First Trip to Malaysia

26 June 2009

So my bumblebee has been with in Singapore for a couple of months now, but work has been crazy so no chance to explore.  Apart from the stop-start traffic in Singapore that is.
Until today.  I took the day off and headed to Malaysia to get some speed, some miles and some unpaved roads under my belt.

I left Singapore at 9.30am via Woodlands checkpoint. I figured it would be quiet going into Malaysia at that time, and I was right.  Lots of dedicated bike lanes - but no white bit of paper (we'll come back to that later).

I followed the roadworks and occasional sign until I hit the E2 North/South Expressway.  Two lanes in either direction, good tarmac and reasonable manners from other people on the road.

My GPS kept screaming about the speed limit - 110kmh.  That's 70mph, yet another hangover from the colonial days . There was the occasional lunatic going at 200kmh, and most of the little scooters toddling along on the hard shoulder at 30kmh.

Lots of rest areas along the way, but I stayed on the E2 until Yong Peng, where I stopped for petrol and a coke.  I filled up 14 litres and it cost something like RM25 which is almost free.  I have to come here more often!


From Yong Peng I took the Hwy 1 then J150 to Bekok and carried on...the tarmac becomes broken tarmac, then occasional gravel.  Then mostly gravel.

  Then  the gravel runs out too.

  Sandy/gritty roads all the way, complete with deep gorges where the rain water has washed the road surface away.

  I was totally in my Simon Pavey moment.  Up on the pegs during the tricky parts, razzing along at a steady 70kmh, slowing down for the corners on account of the loose surface and lack of experience and confidence.

Of course, there are people living out here also...and the kids have to get home from school somehow.

Now, I thought I was doing pretty well with my little 'off-road' excursion...

  ...until dad and son on a little scooter come pootling past. Obviously they do this every day, risking life and limb.

You can see from the photo that in Malaysia (and often in Singapore) there is no need to wear any kind of safety gear.  No boots, helmet, jacket or gloves here - the power of sunshine will protect you.

  Of course, I am sweating my ass off inside my mesh armoured jacket, kevlar jeans and knee protectors and Tech3 boots. I feel a right ponce.  But also slightly glad after taking a couple of corner a little hot and musing on the consequences.

Out here theres little chance of an ambulance, and you can't call the need to be self sufficient and sure that if you do come off you can still ride afterwards.  Similarly, any problems with the Bike...well there ain't no BMW Assist out here.

About 5kms short of Sg Selai, the sky turned black and I could see lightning in the distance.  Not wanting to be riding on this surface in a downpour of biblical proportions, I figured it was safest to head back to civilization.

I made it nearly as far as the E2 again before the sky opened up on me, so I stopped to put my wet weather gear on.

Thankfully, the temperature dropped to about 32 C, so it wasn't too uncomfortably hot.  But the can it rain here.

An hour later I was 40kms from Tusa and able to stop long enough to take the wet stuff off.

Passing through Passport control leaving Malaysia, the guy kept asking for my white card.  I had no idea what he meant.  Apparently, you're supposed to fill one out when you enter why did nobody ask me to on the way in?!?  After telling him I didn't have one several times, he caved in and just let me pass.  Can't see that happening in the UK.

The last hour of the trip was the worst.  Singapore passport control goes like this:
  1. Stop at booth
  2. Remove gloves
  3. Remove helmet
  4. Remove cashcard
  5. Pay toll
  6. Pull forwards then put gloves/helmet back on

Now, you'd expect that at passport control.  The bit that makes me mad is that 20 metres around the corner you have to...

  1. Stop
  2. Remove gloves
  3. Remove helmet
  4. Have temperature taken to make sure you aren't carrying the pig flu
  5. Put gloves/helmet back on

Kind wish they could have taken my temperature at the same time as the passport check, right? But with Singapore's typical efficiency, the passport clerk probably isn't certified to use a thermometer.

Then, to really make my day, a few meters further on I have to stop and go through the whole routine again for customs to inspect my wet gear and empty coke cans in my pannier.

Anyone that has traveled the AYE at 5pm on a Friday will know its quite a demoralizing experience.  My adrenaline high from some excellent biking in Malaysia was quickly damped.   I can't even filter (lane share) with the panniers on, that 800GS is a wide-ass bike!

But all in all, a good first trip to Malaysia, I promise I will have to go more often now.  We're lucky in Singapore to be so close to such excellent biking roads and off-roads, I must make more of my time here.


Self Importing a Motorbike from UK to Singapore

12 April 2009

I relocated to Singapore at the end of 2008. With a 10 month old F800GS I figured I could lay her up and reunite on my return to the UK 18 months later. But with a change of job and permanent move to Singapore I realised the bike had to come too.

This is the process for importing a used, right-hand drive bike that has KM/H on the speedo.  I don't know the process for importing a new bike, a left-hand drive bike or MPH only bike.

This is how I did it.

Warning, this is a VERY long post.

First, go to the One Motoring website and download the PDF “Self Import And Register a Motorcycle/Scooter”. It seems daunting! But I called my overseas BMW dealer and got a Certificate of Conformity which has all the technical details, chassis number for my bike an emission test results for my specific bike on a certificate signed by the manufacturer’s test technician.

Ship your bike: I used James Cargo Services in the UK. Literally turn up and leave the bike. They crated it, shipped it and insured it for the journey for £695

Get your Certificate of Entitlement (COE) (category D for Motorcycle). Basically, any vehicle on the roads in Singapore needs a COE, and this can run to $30,000+ for a car! You can check recent values at I used Citibank bidding system. Don’t be fooled by low prices for the first couple of days. Prices rocket in the last couple of hours as the bids come in. Look at prices from the last few auctions and be prepared to pay a few hundred over that price. Place your bid there; you will pay only the closing price if you are successful. (e.g I bid $1500 but ended up paying $958). LTA will send you your COE letter a week later to the address you used for the bidding exercise.

Need to get vehicle valued by Customs. Go to Customs Appraisal Section, Revenue House, 55 Newton Road and get a blank form “Declaration of Facts for Motor Vehicles” and their fax number to submit them. Also get the phone number of a guy in the Motor Vehicle department so you can phone him direct if you have a problem. Then assemble the following:

a. Completed form “Declaration of Facts For Motor Vehicles”
b. Certificate of Conformity (CoC if it’s a EU bike, or CIC for a Japanese bike)
c. Registration/Deregistration document (for used bike)
d. Dealer Original Sale Invoice
e. Dealer Statement of current value (for used vehicle – VERY HELPFUL!)
f. Bill of Lading (from your shipping agent)
g. Freight Papers & Invoice
h. Shipping Insurance Papers & Invoice

Fax the above documents to the number on the completed Declaration. They will fax you the valuation which you need to pass to your inward agent.

Call an agent to pay the duty and tax (Joint Inward and Payment levy via TradeNet) I used SpeedTrac Services Pte Ltd +65 6546 0339. These guys took the valuation and handled all payments for me, then delivered my crated bike to my home address. Very convenient and I don’t know how you would do it without an agent. The costs break down:

a. Terminal Handling Fee                                                                        $30.25
b. LCL Charges                                                                                         $63.12
c. Delivery Order Fee                                                                              $60.00
d. Agency Fee                                                                                           $35.00
e. PSA Forklift Fee                                                                                   $65.00
f. D/Order Processing & Tracing Fee                                                    $35.00
g. Warehouse Charge                                                                               $30.00
h. Inward Customs Declaration & Stamp Fee                                      $110.00
i. Despatch Customs Handling Fee                                                         $120.00
j. Delivery to my home address                                                              $120.00
k. Store Rental & Removal Fee                                                              $150.00
l. Customs Duties (12%) & GST (7%)                                                    $2455.78
m. TOTAL:                                                                                               $3304.15

I had to pay the agent cash when they delivered the bike. The above charge for Warehouse and Store Rental & Removal could have been avoided if my agent had been able to get the Inward Declaration on a Monday. Be warned: Your customs valuation is only valid until the following Monday at Midnight. At this time, Customs update their exchange rate for valuation, so the valuation may go up or down in value depending on the currency shift. The value has to match the figures that your agent enters on the TradeNet payment system. So I had to reapply for a valuation on the Tuesday morning and it delayed getting my bike by a couple of days, hence the warehousing charges from the Port Authority.

Now, having been delivered my bike was no longer covered by shipping insurance, so the day before I got insurance. You can use the obvious people like Axa, Mitsui(?), AIG, NTUC but I went with Liberty City State who match NTUC for price but have a better reputation for paying out in the event of a claim. Some won’t cover you on a foreign licence or without experience of driving in Singapore. Comprehensive insurance for my bike was $1177, which is about the same as the UK. Not bad without any NCD.

Apply for Vehicle approval either via VITAS online (not worth setting up an account for one vehicle import) or at 10, Sin Ming Drive Vehicle Engineering Division. You can download the application for Vehicle Batch Approval from the VITAS website in advance. Take all the same documents as you sent to customs for the valuation plus the following:

a. Passport (they don’t like FIN in the system!)
b. Technical Catalogue for your bike. Whatever the CoC says might not match the technical details from the manufacturer, and you’ll need the tech details to complete the “walk-in application for vehicle batch approval”.
c. They wanted pictures of my bike, but processed without them and told me to ask the test centre to take them
d. They turned my documents around in 4 hours and faxed me a pre-approval, asking me to present my bike for inspection (Vehicle Batch Approval Inspection).

(NOTE: Don’t get tied up at the front desk at the LTA at 10 Sing Ming Drive. For the Vehicle Engineering Division, turn left at the front desk and walk through the building until you are out the other side. Then turn left and follow the road to the last big building on the opposite side of what looks like an open test area. Go into the office there and the receptionist will help you.)

Once in-principal approval is given, arrange the bike to be inspected at any VITAS test centre

a. I tried phoning VICOM, but they gave me the run around on the phone, kept me on hold for ages and then disconnected me several times. So I phoned STA. They said just turn up with the bike any time, inspection would last about 30 mins. Go early in the morning and there is no queue! Details of all test centres on VITAS website, I chose a centre on Sin Ming Road for convenience (and closest to my home). 
b. Take copies of all your documents, but all details should be on the pre-approval from LTA.
c. No need to collect your originals from LTA at Sin Ming drive yet
d. My bike failed the inspection! Bikes in Singapore are required to have a rear mudguard that covers at least half the wheel to avoid flicking stones up at following cars. Obviously, looking around Singapore most people remove these between tests! Next to the STA inspection centre is a load of vehicle workshops and I managed to get a $10 mudguard for a Honda scooter. The Inspection guys even helped me bolt it to the bike for the inspection photos.
e. Once the bike passes inspection, they ping the details electronically to the LTA Vehicle Engineering division who fax the Vehicle Approval Code to you a few hours later.
f. Cost of STA Vehicle Batch Approval Inspection:                                             $32.10
g. Cost of transporting bike to/from test centre:                                                 $160

(I used Bikebulance +65 6425 5333 to get my bike to the test centre and back, and the guy waited during the 40 minutes of inspection and mudguard buying. But there are others who can tow.)

Collect your original documents from LTA Vehicle Engineering office then it’s back to LTA Quota & Registration to register the bike with following documents:

a. Complete Form R01 (can download in advance from
b. Notice of Approval from LTA c. VAC from test centre d. COE Letter e. Passport f. Insurance Cover Note g. Original Sales Invoice h. Inward Cargo Clearance Permit i. I also gave them the customs valuation to calculate the Additional Registration Fee, to be on the safe side.

I didn’t have my Vehicle Approval Code (VAC), as I had only just completed the inspection. But I submitted the application and then faxed the VAC a couple of hours later when I received it.

Then a couple of days later, collect from LTA Quote & Registration Section the following:

a. Registration Notification Letter
b. Validated Road Tax Disc
c. Official Receipt
i. Cost:                                                                                                       $2883.75

Use these documents to get some plates made up for front AND rear of the bike.

a. I got my rear plate and front sticker made at Juzz Wheels
b. Cost:                                                                                                         $20

Fix the registration plates then drive straight to dealer to get IU fitted. This gizmo takes a cashcard and is used to automatically deduct tolls on busy roads and payments in car parks.
I used STA.. They helped me wire it IU to the battery and zip-tie the IU to the handlebars to get me home. Now I am on the hunt for a bracket.

Cost: $155.80

Finally, import complete!

a. Shipping, Crating, Insurance
b. Duty/Tax/Port Charges & Delivery
c. Bike Insurance
c. Application for Vehicle Approval
e. Vehicle Approval Test
f. Transporting bike to the test centre and home again
g. Register/Additional Reg Fee/Road Tax/COE
i. Get registration plate/sticker made
j. Get UI fitted

A final word – was it worth it? Hell yeah! I love my bike and wouldn’t want to be without it. It is a time-consuming process but I managed it with only a couple of odd hours off work. And the figures speak for themselves. And don’t forget, once imported your bike will adopt the local valuation...which is probably more than you paid in the first place.

I'm not one for a lot of attention, but this bike turns a lot of heads in Singapore.  :)

EDIT: I got a bracket for the IU at Seng Kwang Metal at #05-31 AMK Autopoint, 10 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2A. This place is run by a couple of very handy brothers called Gilbert and William. They custom crafted the bracket for my bike, positioning the IU exactly where I wanted it. It took all of 20 minutes and cost me $80. Excellent service. I will be back with other welding needs to these guys.


One week on a Harley

01 March 2009

So I was in Las Vegas on business, and I decided to take a week of vacation while I was there, rent a Harley and live the American Dream for a while.

Day 1 Vegas to Zion National Park (166 miles)

I left my hotel and headed to Eagle Rider to grab my bike. I chose a Road Glide, mostly because I didn't want the high pillion seat of the Electra Glide, but I did want a decent fairing and accessory socket for my Zumo. The bike comes with two decent hard saddlebags too.

I took my draggin' jeans and sidi courier boots with me, then I hired an old-school leather jacket and helmet there. The helmet was a 'bowl' thing that seems very common over there - you know, so you can feel the wind in your face. (More on this later). Along with my Ray-Ban Aviators I was all set to look very cool

The bike rental was a very efficient process and they gave a good briefing on the bike. I was apprehensive about a 1582cc twin monster between my legs and riding with feet forwards, but they make you do a lap around the block before taking off, and within 200yds the bike makes sense. Its as easy as...riding a bike! All the big Harleys share this same engine. It vibrates and throbs violently at idle, but the vibes really disappear at speed. The torque is massive and you can stay in 4th all day if you like, but the power roll-on is very lazy so it needs a shift down to get a move on for overtakes.

Heading out of Vegas on the i-15 freeway on a strange bike is a bit nerve-wracking for the first time, but soon got into the flow of things. At points, this freeway has a 75mph limit and I quickly realised that although I looked dead cool in the Aviator glasses, all that space around the eyes means a lot of wind in the eyes. I was squinting like I was constipated, but 60 miles or so north of Vegas I saw a sign for a Harley Dealership. £15 later and wearing some nice HD wraparound glasses I was off again, and this time I was able to see.

I made it to Springdale, slightly south of Zion National Park by the mid-afternoon and checked into a very nice motel there. Traffic is banned along most of the scenic drive through the park, so you take a shuttle. But the time I made it into the park, the sun was setting:

With a bright sky and shadowed mountains it was breath-taking, although not the best time for photos.

Arriving as late as I did, I didn't have to pay to enter the park in the evening.

Day 2 Zion to Capitol Reef Nat Park via Bryce Canyon (208 miles)

The following morning I splashed out $80 for pass that gives entry to all US National Parks for a year. I rode half-way up through the park to stunning vistas, and turned right onto Route 9, which was a biking highlight of the trip.

This Route 9 heads east through a 1 mile tunnel, followed by the Mount Carmel hwy, which has a series of fabulous twisties that are even fun on a Harley.

There are scenic viewpoints every half mile or so it seems where you can stop, admire the view and take pictures. Although it can be 75 miles between gas stations or places to grab a drink.

I should add at this point, that after my ride from Vegas to Zion, I had a sore throat by the time I got there. The hot wind, the dust in the air and general dryness wasn't helping. By the morning when I set off for Bryce Canyon I was into a full-blown cold. The day before I realised that water in the panniers gets hot very quickly in these temperatures, so I spent a whole $2 on a polystyrene cooler in a gas station and tied it to the back of the bike. It doesn't look cool, but the water is chilled. Just the thing for a developing cold and sore throat.

Anyways, I picked up Route 12 which continues east, up to an elevation of around 9600 feet.

Route 12 continues to climb to the north-east, and the plateau below is more green than the Canyons.

At one stop I met a group of five other HD riders who had also come from near Vegas. They said the dust and pollen count was particularly high, so I wondered if my 'cold' was in fact hayfever. In any case, I got my buff out and did the rest of the trip with my face covered.

My coolness is deserting me by the second! But inside I am more comfortable.

I was able to score some drugs from these riders (Claritin for my Hayfever) and they rode off.

This picture is not me! Just a friendly HD rider. Apparently, HD riders dressed like this are not necessarily "friends of Dorothy", so be careful not to make any unwanted passes.

Next stop was Bryce Canyon, another National Park and absolutely stunning. Less heard of than its Grand cousin, but equally impressive in its beauty, and less busy. 

I only stayed a couple of hours, but it would have been nice to spend more time in this area. I was supposed to meet with a couple of guys from Utah that I met at the BMW off-road school in Wales, but our dates got muddled and they came and went 24 hours earlier.

I stopped shortly before Capitol Reef National Park for the night in another nice motel.

Day 3 Capitol Reef to Monument Valley via Glen Canyon (210 miles)

The journey south-east was spectacular, including Glen Canyon and some nice vistas

My Zumo directed me towards Monument Valley and somehow we had to get from nearly 10,000 elevation to sea level. The road to do that would have been scary on my 800GS with TKCs on, but on a 700lb Harley I was very nervous tackling this:

All gravel road, with a speed limit of 5mph. No barriers to the drop-offs in the event of a slide. RVs are banned from this Route 261.

This mad road was followed by streches of long, straight highway to Monument Valley. By this time I was feeling dog rough and had already gone through 3 litres of water. I needed to find a bed to crash out, so I motored through monument valley and didn't stop for pictures. I stopped in Kayenta for the night in a shoddy motel that was very expensive, as there is nothing for miles in any direction.

Day 4 Monument Valley to Grand Canyon South Rim (158 miles)

Feeling slightly better today after a decent rest yesterday. Passed through a couple of reservations and entered the Grand Canyon from the east.

The first stop is the Desert View lookout:

There are loads more stops (and a million more pix) along the road that runs round the South Rim of the Canyon. This is the Grand View lookout:

I carried on to Tusyana, just south of the Canyon to check into my motel. Having showered and stuff I headed back to the Canyon during sundown to enjoy the view some more. This was Mather Point.

It was kind of hazy during sundown, so I didn't quite get the pictures I was hoping for, but the view in real life was amazing. It's hard for my small brain to comprehend the sheer size of this canyon, the pictures never do it justice.

Day 5 Grand Canyon to Kingman via Historic Route 66 (184 miles)

Heading back west towards Vegas, you can leave the I-40 and take some smaller roads that are part of the old Historic Route 66. Well worth it, as the passing traffic is avoided and you get all these nice roads to yourself. You pass through a load of almost-ghost towns, towns that would probably have died were it not for the resurection of the Route 66 as an historical scenic drive. Loads of typical american diners in these towns, and a chance for some amazing breakfasts

Funny thing happened today - as I was whizzing along, I got hit by a big bug on my forehead, in the gap between my glasses and helmet. I stopped in Kingman for the night - not a glamorous place in any sense, mostly motels and a massive railroad interchange. The freight trains were incredible, they were like quarter of a mile long!

Anyways, around midnight I started with a fever. Whether it was a result of the bug exploding in my forehead (it caused a gash) or whether it was the cold breaking into a fever I don't know, but I seriously though I was going to die in this dodgy motel room in Kingman. The fever lasted 8 hours, with me wrapped up in every sheet in the room. It was horrible. I took Nurofen and Dayquil in the morning, and felt human enough for the last run back to Vegas.

Day 6 Kingman to Vegas via Hoover Dam (105 miles)

A short blast today, and more than enough given how I was feeling. The Highway actually goes over the Hoover Dam itself. This strech back into Nevada was the hottest of the trip and probably the lowest elevation. The traffic was moving at around 25mph for 20miles either side of the dam, this was the only time I took my leather jacket and gloves off for the whole trip. On the whole, the rest of the journey was fine with all my gear on.

There are free car park/look outs either side of the dam, but if you want to park and go inside it costs $$$. I was still feeling rough so I skipped that.

I made a last dash for Vegas, looking forward to crashing out in a decent hotel again. However, it looks like the travel agent stiffed me and the accomodation was not exactly what it sounded like when I booked it:

All in all it was an amazing 6 days. I had a great time, ate a lot of bad food, saw some amazing sights. Only slightly marred by being ill, and if you're going to feel shitty its better to feel shitty at 90mph with the wind in your hair then lying in some crappy motel room. :)

If I did the trip again I would take my full face helmet, or buy one there. They can be had pretty cheap. If the weather was going to be any hotter I would look for an armoured mesh jacket too. You could easily stay somewhere central like Page, Arizona and ride out to a different park or monument every day for two weeks. Or you could easily spend a week in any of the National Parks hiking and taking photos. I only had six days and the pace was about right. The Road Glide was armchair comfy, and you need to stop for a drink before your bum gets numb or the bike gets thirsty. Its a different kind of ride to the GS, but equally valid! Although, given the option I'd like to rent a GS in this area in the future, there are trails and gravel roads everywhere and it made me long for my F800GS a few times.

The photos on this trip were taken with my new Sony Alpha A200 with a Tamron 18-250 travel lens. And I picked up a $12 tripod over there and dumped it at the end of the trip.

Here is the Mapsource plan of my route:

And there you have it.

View One Week On A Harley in a larger map


Electrical Connections

28 February 2009

To connect your Zumo or any other electrical device requiring a switched power supply, you can tap into the CAN-Bus connector on the 'tank'.

To get under the fake tank, you need to remove the seat and six torx bolts. Four on the top tank panel, and two either side of the headstock, mounted in the black plastic that forms part of the ignition/socket assembly:

The tank panel now lifts straight off but be careful of the power socket wiring underneath:

A closer look at the power socket wiring connector:

The wires are attacked with a spring clip. You have to press down with your thumb to release it, then pull straight off the socket:

Ooh look, what is this mysterious black box thing attached directly on top of the battery? Notice as well the space between the battery and the airbox. This vertical gap will accomodate the newer Autocom units. Or a secret supply of currency.

Pull it out of the mounting clips, and remove the black cap. There is another spring clip holding the black cap on. And inside? This:

Which is our very obviously placed GPS connector. To connect your GPS unit to this can-bus controlled switched supply that stays on for a few minutes when you turn the engine off, you will need part number 80 00 0 611 656 (UK) or 83 30 0 413 585 (US - can someone verify please?) from your friendly local BMW Dealer:

You could buy the cable ready-made from Touratech if you don't want to butcher your original cable.

CAN-Bus Ready Made Cable
from Touratech

Alternative Options:

You could wire your Zumo directly back to the battery with an in-line fuse. You can buy the ready made cable from touratech:

Or you could wire your cable to a DIN plug and plug it into the DIN accessory socket next to the ignition. The plug cost around £3, but you can buy a ready-made cable from touratech:

Other Electrical Connections:

NOTE: Powerlet and BMW/DIN sockets are the same size, and the plugs are interchangeable. They are the same thing. Cigar sockets & plugs are bigger, like the one in your car.

You can add an additional accessory socket to the right of the ignition key and power it from the CAN-Bus connector. There is a cut-out on the underside of the 'tank' panel to show where to place the additional socket You do not need an in-line fuse for CAN-Bus connections.

You can buy a socket kit ready-made to plug into the CAN-Bus from Powerlet

CAN-Bus can support up to 5amps, so electrical devices with a greater power draw (such as a heated jacket perhaps) will need an accessory socket. You could wire an additional accessory socket (BMW/DIN/Powerlet or cigar lighter size) to the right of the ignigition key (see picture above) and wire it back to the battery directly - this supply would not switch off with the ignition. You will need an in-line fuse between the socket and the battery.

You can buy a socket kit for the fake-tank cut-out, ready-made with inline fuse to wire directly back to the battery from Powerlet.

You can also buy handle-bar mounted sockets to wire back to the battery.

Touratech do a full dashboard for the 800GS/650GS(Twin) that includes an additional accessory socket.

Powerlet do a full range of Powerlet sockets and plugs, as well as Cigar sockets & plugs and SAE 2-pin connectors.

They also do adapters beween the different plug types.

Also a full range of power cables to power your iPod, radar detector, USB, heated clothing etc. from a Powerlet socket.

Finally, if you have several devices to wire back to the battery you might consider a fuse panel, like the one AP-1 Centech Fuse Panel from Nippy Norman in the UK

This little box means only one connector to the battery, then you can quickly add wires to the box and each line is fused, meaning no need for in-line fuse.

Hope this helps someone.


Crash & Bash Protection

Available (January 09) or soon-to-be-available protection options fall into two main categories:

Crash Protection and Bash Protection

Crash Protection in the form of Engine Bars. Crash bars are not going to protect your bike in all circumstances, and in the case of a hard smash might even transfer energy to your engine housing. However, for low speed spills and 'adventure' drops, they will save you having to replace expensive plastics and indicators. For everything else there is insurance.

Bash Protection in the form of bashplates and handguards. Bashplates cover the lower front engine and the underside, sometimes extending as far back as the catalytic convertor. Most of them will need removing to change the oil filter.The metal bar in the BMW handguards arguably offers some crash protection for your levers.

NOTE: Bashplates will fit 800 and 650 models, however 650 owners will need a fixing kit from BMW, which includes the necessary 'silentblock' rubber vibration-proof mounts and bolts. (800 owners have this as standard with the stock bash plate). Some plate manufacturers may include this kit - check with them directly

Manufacturer offerings in Alphabetical order:


Adventure-Spec bars are still in production, so no prices yet. Latest prototype looks like this:

Adventure-Spec Bashplate £130 silver or £140 black


BMW crashbars, not yet available (August '08) approx £226

Metal BMW Enduro Bashplate £147, plus fixing kit for 650 owners only £23.69 (plastic bashplate standard on 800GS comes with fixing kit):

This BMW bashplate was powder coated by the owner. Notice that this plate extends as far back as the cat.

BMW Protector Bar & Screws £63.68 with large guard £23.50 and small guard £19.50 and spoiler £16

Also, it is possible to fit the 2008 1200GS handguards to the 650 and maybe 800.


Givi Engine Bars £103

Hepco Becker

Hepco Becker Engine Bars approx $200

Image from these forums, credit to

No doubt HB will have a bashplate at some point in the future.

Metal Mule

Metal Mule bashplate £139

MM also doing crash bars for UKP199. See here


SW-Motech Crash Bars £121 (available in black, shown in red for clarity)

SW-Motech Bash Plate £131/800 or £140/650 (available in black, shown in red for clarity)


Touratech Crash Bars Lower £162.93 and Upper extension £78.01

Touratech Small Bashplate £77.02

Touratech Bashplate extension £43.44 (to fit BMW centrestand)

Oil Filter Guard £53.42

Touratech Handguards £74.06 and spoiler £19.75 all available in different colours

Wild At Heart

A South African company making their own crash bars. SAR3,980 or Approx US$435.


Wunderlich Adventure Crash Bars 179€

Wunderlich Street Crash Bars (no pic available) 169€

Wunderlich Bash Plate 219€ and main stand protection plate 69€

Wunderlich Rectifier protector 35€


I'm sure that manufacturers will expand their range of offerings. However, this brings together all the current options into one place for comparison.

Hope this helps.


About This Blog

I had been saving for a ST1300 for a long time, as it was clear that my Deauville wasn't up the task.

In November 2007 I saw pictures of the F800GS and ran to the dealers to place a deposit.

On 13th March 2008 I took delivery and have never regretted it.

On 13th April 2009 my 800GS joined me in Singapore for a new life and adventures...

This is my F800GS Blog.


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP