Black Thunder R1200GS

Black Thunder R1200GS

‘Black Thunder’ belongs to ukGSer ‘Thunder’ – another R1200GS rider from Northern Ireland

Full size (high resolution) photos + additional photos here:

R1200GS Black Thunder

I picked up my bike on the 1st of January 2006, my first BMW and my first “big trailie”, I’d had bikes for 30 odd years but had never looked seriously at the range before. Then one Saturday evening in our local my partner asked me why I never took her out on my bike (an Aprilia RSVR) as she quite liked the idea of seeing the country from the back of a bike.

I decided the best way to show her why was to install the optional pillion pad (smaller than the size of a dinner set side plate but triangular just to reduce the surface area) and take her out the following day. Within 10 minutes she knew why and so did I! – the sounds of a screaming woman seem to change the laws of physics and make the use of in helmet communication systems superfluous! Still the idea of getting out together appealed to both of us, just a case of finding the right machine. Soon after I bought the R1200 GS.

The GS motorcycles have a massive range of options available both from BMW and any number of aftermarket manufacturers. Options of course are ‘optional’ 🙂 and not something that have to be used but I just enjoy working on a bike and fine tuning it to my personal preferences and taste.

R1200GS Dieserto screen

The final version of my R1200GS is nick-named Black Thunder and has had a number of changes most noticeably the fitting of a Dieserto III fairing from Touratech, an Akrapovic full exhaust system, the racks and luggage from the R1200GSA and 4 coats of lustrous black metallic paint to the tank and beak.

In addition the suspension has been changed to a set of Wilburs shocks the rear having not only remote pre-load adjustment but also high and low compression adjustment which allows it to be configured perfectly for two up touring complete with luggage. HID units added to the main and high beams in addition to the aftermarket Hella HID fog and spot lights mounted on the Migsel light bar and a Centach auxiliary fuse panel added to simplify the additional electrics.

R1200GS Dieserto III fairing from Touratech and Hella HID
R1200GS BMW GSA luggage

The fairing provides superb protection and an area of still air for the rider and is adjustable to cope with different rider heights. It’s available in a matt black or anthracite colour which is matched to the bikes side panels so in my opinion it looks like part of the bike rather than a bolt-on part.

I did not like the look of the twin can Akrapovic when I first fitted it to the bike, but when I rode with it I found it had the engine running far smoother than the stock system with no dips in the power band and better than any other aftermarket can I’d previously tried. I can only put this down to the fact that this is designed as a full system rather than a combination of replacement headers combined with a separate can.

R1200GS HID spot lights / fog lights

Fitting the 1200GSA rear rack and side pannier rails to a GS is very simple as all the mounting points are common to both bikes. The rear rack from the GSA allows the luggage area to sit lower than the standard GS one and enables a top box to be mounted without additional bracing to the rear sub frame, providing in my opinion more useful storage space – and looks perfect on the bike.

I’ve just about finished getting the bike how I like it, have seen parts of the country which I’ve never been to before and had our first trip two up to Europe. As for what’s next, well time will tell………………………………

Ride safe!
Roger aka Thunder

Full size (high resolution) photos + additional photos here: