The best thing about the BMW F800GS is that it was designed for adventure. Whether you like on-road or off-road, this bike is versatile and interchangeable. You can use it for all activities, from general road trips on sealed highways or simply for heading to work, right through to long distance biking through the deserts of Central Australia. It’s powered by a four-stroke, inline two-cylinder engine. There are four valves per cylinder, and it has two overhead camshafts. The engine has a max power of 63 KW at 7,500 Rpm, and 61 Lb-Ft of torque at 5,750 Rpm. Max speed is around 200 km/hr.
If you’ve just bought one, or you’re looking to enhance for a different type of adventure, the right motorcycle accessories can make or break a trip. Not sure where to start?
Here are our nine best adventure touring modifications you MUST try before you head off:
Whether you want to change your tyres regularly or work with what suits your purpose the most, you need to choose tyres that are designed to match. If you spend most of your time off-roading on your F800GS, you’re not going to want street tyres. And vice-versa.
Consider what each tyre provides. Street tyres are smooth, designed to have indented grooves that basically give your bike good traction in wet conditions. Completely opposite, dirt tyres have the grooves on the outside – allowing them to dig deep into the terrain to give you traction. This also allows any mud and dirt to simply push straight in and out of the tyre’s grooves, keeping it clear so you don’t get a build up of muck. Not only that but there are also actually different specifications for off-road tyres depending on the terrain. Best you talk to a professional to find the tyres best suited to your needs.
There are plenty of reasons why you might consider a windscreen for your BMW. First, it’s practical. It’s going to reduce fatigue by preventing all that wind and dust blowing into your face. If it rains, you’re going to get less wet across the front of your helmet. If it’s hot, you’re not going to cop that heat to your face. They aren’t expensive. It’s one of the most affordable ways to enhance the performance of your motorbike. It will also protect you from stones, birds, and so on. They are easy to remove. If you decide you don’t want it on for everyday use, it only takes 5-15 minutes to remove it. They are great for your health! They have been found to combat fatigue, back pain and tension in your arms, by removing the wind blast that hits your face and body when driving.
3. Frame Sliders
Commonly used on sports bikes, if you’re planning on adventure touring and taking some heavy-weight corners, frame sliders will come in handy. They attach to the side of the bike, more often where the motor sits, and help to provide support when you’re cutting corners. Basically, they keep the bike off the ground – preventing expensive damage. You can actually buy full kits, which are easy to install yourself, and if you do like getting close to the ground around those corners while you’re out touring – these motorcycle accessories are well worth the investment.
4. Bash Plate or Skid Plate
Bash plates and skid plates are great for your BMW, protecting it where it needs it most – your engine. They are both quite similar, and the purpose is the same. It’s just that the bash plate generally extends further around the engine. When you’re touring, protecting your engine is obviously of utmost importance. Engine damage will not only ruin your adventure, but it could cost thousands of dollars in repairs. A bash plate will prevent that.
5. Crash Bars
Although crashing isn’t something we like to think about when riding, if you’re going off-road or adventure touring – it’s better safe, than sorry. Crash bars are designed to disperse impact if you have a crash. This stops the force of the crash from hitting a single point on the bike. They aren’t miracle workers. And your bike will likely still suffer damage. But they are designed to protect the most important parts of your bike. Including the engine, frame and petrol tank. There are two options available. Basic crash bars are fine if you’re only using low speeds; but if you’re planning on using speed on your adventure, there are more advanced options available.
6. Radiator Stone Guard
One of the most important parts of your bike, the radiator is often overlooked when it comes to protection. A radiator stone guard is designed to keep your radiator safe from debris, stones, and bugs. All of which can have a detrimental effect if they hit your radiator while you’re on the road (or off the road). A radiator stone guard won’t affect the efficiency of your radiator cooling, but it will protect it. Instead of your radiator getting covered in debris, or damaged from stones flying up; the guard will take the brunt of it. Keeping your radiator safe and preventing overheating.
Panniers are great to keep your belongings safe and are definitely worth the investment if you’re planning on taking your bike off-road. Available in aluminium and plastic, choose the design that suits your bike the best – and your requirements. If you’re a solo rider, these are a great way to store your heavy duty gear when you’re not near the bike. Able to carry more weight than standard saddlebags, you can get panniers up to 44 litres (and 32 litres if you get a topbox with them). They are easy to slide on the bike and take off. You can leave them on your bike if you head for a hike. They are lockable and strong. And they can also act as a protector if you accidentally drop your bike.
If you don’t want to carry such a heavy load on your Beamer, you might opt for saddlebags instead. Generally made from leather, like panniers, they are designed to keep your belongings safe while you travel. You can get hard versions, made from fibreglass or plastic, even metal. And they are detachable; you can lock them; they are resistant to impact and weather resistant. Some styles are 100% airtight; some are waterproof. And there is a huge variety available to suit your F800 GS.
9. Rear Luggage Plate
Another motorcycle accessories option for your luggage is a rear luggage plate. If you don’t want to have heavy or bulky bags on your bike and prefer to take your own daypack with you instead, rear luggage plates are an easy storage system for smaller bags. Or if you have something bulky that won’t fit into saddlebags or panniers. You can also fit your panniers onto the plate itself. Rear luggage plates are also great for carrying your small esky if you’re only off on a day trip and want to take lunch with you.
Before you head off on your adventure tour, make sure you equip your bike with all the essential gears. Happy Touring!