Top Upgrades for a BMW GS

The BMW GS is an amazing do everything great but nothing-perfect bike, except being perfect about being amazing. Like most us I am sure the fascination with the BMW GS started when Charlie and Ewan starting going the Long Way Around. Boy did KTM miss out on that one. Part of choosing a bike is doing the research and making sure such a large investment is what you really want or need. For many of us the GS is not our first bike. BMW and especially the GS is a bike that salty riders find themselves on after years of riding other bikes. It makes the appreciation so much greater since you truly know from experience what you have.

Not very long after riding your new GS home the idea’s of how to customize it to be the perfect driving machine for you begins. How the wind hits your head, how the suspension feels, is there enough light, where to plug in your phone, where to mount it, etc. Below are the very first things I did and recommend doing to my 2018 BMW 1200 GS Rallye.

1. Engine protection for your BMW GS

Since I bought a GS and not the adventure model, I wanted to deal with engine protection. If someone is never going to go off road then a simple cylinder head cover might be enough. This give you simple protection if the bike should tip over and keeps the bike streamlined and not adding bulk. I would suggest the:

Cyclinder Head Covers

MachineartMoto X-Head you can buy them here, They are low profile and will even fit behind crash bars. They are around $200 and are highly recommended by other riders.

Crash Bars

If you are going to do even 2% of your riding off road, crash bars are highly recommended unless you would rather save the money on all the guards and just replace the heads if they get damaged. If you are going to ride off road seriously then you would be careless not to get engine guards. These beasts will go down eventually on the dirt and the last thing you want is to get stuck in the middle of nowhere because your cylinder cover is cracked open. Below are my two suggestions for lower Engine crash bars.

AltRider Lower Crash bars you can buy them here. They are made from the thickest bars out there at 1.25 inches. Once installed the design allows for your to do maintenance on your bike without taking them off like the other bars on the market.

 The other Crash Bars I was considering were the Outback Motortek Lower Crash Bars. You can buy them here. I was impressed with their R & D, I mean just watch this video. They also have Ricochets like protection plate to protect your cylinder heads from other debris.


2. Headlight Protection for your BMW GS

I went with the Lone Rider Guard. I think the protection and quality is top notch. You can do an amber or clear lens. You can buy them here. They are $175.


3. Cell Phone mount for your BMW GS

Many of you will have the GPS setup so this will not pertain to you, but for those of you that have the GPS mount but with no GPS, this is for you. Today with the BMW app and the ability to download routes and maps on your phone the BMW GPS is a cost I do not need to spend. Now obviously if I was a real explorer and would be in places with no cell phone range I would opt for the BMW GPS. I will only be doing mild off-roading so this option is awesome for me.

No Name GPS Mount phone holder, you can buy them here. They are about $30. I love this thing. It simply snaps into the GPS cradle and then uses a jumper wire to connect to your phone. That is it. Super easy using your existing power to the cradle. It looks clean without needing to have another mount on the handle bars. I did not like the gold jumper that comes with it so I bought a black smaller jumper to be more streamline. You can buy a similar one here.


4.  Aux Lighting for your BMW GS

Hands down the most popular and arguably the best lights are the Clear Water series lights but they are out of my price range. Plus I was going for the amber color and I do not like the warmth of the yellow Clear Water lights. I feel the balance of quality and cost is in the Denali line of lights. I mean the D7’s are actually way to bright for anyone’s needs on the road. Plus by wiring them up with the CANsmart Hex controller you can easily set each light to your desired brightness % plus do some completely trick things like have your lights flash when you hit your horn.

Denali Electronics have a light for every situation. The D7’s are their big boy but might be overboard. The D4’s and S4’s are great aux lights as well as the D2’s. As I stated the lights in conjunction with the CANsmart controller makes this combo hard to beat. You can buy them here.

5. Links to products

Iphone Mount for GPS Mount: https://amzn.to/37KSFyH

Light Mounts: https://amzn.to/3mobZWK

Altrider Crash Bars: https://amzn.to/3orzKz0

Denali D4 Lights: https://amzn.to/3mtaF4K Denali DM Lights: https://amzn.to/3ky5vEh

Denali DM Amber lens for DM’s: https://amzn.to/2Ts0cdB

Denali CANsmart Gen2: https://amzn.to/3ky6l3V 7

Oedro “Amazon” light: https://amzn.to/3kABYdc

LoneRider HeadLight Guard: https://www.lonerider-motorcycle.com/

Share this article