We spent a lot of time trying to figure out which bike would be best suited for a round the world 2-up trip. There were many options but for us the best one turned out to be the BMW 1100GS (of course, for Brian it was like a dream to own a BMW). In our case, we purchased a 1998 model.
A few modifications were necessary. Here is a list of the modifications as well as why we did them:
- Installed Touratech Hard Parts (this is to prevent damage to the gearbox, a weak point on this model of bike)
- Installed quick disconnects for the fuel lines (makes it alot quicker to remove fuel tank, it has proved very useful so far in this trip). Update 2009: The cheap little plastic ones we had installed served us well but we had a feeling it would be a good idea to purchase the new metal ones "just in case". Well, in Iran one of them failed so we decided to switch both of them to metal (the male end).
- Installed Hepco and Becker side cases as well as top case (they are made of aluminum so are easy to bash back into shape after a spill, it also has proved useful after our little accident in Real de Catorce) Update 2009: after nearly 2 years on the road and many falls, we still love these boxes. Some of our favorite kit...BUT; On the pic you can see a topcase. This may seem like a good idea but in reality having a topcase puts far too much weight at the rear of the bike and often causes the frame to crack. We got rid of our topcase in Argentina in favour of a duffel bag.
- Installed a toolbox cylinder onto the bash plate (takes a bit of weight off of the back of the bike) Update 2008: This has since been removed. This little cylinder took a real beating in Guatemala so we had no choice but to get rid of it.
- Installed 2 cyclinders near the back of the bike (this is to hold 1 liter cylinders of gas for either our stove or for emergency fuel). Update 2008: We got rid of these cylinders in Buenos Aires as they were too heavy. Instead, we installed little metal holders such as those used to hold bicycle water bottles.
- Changed the passenger pegs for something a little wider and more industrial (to keep my passenger happy at all times, and the passenger confirms that she is very happy with it!). Update 2009: These were a real hazard as they were not collapsible so once in Belgium we purchased original footpegs (used) and got rid of the metal ones we had been using.
- Modification in 2008: In order to increase storage capacity we decided, in Peru, to purchase PVC pipe which we installed in the front of the bike onto the crash bars. In them we keep our tools.