GS500R – tyres and bars

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The GS-R has now shed it’s used road tyres and taken on a pair of 110/80 B 19 Heidenau K60, the tyres that impressed me on the Morocco ride I took in March on the 650GS. At the same time I fitted Tubliss liners. I’m not completely set on these until they’ve proved they’ll hold air reliably – that will take a few days.

At the same time I inspected the front sprocket against a new one and found them near identical so will leave the current chain – age unknown – on the bike, even with the new back sprocket. In my experience o-ring chains last ages but then go quickly as the seals begin to fail. If I can catch the chain just before that, I might get more miles out of the sprox.

I also fitted a pair of taller, wider ‘flat track‘ handlebars, the sort of bars American street scramblers ran in the 60s and 70s, and the same price as a set of bar risers. What a great pair of bars, just as I knew they would be. The even looked good just lying on the floor.

Fitting was of course far from simple. Oh no. One crosshead on the LHS switch cluster turned into plastic at the sight of a screwdriver, cables needed re-routing rond the back of the triple clamp, but luckily the switch cluster wires – potentially the most complicated to modify – had plenty of slack tucked inside the headlamp. Anyway, much pissing about, dropped nuts, shorts cuts costing hours, but I got some bars, high and wide. Took the GS out for a lap and it feels so much more comfortable and confidence inspiring – just like a trail bike in fact. The front Heidi is worn in and normal, but I’m not keen about having to nurse an edgy back tyre while the new K60 on the back wears in. Without the weight, speed, power and breaking of the F650, it will take hundreds of miles, but I must say, so far it feels quite normal. Perhaps it was the bigger ‘Catspaw’ type K60 for bigger bikes that for a while felt odd on the BMW.

Anyway, here’s a cool film. Dave Aldana talking but shot in the UK of all places.

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