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2018 Urban GS Off-road Build

4823 Views 52 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  NickHedges
Hey guys, I've had a couple posts before when I got my bike around 2018 but I've mostly been riding and not modding....... until now. So, I figured I'd start a new one about my build. Any feedback and suggestions are much appreciated because there isn't much info out there about guys that off-road these. (Probably for a good reason, lol) It's been a long time coming. I bought this R Nine T GS Urban Enduro from Max BMW in CT in 2018 after riding mostly dirt bikes my whole life. I loved it but unfortunately didn't get out much because I love riding dirt. I finally threw TKC 80s on it and hit a ton of fire roads and it was awesome but the suspension was sorely lacking.

Fast forward to 2023. I'm bored, have a couple bucks lying around but not enough for an HP2 Enduro so I figured what the heck?! I stripped her down because she needs a new battery, filter, rear tire and I figured I might as well do suspension while I'm at it.

Right now I'm between the Unit Garage Cartridge Kit or Unit Garage Ohlins. The cartridge kits certainly look more budget friendly but I'm hoping they'll still perform well off-road. The Ohlins are obviously likely a better choice but I don't like that the Ohlins don't have fork guards and it doesn't look like the lower front fender will work with them. I'm also stuck between having them setup for Mixed Use or Off-road. I'm leaning towards Mixed Use but I would love to hear feedback on some of the off-road suspension setups before plunking down $3 to $4k. I also saw the F800GS forks from R9T ADV but they don't look like they have most of the parts in stock and I'd have to source used forks, have them revalved, etc. It obviously looks like a much much better option but probably too difficult and time consuming of a build for me. Wilbers are out for me because they're more expensive but don't add much travel over stock.

I also have to figure out my turn signal situation. I wired up LEDs in the rear but they keep breaking off. I'd like something a little more tidy and I have to do the front too that I never got around to. I was thinking some of the wrap around fork signals if I can find them. I have them on my KTM and I love them.

Here's a couple pics on some recent excursions:

And the bike's current state:

Stay tuned!
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Bike EXIF posted this build recently. Worth checking out for some inspiration:
Thanks for posting this article, it shows that with a little work the Urban GS can be more of a real GS.
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