Who needs a GSA?

Since the launch of the Super Tenere, people have been a bit confused about which of the two BMW GS models it should be compared with – the standard GA or the GS Adventure? Weight of the Super Tenere falls somewhere between the GS and GSA. On the other hand, the S10 carries more fuel than the GS, less than the GSA.

So is the difference mostly about the fuel capacity? You could say that… Other specifications are very similar, as long as you option-up the BMW with things like ABS and traction control (standard on the Super Tenere).

GSA and the Super Tenere

Image thanks to Greg at waspworks.com

So let’s say for the sake of the argument that the main thing that makes the GSA superior to the Super Tenere is its extra fuel capacity – 8.7 US gallons vs 6.0 US gallons. How best to add capacity to the Super Tenere? And how to make the end result SUPERIOR to the GSA?

February 27 2012 –  Ok I need to interrupt this post with some news that will interest anyone wanting to increase the tank capacity of their Super Tenere. Jaxon of RIDONADV.COM is a magician with metal, and has just completed his first Super Tenere tank enlargement for a customer in the UK. Jaxon manages to expand the tank to 30 litres while maintaining its good looks. Get pics and full details from Rays blog.

Now back to my own pathetic efforts.

Here’s my first attempt at it…

Take 2 x 1 gallon Rotopax
Hepco & Becker crash bars
Hepco & Becker skid plate
some mounting hardware (still to come)

Below are some images of some setups I may try. First is just to mount a single Rotopax on the rear rack. Easy, and extra luggage can be loaded on top. This will get the S10 to 7 gallons, still a bit off the GSA capacity.

Two Rotopax are needed – but I don’t want to be stacking that much weight up high. The beauty of the Super Tenere is that it can do things that a BMW cannot possibly do – like place the gas beside the engine, right where BMW cylinders would be. With my setup, the crashbars make a very convenient mounting point at the top, and with another mount fixed to the skid plate it should be solid. You can see the Rotopax sits parallel with the side wall of the skid plate, with a small gap – just enough for a layer of insulating material.

One of the major drawbacks of the GSA tank is that the bike is very top-heavy when full. With my setup, I have almost the same total capacity as the GSA but weight is carried very low and tight – in keeping with the Super Tenere philosophy.

Of course mounting in this position does raise some concerns about what might happen to the Rotopax containers in a crash. I think the chances of the containers splitting, much less catching fire, are quite small. They are very solid plastic (I was surprised at their weight) and are mounted inboard of the crashbars. Which is not to say there might not be some circumstance that might cause a problem, just that chances are slim.

The tool tube that was previously mounted in this position would move to the rear, where it could be mounted vertically on the pillion peg, and attached (with some kind of quick-release) to the Jesse bag. This way most of the weight of the tube will be carried on the pillion peg.

The extra bag mounted outside the gas container is a 6 liter lumbar pack. It’s my attempt at replacing tank panniers, which I find don’t fit the S10 very well, anyway, weight is carried lower with this setup. I figure it will be good for clothes, toiletries, cooking gear – anything that can stand getting wet (or can fit in a ziplock bag) and is not likely to get damaged (or you don’t care that much about) in a fall. The Alps Waist Pack only cost $27 each and have plenty of straps and clips that should make mounting quite easy. AND can be used as designed when off the bike…

Can anyone see any major flaws in this plan?


Carrying gas and extra luggage

Comments (3)

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  1. My 2 cents … 8 liters (2 gallons) on the fake right hand silencer and another same quantity on the side mounted cans that are attached to the passenger foot pegs.

  2. pim says:

    With all do respect, but if you start sliding this bike on it’s side, I hope there wll be nobody around that can be caught by the fireball… You’re picture of the packs being ‘inside’ the range of the crashbar is ok from a vertical point of view, but i’ve never seen a bike sliding perfectly horizontal…
    That being said, first info about the enlarged fueltank is beautiful!

    • Trevor says:

      Pim – I agree there’s a risk, and I’ve dropped the idea. Not that I think it’s the worst idea in the world – many people mount fuel on the rear of panniers, which is not going to be good if you’re rear-ended – but I’m looking for a better location. Will update here when I find it!

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