The wheelie great team

Jason’s bike:

Valley of the moon.

Valley of the moon.

My current bike is a 2008 BMW F800GS. As there is no such thing as the perfect bike for overland travel, I opted for this bike because it’s the bike of my heart.

The first thing to say about this bike is that it’s quite a lot lighter than the BMW R1200GSA – very noticeable in the bends with a lively engine and a top speed on par with the R1200GSA is loads of fun.  The two complaints I have with the bike though are the iron hard seat and the less than useless screen.  The bike already had a custom belly pan, a set of heavy duty engine bars when I bought it so saved a few quid there, but I needed to do something about the screen and the seat.

I settled for an Airhawk Seat which is essentially an air cushion that sits on top of the seat, which gives me about twice the distance before my ass goes to sleep. The problem with the screen was solved with a Touratech fairing which is not cheap but does a great job of protecting me from most of the wind, I also think it looks great.  The bike has recently been fitted with a set of Metalmule panniers that are made from 2mm thick aluminium and look up to the job.



Time to bathe the bike

Lisa’s bike is a 2001 BMW F650GS having started out with 27,000 miles on the clock.  Lisa spotted this factory-lowered bike on eBay at the right price so she took a chance.  To be honest it looked better in the pictures than in the flesh, but with a few cans of spray paint and three days of hard graft I transformed her from an ugly duckling into a swan.  Lisa finds her oodles of fun to ride but I personally find it a little under powered for my taste.   I fitted Oxford heated grips because the originals had expired, plus a Touratech radiator guard. As well as an additional sump guard over the original belly pan and a set of Metalmule panniers.

Lisa believes that more often than not, Pearl saves her from herself. She’s an extremely forgiving motorcycle, a great starter touring bike and I know Lisa adores her as much as anything else. Fusing like some mythical Greek creature: half woman, half motorcycle…or something like that!

26 thoughts on “The wheelie great team

  1. Hi guys just here with Terry. Saw your trip with the dog Bob. Great camera work and great blog. Stay safe and Terry says hi.



    • Thanks Adrienne, we are having a great time here in Patagonia, it’s beautiful. Tell dad we will ring him when he gets back home.


  2. Good choice the F800GS. I traded my 1150GSA in for an F800GS and am very happy with it. Changed the seat aswell for a Touratech, but haven’t changed the windscreen (yet). Good luck and lots of fun on your trip, Jules


  3. I’m with you on the r1200gsa,love the bike to bit’s for mile munching its the dog’s danglies, but boy is it hard work on the soft stuff !
    Have you fitted bigger fuel tanks ?
    Live the dream,


    • Hi Vernon, thanks for the message – great to hear from you. No, we haven’t fitted bigger fuel tanks but have acquired a couple of extra fuel canisters for peace of mind when going rural for miles on end. Know what you mean about the soft stuff, Jason’s F800GS is not exactly light…hey ho! Cheers Lisa & Jase


  4. I think you’ve chosen well in bikes-I have a GS1200-great bike but a handful off ride.Good luck with your adventure and I look forward to your updates.If I may ask what kind of a daily budget,if any,are you sticking too?


    • Hi Ralph,

      We are trying to stick to a budget of 1000 pounds a month all though this is pretty tough in Argentina/Chile. Thanks for following.



  5. hi guys,looks like you are having a blast , re budget are you camping every night or b and b . I am in the process of planning a trip from uk Alaska and then south to chile , I have ridden around asia for two years , Thailand and Laos , I am looking at buying a BMW gs ,and there lies my dilemma , 1200gs adventure ,great bike but heavy , 800gs adventure great bike ,but runs on tubed tyres , 700gs nice bike, and as you say , most bikes today can do the job , re tubed tyres how do you do repunctures ,do you use slime in the tyres or finilec type foam or just wheel off repairs on roadside ,
    best regards



    • Hey Gary, great to hear from you. Wow, great biking history! Would only say don’t get too bogged down with tyres, no drama to fix them by the roadside when you need to. If you go for tyres with inner tubes, carry a spare for front and back, that way you can quickly replace on the roadside and repair the old one at your leisure. The right bike? That’s very subjective and a toughy. Depends on what kind of riding you want to do, off road and, or tarmac? More of the former, go light and simple, a bike that a bush mechanic can fix. Prefer more road riding then perhaps opt for comfort over trail riding performance. Totally up to you although in our case, we both should’ve gone a lot lighter and smaller. Hey ho, you live and learn! Happy New Year, all the best L&J


  6. Hola , i hear what you say re tyres and bike size , makes you wonder why the 1200gs is so popular .
    Are you guys camping on sites , if so are they ok , or wild camping . Are there b and b type places there ? And approcx cost , hopefully similar prices to Asia

    Best regards and happy new yesr



    • Hi Gary,

      We use camp sites, hostels, B&B’s and wild camp. A hostel in Argentina per room for us is as little as 150 pesos

      Regards and a happy new year.



    • Hi Steve,

      The tyres we are currently using are Heidenau k60’s Really long lasting tyres, Lisa’s front tyre has 15000 miles on it and it’s only half worn. Tyres for our bikes are no problem to source if you don’t mind fitting whats available.


  7. Good feed back, thank you. I too always wanted a 1200GSA. Bought one, love it, but it too will have to go before I set off on the back roads of Africa. As you rightly said, too heavy to pick up, and a handful in the mud and sand. Although, I have just bought a Warn motorcycle winch, will report on its usefulness to pick it up and pull out of the mud etc.


  8. absolutely love ur adventures fatherest I ever road was from phoenix az to stugis south Dakota disabled now sure miss riding used to ride every chance I got (not enough was overroad truckdriver me and wife we ran about 20,000 miles plus a month.


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