G650GS Sertao Fuel Pump Failed

At 8.5 years old and some 75,000km, the fuel pump on my G650GS Sertao failed. The engine died from fuel starvation and left me stranded some 500m from home. As I was a short distance away, I decided to push the bike home.

The GS-911 confirmed my suspicion of a fuel pump failure.

While at home, I whipped out my trusty GS-911 diagnostic tool an read the ECU for fault codes. And as suspected, the Sertao suffered from the infamous fuel pump failure. It is one of these times where I thought a carburated bike may actually not be that bad an idea after all!

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G650GS Sertao TPMS Battery Replacement

The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) display on my G650GS Sertao started screaming at me this morning. It appears that the battery on the rear sender unit has depleted and needs replacement.

I purchased this third party TPMS monitor for the Sertao as it did not come with one from factory. The built-in TPMS on my R1200GS had saved me a few times and warned me of a tire puncture before the tire turned truly flat. But as with most BMW stuff, it was severely over-priced. Back when I had to replace the TPMS sender unit on the R1200GS, it was $155 per piece. And it doesn’t even include installation! The GS-911 helped saved me a few dollars and I could easily program the 1200GS to talk to the newly replaced sensors.

TPMS sender unit on the front wheel
The TPMS sender unit takes a single CR1225 button battery.
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Last Ride of 2020

Last ride for 2020! And what a challenging year this has been! Still in Phase 2 of the Circuit Breaker here in Singapore, 4 of us gathered to do an around Singapore ride on this last Sunday morning of 2020, and a photoshoot session to end off the year.

Flanked by manicured shrubs on the left and young trees on the other side.
Enjoying the glow of the golden morning sun.
These young trees were spaced out with absolute precision.
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Ride into Coney Island

I’ve past Coney Island a couple of times, but never entered it before. Primarily due to it being an NParks reserve area where no motorised vehicles are allowed. It’s pedestrians or bicycles only.

Love the bridge’s architecture.

And so I decided to get some exercise today and took my Little B out for some light Coney Island exploration.

Hmmm…. WILD animals warning!
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A slightly different kind of 2-wheeled ride

Taking a little break along the river.

The pace has slowed, but the 2-wheeled journey continues! Took my little foldie out for a spin today. So glad that the weather was absolutely beautiful – cool temperatures with an overcast sky to shield the sun! I’m surprised that I manage to work up a 2hr solo ride today. I definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY could use more exercise!

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Front Brake Disc and Pads Replacement on my DRZ

Front wheel off

It was time to replace the front brake disc and pads on my DRZ. While the rear pads still appear EXTREMELY chunky, the front pads were thinning. Also, the front brake disc were beyond its wear limits. Minimum thickness was supposedly 3.5mm, and my front disc measured 3.4mm!

Front disc removal. Look at all that rust!
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Great News for Existing SENA Intercom Users

I’ve been using Sena’s bluetooth intercom products for some years now. In fact, I currently have both the Sena 20S and the Sena 30K. While the 20S had served me for a good number of years, I love the Mesh Intercom – and especially the Mesh Intercom v2.0 – of the 30K. While Sena has released the spanking brand new 50R and 50S models earlier this year, I’m so glad that Sena hasn’t forgotten about the existing users.

First, the functionality of the 30K was bumped up to Mesh 2.0 with a firmware update. Sena promises greater Mesh communication robustness and reliability with their 2nd iteration of Mesh with up to 80% more data being communicated between the units. While I’ve not had the chance to test it in a longer tour due to the Covid travel restrictions, I’ve tried Mesh 2.0 with a couple of riding buddies on a mix of 30K’s and 50S’s. And I’m happy to report that it worked GREAT! Mesh 2.0 does appear to be more stable – especially when riders drop out and re-join the mesh network due to range.

Great job, Sena!

Today, Sena announced some more good news for existing users!

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Converting my DRZ400 into a utility vehicle

One of the BEST mods to make to a motorcycle is to add luggage carrying capability to it. A simple rack / box / bag combo instantly converts the motorcycle from a toy to a utility machine.

While I use my DRZ mostly for dirt riding, I generally dislike the idea of carrying stuff in a backpack. I prefer the freedom of not having something cling onto my back. So I went scouting for a nice rack for the DRZ so that I could find a platform to mount my Ogio tail bag.

Adding the SW-Motech Steel Rack to the DRZ.
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SW-Motech Crash Bars on the BMW G650GS Sertao

I was resisting installing a set of crash bars on my Sertao. Reason being, the R1200GS used to be my primary bike, and the Sertao – my “dirt bike”. And I wanted to keep the weight low on the Sertao.

Now that I no longer own the R1200GS, the BMW G650GS Sertao is now my “primary bike”. For dirt fun? I have my DR(e)Z! (More on that another time…)

The SW-Motech crash bars installed on my BMW G650GS Sertao. Now I’m ready to tour!

I loved the looks of the SW-Motech crash bars! I’ve looked at AltRider’s, looked at Touratech’s, considered the cheap Chinese-made “Touratech lookalikes” sold on AliExpress, and even bought the Givi ones some time back (sold them away later). I think there’s something real beautiful about the SW-Motech’s design.

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The 60cents DIY BMW G650GS Oil Fill Cap Removal Tool

The BMW G650GS has a dry oil sump design and has its oil reservoir situated where the fuel tank typically resides. And in typical BMW fashion, it requires a speciality tool to remove the oil cap. Yes, the bike’s accompanying tool kit does contain a multi-use wrench that would also open the oil fill cap. But accessing the tool pouch was an inconvenient 4-step process – top box removal, panel removal (using key), seat removal, then tool pouch removal (which is a pain due to the really tight space the tool pouch is situated).

Speciality tool sold on eBay.

So, for garage maintenance, and to encourage periodic checking of engine oil levels, I’d prefer to have a tool readily available.

The ones on eBay cost easily over $20. Just for a dumb piece of plastic – $20?!! So in true DIY fashion, after some measuring, I realised that any 22-23mm hexagonal tool should do the job. I dumped the idea of 3D-printing it – as it’ll likely cost as much as the $20 eBay tool for such a low-volume production.

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