Electrical Modifications

There are always those accessories to fit and the odd change to the electrical system to improve it beyond the basic BMW design. There are also a few ways BMW go about things which are really not very good.

These are a few of the common items people have done or are better for the purposes the 650GS is used for.

When adding accessories or modifying the electrical system always ensure the changes are documented with a diagram and put the diagram with the owners manual, too often where this is no done the details become forgotten and are difficult to follow later. I know, I have done it.

Headlight Wiring

BMW wire the headlight so the main power to the headlight runs through the high/low beam switch. This will burn out especially where higher wattage globes are fitted. It is a common problem on many BMW models. It is advisable to rewire the headlight through relays to improve voltage to the headlight and improve switch life.

The way to wire headlights through relays has traditionally been to use a separate relay per beam but a change over relay could be used to reduce the number of relays required to one relay.

Headlight Replacement

Replacement of the headlight on the F and early G Series is a goal of many people as the stock headlight is not very good. Touratech have the dual head light unit but it is espensive. Others have fitted the KTM 640 Adv unit.

Driving Lamps

When setting up driving Lamps ensure the lamps are run through a relay. It is important for switch life as outlined above and also to ensure maximum voltage to the globes. Modern LED lamps improve the choices on mounting.

Wiring diagrams for headlight and driving lamps. Relay Wiring PDF Dual Headlamp PDF GS Headlamp PDF

Accessory Wiring

Wire accessories through a relay and then fuses. Modern accessories are low in power so only one relay can be used where the accessories are all on with ignition on. The best interconnection point for triggering a relay is the parking lamp wire (Grey/White) which is accessible either at the headlamp or tail lamp. It allows use of items in park.


Use the same type of relay as BMW use in the electrical box. It ensures only one spare is needed and provides a socket and location to test the BMW relays. BMW relays are simply standard micro relays but are rated to 30 amps rather than 15 or 20 amps and have inbuilt current limiting.

Accessory Fuses

There are after market accessory fuse boxes available at a high cost. On the 650GS these can be overkill. The BMW 4 and 8 way fuse boxes are available through the car spares system and are relatively low cost. Part No's are in the pdf BMW Fuse Box PDF.  An accessory wiring diagram to add your wiring to Accessory Wiring PDF

Accessory Power Outlets

The BMW accessory socket is called an ISO/Merit Socket, it is common
on vehicles in Europe. It is a more stable and higher current socket than
US cigarette sockets. It can be sourced from after market auto stores and
is ideal for battery charging but is is impractical for items such as GPS
and mobile phone charging. The connectors below are more suitable.

The 2.5mm power plugs used on plug packs work well and have been
proven reliable mounted in the dash angled downward. Powerlet are
selling them as "coaxial connectors" and heated gear Mfr's use them.

Accessory socket pdf with further info Accessory Socket PDF

Dash Replacement
The choices of replacement instruments are Acewell, Trailtech or Koso. Purchase of the bare unit and re using existing sensors would be the best option. I will post a pdf with some detail when time permits.
LED Tail Lamp
LED Lamps are lower cost than BMW, a 2k ohm 1 watt resistor prevents ABS error codes being generated. Take care, wiring colors may be odd
Water Temperature Gauge
The spare sender in the water temp sensor can be connected to a dash gauge. Pins for the socket are needed. BMW Part No 61130007657.
The Koso mini gauge works but needs a calibration resistor.
Trailtech TTO Gauge may also work.

An oil pressure or oil temperature guage is also possible using an adaptor on the pressure switch.

A draft pdf with info on the ABS lamp handling when replacing the dash. ABS Lamp PDF

A draft pdf with info on fitting alternative dash units. Alternative Dash PDF

4 Way Flashers - 00-04 4 way flasher information and options Single spark 4 way flashers pdf