Wunderlich BMW R 1200 GS Accessories Review
[This Wunderlich BMW R 1200 GS Accessories Review was originally published in the June 2010 issue of Rider]
It’s overwhelming how many accessories are available for a popular adventure tourer like the BMW R 1200 GS. If you bolted on everything in the Wunderlich America catalog, for example, you’d exceed the bike’s load capacity before you even got on.
You do have to visit the website to appreciate just how much fun it is to shop there, though I urge you to cut up your credit cards first. I swear that in addition to the bags, lights, protection bars and whatnot, it’s someone’s job there to dream up cool stuff you never knew you needed.
Take the Horn Guard, for example. Remember the last time you turned your GS handlebar hard left, say while maneuvering into a parking spot, and hit your tankbag with the horn switch? And then did it again? Yeah, everyone around you at the time remembers, too. This little $20 goody installs in minutes with a couple hex wrenches, and then the only time the horn will blow is when you want it to.
The Gap Bag is another goody you’ll have to get just because you know about it now (sorry). It fits into and fills the gap underneath the GS luggage rack, strapping on to its front and sides, and is good for holding small tools, rain mitts, flat kits and the like. There’s a storm flap over the double zipper and the bottom is reinforced, so this $49 bag is mostly watertight and should take a beating over the long term. It’s a great way to carry small items you don’t need very often.
Then there’s the Sidestand Enlarger, which sounds like something you’d find advertised in a competing motorcycle magazine, but is actually just a cleverly shaped thick aluminum plate that fits over the smaller plate on the end of the GS sidestand. Helps keep it from plunging into soft surfaces like grass, hot asphalt or your buddy’s foot. It’s about a 1?4-inch thick, so it also slightly (very slightly) reduces how much the big GS leans on the sidestand. Manufacturing tolerances being what they are, I had to file the edge of the stock sidestand plate a little to get the Sidestand Enlarger to fit properly, then gave the stand a shot of black paint to prevent rust. Use a little blue thread-locking goo on the screws and you’re all set.
My favorite Wunderlich goody so far is the Vario Adjustable Lever Set. This pair of great-looking, precisely machined aluminum brake and clutch levers have a more ergonomic, natural-feeling shape than stock, and adjust for both length with a single set screw and reach with a three-position thumbwheel.
I installed them myself in about 45 minutes, then set the brake lever short for two-finger braking, which combined with the shape allows for more precise control of the BMW’s touchy EVO/ Integral ABS front brake. The clutch lever I set longer for the usual four fingers. Both still allow the use of the stock lever adjusters, which in combination with the Vario’s can bring the brake lever as much as 1?2-inch closer to the grip (though it feels like more because the levers are more parallel to the grips) or both into any other positions you like. The thumbwheels allow changes on the fly, too, good for different riders or when you go from sitting to standing. The only quibble I have is that they get colder than the stockers. These $270-per-pair levers come in gorgeous anodized Titanium-Silver, Silver-Titanium, Silver-Blue Titanium, Blue-Black and Black-Silver.
Wunderlich says it’s the world’s largest supplier of parts and accessories for BMWs. Mainly a mail-order business, it has a small showroom in Watsonville, California, where everything is in stock. Ring the bell and they’ll let you in.
For more information: Visit www.wunderlichamerica.com (don’t say I didn’t warn you) or call toll-free (866) 830-9990