Modifying the Bike with Touratech Gear

I’ve been working for the past few days to get the bike prepped for the trip. I’ve been getting a ton of help from the staff at Touratech USA.  These guys know what they are doing and have really been great. After many phone calls and a lot of research I ordered my first batch of parts:

  • Expedition Skid Plate, Long
  • BMW Crash Bar Reinforcement BMW R1200GS / ADV
  • Zega Pro Topcase Rack, Rapid Trap
  • Pannier Racks, Stainless Steel
  • Zega Pro Pannier System 38/45 liter, anodized silver
  • Zega Pro Topcase, anodized silver, 38 liter, w/ Rapid Trap
  • Final Drive Breather Kit, BMW R1200GS / ADV
  • Zega Pro Liner Bags and locks for all panniers
  • Stainless Radiator Guard, Black, BMW R1200GS / ADV
  • Quick Release Stainless Steel Headlight Guard
  • Large Sidestand Foot
  • Sidestand Switch Guard
  • BMW Nav V (purchased from BMW dealer)
  • BMW bar risers (purchased from BMW dealer)

I also bought a new Aventuro Carbon Helmet since my old helmet was well past it’s expiration date. My first few rides with the Aventuro Carbon Helmet have been fantastic. It’s much lighter than any other helmet I’ve owned and I love the massive field of view. It’s very comfortable as well.

Most all of the parts bolted on just as advertised. The pannier racks were extremely easy to install. My only issue was ordering the wrong top case rack. I didn’t realize the the R1200 GS has a different rear configuration than the GS Adventure. In fact the Adventure has a lot of differences in the fairing and body panels. I didn’t realizes how different until I started bolting on parts.

I haven’t installed everything yet because some parts are on backorder. Touratech is expecting things to ship in the next three weeks, I’m hoping nothing is delayed too long. I really need to get the bike finished and tested so I can leave the USA soon. Once the bike is finished I’ll take some real photos (sorry for the iPhone snapshots) and give my impressions of the entire system.

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  1. Hi Mark – I’m excited to follow your motorcycle adventure. We share your interests of photography, travel and motorcycling.

    I have a question for you: Have you thought about how to document the actual riding? We’re currently planning our next trip on our BMW 700 GS, and have not come to any brilliant conclusions. We have attached the GoPro to different parts of the bike in the past, but we’re never happy with the shots (RAW is so much better). We always come back from motorcycling trips with good shots of the places where we stop for a while, but nothing to document the parts where we ride, which are often the best. We tend to not even document short stops because it’s too much of a hassle to take out the camera.

    Anyway, maybe we can brainstorm this together. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

    1. I’m working that out as well. I think I have a solution using three or four GoPro Hero4 cameras. I’ll be testing it out later this week and will post my results once it’s all locked in. I think they key is keeping things simple and easy. We’ll see…

      1. Some things we learned when using GoPros on the bike:

        * They should be attached in a way so that they don’t get damaged when the bike is dropped.
        * It’s best if they can be easily added and removed. We don’t like leaving them on the bike when we leave the bike unattended. This is probably the biggest pain point for us.
        * They get a fair amount of attention, e.g. people approaching us and asking us about them. This has become less of a problem now that GoPros are so ubiquitous.

        Also, we do more photography than video. Generally, we get OK video and some decent timelapses with the GoPro attached to the bike, but no photos that we’re really proud of. That was disappointing for us. It may not be a problem for you, since you do a lot of video.

        Anyway, I think this would make a good blog post. I would read it 🙂

  2. H Mark, looking forward to following your journey because of both my passions, photography and motorcycles. I’m on my third BMW boxer, two 1150 GS’s and one RT. I have switched out the stock seats on all of them. I’m curious on your thoughts of the stock seat on yours. I’ve done 800 mile days on my Mayer saddles from both Rocky or Bill Mayer out in California. Thanks for all you do.


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