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Old 5 Mar 2013
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G650GS Sertao farkles and upgrades for RTW

I just got my Sertao home the other day. Already skipping work to go riding for the next few days, and will do some longer rides around the US over the next couple of months.

As I draw up my dream list of shiny add-ons, I wanted to get some advice on what upgrades are needed for a 50k mile RTW trip. Ideally across Asia and around Africa. [Note - i'm ignoring luggage, camping and any personal gear for this list].

Thus far on my list:
- bash plate
- fairing/engine guards
- taller windscreen
- center stand

Do i need stronger hand guards?

People keep talking about the unsuitable wheels and shocks on the G650GS - is that the same for the Sertao? And is it both back and front suspension that needs to be upgraded?

What else am i missing?

WineAndWater. RTW - Raising money for Wine to Water, supporting clean water projects in 15 countries.
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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get the best quality bash plate and handguards you can find. That usually means not BMW and not Touratech. Try people like Adventure-Spec.

Engine guards, you can forget them for a single cylinder bike. A good bashplate will protect the rotax 650 engine. When you drop your bike it lands on the handguards, not the engine. Thus get the best handguards you can find. Alloy is best.

Centre stand - also no need. Get an enduro star trail stand instead. Much cheaper and a fraction of the weight.

Something to protect against the wind is a good idea. Taller is not always better. You want something that works the best. Each bike will have different specifics. Someone ho had a 650 Dakar may be able to discuss specific options.
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Here's the Adventure Spec plate: adventure spec bashplate protection crashbars bashplate bmw f650gs f800gs
165 GBP, 8.5 lbs

Here's the TT one: Aluminum Skid Plate, BMW G650GS / F650GS / Dakar / Sertao, 2001-on - Touratech-USA
$180, 3.8lbs

The adventure spec one is 50% more expensive, and over twice the weight. Thats a serious piece of gear. Plus $50 shipping, as its coming from the UK (I live in the US).

Does anyone sell their gear over here? I looked, but couldn't find one.

And...keen to hear from any other Sertao/Dakar owners on what they did to their bikes.

WineAndWater. RTW - Raising money for Wine to Water, supporting clean water projects in 15 countries.
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Old 7 Mar 2013
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Originally Posted by NYLon2000 View Post
Here's the Adventure Spec plate: adventure spec bashplate protection crashbars bashplate bmw f650gs f800gs
165 GBP, 8.5 lbs
I think that Adventure Spec plate is for the F650 twin not the single so won't fit your Sertao.
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Old 8 Mar 2013
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I've had my Sertão for about 8 months and have tested it on the Continental Divide ride(Up and back), some tough local rides and am currently touring South American on it after having ridden it through central America. It currently has about 17,000 miles
I have a bunch of upgrades and I like most of them pretty well. My favorite item is the Wolfman rack and expedition panniers. I also relocated the pedals from Touratech. The factory barkbusters have been fine so far. My touratech bash guard and engine guards are on their second bike and holding up fine. I mounted PIAA 1100 lights with the 74651 brackets which strengthen the flimsy fender. I totally replaced the flimsy taillight assembly with a $7 boat trailer unit which is brighter and simpler to replace. Your rims are fine and should not need replacing. The fork oil is a bit light and I would change it to 10 weight. In the end you'll need new fork springs but at this point there aren't any on the market other than stock. The originals will last awhile but mine are diving badly now when I brake. The nice people at Wirth think they may have a spring but the need some measurements which I have yet to supply. Maybe I can just put some spacers? The stock lead/ acid battery is pretty poor, dries out quickly and a modern sealed unit would be best. I have the Touratech GPS mount which is in a very convenient location. I dont use their fancy locking device though. If you are tall enough the BMW tall seat will give you a great deal more comfort at a modest price. I lengthened my sidestand by 2.5 "s but it was not entirely a good idea as the bike is harder to mount in the taller stance. Feel free to write if you'd like to know more.
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Old 8 Mar 2013
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Pasomonte - thanks, I just PMd you. Keen to hear why you rate those bags so highly.
WineAndWater. RTW - Raising money for Wine to Water, supporting clean water projects in 15 countries.
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Old 9 Jul 2014
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I have had my Sertao for 8 months now and put about 5,000 miles on it. I bought mine used and it came with Touratech racks and Panniers, centerstand, and a Wunderlich tall Ergo seat that put the standover height at about 6 feet or something!

I have added a Touratech skidplate, altrider crashbars, Touratech windshield bracket, ADVMoster led auxiliary lights, 12v power and a new Scorpion battery.

I just finished riding the West Virginian/Kentucky section of the Trans Eastern Trail and was really happy with the performance. My only complaints are the tremendous standover height due to my seat (makes turning the bike around on narrow steep jeep roads a real pain) and some front fork diving under hard braking.

I would recommend some more robust bark busters and at some point I will likely have to change out the handlebars. I have not dropped my bike, but I know others who have and they bend pretty readily.
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Old 11 Jul 2014
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The list of mods and upgrades I've done (or am planning to do) on my Dakar (basically the same as yours Sertao) are the following :

First, the farkles :
  • Solid barkbusters (I bought Acerbis Multiplo because they were easier to get here in CH, but any barkbusters with a metal bar should do fine)
    This is a must have for any bike, especially a thumper. You don't need crashbars like on a twin or triple. Note that you'll need bar risers for this kind of barkbusters, more about that later.
  • Progressive front springs with proper oil for your weight (I have some Wilbers springs with 7.5W because I'm featherweight)
    The forks on the Dakar/Sertao are pretty old and simple tech, so it's a good way to improve them without breaking the piggy bank. I've heard that Racetech Emulators are a must but haven't tried them myself.
  • A good sealed (if possible gel) battery
    Lighter and more robust than a standard one (you don't have a kick start to save your bacon on these bikes and the EFI is not firing if the voltage is too low). It doesn't puke all it's acid everywhere when (not if) the bike is lying on it's side too.
  • A better bashplate than the original BMW one. I have the Touratech one (4 mm aluminium) with a home-made toolbox (for my spare tubes) which works great so far.
    There are alternatives to Touratech of course, but you get the idea. Those bikes don't have so much ground clearance so at least protect the bottom accordingly.
  • Rad guards
    Mine are home-made with chicken fence, it's working great, protecting the radiator from small pebbles and medium sized rocks that could fly and damage it
  • A low fender. Mine is from Touratech and keeps the water and dirt off me. BMW makes one too.
  • Fork guard (preferably neoprene socks).
    This protects your forks tubes and simmers from all the dirt you'll encounter during your trip.
  • Bigger pegs and folding gear lever.
    This is a must have, the stock pegs are absolutely useless as soon as you start standing up offroad. There are a lot of possibilities, from Touratech complete rally kit like I have to Pivot or home-made pegs. The Touratech folding gear lever still bends in crashes but can be bended back if necessary (mine is pretty much beaten up now but still works perfectly).
  • Bar risers
    Again, a must have to stand up, but still useful when sitting (straghtens my back). Chose either 30 mm (a bit more than 1") to 50 mm (about 2"). Note that you'll need a new brake line for any risers above 30 mm.
  • Foam or reusable air filter. Mine is from Unifilter and is a foam one.
  • Folding mirrors. Stock KTM ones on mine, you just need an adapter to make them fit on BMW. A lot cheaper than the ones with RAM mounts.
  • Front sprocket cover. Mine's from Touratech and works just like advised.
    You'll thank it when your chain snaps and hits it full speed. It will save your engine case.
  • Chain guide This one is useful but not a must.
  • Possum-scraperectomy (only on the F, not on the new G). Remove the old and useless possum-scraper and keep only the plastic chain guard. Or go the full way and buy the Touratech alu one).

Now the mods :
  • Change the subframe bolts with reinforced stainless steel ones (there are 4 of them, where the subframe bolts onto the main frame). These WILL break when the bike is ridden offroad with luggage.
  • Change the suspension linkage bolts with reinforced stainless steel ones (the one at the bottom and top of the suspension). These WILL break too. Almost everyone I know didn't change them and they ALL broke at one time of the other.
  • Check, grease and change all the bearings (head, swing arm, wheel), the OEM ones are not sufficiently greased.
  • Buy a good quality chain and sprockets.
    Mine are from AFAM, but DID are fine too. Keep your old chain and sprockets as spares. Carry one or two spare links just in case (with the tool to close them if you don't have a clip one).

Following things depending on your riding style, needs and budget :
  • A single sided exhaust without cat.
    This saves a lot of weight, gets rid of the cat allowing you to put bad quality fuel and gives you space to put a tool tube or a fuel can in place of the RHS silencer. Mine is a Scorpion Oval but any single sided exhaust will do (Arrow, Leo, GPR, Staintune etc.)
  • A high quality aftermarket shock with the right spring for your laden weight.
    Avoid Öhlins which are made for racing. Buy an Hyperpro (or Touratech one as they are made by them), Wilbers or WP one. Avoid the hydraulic preload adjustement as they are impossible to repair on the side of a Third-World road and buy one with a mechanical preload adjuster.

Last edited by ar1814; 11 Jul 2014 at 20:41.
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