General Performance Modifications FAQ
compiled & edited
by Kristian #562
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.


What's Possible.

by DHP #711 et al.

  1. Cut the Airbox Snorkel - $0, free, instructions on the web.

  2. Do a K&N filter - Labor, $0, free, it's as easy to install as a regular filter, price approx $50.

  3. Go with a Staintune Exhaust - $440 approx.

  4. Install the "hotter" cam from Ron woods and piston. Pistons and Gaskets $350. Cam $400. Labor depends if you do it or have a tech do it. (Check with Woods to see if the pistons are GS installable). BMW Rotax.

  5. Get a Fuel Nanny and have it tuned on install with Dyno/CO2 analyzer. The new product (digital) is the TFi-1030. Price $190. Install $0 (easy to do yourself). Tuning $ variable, works best if dyno'd and CO2 gas analyzed to find low fuel conditions and dial the box in.

    What this will give you is a bike which breathes better getting more air into the engine for power as well as better free exhaust flow. The hotter cam is better for high speed applications and doesn't help much on the low end. The fuel nanny is great to fix the stumbling/confused BMW FI system.

  6. You can Modify the OEM Exhaust.


Kitting a Dakar for off-road

by DavidHPark, #711

  1. Instead of getting handlebar risers why don't you do the 'right' thing and replace the wimpy BMW bars with a set of Magura or Renthal bars using a universal mount kit.

  2. You didn't mention the most important mod IMO which is the Touratech footpeg relocation kit. Better brake and clutch levers as well as more room and stronger pegs. This gives the rider the best position sitting or standing.

  3. As far as engine guards go I've gone through the BMW guards and now don't recommend them. I'd go with a Touratech carbon fiber bash plate. This is more expensive up front but gives the best protection and can also be had with an optional compartment for tools or water. You'll need the mounting kit from Touratech as well with this but in the long run you'll be better off as it doesn't catch on rocks like the BMW or Hepco Becker bars.

  4. Countersprocket change - go down one tooth.

  5. Rim locks - cheap and will allow you to modulate pressure on tires. Remember that the BMW rims are not as good as real off-road rims so expect to dent or shake loose spokes if you really hammer the bike in the rocks.

  6. Extra brake and clutch levers - get 'em and carry them in your pack. Drill a hole through the end so that they snap instead of break.

  7. Good tire gauge and pump - need this to modulate tire pressure when off-road. Also good to look at getting a fanny pack for the tools.

What to add to your Bike: DHP

  1. Rear disc protector - good for riding rocks but especially for ruts. You don't want the exposed disc grinding/impacting things along the way. It's not about protecting the breaking of the disc itself it's about overall protection of the critical components of the bike as a complete system. Think of this like handguards but for your rear disc brake. If you've ever ridden some gnarly stuff you'll likely bounce off stuff that you didn't want to get into (no matter what Randy748 says about "cautious riding", with respect sometimes the path you ride is chosen for you not the other way around).

  2. Handlebars - stock BMW ones will bend in a fall, even minor ones. If you're not willing to spend the money to upgrade to real bars like Magura or Renthal then don't ride your BMW off-road (my opinion). Off-road riding increases your parts bill astronomically which includes preparing your machine properly before you go.

  3. Knocking holes in things - sump, engine guard, whatever if you ride hard rocks or rocky areas chances are that you will punch a hole in something - someday. Carry instant steel or similar stuff to fashion a quick fix. The BMW engine guard is nice but IMO too heavy and not protective enough. I'm sold on the carbon fiber bash plates as the way to go - again a bit more up front but lighter and much better protection long term.

  4. Gear levers, brake/clutch levers - sure you can mash these, care replacement brake/clutch levers. Again if you're not willing to buy two extra pairs for each lever - don't ride off-road (one set to carry as a spare and the other set for your shelf for when you use the spare). Upgrade the cheesy BMW foot levers and pegs with real stuff, you stand here all of the time, why ride with inferior pegs and levers. Randy's mentioned the drilling the lever bit which IMO is good advice.

  5. Turn signals - flexible stalks or flush mounted as David Earl says are great, The OEM's suck and you'll break them in an instant. Again if you don't like replacing these then off-road is not for you. Keep your bike shiny and in the driveway. Turn signals are for street legality anyways, I never signal off-road with my blinkers.

  6. Randy748's suggestions about tank panniers and saddlebags work for when you're touring but for everyday use or training I wouldn't ride fully mounted up.

  7. If you ride off-road you'll need a better toolkit including pump, irons, etc. - ask others what to bring as the list can be extensive. Get a good fanny pack like the Acerbis Incas Pack and keep it ready for all rides.


Refer also The F650 Off-Road

Reducing Weight - Putting Dakar on a Diet
by Frank Warner et al

Modifications - What others have done
Note that these are lists of mods. Individual mods like Aftermarket Pipes, Fuel Nanny, Suspension, Seats etc. are under their own respective FAQs