MCN Fleet: The GS goes back to the workshop

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So the GS has just clocked up over 14,000-miles and I have to be honest, though a lot of those have been covered on the motorway, it has also had somewhat of a hard life. Using the BMW off road and on a recent trip to Berlin with a hefty stretch of exploring the bike’s ‘upper potential’ on the German Autobahn have all taken their toll on the chain which developed a couple of tight spots.

I was a little surprised at first to think that the chain would give up so quickly after its last service, which was the bigger 12,000-mile valve clearance jobby just before my trip to Germany. The chain was adjusted slightly and I was sent on my merry way only to find that only a week and 1500-miles later the chain would be in need of replacing.

The near 700-miles of Autobahn riding are sure to have not helped keep it in good shape, I found myself riding at pace to try and make up ground after stupidly not allocating enough time to get myself across the distance between Calais and Berlin.


So it was back to BMW to get the chain and sprockets replaced, while I was there I also picked up a new Akrapovic end can and have had some new BMW crash bars fitted after the mounting bracket on the Touratech bars I had snapped along with a bolt in the engine casing after the bike went over in one of my off-road excursions.

Though the GS has gone over while off -road, it went down lightly and at only walking pace as I tried to navigate up a nasty rutted hill, this was not what I had expected from the Touratech crash bars. They protected the engine casings, which is great but also snapped the supporting bracket and a bolt that then cost £86 to get drilled out, not so great. 

Sure you could argue that it’s my fault for putting the bike on its side in the first instance but at the same time, I would have thought the bars would hold up much better. 

Anyhow, the new BMW crash bars have gone on and my initial notice was that they are ever so slightly narrower than the Touratech equivalent which is nice, not adding quite as much bulk to an already large bike.

The exhaust has really changed the sound of the GS though. I never really had any quarrels with the standard can though it did sound a little agricultural. With the baffle in the Akrapovic removed you really get a truer tone coming from the engine and it really helps it pipe up, excuse the pun. Some might not necessarily like this but rest assured, with the baffle in it remains as quiet as the standard offering. I do find however that the louder de-baffled number does assist me when I’m filtering.

Given that the bike is fairly large and with the panniers regularly fitted to the back, I do sometimes find that I would get held up when filtering on the A1 on my commute to work. The standard can was so quiet that it never really grabbed the attention of those who would be ogling at their phone screens whereas the louder offering noticeably gets the attention of those in front alerting them more to my presence and in quite a lot of cases allowing me to come through. We all know that loud cans save lives…


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James Archibald

By James Archibald

Former MCN Junior Web Producer