BMW G650 XCountry – Axle Nuts Upgrade

The never ending tiny little collection of changes one needs and wants to keep doing as long as they have this old lady with them. I have not really thought much about these things but over period of time, these small little things have become a gradual progress and big help in the times of travels.

Not quite sure what the BMW was thinking when they want to put everything on their bikes to the non-standard availability of what is out there in the market. Call it monopoly but I do not like it that each time I want to open something small, it gets restrictive with how much non standard items one has to clear out of the way. Although should be simple but it isn’t if you are out of tools or a proper workshop. Just under a tenner for both these nuts, so quick picks and now over to getting them on.

Impromptu pickup

A bit of reference also, pointed by Matt at his blogs here : I managed to grab the KTM 27mm Axle nuts reference.
I dropped an email to the KTM Vienna and they were lightning fast to reply back that they have axle nuts – 50310099000 (x2) in stock.
Collected the same day, and there I was.

Front Axle
Rear Axle

Although, in the Matt’s blog, he mentions about the spacer on the rear of his ’07 Xcountry but is interesting that there isn’t any issue to have my rear nut modified or to be shimmed a bit on the lathe. It fits in fine, as seen in the picture above and there has been no issues so far with it.

Now I can grab the 27mm wheel nut wrench with an ease, so I am able to adjust my wheel chain whenever far and away from places. Thinking of the lighter T6-Almunium CNC keys, with the functionality of being able to also fix the punctures on the move. I will share that once I grab the pair of keys but lighter is my choice.

BMW G650 XCountry – Rear disk and pads replacement

Here is how it starts, my rear disk is slightly getting a warp of thick and thin on the rear and is nowhere near a point of concern but I want this to be well looked after since I only own this bike since half of its life. While the first half it has lived, it has seen some usage but not by me. I prefer to my things, in my order of knowledge knowing, what, when and where in terms of their maintenance.

It so happens that there was an on-going discount on the parts and I managed to find a matching disk to my specifications for this G650 Xcountry and supported by my friend to lend his expert help, this couldn’t get any better. Double whammy, for the perfect timings. Brembo’s were double the price and then alternatively TRW LUCAS has a matching disk as per the retailer, with a part number 10043491.

The present state before replacement

Being a self-novice at these things, it was good to get my act together getting my hands dirty and self rolled into the grease and grime. Lovely part, if this can turn you happy, even a bonus.

I replaced my both front and rear axle nuts to 27mm after reading lots of other riders comments about how hard it could be to find 26mm when in the middle of nowhere and also the fact that the original 26mm hex nut ends up losing its shape and the grip on its shape not being long enough and rough edges makes it harder over period of time. More on this here.

Loosened up the rear Axle nut and let the side screws on the chain loosened up all the way to the front as in the pic below to allow the Axle block become free. Pushing the axle rod out was easy enough job with gentle push from the right side with gentle boot tap on it.

Axle rod and wheel removed. Note, that the Axle block holding the Axle also comes off.

Keep an eye on the spacers, and keep them separate as both sides differ. You will notice that they are not same and generally I do not see how you mix them up but still, try to keep them separately. Left to the left, and right to the right. Will help you in the later stage to run them back in easily.

When removing the rear sprocket, keep an eye on the rubber grommets holding inside the hub of the wheel and their directional weights. The ligher(smaller) side of the grommet runs in the direction of the wheel while the bigger part of the rubber grommet sits on the back of second block after the lighter one.

Wheel off

Replacing the disk thought was more so triggered by the fact that I was about to replace the rear pads. But then the warp made me re-consider the disk swap too. Previously on my other Fazer, it went on for as far as 70,000miles without a first replacement.

Take care of the ABS ring, the ABS ring shouldn’t get damaged.

As a precautionary note, take care that the disk side of the wheel is always on the top when working, also when replacing any tubes or punctures as well.
When putting the bolts back on, work on them in the bi-directional channel of tightening them up. That ways, you are sure to not mess up anything and also equal distribution of the tightening before putting the final locking pressure on these bolts.

Note: When replacing the disk pads, the rear metal plate on the side of the inner master cyclinder side, needs to be replaced from the older pad. There is only one, on the inner side of the master cyclinder.

Now the reverse procedure to get the wheel back on and the adjustments of the sliders to adjust the bolts to tighten up the chain slacks. There are markers on the both side of the swing arm base, so you should be able to align them equally, leaving them unequal will put your wheel out of balance.

Wheel back in, disk replaced

Well, this was all good and fair up until I rode for 200mtrs and I got the ABS light on. I was wondering what happened.

I had a long ride to get back home so I tried stopping, starting, resetting the bike by nothing changed. It would go away for 2-3seconds when I start riding but as soon as the Picked up the speed, it would come after every 100mtrs. Also, when braking hard, I can instantly feel that there was no ABS in the rear, while the front was untouched and works perfectly fine.

So, the fun part begins, need to get the ABS light and the rear ABS to work again. More on this on my next blog here.

Mileage read out is 37500kms at the time of replacement.

BMW G650 XCountry – Bar Raisers

Story continues…. 
I acquired the bar raisers while I have been digging them around from the people who still have parts or selling parts from their old ineherited X bikes.
On a recent trip to NL, I was lucky to find a donor and it was very interesting, landing up at someone house at the middle of night and going through their stash of X treasure. Is kind of thing, you won’t do at all in normal cases but there is nothing normal in my case ever.

I managed to grab a bit more than just the bar raisers, in this case a much desired a metal bar for the handlebar, and a sensor, if I may ever need it again, who knows, these parts become more of rare ones to find with time. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I bought this bike but this has been ever increasing investment ever since.

BlogRaiser01
Wunderlich Bar Raisers

BlogRaiser02
BMW old treasure

Along the process, of acquiring these parts, I also become friends with the donor, in this case the circle of friendships continue along its journey.

So as my donor(now a new friend), mentioned it to me – I may need adjustment with the routing of the throttle cable, I have not needed it but I plan to do this in future. I was able to add the bar raisers fairly without much struggle.

Photos below: fairly a simply swap, so far

But something that was mentioned above – the re-routing of the throttle cable is required. I realized this only, when the bar was completed turned towards the right side, this increase the throttling on its own. I didn’t experience any issues while riding since, such turns are never possible unless you are in the sad part of unavoidable crash! I leave this to the next time when I will have to completely remove the airbox. I will combine this with the next big work when all plastics needs to come off.

BMW G650 XCountry – Thousands Clock (Live)

Ever since I have started riding, I always enjoyed each time I reached a thousand figure.
The greatest ever was the first 100,000 miles on my blue Fazer before I crashed her but that I think deserves its own post but for now, I am going to keep all my mileage tracker to share with those who want to see how my tracker goes.

I never missed a thousand read on my moto in the good experience of however long I can remember, is a kink! if you may want to say.

Here’s the live ticker for facts and figures. I do not want to share the dates but there is a good 3 weeks between each of those thousands figures.

Distance (In kms) Location Country
29000 47°25’36.3″N 15°18’10.8″E AT
30000 47°25’36.3″N 15°18’10.8″E AT
31000 48°13’02.3″N 15°57’21.9″E AT
32000 48°03’32.9″N 15°50’01.6″E AT
33000 48°05’42.1″N 16°00’28.8″E AT
34000 48°02’54.9″N 15°47’42.1″E AT
35000 48°41’58.5″N 16°48’53.8″E AT
36000 49°05’06.7″N 15°45’09.0″E CZ
37000 47°52’03.8″N 15°47’38.2″E AT

I love numbers, so there’s plenty more I can do with the data I have including my fuel  mileages and unbelievable little things from time to time 🙂

If someone has an app, that automatically allows me to tap my pictures on the map with geo-loc, I would love to share it. My old windows phone used to have it but now, the gmaps doesn’t allow me the same. Please share in the comments if you have one, you know of.
Enjoy the reads!

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BMW G650 XCountry – Spark plugs

Often the simple things as stated by BMW which makes them really simple are not as simple if:
#1. You do not have previous experience (Novice or little experience)
#2. All the tools [BMW are really shit and kinky about their own tools and sizing(unique)]
#3. Creative mindset to get around them or forget about it.

Surely, that there are endless blogs available on how-to but this one is for my own keep and anyone else who is to do this for the first time or repeat looking at nitty gritty.

My G650 XCo was acquired some 5years back and since then barely much was ever done, but was ridden for a good while and about 15000kms in between those 5 years until now.
Previous owner history, was through the service book as it seems all BMW services done were on intervals but something not quite right. Perhaps the bike has been sat too long between its active usage. I will write down the other issues as encountered in a another thread.

This was not purely an activity for Spark Plugs change but more to do with Cam Tensioner change, that is covered here in this blog. I decided to keep a track of this for only spark plugs replacement.

So to start with as little and as much, please note that following tools are needed:

  • 18mm Spark plug socket (I somehow believed it was in my kit, but wasn’t) – check yours + a long deep arm to reach the Spark plugs. [Alternative to buy or an another cheaper option would be this]
    18mm sparklug
  • Special R-ring breaker tool (I hate those BMW hose clamps, extremely unpractical, so get them to normal screw driver hose clamps, found everywhere in a hardware shop). Take a note that once these clamps have been removed, you cannot re-use them. These R-rings are an extremely stupid idea by BMW!
    R ring Hose snap circlip
  • Coil Remover (I did not have this tool, but used a normal adjustable wrench for a coil undoing. You can order one from here or use the way I used the wrench to pull it out.
    CoilTool
  • Main stand or getting bike to be stable while you work on, is not a necessity but an extreme help. So anything would do that holds it in place.

Access to the Spark Plugs:

  • Remove the plastic panels on the left, right, center [This is an easier bit, with an hex key, should be [10mins], you need smaller hex key to remove the front two top hex nuts on top of the radiator, holding the main plastic component] – In total, 8 bigger hex nuts, and 2 smaller hex nuts. (one of the small hex nuts, can be left in main tank tank part holding the small plastic part – the one above the radiator, loosen it up to just slide out easily.)
  • Removing the Battery. [About 5mins, careful if your battery is stuck and need extra force, ensure the bike is well in its position] Remove from the terminal connections. You need to remove the battery as it sits in the air box chamber basket.
  • Undoing the air temperature connector sensor wire on the let side.[2mins] You may need a nose plier to pull that clip out on the sensor and then it just slides out easily. Pull out the complete metal clip.
  • Remove the relays mounted on the rubber mounts hanging from the airbox[2mins]. Easily done.
  • Breather hose [5mins] . Additionally, when removing it may not be possible to keep the breather hose in its place and harder to get it back in easily. I cut the cable ties on this breather hose and removed it from the right bottom front corner. Easier to let it slide down next time when redoing to reverse the process.
  • Remove the air box chamber [About 10mins, two hex nuts on the main front fork frame and two on the base near the seat]
    Note: The front two nuts are different sizes, good to know from the beginning so you won’t hassle up like me in the end.
  • Lifting up the complete airbox that connects to throttle body[2-3mins]. There was little struggle to pull it apart but is normal as long as all else has been followed above.

This now gives you a clear view of the top of the cylinder.

850_4172.JPG

Note the positioning of the Spark plugs, this is where from all previous posts and forums I gathered this has to be in very specific position but I don’t see how or why it would make a difference. The coils are same inside and the positioning is rather to ensure that wires are in right place.
Note: The black coil is to the inner side of the engine and the grey one on the outer towards the frame.
850_4173.JPG

Pulling out the coils, BMW reprom says, use special tool(as mentioned above) but after trying to be careful and without a tool, it was rather the case, of carefully pulling out the coils with the adjustable wrench
AdjustableWrench

User an extra cloth in the mouth holding the top of the coil to ensure this is not too hard but was fine to get the coils pulled out.

850_4176.JPG

You now have the full view of the spark plugs accessibility. Should be easier and simple but take a note of the tools and alternatives as may not always be the case, you have them all.

It so happens that my friend who offered me all his tools and garage, didn’t have an 18mm socket so it was going not so well, but then there was somewhere in the old heap of tools, he found a worn out 18mm which required an extra work but now, I know I have to buy a 18mm spark plug socket. Just a self note!

Coming to finally, the spark plugs.
I got the Iridium spark plugs to replace the old NGK one. It was in a pretty bad shape as the previous owner possibly didn’t take care of it or they seemingly have never been replaced before (I would say so looking at them)!!

850_4178.JPG

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NGK, BMW G650Xcountry, Spark plugs, replacement, Old, New
NGK Iridium Spark plugs comparison

You need to have a long enough arm on your socket to get down to the spark plugs. Just a caution if you have old traditional 18mm, it may not be enough on its own without a long arm going down.

Another pointer that surprised me was that the new NGK Iridium plugs didn’t have that round metal cap on its end but threads. So I was glad that my friend had them on his other spare spark plugs, these caps but I am suprised these ones didn’t come with these caps and my old spark plug was a fixed one, that means, when the old cap was tried to be removed, it break the whole long metal inside and these are not replaceable from all old spark plugs if you don’t have them.

Better to be aware than to be sorry when working on this “Simple” task! not that as I thought it looked in the Reprom, hey 10mins jobby, no please do not count on what the reprom tells, it looks very simple but NOT!!

Once you have had everything out, this would be a reverse process on its own to get back everything in order.

In my case, I was going for two more additional items, first one being easier to do – cleaning up idle actuator, while the other one, cam tensioner replacement was going to be fun! You can follow my next write up on that one.

Additional reference
Spark plugs – I found a cheaper discount going on spark plugs, so I was of the notion to buy an extra pair right now. So, I had to check if I can just buy and keep them for future use. I found out this is fairly possible to keep the spark plugs and they will remain the way they are without any issues. Feel free to store them in a dry place, if you may be wondering this works  good. Yes, they have long storage life when stored in a dry place and the needle is kept secured, best to leave them in the original packaging.

Technical inputs 
Tightening torques 0164 – G 650 Xcountry
12 12 011 Renewing all spark plugs  +12 12 513
Spark plugs Tightening torque Value 23 Nm