Shadowfax the R1200GS


What happens when you take a 3 hour trip to a motorcycle dealership in NC to purchase a hat?


Well they include a free motorcycle, that's what.

Meet Shadowfax, my new to me 2014 BMW R1200GS.


Coming from my Kawasaki KLR background this bike is a beast with more than 3 times the horsepower of even a modern KLR, and there's a 6th gear! The previous owner decked this bike out with just about every farkle (functional sparkle) that you can throw at a bike. In running through the machine the only items I found that were neglected were protection for the rear brake reservoir and guards for the exposed radiators (both of which are on order). I have amber covers on order for the Rigid lights and will be relocating those to the lower crash bars in order to get better light distribution while not blinding on coming traffic.

Other than those few items I have no plans to modify the bike any further. It's setup with aftermarket electronically adjustable suspension, the rear Michelin Anakee tire is brand new and the front is close to new. The BMW branded Touratech luggage is in good shape, the tall windscreen is adjustable on the fly and works perfect for my height and riding position. The factory skid plate appears to provide enough protection for my style of riding, and with only 11,400 miles on the clock there's no immediate maintenance that hasn't already been addressed. I'm just going to ride! (and buy new riding gear and rebuild my moto-camping kit :D )
Bike is under the knife at a BMW dealer here in Atlanta. BMW issued a bulletin to test the final drive for possible replacement. From BMW:

Multiple factors may cause the driveshaft to become damaged; among them are corrosion in certain parts of the driveshaft, and wear and tear exacerbated by certain climatic conditions. The following driveshaft failures can occur: The driveshaft can rust onto its mating parts, hindering repair and maintenance work; The splines of the driveshaft at the transmission output shaft or at the differential can corrode. Over time, this may lead to increased play in the splines which may eventually cause the driveshaft to fail; The bearings of the universal joints may be damaged. This can cause the universal joints to start seizing, which over time may lead to further damage of the joint. Letters will be mailed to owners via First Class mail advising them of this Service Action and asking them to schedule an appointment with an authorized BMW Motorrad dealer to perform the swingarm drain valve retrofit as well as a driveshaft test, if needed. For the affected vehicles, this service action must be performed at the next workshop visit.
PDF of the actual bulletin is attached for anyone who wants to look at the neat Viewmaster Reel looking diagnostic tool that gets installed to test the bike. There's even a very efficient German flow chart:


It's amazing to me the amount of money BMW would be throwing at this by replacing every drive shaft over 37,000 miles. The retail price on doing that is somewhere between $900 - $1100, and they're being replaced even if there's no corrosion or damage. The tech yesterday showed me a pile of drive shafts that looked brand new that were pulled from bikes. I suppose it's no different than any other recall cost though...

I have some stuff you may be interested in. BMW Ralle pants and jacket, tool rolls, tire spoons, Cycle Pump, etc.

Shoot me the info on what you have and I'll let you know.


  • BMW Motorcycle TSB SIB 33 02 22.pdf
    3 MB · Views: 80
Remember that motorcycle I wasn't going to modify? I can't leave well enough alone...

Givi skid plate for more protection down low:


The previous owner installed a lithium ion battery, so I sourced the appropriate battery tender for the rare occasions where the bike doesn't get ridden for a week or so. The previous owner must have also had a battery tender as the telltale SAE quick connector was flopping around below the subframe. I had zip tied the connector to the frame, but my OCD wouldn't allow that as a permanent solution, and it was a pain to plug and unplug. I ordered a surface mount SAE connector, found an appropriate body panel and started poking holes in things and running wires. 10 minutes later I have a much cleaner solution to keeping the battery maintained.


On today's episode of "I'm not going to modify this bike" I've added different foot peg pads. The stock pegs have two configurations:

With a rubber vibration dampener insert:

And without:

I've been riding with the dampener in, but haven't been doing anything aggressive enough off road to validate removing it yet. With warmer weather here, and a slower period at work coming up, that's going to change. The narrow stock peg isn't to my liking so I went searching for a wider aftermarket alternative. Not surprisingly I discovered BMW foot pegs cost the same as some other brands entire motorcycles do. Then I came across an internet seller marketing these replacement "pads" for the oem pegs.


The spacer fits under the stock peg, the pad goes on top and the provided bolts sandwich things together. 10 minutes and some red loctite later and I have a wider platform to stand on.


On today's episode of "I'm not going to modify this bike" I've added a little front fender protection. The GS Adventure model comes with this trim piece to ward off rock damage. Now my standard GS model has hide the rock chips I'd recently picked up.




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