Following is a description of the changes I made to the BMW R1200GSA to prepare for the trip. I have included some accompanying photos. as well as some photos.

The bike I decided on was one that BMW of Denver already had on the way - White Aluminum Metallic with ABS, trip computer and fog lamps. The first thing I did was to convert the halogen fog lamps to HID. I used kits from XenonDepot.com as Steve provides long pigtails between the igniters and ballasts, which really help on a bike as tight on space as the GS. I mounted the ballasts in the tail of the bike, in the area where the alarm/TPS monitor would go. Since BMW is no longer offering TPS on bikes with spoke wheels, this space was open on my bike.

HID Foglight Ballast

I mounted the igniters up front in the sub frame.

HID Igniter

The stock fog lights used H11 bulbs, so I used a pair of H11 Xenon replacements. All I had was to drill the back of the housings to allow for the exit of the leads without bending them too tightly.

These lights put out a very broad pattern and with the HID conversion they are really effective at lighting up the area immediately in front of the bike as well as really lighting up the area beside the bike. I am really happy with the amount of coverage they offer, but they don’t have the reach of good driving lights. I had a set of Hella Micro DE HID lights I had purchased for an earlier LT, but never installed. These lights are really effective as driving lights with a nice tight pattern and a really long throw. I mounted these on the BMW auxiliary light bar directly above the factory fog lights. I used a single stainless screw through a nylon washer through the center of the bracket and a nylock nut and washer underneath. I used a smaller stainless screw with a nylock nut inboard to stabilize the bracket.

Hella MicroDE Mount

Since the center hole is elongated I am able to rotate the lights to obtain good positioning on the horizontal plane. The lights are rock solid and were easy to aim.

Hella MicroDE Mount


Hella MicroDE Mount

The Hella lights use an integrated ballast/igniter, requiring the ballasts to be mounted close to the lights. I built a stainless strap and bracket assembly to hold the units up under the beak. These pictures show the ballasts very well but from a normal viewing position you can barely see them. I painted the ballasts and the brackets black so as to make them less visible. The bracket is held in place to the beak with stainless screws behind the GS beak extension.

Hella MicroDE Ballast

If you look closely you can also see my XM antenna at the front of the beak.

Hella MicroDE

If you look closely you can see the front Ohlins shock.

All the lights

I also like the daytime visibility provided by MotoLights low on the forks, so I opted for a set of Black caliper mount MotoLights.


Again, due to the limited space I had to get creative with the electrical connections. I ran a 12V supply wire from the battery up to the area above the fuel tank on the right side. This is where the fuses were located for the factory fog lights. The supply wire is fused at 30 amps at the battery. I connected the power form the factory fog lights to the ballasts in the rear of the bike. Up front I mounted three fused, four relays and the associated wiring next to the fuses for the auxiliary lights. The factory fuse panel has six open fuse locations, but unfortunately no wiring or contacts for the fuses. I tried a number of supply houses trying to find connectors for this fuse block but was unsuccessful, so I used three standard automotive blade fuse holders. There are two 30 amp relays, one for the Hella lights and the other for the MotoLights. In addition there are two smaller relays, one for load shed purposes and the other for the Stebel air horn. I bundled this together and mounted it on a custom bracket to the sub frame.


RelaysThe wiring between the front and rear follows the frame rails.


The factory fog lights were controlled by a switch mounted down on the steering head. It was really difficult to reach this switch so I opted to move it beside the right control assembly. I had to notch the back of it a little, added a second switch and held it in place with a modified rubber and stainless clamp.

Aux switch rear

One switch controls the factory fogs and the other controls the MotoLights.

Aux lighting switch

Aux lighting switch

I also added a Wunderlich throttle lock while I was working there.

Wunderlich throttle lock

I really wanted to add a Rostra electronic cruise control, but there are some mechanical issues I will need to resolve on the throttle interface. More on that later.

The Hella Micro DE lights can be run independently or slaved to the high beam . I installed a three position, waterproof mini switch to allow ON, OFF or slaved to high beam.

Slave switch

I mounted a Pioneer INNO XM radio on a mount from Pirate’s Lair to the left hand control clamp.

Pioneer INNO

Pioneer INNO

I use a Velcro strap to stabilize the radio in its mount. The INNO audio is fed back to the Autocom Pro AVi, mounted where the ‘tool kit’ was.

Autocom Pro AVi

I like the INNO because it can record XM programs, store a small number of MP3s, has glove operable volume controls and a easy to read display. Despite the fact that my 376c has XM, I still would prefer to have the INNO.
The 376c is mounted on a Touratech locking mount.

The INNO, Autocom and GPS are all powered through the accessory plug provided by BMW for use with a GPS. I used connector number 83 30 0 413 585. This is a mating connector with three pigtail leads. I used the ground and switched power for the accessories and will use the speed pulse line for the electronic cruise when I resolve the mechanical issues.

Garmin 376c

The XM Weather antenna will magnetically mount to a steel plate on top of the clutch fluid reservoir. I do want to get the NexRad weather, but will not use the GPS for XM radio.

Since my Autocom took up the space for tools I added a GT Moto tool tube behind the right pannier mount.

Tool tube

Tool tube

While I was back there I mounted a set of BMW helmet locks (51 25 2 313 472) keyed to the bike, on each side of the top case rack.

Helmet locks

And an Akrapovic exhaust – because it sounds better. It is very light and uses a trick carbon fiber mount. This is the one available through BMW dealers. These last three pictures were taken before the snow buried us. Right now our yard has over three feet of snow on it.

Acropovic exhaust



I hope this helps give some of you ideas.