G650GS Sertao Fork Servicing

My Sertao is 6.5yrs old and have seen almost 60,000km. I don’t think the fork oil has ever been replaced. Not only the front suspension is beginning to feel like a pogo stick – bouncing around during brake dives, but my left fork has started developing a leak.

Yipes!

In fact, when it first started weeping, I didn’t even realise it. So much that fork oil dripped down the fork and ended up on the brakes, causing the brakes to squeal and the calliper to bind slightly. Not cool!

Forks removed!
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DIY Heat Shield on the BMW G650GS Sertao

I love my G650GS Sertao. It’s frugal on fuel, lightweight and just about powerful enough for most needs. I take it on short tours and love hitting the off-road trails with this bike.

But… I hate the heat this bike throws out!

Automotive heat shields!

Don’t get me wrong. This bike has never overheated. But I think it’s just poor design that the position of the fan is in such a manner that it blows the hot expelled air from the radiator straight into – my legs! Arrrgh! And in the mean time, much of these hot air also gets trapped underneath the plastic fairing panels. So much so that it can sometimes get unbearably hot around plastics where the thighs grip the faux tank.

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Brake Caliper Servicing on my BMW G650GS Sertao

Immediately after a recent ride through the dirt trails of Ulu Choh, the G650GS started developing a horrible squeal in the front wheel area. This happens even while riding – and is especially notable at lower speeds. My initial fear was that the wheel hub bearing had gone bad. I have been taking the Sertao on some treacherous off-roading trips of late.

Like a resilient little pig that just refuse to die, the squeal was present when spinning the wheel while the bike is on the main stand. If it was the wheel bearings, that would have been not too good news – I’ve never done a bearing replacement before and probably don’t have the correct tools for extraction and, more importantly, proper re-insertion. But out of curiosity, I removed the brake calipers just to assess the damage – spun the wheel, and…. the squeal was gone!

With the front brake caliper off, the piggy squeal was gone.

Now that I have ascertained that it was the brakes, but not the bearings that caused the squeal, it was time for some brake caliper servicing!

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Sunday Morning Ride to Baryani Yong Peng

It’s Sunday Morning Ride again! This Sunday, we head to Yong Peng for some nasi briyani!

Nasi Briyani at Baryani Yong Peng.
Just arrived and parking our bikes.
Yup – we’ve got a p-plate CB190R with us! Cheryl just got her license and bike earlier this year.
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BMW R1200GS LC Clutch Switch Failure

At 67,000km, my BMW R1200GS clutch switch failed. Symptoms include 1) not being able to start the bike while in gear and 2) not being able to switch riding modes while the bike is in motion.

You see, for either of the above 2 to work, the ECU must know that the clutch lever is FULLY pulled in. The R1200GS that comes with cruise control and/or shift assist pro use a set of dual microswitch instead of the typical single microswitch. The first part of the switch senses that the clutch lever is being slightly pulled in, and the second part senses if the clutch lever is fully pulled in.

Using the GS-911 tool to diagnose the clutch switch fault.
Pulling in the clutch lever fully should actuate BOTH the clutch switch and the clutch switch 2.
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Osram Night Breaker Unlimited Review

I was searching for a replacement lightbulb for the G650GS. Now that I’ve been spoilt by the superb LED headlamps of my R1200GS, the stock bulb that came with the bike was a little too dim for my liking. And so I went on to do some research for some replacement lightbulb.

Unboxing the Osram Night Breaker Unlimited.

The G650GS use a single H4 55/60W bulb for both dipped and high beams. I wanted something brighter, and I wanted something street legal. And so I immediately dismissed all the high-powered “off-road only” bulbs. And since the road regulations in Singapore are pretty strict with headlamp modifications, I dismissed the HID and LED conversion units too.

I have previously used a set of Ring Automotive’s Xenon Ultima in one of my car which I have since sold. Ring Automotive promises a whopping 120% more light. I recalled that while it was appreciably brighter than the stock headlamp bulb, the longevity of the bulb wasn’t great. It blew way faster than I expected it to.

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