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.
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!