Touratech Accessories for R1150GS Product Review

By Jack Shaw

From: J. Shaw <>
Date: Mon, 08 Nov 1999 11:26:56 -0700            (See also follow up comments below)

Here is a summary of my experiences with the following Touratech items that I installed or attempted to install on my R1150GS. The links are to the Touratech German website/English description:

General Comments
This is a summary of my experience with these items -- not an installation instruction, recommendation, or a durability/long-term suitability report. It is not meant to be even a representative example for these products, which could change tomorrow (and I hope some do...).

Also, I have no experience with earlier GS models, so my comments are based solely on my experience installing these items on the 1150GS. My statements comparing with earlier GS models, where they occur, are only assumptions.

All items arrived with only German installation instructions. I'm fairly competent at German so I had no trouble. The installation information was not only inappropriate, but also very poor quality; illustrations were hardly legible. Even knowing German was of little help since the description was pretty sparse. The handguard spoilers arrived with attachment nuts, but no screws.

Touratech (read, "Acerbis/Italy") Hand Protectors
These attach at each handlebar end and halfway down the respective bar side, approximately where the bar is already ribbed, apparently for this purpose. The spoilers that provide the real wind protection are then attached to slots in the protectors.

These appear to be 1100GS protectors, reworked with new hardware, etc., to fit the 1150GS. The protector for the brake (right) side has additional contour for the brake cylinder and is larger overall than the one for the clutch (left) side. Why, I don't know. With the new 1150GS' hydraulic clutch both sides are the same and to my mind the protectors should be the same size and provide the same protection.

All needed hardware, grommets, as well as replacement screws (all silver, not anodized black as are the stock weight screws, bars, etc.) are included -- save the screws in my particular case that hold the spoilers to the protectors. These I was able to get in 4x10 metric size, in black, at the local Ace Hardware. If installed according to instructions, you may come into conflict with the 90-deg.-offset hydraulic connectors on either or both sides. The result is a limited ability to position a protector as you might like. If BMW didn't position the hydraulic line with this offset all the way down, you may have to do it yourself -- something I didn't choose to do with a new bike.

I am satisfied with the protectors and give them a B- for quality. If the installation info were better and the protectors were symmetrical, I'd say B+.

Touratech Skid Plate Extension
This is a relatively straightforward installation, attaching the plate to the centerstand using four plastic-covered metal clamps to attach the heavy silver plate to the crossmember and uprights of the center stand. Trying to prevent eventual metal-to-metal abrasion and corrosion, I first lined the contact side of the stand with vinyl electrical tape. We'll see...

When retracted, I noticed that the plate touches the rear of the catalytic converter lightly. Nonetheless, this could be a vibration/wear-and-tear area, so I put a small screw and nut through the pre-drilled hole in the centerstand stop on the catalytic. This is just enough stand-off to keep the plate away from the rear of the converter.

This is a pretty benign item, in my mind more to protect an expensive catalytic converter than anything else. Installation is pretty much common sense and the poor information that came with it wasn't relevant. I'd give this item a B+, otherwise an A save but for the inappropriate information.

Touratech "Hard Part" LA
There are two items here: a crosspiece that clamps around the telelever A-frame against the single front bolt. This has two bumpers on the sides to purportedly prevent the fork legs from jamming against and deforming the (now stamped rather than cast as before) A-frame in a severe turn or spill situation. Now, turning the fork full left or right still leaves 1/2 in. / 1.5 cm. space between the fork leg and the frame piece. So I'm wondering, "why bother?". But I was shipped this piece inadvertently based on an initial inquiry before I received the bike, so I thought I'd try installing it.

The second item, a more substantial mounting for the front brakeline and the divider for the two front calipers, ensures that the brake line doesn't become pinched between the Hard Part bumper and fork. It moves the brake line slightly to the right of its current position behind the right fork leg. I was more intrigued with this than with the Hard Part itself, since it also more safely secures a long, free expanse (to my eye) of brake line that normally just flops here and there behind the fork.

I was unable to install the Hard Part satisfactorily. It simply didn't fit correctly and neatly, and was actually too narrow to span the A-frame in the way I thought it should. Perhaps the new A-frame is thicker than before, but it did not close fully around the frame and also didn't clear the washers behind the front A-frame bolt/washer setup. One could force the issue and "make do" by bending, forcing, and jamming. But I doubt the threaded holes in the resin/phenolic/whatever bumper pieces would withstand much strain.

I did install the brake line relocator piece, and although the instructions used the old "... install in reverse order of disassembly" ploy which doesn't exactly work, all went well with this part. I hope to get a more properly built Hard Part itself to install. And maybe by that time they'll offer something in silver or black or fuschia -- anything but the ghastly canary yellow.

Grade: C- for the overall Hard Part LA package, here.

Touratech Lockable Oil Filler Plug
Bottom line: I think this could cause engine damage, if forced. I tried to install this in place of the BMW plastic one and I could only get it to seat by using pliers on the key, which bent slightly and I knew it was quit time. When I tried repeatedly and then hoped to "form" the ears on the inside a bit, I took it back out and found some traces of metal shavings. That was enough to tell me to give it up. Perhaps this is a suitable plug for the 1100GS if that has somewhat thinner or otherwise different head cover castings than the 1150GS. Whatever the case, I'm not taking the chance.

Grade: F.

That's it. Your mileage and instruction language may vary.

Jack Shaw

Follow up comments

From: J. Shaw <>
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:20:49 -0700

All Touratech items should be supplied with English installation instructions in addition to the German info. packaged with the items. My not receiving them was an oversight on the supplier's part. I'm also told that Touratech will be making a number of changes to the products (I don't have specifics) and related installation hardware, etc. My specific experience with the locking oil filler plug was apparently an exception; others have fit correctly according to the supplier. Other my comments stand as provided, as of this date.

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