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First Farkles - What was yours?


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I've recently ordered my new RT. She'll be waiting on me when I get back in November from my deployment to Iraq. As you can imagine, I'm very excited about the new bike. The first and probably only brand new vehicle that I've ever owned.


And, believe it or not, I've already started my farkle list. From engine guards to topcase, additional LED taillights to grill protector, thanks to all of you and this forum, I've got a long list of items.

I intend on riding a bit before I order or research any ergonomic type items.


So what was your first bit of kit you added to your bike? As this is my first foray into the sport touring realm, I'd appreciate any advice or ideas about that first piece of what I'm sure will be a long list of farkle.


Thanks in advance, and thanks to everyone for all the advice and information that helped me get to this point. I'm sure my wife and my wallet will be cussing you though! :grin:


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First, thank you for your service to our country.


As for your R12RT, you seem mostly concerned with being conspicuous, and then on protecting the bike. Your choices are good. Rearward conspicuity is important. But don't forget being noticed from in front as well. Any form of driving lights, perhaps even amber ones, will help present a non-traditional forward presence that should get you noticed more readily. Motolights are a common enhancement. Additionally, you might consider a dual horn kit. When you need to let someone know you're there, you've got to have the horns to do it.


Look forward to your return and to telling us how you are progressing with the RT.

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Congratulations on your intact return from Iraq and, as others have done, thank you for your service. My father-in-law is a WWII vet, and I've been spending a lot of time at the Atlanta VAMC recently. Wars chew up a lot of people, in many ways.


I bought a used bike, fully farkled, but in general, my bias is to start with things that deliver the most bang for the buck. My first add, beyond what was already on the bike, was a palm wrest for the right hand. There are various designs, and which one is "best" is a personal preference. This was in addition to the Throttlemeister, which came on the bike. In my opinion, the TM, while being a beautifully designed and manufactured piece of kit, is not nearly as effective as a throttle lock that is engaged by the thumb, such as the Vista Cruise. Of course, if your bike has electronic cruise control, a throttle lock is not needed.


Second upgrade is a louder horn. There are all sorts of possibilities, but if you are not deterred by a little bit of electrical work, a Stebel Nautilus (air horn) is hard to beat. I have one on my Honda Fit, and it really gets the attention of distracted SUV drivers with one hand on their cell phone and a cup of coffee in the other.


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Thanks in advance, and thanks to everyone for all the advice and information that helped me get to this point. I'm sure my wife and my wallet will be cussing you though! :grin:


As Effbee said, thanks for your service.


I just bought a 2010 RT, and it's hard to resist temptation to "load it up" with stuff. My first farkle was a second rear brake light.


As to what you should get first? Friends. And you're well on your way! All those farkles are cool, but not nearly as nice as talking, sharing, seeing, listening, and learning from like minded people. Soon you'll be home, and you'll find out more about who from the list is near you.


Go get 'em!


(And don't forget your wife when you get home! Mistresses that have 2 wheels can be bad if you spend too much time with 'em!)

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Indeed, thank you for your service to our country :thumbsup:


Yeah, my vote would be:


1) Hyperlites to awaken drivers behind you that you are stopping/stopped (not necessarily that brand, but the concept (I do have this brand and they are excellent)


2) Dual Horn Kit


3) Moto-lites or some other product that serves the same purpose


There are numerous other farkles you'll eventually want, but I would log some miles first to see what it is you find most lacking with your experience. For me, and I have the older R1100RT, it was extra PIAA 1100XX and PIAA 910 lighting (your R1200RT has far better stock headlights than mine does) and a nice custom seat (I bought a Russell Day-Long).


I am still using the stock windshield. Overall, I like it in that it protects when I need it to, and lets wind through when I need it to. A taller unit might too well shield me from air when I need it.


Oh, and I find my tank bag to be priceless! Nice place to store handy stuff like food and drink, iPod (I use earbuds under helmet), GPS, etc.


Last, but certainly not least, my first farkles were good, protective, riding gear. I bought a nice Shoei full face helmet, good gear for year round safety and comfort, and a sweet BMW one piece rainsuit that has come in handy on many occasions.


Oh, and let's not forget David Hough's, "Proficient Motorcycling". Great book on motorcycle safety that you might enjoy reading when you're not actually riding! That book's lessons have saved my life on more than one occasion.

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Since I'm a newer rider, the first thing we got was a good bike to bike communication system, then I got a peg lowering kit cause my knees hurt....


You be careful out there, keep your mind on your task and come home safely.



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You could ride that thing all over creation and not ever miss any of your farkles, except one. A gps.


As a friend suggested - those things will save you so much time and gas recovering from missed turns that it'll pay for itself. I believe I'd still be in Florida, going in circles, and trying to get home....

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First farkle? Since the bike already had a Russell Day Long seat on it, I went for a new windscreen (Aeroflow). Depending how tall you are, this may or may not be necessary. The next farkle was a flashing brake light, followed by driving lights for visibility. Then came the HES replacement, intercom (can't ALWAYS scream at the wife :/ ) Givi top case to have more room in the cases. Your 2011 may not need any improvement in this regard. Then the GPS, electric clothes, yada,yada, yada.


As you can see this quickly turns into a disease :(


P.S. I salute you.

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Tank bag. My used bike came with one , but I find it indispensible for my extra glasses, maps, ibuprofin, etc.


How about a tool kit? Are the new bikes still coming without one?





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My first farkle was a shorter windshield. I can't remember which came next, but I added an integrator for communication, with a music player and bike to bike radio, a GPS and a smaller non-BMW tank bag. My last farkle was new shocks and a lowered bike at 20K miles.


Enjoy your new motorcycle!

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Good idea about the installing a Stebel or some form of louder horn. I put a Nautilus on my last bike. When I needed to let people know I was there, that horn did the job. I think I've subcribed to the post on here about installation.


I hope to hear some more ideas about the "first farkle" that you bought/installed on your bikes.


Thanks again,


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My first farkles were GPS mount (with xm radio), auxillary lights for night riding, top case and tank bag. With those you can go anywhere.


Since then, I've put on Illium Sport Highway pegs, and a heat troller. I probably can use a new windshield, but since I don't know what I'm missing, why spend the money. Seat is ok for my butt. Have a Spot but leave it in tankbag (rather than mounting it).

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Thank you for your service :thumbsup: and glad to see you heading home.

1. Big Mak Tank Bag

2. Aux PIAA light kit from CycleGadgets

3. Seat Jacks (Cycle gadgets again!)

4. RCU Shelf w/BMW Aux power outlet on triple tree.

5. Larger BMW windshield


All of which, except item 4 (found I didn't need a Radar Detector in TX), are still being appreciated :thumbsup:





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I'm liking the idea of additional lighting on the front and back of the bike. Never hurts to become more visible.


While I was at the dealer, I checked out the BMW tank bag. Dang that thing is big! I had a small magnetic bag on my previous bike and it worked well for me. I guess I need to add that to the list of things to research.


Headed back to the sand this Sunday, and researching for my farkles will help pass the time until I'm home for good.


And let me say that I appreciate all your support for not only myself but all of us troops who are deployed. I consider it an honor to be able to serve the people of this nation.



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