After 12-years of insane riding, our journey has to evolve, things have to change and parts that are worn out have to be swapped for newer and more up to the minute technology. After all the miles ridden a bond has been created between us and our original bikes. We’re far more sentimental than we thought.
At the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach California this weekend, we unveiled and showed off our brand new custom built BMW bikes.
After just 7,000 hastily ridden miles, these bikes have blown our minds. Yeah, sounds overly dramatic doesn’t it? Well, we knew there was going to be a large difference in terms of performance and ride, between our 4 generation old bikes and the new ones, but we’ve still been ‘gob-smacked’ at the comparison. Comparison is probably a poor word choice because in truth, there is none. The agility, power, and smoothness of our new R1200GSA and F800GS is staggering. After a back-to-back ride coast to coast to get a feel of the new bikes, we had to surgically remove the grins from our faces.
Based on the reaction from the huge crowds at this years IMS show, it was obvious that the new bikes sparked real interest. On the Touratech stand thousands of enthusiasts scanned every part of both bikes, checking out the carefully selected modifications we have chosen to make to the bikes. The eye catching wraps that were conceived, designed and then laid down by our friend Adam Stephens created a buzz and received an overwhelming amount of attention.
Someone asked “how did you decide what modifications to make to the bikes”?
Answer: Lisa and I over the course of a few weeks looked at the modifications we had made to our original bikes (F650GS TT39 and R1150GSA), and then marked the success of each modification and rated how much real-world difference each had made. Had the modification made the original bikes better, easier to handle, more comfortable, safer or simply improved the ride? We basically needed a short-list, a distilled list of parts and modifications that we felt were essential to give us the best chance of success as we ride forward.
All the work has been carried at BMW Motorcycles of Riverside by Henry Delano, one of their master tech’s. The one week project turned to four weeks, with the last wrenching finished up just a few days ago!
We need to say thank you a few companies that have become family during their continued support over the years and in particular this new bike project.
We have to start with a thank you to our newest 2RTW partner, LXV Outdoor. James McColl (CEO) of the paddle board and outdoor adventure specialist is who have to thank for the purchase of the new motorcycles. What James and his team have done for us is nothing short of life changing.
Touratech, were the major contributor to this build and have taken care of us now for almost 8-years. The support and friendship we’ve received from Touratech Head office in Germany and the entire Touratech family has literally saved us time and time again. Without their support we would not be able to continue to share our journey with you.
SENA the Korean comm’s and video specialist has provided invaluable support and to whom we’re incredibly grateful. Lisa and I are proud to be SENA Brand Ambassadors and want to thank particularly Mr Sam SW Kim (VP of Marketing) and Jay Joo .
Woody’s Wheel Works, did an absolutely spectacular job on the wheels for both bikes. Custom Lite billet aluminum hubs, laced to Excel rims with oversized stainless spokes. I told Chris at Woody’s if I could take them off I’d wear my setup as a piece of jewelry. Yeah, I know that in the adv bike group we’re meant to not care about that kind of thing and spend our days looking road-worn and dirty but Woody’s rims and setup is just a show-stopper!
Both our new bikes are running a 19/19-21″ on the front and a 150/70-17″ on the rear. The 21″ rim on the front makes a night and day difference to the handling of the big R1200GSA. What an upgrade!
Galfer, hooked us up with Wave rotors, ceramic brake pads and custom made brake lines on both bikes. The bite and feel on both machines when stopping is incredible. Galfer produce the best braking system we’ve ever used.
As with our original bikes, our lighting system is courtesy of Glenn over at Clearwater Lights. When you need to turn night to day, the Clearwater Lights are the only way to go. My R1200GSA is running the Erica’s and Lisa’s F800GS is carrying the Darla’s.
We got asked a lot over the course of the show about our tire choice and so we were thrilled when Continental Tires became an official 2RTW partner last month. The new bikes turned up at the show with new rubber. The Conti TKC80’s are the best adventure tire we’ve used and are our tire of choice over the last 12 years of our journey.
We’ve got to thank Ned Suesse who sent us a set of his new double-take mirrors last week. I’ve been using Ned’s mirrors for 3-years, since Australia. If you fed up buying new mirrors each time your machine takes a tumble, check out double-take mirrors. You’ll be glad you did.
The bikes we feel look stunning! We were still rocked by just how swamped we were during the 3 day show.
We’ll head down to Baja in the next few weeks to see how they handle in the dirt and the sand. Stay tuned for photos.
The last few days have been a whirlwind of fun, friends and even celebs popping by to check out the bikes. We had to grab a few images of Neale Bayly of ‘Neale Bayly Rides’ TV Fame, getting snuggly from behind. Smile cramps are normal right. Neale, thanks for dropping by and all the kind words.
In between her insane schedule, BMW Motorrad’s North America Marketing Director Sarah Schilke, found time to come on over and check out our new bikes for herself. Her seal of approval a very welcome gesture. It was a privilege to get to spend time talking ‘motorcycles’ with one of the most influential professionals in the USA.
Our time on the Touratech stand at the show was a great example of why most of us got into riding in the first place; we wanted to look cool, make friends and have fun!
So, thank you to everyone involved in this new bike build project. It’s been one hell of a ride and we’re looking forward to 2016.