My BMW R1150 GSAA at Deals' Gap

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Entries in BMW R1150GS Adventure (3)


Revitalizing the old girl by dealing with wire bundle sleeving rot

Ok, I admit it. The '02 R1150GS Adventure's starting to show its age. I've had those wandering thoughts... and eyes. I've even considered picking out a replacement for the old girl. But, when it comes right down to it, she's still a really good girl and she takes care of my riding needs - regardless of some of the cosmetic issues that have developed in her first 116K miles.

As she's aged, one of the "issues" she's developed relates to the rotting of the black, rubbery sleeving that covers the various bundles of wiring running here and there. Most noticeable was the deterioration of the sleeving of the wires running up to the right and left handlebar switches.

The GS is not beauty queen when it comes to routing of wiring. So, I set out on a quest to keep some of that extra ugliness hidden from view.

Enter TechFlex Braided Sleeving Solutions.

Their split wiring sleeving solutions are perfect for such motorcycle projects and available from various vendors, including Amazon.

I purchased 10ft. of TechFlex F6 woven split wrap in a 3/16" diameter, as well as 10ft. of TechFlex General Purpose split wrap in a 1/2" diameter. I mainly wanted to tackle replacement of the sleeving on the visible wiring running along each side of the bars, but expected to have some other wiring under the tank that also needed some similar attention.

This version of the TechFlex product is split along it's length to allow it to be separated and installed around bundles of wire. The diameter of the sleeving is somewhat adaptable to the diameter of the wiring you're trying to cover. The sleeving wraps around itself providing a bit of tension on the wires held inside.

A hot knife is recommended for working with the TechFlex sleeving. Yes, you could cut it with a scissors, but a hot knife melts the braiding and keeps it from potential unraveling down the road. I didn't own a hot knife, so I purchased the Dremel 1550 Multi-Purpose tool, that comes with tips for wood-burning, soldering, as well as the needed knife blade. A YouTube video showed someone wrapping the sleeving in a bit of masking tape and then cutting through the tape. I tired that method and found it to work really well.

The hot knife blade cut like butter through the tape and TechFlex. Examples of the finished work are shown below:

Under the tank, I found a few other areas of concern and took care of them with some of the of the 3/16", as well as 1/2" sleeving. I was quite satisfied with the results.

Except for some sore fingers from urging the wiring bundles into the split of the TechFlex sleeving, no real blood was shed in the completion of this project. She's still my girl and I think this new look will keep her in my good graces for a few more years.


I can hear clearly now - again! Yaesu FTM-10SR Repaired

You might recall how I've been on-again, off-again using a Yaesu FTM-10SR VHF/UHF ham radio on the bikes. With the conversion to Sena, from the wired Autocom, I got interested in having the FTM-10SR back on the BMW. Wiring run, head-unit nicely located on a RAM mount up front, and the waterproof radio itself mounted in the top-box in the back. It sounds like a near perfect setup. The problem was the sound - Or lack thereof. It seems that the Yaesu managed to lose its hearing over time (kind of like me, maybe).

A little Googling turned up some hits on the degradation of a ceramic filter component that makes the VHF, UHF and Weather Band reception in these radios (and their big brother) go pretty much as far south as you can get. When this happens, it's worth noting that the AM and FM broadcast reception still works as expected. Besides not hearing much from local repeaters and simplex transmissions close by, you'll also notice that the signal strength meter on the front panel never registers anything - take note if you've owned one of these radios for a while.

A quick call to Yaesu Service in California confirmed my suspicions and they confidently suggested that the repair could be done in just one hour at $70/hour. Sadly the little ceramic filter (LTM450FW-A) costs just 61 cents to replace. Or maybe I should be happy. Either way, with no other similar radios on the market, I decided this one was worth repairing and quickly sent it off to Yaesu to do their magic.

In about a week and a half, the radio was back in my hands and bench testing confirmed it was working as I remembered it once did. With the Ham Public Service season not quite over yet in North Carolina, I put the radio back on the bike in preparation for an upcoming bicycle event. I managed a nice ride this morning, using the Yaesu, the Sena SR10 and SMH10 on my helmet along the way. Various local repeaters were heard just fine and it seems all is well in radio land.

Here's a close-up of the FTM-10SR "head unit" up front on the bars of the '02 R1150GS Adventure.

And here's a shot of the radio itself located inside the Jesse Luggage top box out back. Enjoy!


Sell a bike, re-farkle another - Yeah!

You might have noticed that another of my bikes joined the Departed section of this website. With the BMW R1150GS Adventure still in the inventory and likely to remain that way, Elizabeth and I agreed to update its electronics a bit this spring in preparation for a couple of back-to-back summer trips. First, we purchased a pair of Shoei Neotec modular helmets to replace our aging HJCs. Then, we decided that it was time to go wireless, as in Bluetooth for personal comms. This was a more difficult decision, as we realized that over the years we had grown used to simply plugging in to our Autocom and riding away. This should be more convenient, but it brings about an expectation that there might be "fiddling" involved to make sure things work and continue to do so. Finally, with the adoption of Bluetooth came the realization that the old Garmin 276C wasn't going to "plug and play". Easy fix... buy a new GPS.

So, with all that in mind, some of the money the sale of the bike brought in was quickly dispersed for the two helmets, a Garmin Zumo 665LM and finally the Sena SMH10 Bluetooth Headset/Intercom with Universal Microphone dual kit.

What's to come? I'll be tackling the Sena SMH10 installation in the Neotecs and posting pics and possibly a video here very soon. Along the way, I should have some comments and comparisons regarding the Neotec vs. HJC Symax II. They're obviously in different classes, but comparing weight, etc. might prove interesting. Then, I'll post info and pics on installing the Zumo on the R1150GS Adventure and getting everything paired up and talking. I have a little more than a month to get all this working before departing on the first trip, so watch for updates. This should be fun.