The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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I currently ride an R1100GS with ABS(94) and dream of RTW, however it worries me that EFI, ABS and chips might be too black box for this sort of thing.
For those of you that have done the long road home, is this the case or are mods in order. I have promised myself that once she doesn't owe me anything anymore I might get her rebuilt on simpler lines.
Your thoughts and feedback are eagerly sought?
The R11xxGSs have proven to be reliable, and failures of the electronics are not common. It can be argued that properly done electronics are more reliable than mechanical components. Certainly better at adjusting for altitude and bad fuel.
Also by the time you redo it, I suspect you could have bought a new bike. If you really want simple - and I have no argument with that as an airhead rider - go for the old bikes - R80/100GS. Of course they have their flaws too, which need fixing.
These flaws were fixed on the later series bikes, so you could always go for one of those - oh wait, you've got one!
In other words, don't mess (too much) with a good thing. Your bike has some flaws, but they are well know now. Deal with them and enjoy the ride. Sure wish I had your brakes, ABS, handling, suspension, power... and glad I don't have the weight, but not sure it matters much!
I bought a GS new in 94 and did 60000 miles on it. During this time I became friends with the dealer technician who serviced it, which was useful, because a surprising number of things went wrong with it.
Based on my experiences, and what my technician friend has told me, I would say don't worry about the EFI - it never goes wrong. The ABS almost never suffers a problem that you can't fix yourself - and if the control unit packs up, no problem. You just have a non-ABS bike with "ordinary" brakes!
There are a few other things to check before going RTW however. Many boxers of that era had manufacturing faults in their gearboxes. I needed mine replacing twice. But if yours still works OK after 8 years I reckon that proves you got a good one. If they go wrong it tends to be at low mileage.
My starter motor and fuel pump also packed up - but that's unusual. My clutch also wore out - this is fairly common, and you might want to replace it before you go. How about a ceramic one from Touratech? They are said to last forever, even after prolonged abuse in soft sand. I'm going to get one for my 1150 before I set off.
You might find info about other things to look out for if you talk to the folks at www.gsclubuk.com.
I don't want to sound negative though - fundamentally you have a great bike, which will go on for ever. And I imagine you are one of the lucky few with a plastic tank - more crash resistant than a metal one, looks better, doesn't freeze your nuts off when you fill it and you can get the full 25 litres from it. The metal ones don't seem to let you get more than 22 litres - unless you lie the bike on its right side to move the gas in the left "bulge" over to where the fuel pump is.
Have a great trip.
P.S. If you want your bike checked out I can recommend a technician in the London area! His workshop comes to you, in a truck. And his rates are lower than a dealer's.
Stephen, I've got an 1100GS ABS at home in Australia, an air head R100R in Canada, (last of the series) which I have ridden through Mexico and up the Alaska Highway, and I am part owner of a New Zealand tour company that has a fleet of BMWs, F650s, 1100 and 1150GSs, and R850Rs, 28 BMWs in the fleet.
I love the simplicity and light feel riding on the 'old' R100, troubles have been zilch in 56000Kms. All two-up. It just bops along so easily.
The 1100GS also has been trouble free, but is cranky to ride slowly in traffic, much more so that the R100. I rode one in Southern Africa and found it way too big and heavy for me in sand. But I've had absolutely no problems with the electronics, except for the ABS occasionally needing resetting. Which it does itself every stop.
The BMWs in the tour fleet get a hard time. The elctronics are very reliable, and the few problems we've had have always been traced to things like wires jammed under the seat, or pulled out. Actual failure is unknown and that's saying something in a fleet situation. If there are any weaknesses they would surely show up sooner or later.
Speedo cables are a problem and the most common failure.
I would not consider messing with the electronics, you could end up with something really unreliable.
I have a R1100R which is fundimentaly the same machine (gearing, etc). In 52K miles, I've had no problems. I'd have no problem taking it's GS cousin (or it for that matter) RTW. The 1100 series may even be a better choice than then the new 'Adventurerer' which BMW has decided needed power brakes among other things. I can't figure that one out. They seem to be chasing the American Bigger Is Better SUV market I suppose: Bells and whistles, looks good and tough.
I also have '94 GS1100 ABS. Zero problems with electrics. If your battery level gets low, the ABS lights will alternate when you start the bike, as the ABS unit registers that there is not full power available.
I'm also on my third gearbox. I broke the first one's case and the second one kept doing bearings. Early gearboxes had tapered bearings on the input shaft. It's been replaced with a '99 version with straight bearings which has been trouble free.
As an interesting note, HPN has started to install later model rear drives from the oilheads onto their airhead specials, thus circumnavigating the early Paralever problems of the R100GS series. Sometimes time and technology does improve things!
Because of the ABS's sensitivity to low voltage, the next time I replace the battery, I think I'll go with a sealed unit. The stock batteries have been sensitive to discharge and also have been problimatic in cold (< 30 degree F) weather. THis isn't really a huge problem as without ABS you still have a very good set of brakes but those flashing lights are kind of distracting.
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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