Route du Nord, Québec

Preparation – Motorcycle Equipment (farkle!)

Farkle (also spelled “farkel”) is a term common among adventure motorcyclists. Enthusiasts will “farkle up” their motorcycles with aftermarket accessories such as radar detectors, GPS units, tall windscreens, steering stabilizers, carbon fiber bits, cushy aftermarket seats, and so on…

The BMWR1200GSA comes standard with an impressive list of equipment, but it is clear to anyone who engages in adventure motorcycling, that several items for protection or ergonomics must be added to the bike.

Just like for selection of the vehicle, the choice of additional equipment is very personal and the list of what is available for the GS is almost endless. Unfortunately, the bank account is not and some choices have to be made.

Here is the list of what I have chosen to add the beast in order to be more efficient, comfortable and safe. My comments and images are below the table.

Motorcycle accessories Comments Price (CAN$) Links
BMW aluminium case set, panniers BMW 2 000,00
Sargent seat Front and back 800,00
BMW Large Bash plate Part # 77 14 7 724 326 400,00
BMW Power sockets 2X 100,00
Kaoko Throttle Lock Kaoto 125,00
BMW Aluminum Luggage Carry Handle BMW 3X 150,00
Throttle potentiometer cover Touratech 50,00
Lockable Cradle GPS Zumo 550 Touratech 150,00
Rear brakefluid reservoir guard Touratech 45,00
Front brakefluid reservoir guard Touratech 55,00
Front clutch reservoir guard Touratech 55,00
Cross Bar – 275mm Touratech 25,00
Lockable oil plug Touratech 50,00
Unifilter – “prefilter” Touratech 40,00
Rear fender tabs cover Touratech 25,00
Side stand extender Touratech 40,00
Adjustable Folding Shift Lever Touratech 85,00
One bottle holder (holder only) Touratech 3X 90,00
GPS Zumo 550 Garmin 2X 1 200,00
SPOT GPS gen3 200,00
Bike mount for SPOT GPS Quadlock 30,00
Extra motorcycle keys 2X 0,00
Motorcycle Cover 100,00
Compression bag for cover MEC 5 litres 10,00
Jumper Cable Powerlet 100,00
Micro-Start PPS XP-5 Jump Starter Antigravity 120,00
USB Weatherproof Power Socket Burns Moto 30,00
USB Cable iPhone Apple (2) Noirs 55,00
Spider nets 2X 20,00
Straps BMW 4X 80,00
Flexible 10mm Steel cable 2X 50,00
Locks Weather proof 2X 20,00
BMW To Coax Female 10″ Length Powerlet 20,00
Powerlet SEA to double socket Powerlet 25,00
RAM mount and iPhone 6 plus Craddle RAM 20,00
iPhone 5 craddle (backup) RAM 20,00
iPhone Bike Support Quad Lock 25,00
HID lights DDM 100,00
Rockstraps Twinpack 30″ 2X 20,00
Security net for backpack Pacsafe 85L 95,00
Spider nets 2X 20,00*Version*=1&*entries*=0
Total: 6 695,00

Let’s start with major expenses.

The BMW Aluminum boxes are a logical choice and easy to do from my side. They are very aesthetic, solid, safe and locked with the same key as the bike. They also provide an ideal surface for all the little stickers that I can collect during my trip!

The second essential accessory despite its high price, is a saddle adapted to long trips. As experienced during my trip to Inuvik in 2008, suffering from this body part can make the experience of long driving days miserable. My choice was a model offered by Sargent Cycle. Again aesthetically pleasing, but above all, ultra comfortable and solid.

I also added some protective equipment, mainly from Touratech. I tried to limit myself to the essential, but not always easy to resist (see images below)!

Now about the instruments for navigation. There are now several GPS models specifically designed for motorcycling. My only problem with them is the “static” mode of navigation their provide. Traffic data is not dynamic, as with Google Maps for example. Even if there are paid options with Garmin or TomTom to add this feature, nothing can, as of today, be compared to the detail accuracy for or the number of points of interest provided by Google Maps, even if it is available for free.

I purchased a Garmin Zumo 550 in 2007 and despite its questionnable reliability, I still appreciate the model and for the reasons listed above, I am not willing to invest more than $ 1000 to make update this piece of equipment.

I own an iPhone 6 plus. I installed a USB connector and 2 brackets on the handlebar, close to the instruments. The primary support is a RAM type cradled and second, a support from Quadlock normally used for cycling. Although as rugged, it is solid enough and its advantage is that the iPhone is in a case that easily attaches to the support but also offers a waterproof cover in case of rain. I use the same system for running, cycling and hiking. I highly recommend this solution for its ergonomics, solidity and reliability.

I must also consider the fact that the maps available for South and Central America are more limited in terms of accuracy. My navigation will therefore be primarily via Google Maps with my iPhone 6 Plus, in the cockpit, and my old Zumo in areas where the cellular signal is not available. I will write about the maps in a future post.

  • BMW Metal panniers
    BMW Metal panniers
  • Touratech shifter
    Touratech shifter
  • Touratech oil brake cover
    Touratech oil brake cover
  • Touratech pedometer cover
    Touratech pedometer cover
  • Touratech fuse box
    Touratech fuse box
  • GPS and iPhone craddle
    GPS and iPhone craddle
  • Touratech oil brake cover
    Touratech oil brake cover
  • GPS and iPhone craddle
    GPS and iPhone craddle
  • Touratech oil brake cover
    Touratech oil brake cover
  • Touratech brake cover
    Touratech brake cover
  • Cockpit
  • BMW Led Indicators
    BMW Led Indicators
  • Touratech Headlight Protection
    Touratech Headlight Protection
  • Touratech Tool Box
    Touratech Tool Box
  • Touratech Bottle Holders
    Touratech Bottle Holders

Next post: The tools and parts needed for maintenance of the bike on the road.

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Marc Ouellet

Adventurer at heart. Travelling on 2 wheels to South America soon!

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