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Old 07-15-2012, 04:17 AM   #1
The Other JC OP
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R1200GS Adventure - Remove petrol tank, install Hyperpro shocks

This will be a four part post. Intro, petrol tank removal, front shock install and rear shock install. It's too long for one post.

CURSE YOU ADVRIDER... I don't know I need stuff until I read it on these forums.

I tried for a long time to ignore the posts on dampers, but finally it got the better of me and the itching to add stuff to the bike became too strong.

After a lot of investigation and reading on the advantages of aftermarket shocks I finally decided on a set of Hyperpro shocks front and rear. I was not unhappy with the stock shocks, but with a tendency to bottom out on occasion I thought new shocks at 36000klm would be a nice upgrade for the bike, and make it ready for the off road trip planned this year.

I also thought it opportune for a write up of the petrol tank removal and refit that others have asked for. It is detailed, and while it may all seem obvious, you never can know exactly what is helpful or not. Rather have more info than less. I will also add that I always take the path of caution and remove anything that seems like it will get in the way. I would rather spend an extra 20 minutes stripping items than the bikes lifetime wishing I had done a little extra to ease the job when damage occurs.

Some discussion pages for reference on the Hyperpro shocks that helped sway my decision.

After much consideration ($$$$$) I finally settled on a front 360 emulsion shock and rear Type 467 MX body shock with fixed reservoir. The addition of a $300 pre-loader for the rear was just too much $$ to rationalise. Speaking with Walter, the owner and resident suspension expert, it became apparent it was probably more than I needed.

So the order was made.

Additionally I ordered a dirtskin for the rear shock from Manuel of Dirtskins advised they could make a custom skin when I enquired for the Hyperpro given the dimensions required. I ordered a solid black 270mm circumference x 260mm length dirtskin. Very impressed with the quality. It wraps round and secures itself with Velcro. I have just found they have a custom order page which I did not know about!!.

So with shocks and dirtskin in hand the day was upon me to start the conversion.

Part 2 tomorrow, this is taking longer than I expected ..maybe not so long, part 2 posted.

The Other JC screwed with this post 07-18-2012 at 05:05 AM Reason: update
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Old 07-15-2012, 04:57 AM   #2
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Removing R1200GS Adventure petrol tank

Removing petrol tank.

As noted in comments following these posts, you do not have to remove the tank to change the front shock. It was my preference, is not a difficult task and made the overall job easier.
Removing the tank in this instance also served to document the procedure for the GS Adventure.
If you do undertake this option and remove the top panel, I urge you not to ignore the advice to cover the fuel filler hole

Removing the tank is daunting the first time no doubt about it. A slow and methodical approach is always the best way.

I always replace screws and nuts and bolts from where they come from when I take the item off the bike. This way I generally do not lose any and always know where they go back, and which size screw is required.
This is the process I undertook.

Remove tank top side panels (with BMW logo)
Remove tank side panels
Remove fuel cap and top panel
Remove side bolts
Remove pump cover, unplug wires, breather hoses and fuel lines
Remove air box breather pipe
Remove tank.


Remove tank top side panels

The BMW emblemed top tank panels are held in by two screws, the visible one and one under the tank, and also held in place with a rubber grommet just above the BMW badge.
Remove the screws and pull the panels off. A little force is required where the grommets are concerned.

Remove tank side panels

The small left side panel just pulls off. The grommet hole is a part of the aluminium tank side panel.
Undo the three screws on the aluminium cover. Gently ease the panel clip from under the top panel (at the arrow below) to remove the side panel.

The right plastic cover is held in with a screw which also secures the right aluminium panel. Again, undo all screws and ease the corner clip from under the top panel.

Remove fuel cap and top panel

I am not sure others will have removed the top panel. It is my preference to do so as the chance of damaging the panel while the tank is off is too great. It also makes tank removal and refit much easier. It does not take much extra effort to remove the middle panel either.

My first piece of advice is to cut a cardboard circle to cover the open hole. The last thing you need is a rubber bung or screw to fall into the tank. I pierce a hole in the middle with wire to lower in and take out later. Editing this post, I noticed I had put the rubbers back in the wrong way up, thanks to the photos I have now corrected this. During correction I dropped a screw into the hole. Lucky I did not take a chance without the cardboard. The screw just fell out my slightly unclenched hand.

Undo the 6 screws evenly around, and pull off the cap when all undone. There should be 3 rubber supports under the cap, or they may be stuck to the underside of the cap. Take a moment to notice how they fit so you know how to refit.

Undo the screws either side of the panel holding the front fairing and remove top panel off the tank.

Replace the petrol cap to prevent crap falling in and petrol coming out.

Remove side bolts

Remove the left and right side bolts.
There is metal framework at both these points, keep them with the petrol tank. They are the framework for the side panels to screw onto.

Remove pump cover, unplug wires, breather hoses and fuel lines

Next remove the fuel pump cover (if you have one), the wires, breather hoses and fuel lines from the tank.

The fuel lines just clip in, push the metal clip forward and the tubes will pull out.
Heat the breather hoses if cold, and push from the open end with a large screw driver while gently pulling also.
Trying only to pull them off stretches the rubber tighter and makes it harder to remove.

Remove air box breather pipe

The Adventure petrol tank cannot be removed without the air box breather pipe also being removed.
Firstly undo the clips that hold the breather tube in place against the airbox. Pull the clips towards you, they are held with fishhook lock so push down on the hook end to help release.

Lift the back of the petrol tank and place a block of wood on the airbox and lower the petrol tank onto the block of wood. You now have the room to remove the breather pipe. Pull the pipe towards you to also release the rubber grommet holding the centre of the breather. Don't be shy, give it a tug. Out she pops.

Remove tank.

You can now lift the tank free of the frame of the bike. Pull the tank backwards off the rubber holders. Put safely out the way.

As a side point, for the curious, this is how I have my Accelerator Module fitted.

Right, now we have the room for the shock change.

The Other JC screwed with this post 07-25-2012 at 04:31 AM Reason: update
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:06 AM   #3
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R1200GS Adventure - Hyperpro front shock install

Front shock replacement

To get access to remove the front shock you will need to remove the front cross crash bar and alternator belt guard.
To remove the front bars undo the bolt at the bottom of the engine. Not the yellow one, that is the rear frame bolt, the front crash bar is just sitting in there.
Next remove the top screw over the cylinder. Long extension needed.

Undo the screws and bolts holding the top and middle bar. Remove the lower bars.

Undo the 5 screws holding the alternator belt guard. I had trouble getting the guard out.

There is some foam at the bottom inside the guard which had stuck to the engine. Not realising it was OK to pull it off at that stage I proceeded to undo the bottom bolt holding the shock to make room to get the guard off. The bottom bolt is on tight, it had the micro encapsulated thread locking agent on it. My new breaker bar made short work of that, with heat applied before hand to help loosen the locking compound. That gave just enough wiggle room to remove the cover. If not wait till the top of the shock is also undone for more wiggle space.

I then remove the foam and cleaned the area. The belt inspection showed no signs of wear at 36000klm, so it remained in place.

To remove the shock undo the top nut holding the shock in place. You cannot just turn the nut as it turns the shock rod. Insert an allen key in the top and turn against the frame to allow the nut to be undone. Undo all the way, and the shock will drop down. Keep hold of rubber and washer for new shock.

If the front forks have not already lifted themselves when the bottom bolt was remove, yank upwards on the handlebars to extend the forks to give a little more room. Remove the shock from frame by letting it drop down and pulling the top of the shock forward and out.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

Refit the alternator cover.

To install the shock, do the bottom bolt up first, align the top and roll the bike off the centre stand onto the side stand. The bike weight will push down the forks and allow the top nut to be installed.

I could not torque the nut back up as there is no easy way to hold the rod from spinning that I see, so I just used hands and did it as tight as I could with locking compound on the nut. Any advice from anyone on this is welcome.

Just one note of caution.

The day after I had installed the shock and torqued up the bottom bolt, I discovered the bolt was only a third of the way in. The remnant locking compound caused enough friction to stop the bolt screwing in fully at the prescribed final torque, hence why I did not realise initially. Something had kept me awake that night and not knowing what it was I checked the fitting thoroughly the following morning to discover the issue.

I noticed by looking in the open end and seeing the bolt was still way down the hole. Visible below, you can see the clean thread against the shiny previously covered thread. It was getting late and dark the previous evening and I had not noticed in my race against the setting sun as the head of the bolt was not sticking out beyond the telelever. I removed the bolt, cleaned the threads up with WD40 and steel wool wound through the thread. Refitting the bolt with Loctite 243, it wound all the way in at 40NM. Lesson learned. Yes I had to remove the tank again for this. Did not want to risk any thread damage by having pressure loaded while undoing the bolts, so took the top nut off first to release the shock, on the side stand.

Replacing all the fairing and tank and crash bars is a reverse of removal. Take your time.

The petrol tank sits nicely on the middle of the bike, a good place to rest when getting on an off. I had a bit of trouble with the tubes and wires getting lost under the tank during the first fit and had to take it back off a couple of times.

Next was the turn of the rear shock. I was glad the tank was off again, it makes moving the bike around that much easier.
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:11 AM   #4
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R1200GS Adventure Hyperpro rear shock install

Rear Hyperpro shock replacement

Remove the rear wheel and exhaust silencer. I recommend soaking the silencer clamp bolt with WD40 for a while before undoing.

Breaker bar again required to move the bottom bolt. I tried blowing some hot air into the gap by the thread to get some heat in to soften the thread locking agent. Brace the rear arm so it does not fall to the ground when the bolt comes out.

Undo and remove the top nut and bolt, remove the shock.

This was also an opportune moment to check the rear pads and confirm the rear break unit was sliding correctly on the sliders.

Spread the pads with a large screw driver and confirm the break unit slides freely.

Check this thread for full photo documentary of rear brake caliper maintenance.

With the shock out.

This is the plain black custom dirtskin I ordered.Did I mention I was very pleased with this item :).

I meant to photograph the Velcro side opening, but forgot. Suffice to say you can remove the dirtskin with the shock in the bike.

Fitting the new shock was the reverse of removing, and simple after the doing the front.

And all back together for the test ride.

As for my planned off road trip to Far North Queensland, well, work is getting in the way. Looks like a smaller trip instead to central Victoria will be the way to go. Oh well, there is next year. Only a 6-8 week window for the FNQ trip in reasonable conditions, and there are reports in the news of lots of water that way at the moment.

The Other JC screwed with this post 10-29-2012 at 01:58 AM Reason: link to brake calliper service
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:18 AM   #5
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Very well done

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2011 R1200 GS Adventure Smoke Grey Metallic Matt
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Old 07-15-2012, 05:40 AM   #6
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Looking forward to the review.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:08 AM   #7
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Nice post

Good job. Thank you
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:17 AM   #8
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When I switched the front shock on my 2007 GSA, I was able to reach the upper mount for the Front Shock without removing the tank.
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:49 AM   #9
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What GARP said ^^^^.

On my 2005 R1200GS after disconnecting the beak from the side panels I removed the 4 tank mount bolts and pulled the tank back as far as it would go. Then I used a 15 mm "crow's foot" wrench head to remove the top bolt. The rest was easy, so to speak. Thanks JVB:
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Old 07-15-2012, 06:50 AM   #10
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Great write-up, The Other JC!

When I first fitted my Elka shocks and then removed them later for servicing (refitting the stockers to keep the bike on the road), I only went as far as removing the top panel of the gas tank to gain access to the front shock mounting hardware. After looking at it again when I refit the Elkas, since I was now familiar with what needed done I realized I really didn't have to remove anything at all for access to the front's top nut. Everything below still had to come off, especially since the Elka shocks are a bit larger diameter than the stocker's. Just thought I'd add this as food for thought and to save some work next time you remove the front.
Current: 2014 R1200GSW & 2007 DR650
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:12 AM   #11
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Remove petrol tank, install Hyperpro shocks

Great write-up!


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Old 07-15-2012, 07:33 AM   #12
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Wow, beautiful write up. Do you do documentation for a living? Nicely done. Cheers.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:22 AM   #13
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Thanks for a great pictorial!!
"perfect is the enemy of good"

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Old 07-15-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
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Awesome! This is my next project once I get my pennies saved. Thank you for a thorough write-up. Looks really easy.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Garp View Post
When I switched the front shock on my 2007 GSA, I was able to reach the upper mount for the Front Shock without removing the tank.
Me 2. I had more trouble with the plastic crap than the actual shock mount. Mine are Wilbers and I really like them.
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