel comes off.
    R1100RT




    R1200RT


    Brembo brakes & Anti Brake-lock System (ABS) groves on the wheel
    All BMWs come standard with Brembo brakes. So, that is sure stopping…
    Ofcourse the ABS has its own module and other parts, but the groves on the front disk is where some of the ABS braking action takes place.



    XENON Lights
    Oh yes, BMW is top notch stuff and hence the flagship K1200LT comes factory equipped with Xenon lights


    The below light is the built-in fog-lamp


    Hollow rear Axle
    All new R & K series bikes come with hollow rear axles. Yes like the old ad ‘Mint with a hole’, this is axle with a hole- Reason- To reduce heat build up and also probably to photograph the landscape thru the axle hole!!


    Electrical Reversing mechanism
    With close to 400 kgs of bike on your hand, its not exactly an easy task to push the K1200LT backwards against an incline. Hence only this model has this F & R switch. The (R) Reverse is electrically operated and hence can not be called a reverse gear although that’s the function it does. At normal times the switch must be kept in the (F) Forward position.


    Electro-hydraulic Center stand deployment on the K1200LT
    With a heavy bike, this sure is a welcome addition. Watch it on the link below (at the 1.08 minute mark)



    Auxiliary Power Outlets
    Yes, globe trotters need battery power for a lot of things like GPS, Radar detectors, Satellite radio, Heated vests etc and hence BMW normally provides either 1 or 2 outlets 12volts as standard fitment. Its similar to the cigarette lighter in cars but this socket is a little smaller in diameter and the BMW male plugs are available as accessory. BTW, all BMW bike batteries are heavy duty and can easily take the additional load. My battery is 12 volts/ 19Ah.
    K1200LT

    R1100RT

    R1200RT

    R1200GS


    No front dive under heavy braking.
    The front suspension is one of the most critical part giving a motorcycle ultimate riding precision and comfort. From an early stage itself BMW has introduced all kinds of innovations on the front-wheel suspension which have mostly been industry firsts. Few examples- The first hydraulically dampened telescopic fork on a production motorcycle (1937), the longitudinal swinging arm ('50s and '60s), the long-stroke high-comfort telescopic fork ('70s) and the Telelever (1993) etc
    The R Series and some earlier K Series bikes all use Tele-lever- which in simple terms has the main spring somewhere in the region under the gas tank (see pic below), while it is linked to the front fork tubes, which do not have any springs inside them and merely act as the steering controllers only. Therefore under hard braking the spring under the gas tank takes the shock, while the front forks do not dive down so much like the jap bikes.


    On the new K Series bikes, they have the The Duolever front-wheel suspension (adapted & perfected from the Norman Hossack design). It is one of the most advanced suspension system found on production motorcycles today (see pics below). As I have limitations on technical explanations, you can find more details on the design & its technical set-up at the link below
    http://www.motorcycledaily.com/30july04_2005bmw_k1200s.htm
    You have to ride the bike to feel the difference- It’s a big difference.





    Rear suspension on earlier K model bikes (side mounted)


    Hard luggage cases opening/removal
    BMW has standard hard side cases for almost all their model range. Although pricey, most of them are built solidly (OE luggage made by either Hepco & Becker, Krauser or Shad). They are designed to be fixed or removed from the bike in seconds and if you order them separately, you can key them to your bikes ignition key. Here are some pics of the cases that come with the bike on the new R1200RT as well as my old R1100RT. Its very simple to open or remove.

    REMOVAL



    OPENING



    Here is a video from my European Alps trip where you can see how easy it is to mount the BMW sidecases & topcase (also called Panniers) onto the R1200RT. Surely, they also can take a good amount load!
    (enjoy the video, but the cases mounting starts from the 1:35 minute mark)












    Adjustable seat height on touring models
    Most of the touring models have 3 position seat adjustment to fit tall & short riders. The pics will explain the step-by-step process on my R1100RT
    Unlock the seat with the key

    Remove the rear & front seats



    Lift the seat height adjuster lever



    Before & After seat height



    Seat/Suspension Lowering kits
    BMWs have optional seat lowering kits available for many of their taller bikes like the GS. This is a factory option. They change the seat as well as suspension so shorter riders can also enjoy these otherwise tall bikes (BMWs are normally factory equipped with Wilburs or showa shocks). This bike in the showroom has been shortened by about 7 inches for a vertically challenged customer here.


    Mirror removal
    On the big touring bikes, the mirrors are designed to be easily removed/fixed for servicing, narrow parking spaces as well as a quick-detach item in case of a tip over!

    Push the mirror assembly outwards with your hand


    It comes off easily


    The turn signal bulb can be replaced if necessary


    Mirror removed


    Rear suspension adjustment on R1100RT
    The older bikes have the conventional suspension adjustment from Low-Std-High as shown here.






    The new bikes have the ESA (see button in picture) wherein the flick of a button while on the move itself can electronically adjust the suspension in 3 modes.


    Oil cooled R Series engines
    The R Series are oil cooled engines (not water cooled like the K Series). Therefore, the oil cooler sits in the BMW grill below the headlight.


    R-Series engine maintenance
    With the opposed-twin cylinders protruding sideways, removing the spark plug or even adjusting the valve timing is a very quick & easy job. The only downside is that without adequate engine guards, the cylinder head/timing cover is the first part to take a beating in a fall.





    Engine oil level check
    Inside that pigeon hole lies the ‘engine oil level sight-glass’. Its not visible with a camera but in daylight it is easy to read. It looks something like the below photo. So no need for removing dip-stick etc. Just look thru the glass and decide.



    Spring loaded grip handle
    This handle makes it easier to haul my 280kg bike around or put it/remove from center stand.


    Lockable Glove box
    A nice utility space to keep things handy & locked. If you don’t want it, that’s where the stereo system can be fixed.


    Standard BMW tool kit and my own puncture kit
    BMW provides a fairly decent tool kit including four CO2 catridges for flat tires (personally those catridges are a load of crap as a friend used 3 catridges and still the tire was only 30% full!). So I carry a mini 12volt compressor and a puncture kit (fortunately I have not had to use it and I hope I don’t need in future as well)



    My own music & rider to passenger intercom
    Yes, I have added a Chatterbox intercom to talk with the passenger, so beyond 100km/h no problem talking to each other. Also have a Worldspace satellite portable radio that connects thru the intercom to the headset in my helmet.



    My friend’s new C3 Schuberth helmet
    Probably one of the best flip-up helmets I have ever come across and pricey as well. Light weight but excellent build quality & very good ventilation plus many nice features. Oh, at Euro 450, this helmet is still a lot cheaper than Michael Schumacher’s custom Schuberth costing Euro 8,000! BTW, Schuberth are OE helmet suppliers to BMW.





    BMW also sells a complete line of rider gear, shoes, helmets, inner-wear etc. They are pricey, but the quality & finish is amazing.

    BMW-Airflow jacket
    With the heat here, the most popular jacket is the Airflow.
    (My blue is the older version, while the black one here is the latest version)


    This jacket has been with me for almost 9 years and it does a wonderful job in the extreme heat & humidity here.


    Various BMW riding boots



    I hope I have covered most of the basic stuff related to BMW bikes. Any questions are surely welcome.

    EDIT: Subsequent to starting this thread in mid-2011, came the luxury tourer, in-line 6 cylinder K1600GT & K1600GTL, which is a complete game changer with mind blowing technology incorporated into it.
    Last edited by Haroon; 11-20-2011 at 04:30 PM.



    Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional
    So many roads, So little time
    RIDE for PASSION

    See us & our global rides at:
    www.rideforpassion.com

  2. #2
    Rusted Aryan's Avatar
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    Topic Approved.

    Wonderful stuff Haroon sir. It's exhaustive! I will go through the tutorial now. Thanks for taking the pain and putting all this together. Really appreciate the hard work.
    ...in search of that perfect world - My Travel Blog :)

  3. #3
    Rusted Haroon's Avatar
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    Thanks Aryan for the quick approval and the kind words.
    It indeed did take some effort.
    Last edited by Haroon; 06-27-2012 at 03:42 AM.



    Growing old is compulsory - growing up is optional
    So many roads, So little time
    RIDE for PASSION

    See us & our global rides at:
    www.rideforpassion.com

  4. #4
    Rusted Carlitos's Avatar
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    Good lord.....i think now we are all familiar with every curve of BMW bikes. Thanks a million for the effort. XBHP is slowly becoming a brilliant research tool for bikers.
    " RIDE In Peace MARCO #58"
    http://www.viaterra.in/Default.aspx [One Stop Shop for Adventure Gear]

  5. #5
    Rusted moeed's Avatar
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    Default

    Awesome stuff! Thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
    Rusted desideep's Avatar
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    thats a great thread for BMW lovers the GS1200 is looking lovely
    |NO WHEELS|

  7. #7
    Rusted Puneet1's Avatar
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    Excellent thread and very informative , thanks for all the pictures and write up info

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    Rusted MavericK46's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing this with us sir
    Went through the promised pictures now, lots of em indeed Will read the write-up tomorrow.
    Thanks once again.

    Cheers !
    I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.

    -Homer J Simpson

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Rusted kriss's Avatar
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    wonderful haroon sir.
    There are Bikers
    There are Super Bikers...

    And Then there's
    KRISS

    click here for
    Click here to subscribe SMS alerts for all upcoming Xbhp- Hyderabad G2G's and Rides.

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    Addicted awasay's Avatar
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    great stuff here sir where in jeddah do you stay ?
    and how many 2 wheel riders are there I guess there aren't many of them
    I got to know that its not legal to drive a two wheeler on highways is it true ??

    Plz shower some light on these..
    Xbhpian.

    My art work

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