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'07 BMW G650 XCountry

There are 4 mods on this page, so here is an index you can click on:

Mod: Install Barkbusters Hand Guards

I really wanted to install these serious beefy hand guards from Highway Dirt Bikes (a Colorado company!) as I think they are the sturdiest around. They are very thick but mainly they mount to a handlebar top clamp that they provide, so it won't rotate around like most that clamp onto the bars themselves.
However, because I installed a Sportech windscreen it has a handlebar mount that interferes with the HDB bars, so I went with a more common set.

I considered Cycra and Acerbis hand guards but went with Barkbusters simply because they sounded like they were custom fitted for my '07 XCountry (which we'll see later is not so true! :(
Also, if you decide to use one of these common types but want a better mount for the inside mount, consider Bike Bonz hand guard mounts.

Barkbusters Hand Guards

I bought the Barkbusters hand guards model BHG13, in black, from Sierra BMW for $120.
They are also available from Twisted Throttle, which has a lot of information about them.
I didn't like the glaring "Barkbusters" white lettering so I covered most of it up with black permanent marker:

There is 1 main unavoidable problem with the installation that has to be addressed: That the handlebars are tapered right where the inner bar mounts have to be clamped, and the style of these clamps would prevent them from fitting tightly onto the handlebars. This is true for the '07 handlebars, but the '09 seems to have different bars that do not taper in this area I believe.
(UPDATE: Later I have found that Cycra Racing makes a U-clamp specifically for Magura tapered bars that might just work and avoid this taper issue.
I didn't try them but you can see the Cycra Magura U-clamp 1153-02 for yourself).

Here is a picture of the completed installation, that shows the handlebars tapering, on the left side.

A 2nd consideration: I really wanted to install them in a way where I could keep the OEM weighted bar ends as well, and I was told the Barkbusters would allow this.
As it turned out there is a definite tradeoff:
...If you want to keep the weighted bar ends, this causes the guards to be farther out towards the end of the bar, which causes the inner bar clamp mount to have less clearance to the brake reservoir, on the right handlebar side. The potential problem is that if a crash occurred and the hand guards rotated, they could take out the brake reservoir possibly.

Also, this is a good time to install new grips if you want. I really don't like the OEM ones and installed some comfy gel ones, the Pro Grip 737. I also used a tube of Scott's grip glue, but only on the left side as the right throttle side doesn't really need it and it is too risky to maybe get some excess glue binding the throttle up.

Here's an overview of the 2 mounting areas that will require custom work described below:

Installation, step 1: For bolting to the handlebar ends:

...Overview: Instead of using the provided bolt and expansion nut that goes inside the bars, I used the OEM BMW big threaded insert/nut, but had to drill and tap it to accept the fatter 8mm bolt, and I bought a longer stainless 8mm bolt to use.

Get 2 longer 8mm stainless flathead bolts, this pic compares them to the discarded one that was provided by BB:
Drill the weighted bar ends out large enough to clear the 8mm bolts.

On the throttle side, to maximize the clearance between the hand guard bar and the front brake reservoir, I did 2 things:
-I bent the bar to move the inner mount farther inward.
-I moved the throttle farther out so I could move the brake fluid reservoir farther out. In order to move the throttle I had to enlarge the hole that the throttle body pin slides into.

This can cause the throttle cable to be stretched to its max, so I had to adjust the cable near the airbox to get a little extra length.

Now attach the hand guard on the outer end of the handlebar loosely, and proceed to the next step.

Installation, step 2: For bolting the inner ends to the handlebar:

...Overview: I used all of the provided pieces, but the problem was that right where the hand guards mount to the handlebars, the handlebars were tapering. This caused a lot of custom grinding of the parts so it would clamp tightly around the handlebars and not just easily slip.
I found out later that there are something called "Magura mounts" that might help in this situation, maybe they are made for Magura bars that are also tapered? (I think they may be from Cycra?), but at the time I didn't know this and just kept grinding!

First I had to grind the mount extensions because they were too thick and also needed to be tapered to match the bars.

Then the bar clamps were ground to match the handlebar taper. Then I also used a Dremel tool to rough up the inside of the bar clamp so it would grip the bar better.

At this point, re-install every bolt with blue thread lock compound and torque tightly.
Some final pics of the installation. Clearances around the right side brake fluid reservoir.

The final look, shown with the optional extra height plastic installed for more coverage:

Mod: New Pro Grip 737 gel grips, Kuryakyn Throttle Boss cramp buster

Shown above I also installed the Pro Grip 737 gel grips which are much more comfortable than the stock grips. I used an air hose with nozzle to remove the old ones, and installed the left side with Scott Grip Stick grip glue. But on the throttle side I didn't need glue as the throttle tube has raised rough edges to hold it, plus I didn't want to risk getting any glue under the throttle tube!

Also shown is the Kuryakyn Throttle Boss, simple and small, stretchy rubber easy to rotate and adjust position, quick to remove for offroad - and wrap onto handlebar for storage. Really helps reduce the stress on the right arm. It is small enough I've used it off road unless really hairy trails, and still feel safe.

Mod: DoubleTake Mirrors

Though not sexy looking for the street... for offroad, I REALLY like the mirrors from Neduro (a fellow Colorado AdvRider!) at

They are tough as hell and fully adjustable with a RAM mount, so there are RAM balls on 2 places allowing you to adjust it a lot.
You can quickly fold them down but I just leave them up for tree-less trails, if they get hit (or you crash) they don't break or damage your perch mounts -- they just rotate in the RAM ball joints!
But they don't move otherwise and are very stable and vibration free.
I've been on a lot of rough roads and no problem! I even pre-ran the Baja 500 course (not racing) with one on my Honda XR400 - was very handy and no issues. (even Colebatch the legend says he uses them!)

Above was the first package I received but I didn't use the RAM offset mount shown, as it turns out the BMW perch mounts accept the standard 10mm x 1.25 thread pitch, which allows you to use the standard RAM-B-349U ball mount with stud from

The only issue with this ball mount is the shaft is made of soft aluminum so to tighten it they say to clamp on the mirror and twist but I didn't find that was tight enough so I used needle nose vise grips. This works but does mar up the aluminum a bit - no biggie!
There are 2 arm lengths available, the short 2" arm RAM-B-201U-A, and the longer 3" arm RAM-B-201U. I selected the longer arm but I think the shorter one would still be long enough yet look a little better!
Here is a picture with it set more vertical, that's what is great - you can adjust them any way you want!

Mod: Painted faux tank side panels black with bedliner spray paint

Almost a year after the Barkbusters mod, I finally got around to painting the faux gas tank side panels black. Not just any black but BEDLINER black! hehe
Being inspired first by Flachlandtiroler then later by "plumber mike" who used bedliner, I gave it a go - it was cheap and simple!
First I prepped the surfaces of the 2 silver plastic panels by sanding the with Scotch Brite sanding pads and sandpaper, then cleaned them with rubbing alcohol and a rag.
I think the sanding should really help as you can see it really knocked down the gloss and roughed it up so it should stick that much better!
Picked up a $7 can of black Rust-Oleum brand Truck Bed Coating spray paint.
... The Before:

This bedliner paint is SO easy to use, it pretty much refused to run and dried uniformly with a cool textured surface. Did 3 coats in an hour. Even removed the headlight ring and did it, and put it back on:
... and After:

The finished product, setup for my commute with street wheels on. (Wolfman Peak tail bag shown). I haven't got many miles on it but I believe the others that say it sticks great to plastic so I don't expect any issues!

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