Tips and Tricks

There are a few simple tools, tips and tricks which can make working on the GS a little easier.

There are also a few items which are worth keeping a close eye on as they can cause large failures.

Things to check

Throttle Body - The Throttle Body can crack at the base and cause poor running problems worth checking.

Neutral Switch - Clean and seal with silicon, it can suffer electrical leakage to earth in wet weather.

Indicator Switch - Repack with waterproof grease periodically it has electrical leakage to earth in wet weather.

Side Stand Switch - The switch is held in place with a circlip which can be lost, see Mods/Sidestand Page.

Side Stand Pivot - The sidestand can become sticky in operation, it needs greasing, see Mods/Sidestand Page.

Lower Shock Bolts - The bolts are fully threaded & known to wear & break, they are worth checking periodically

Swingarm Bearings - The bearings are not sealed, they wear and can sieze, see the rear suspension page.

Chain Adjuster Bolts - Tighten the bolts after tightening the axle, the bolts are known to vibrate loose.


The BMSC & ABS ECU's store fault codes. Reading fault codes can save time in fault finding & faulty part identification. Too often they are not checked with GS911 or other diagnostic tools.

The starting procedure for the GS is simple but different. Following the correct procedure can solve what appears to be problems in operation. Bikeboy has a good write up on the procedure.
Bike Boy Starting PDF BMW Original & G650GS 2010 starting procedures BMW Start PDF

On ABS equipped models it is advisable to disconnect the ABS control unit when isolating the battery for charging or jumpering. It has been found that there is a second path to earth through the ABS unit. Analysis of a damaged wiring harness from one machine where jumper leads were momentarily reverse conected showed only the earth wire to the ABS and the ABS socket were badly damaged. Disconnection of the ABS would have avoided the damage.

Mirror Mounts

F650GS mirrors are unthreaded & use an adaptor to mount into the lever perches. Any mirror with a 10mm stalk (F650GS) or 12mm (G650GS 2010+) & suits your requirements can be used. Cut the thread off & fit it. Where a perch 8mm thread is damaged it can either be helicoiled or tapped to 10mm & an adaptor from another BM used (eg F800GS).

F/G 650GS - 10mm stalk / 8mm thread - BMW adaptor 51167672399

2010+ 650GS - 12mm stalk / 10mm thread - BMW adaptor 51167723432

Other BMs - 10mm stalk / 10mm thread - BMW adaptor 51167673982

Chain Adjustment

Chain adjustment can be problematic, particularly on the Dakar & Sertao with the lack of a centre stand & variations in chain slack due to the rear suspension geometry. On the Dakar & Sertao where an after market centre stand is fitted the chain should be adjusted so the chain is tight when pushed up to the rear end of the chain rubbing block on the lower side of the swing arm. The same method of checking can be done when on the side stand.

Chain Adjusters

Take care with the chain adjusting bolts, they can work loose, the bolts and end plates fall off. After tightening the axle check the adjusters and tighten. Fitting nyloc nuts inside the swing arm on the bolts is a good idea.

Chain Guard

The BMW F650GS chain guard & possum scraper breaks & does not suit everyone. An alternative is the G650GS guard (Part No 46 62 7 727 156)

Chain Clip Links

Where fitting an O-Ring chain with a clip link use a press to fit the link and hold the outer plate in place without squashing and damaging the O-Ring. The O-Ring should maintain pressure on the outer link clip.

Oil Changes

The 00-04 oil drain plug is easily damaged so take care when removing the plug.
Get a 6 sided socket and grind the front edge as shown to prevent damage.

Updated BMW Drain Plug

The BMW revised plug or a drain plug with magnet is recommended.
This drain plug is used on the CS/X/G650/F Twin BMW models.
The BMW Part No - 11 13 7 708 604 Screw Plug, Magnetic - M24x2

Rear Sub Frame
Raise the rear sub frame rather than removing it to work on the swing arm or rear suspension.
The lower sub frame bolts are also known to shear. Either replace the bolts with a higher quality or drill them out to 10mm and use nuts. (They are Oval Head M8x25-10.9 ZNS3)
Mystery Connector

EU owners often ask what is the mystery connector on the top of the fuel tank. It is for the US fuel tank vent valve. The valve is operated by the BMS-C engine management system while riding. It is monitored by the BMS-C and excess current though the circuit could damage the BMS-C.

Spark Plugs

Be sure to use the correct plug for your model. The single spark models use a non resistive spark plug NGK D8EA. The dual spark and CS models use a resistive plug NGK DR8EA as
they have Coil on Plug units. The "R" in an NGK No indicates resistive.

See Modifications/Ignition Upgrades, Pulstar have capacitive plugs available which improve combustion.

See Modifications/Sidestand for information on side stand maintenance, cracking or breaking.