Archive for February, 2010

new route …

Posted: February 26, 2010 in General, Route

We decided to change the route slightly, not for Africa, but mainly Europe. As we have done France extensively in the past, we decided to do something else. Instead of the normal France, Italy route, we are going from Calais, then Belgium, Germany, Austria and down into  Italy !

This way we see a bit more of Europe and places we have never been 🙂

More info here

I recently went to South Africa for a holiday (photos here) where I rented a R1200GS for 2 weeks to travel around with. I have to say, the bike was very disappointing (for me at least).

It felt heavy, lazy and full of rattles and shakes. The most annoying thing was the centre console bouncing all over the place. At some stage my dad was driving in front of me in a car and he told me all he saw was a bouncing light. I then discovered this annoying centre console is attached to the headlight unit. I can’t believe people moan about the little “wobble” you get on the F800GS brake fluid reservoir compared to this R1200GS.

I did eventually drop the bike, came down quite hard over to the left and had to pay the rental company around R13000 (+/- £1000) in damages.

So, for me at least, the 1200GS is not the bike for me and probably never will be. The 800GS is so much better for me and much more fun !

Picking up the bike on arrival in South Africa:

Setting off from my brothers house on my 2 week holiday:

Riding down to the lake on my Uncles farm:


Posted: February 25, 2010 in General

I think I am going to get a few of these stickers made for the panniers:

F800GS Piston replacement

Posted: February 25, 2010 in General
Tags: , ,

The video above is the sound which my BMW F800GS engine started making. It started out “not as noticeable” but as time went by it became worse and worse. I had the bike at 2 BMW dealers (Vines Guildford and SBW) who told me it sounds normal. The problem was, that when the engine gets warm, the sound subsided, so by the time I got to the dealers I was given the “sounds normal” speech.

I ended up taking my motorcycle to my local dealer, BMW Battersea London, which would you believe it or not, were the most helpful. I have asked them to keep the bike overnight and listen to it the next morning when the engine is cold. I received a call the following day to tell me it doesn’t sound good, but they are not sure what is causing it.

They have consulted BMW Technical in Germany who asked them to strip the whole engine and find the fault. So they did and found worn pistons and bearings. They did a complete engine rebuilt, new pistons and parts all free of charge to me at least. I also recently went back for my “600 mile run in check” again which was done completely free of charge. I have to say a thank you to Veronika, Joe and the team at Battersea for all the help, they have really been very helpful !

All sorted now and the bike feels good !