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Thread: Does anybody soup up a beemer?

  1. #1
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Big Sky country (Montana)

    Does anybody soup up a beemer?

    One thing I've noticed here that seems different from so many other makes is a lack of threads about modifying your bike for performance. The noteable exceptions being suspension improvements, or every once in a while a reference to an aftermarket exhaust (which are often sound or weight driven, as much or more than for power) and the remapping that may be required.
    Yes, many an airhead over the years has been dual plugged, or had a big bore kit and cam installed, for what it's worth... but what about everything else?
    I'm just curious. People who own everything from Japanese bikes, to Ducatis, Moto Guzzis, Harleys, and so on do it enough to support an aftermarket industry that seems to have heard little to no demand for BMW performance parts.
    Plenty of us work on our own bikes to some degree; but deviations from stock seem to be limited to adding lights, bells & whistles.
    The most interesting how to article I read in ON was the guy who put a K1200 engine in his K100, and the most interesting ad was for the new R1200 pistons and cams from Max BMW.
    What about the rest of you? Aren't there any the Bert Munroe's in beemerland?

  2. #2
    Why fix it if it ain't broke?

  3. #3
    Registered User barryg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Do a search on Dr. Curve or Chris Hodgens of San Jose BMW and CC Products. Which BMW model are U interested in hopping up.

  4. #4
    big money.

    big performance gains on these bikes cost A LOT, esp the Oilheads it seems.

    that being said i met a gentleman in western mass who had turbo charged his R1100S and had a bunch of other goodies on it (some methanol tank in place of the rear fender, etc). i think he boosted it about 40 hp over stock, which is BY FAR the most i've ever heard of anyone getting out of a type 259 engine.

    most who buy a bmw (esp a newer one) aren't interested enough to dump that kind of cash into a project, and things start to get quite technical as well.

  5. #5
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Most of us just add a bunch more weight in the form of farkles.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2019 F850GSA

  6. #6
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    SW Ohio


    See the BMW's are for old men thread. Or one of the ATGATT threads. Beemer types
    are so safety couscous a faster-than-stock bike would be abhorrent.
    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  7. #7
    The engineers for some manufacturers leave a lot of horsepower or torque on the table - available for purchase as a Screaming Beagle Stage 1, Stage 2, or Stage 3 kit for absurd example - ready for the taking for a bit of money after you buy the bike.

    BMW has designed it's latest engines for the most part, without leaving a lot of hidden potential available. If you are determined, and have a lot of money, you can wring more performance out of these engines, but the price is high and the horsepower, or torque, or 1/4 mile time reduction per dollar is pretty low. Fiddling with the air box or exhaust does little without changes to cams, and valves, and maybe crankshafts. And without changes to airflow, fiddling with fuel delivery is more or less futile.

    So most people don't see it as worth the cost, thus very few interested potential customers, thus not a lot of aftermarket stuff - in the U.S.A. at least. There seems to be more performance stuff available from European vendors - see Silent Hektik for example.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

  8. #8
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Big Sky country (Montana)
    I should clarify; I'm not looking for guidance how. It's a question of curiosity.
    Cost/gain ratios doesn't stop everybody; there are many out there who sink big $ into small gains.
    Technical complexity doesn't stop everybody; BMW's are no more complex than most of the competition.
    A lack of hidden potential? I'm sorry, but that never stopped anyone before either.
    Hell, you might not think that there's much potential left in a Hayabusa; but there's a guy in town here that won an AMA dyno contest with over 700 horsepower on tap.
    Yes, Harley has a racket on undertuning their bikes and then selling you Screaming Eagle parts for more dough. So what? The point is, some HD riders want it. Ducati riders have very highly tuned bikes, yet some of them still want Fast by Ferracci. Then there's Vance and Hines, Rob Muzzy, and Pops Yoshimira; the list goes on. The point is, enough people want to do it with the other brands to justify the business. Yet there seems to be no interest among the beemer crowd.
    What I'm asking, why? Aren't there any Tim Taylors in our midst? I've been a hot rodder all my life, and I can't think of a single brand of bike or car that has so little interest among it's owners in that respect. Are we that unimaginative?

    It reminds me of something I heard: "If you want a truly unique bike, buy a BMW and modify it, or buy a Harley and leave it alone".

  9. #9

    Why mess with what works?

    I drive a 740, it is my 3rd 7 series (all bought used) and ride an RT. In both cases they do exactly what I want them to do. Transport me in comfort at a high average speed with minimum of sturm und drang and minimal attention from the police.

    that being said, in my limited experience most modified vehicles have been tweaked to the point that they aren't really reliable daily drivers.

    If I wanted to mess with a piece of machinery for fun I'd buy an old Lotus 7.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Whitefish Bay, WI, 3mi N Milwaukee
    Professor Glaves told me awhile ago that trying to extract a bit more performance from oilheads is not worth it. The power plants are what they are. The German designers took away our choices.

    But the British designers did not.
    Now if you enjoy modifying engines and extracting more power (or essence?) then I would suggest that you have at least two bikes. The other bike could be a carb'ed Triumph (T-Bird, T-bird sport, Bonny, Legend, etc). Triumphs are the Mr. Potato heads of the bike world. All you have to do is go to, and start going through about 300 threads on "modifications". There is enough reading there for a lifetime. A stock Brit bike is almost unheard of!
    "What is beautiful is simple, and what is simple always works"....Kalashnikov, inventor of the AK-47.
    Current bike: 2015 Yamaha TW 200, modified for road/street use with tire, sprocket upgrades. "Center yourself in the vertizontal. Ride a motorcycle...namaste' "

  11. #11
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Quote Originally Posted by glennhendricks View Post
    sturm und drang
    Oh man! If we ever meet I'll buy you a beer on basic principles.
    I haven't heard that since, well since I read my last Bell's six-pack.


  12. #12
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Marin By God County, California
    We've all learned how to carry more cornering speed, which is the best way to ditch pesky squids. Since we ride beemers, we've worked to find the cheapest way to do so.

    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  13. #13
    Apart from a vasectomy(which has been a fantastic modification!), everything I have is stock.
    If I ever get a track bike it'll probably be the slowest in class but will last the longest!
    Mike Marr
    1978 Yamaha XS750 (Needs rings), 1996 BMW R1100RS, 2004 Honda CRF230F

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by MotorradMike View Post
    slowest in class but will last the longest!
    Too much information

  15. #15
    These are my experiences with older bikes as I have never owned any BMW newer that a 1985.

    There used to be alot of aftermarket performance stuff available for Airheads. One of the most notable was Luftmeister, who sold all kinds of different "performance" related upgrades. Lots of people tried all kinds of stuff, including turbos and superchargers. They spent lots of money to learn how to blow up a boxer "real good".

    Some of those things actually did help in the straight line acceleration, but reduced the bikes abilities in other areas, including reliability. There is always a trade off. Over the years we learned a lot of what worked on a BMW and what didn't. The biggest modifications that most people ended up doing is to the suspension. Better rear shocks and fork braces with better springs and tweaking the weight and quantity of fork oil.

    We found that the bikes may not get up to top speed all that quickly, but they could stay there all day long. Try riding any other bike of the era at 100+ MPH for over 3 hours straight. Then see if you can actually feel your fingers, feet or butt. Everything tingles or is dead. It was common for BMW riders to "hit the ton" for extended periods of time and still be able to feel everything when they got off. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt as an old rag in the shop.


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