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Old 8 Feb 2010
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BMW 650gs Dakar 2005 Preparations for trip through Africa?

Hey everyone, Hope you are all well.

Im planning a trip with my bike through Africa. At the moment its completely stock.

Some people have told me I can get away with carrying two five liter cannisters of fuel instead of spending £1,400.00 or so on touratech fuell tanks.

Any advice on preparing the bike for a journey down west coast of africa would be much appreciated.

How do I get around the green fuel? Do I have to convert something on the bike to take leaded fuel?

Ride safe,
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Old 8 Feb 2010
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Tony-a-Tech Long Range Fuel tanks.

Originally Posted by coznut7 View Post
Some people have told me I can get away with carrying two five liter cannisters of fuel instead of spending £1,400.00 or so on touratech fuell tanks.
Prior to entering more remote areas of Siberia last summer I stopped at laybys and picked up off the ground a couple of old/abandoned plastic oil or antifreeze cans.

9 litres extra fuel capacity for free!

And when we eventually got back to main highways I put them back in a layby for the next traveller!

Initially they were held on by straps but slipped as in the second picture The BAM Road - ultimate test of man and machine - ADVrider
Extending the cargo net to hold them firmer solved the problem!
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Old 8 Feb 2010
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F650GS DAKAR modifications

Hi Costa,

Some mods I made over the years & the reasons why (I'm NOT getting into any KTM vs BMW debates. It's all about the Rotax engine.

1. Installed dynamic fork springs from Wunderlich - to prevent front bottoming out all the time on uneven terrain & makes a difference in sand. The bike is just more stable.
2. Replaced tail light with LED tail light from Touratech - expensive but saves battery
3. Installed ON/OFF toggle switch for head light - saves battery, and in Africa some people and police get annoyed if your lights are on in daylight
4. Replaced the standard main shock after original died after about 40 000km (and good fun in Lesotho!).
5. Fitted Barkbuster hand guards to better protect hands and levers. For the F650s they come standard with 20mm handle bar raisers, so that was actually a 2-in-1 mod.
6. WIDER FOOT PEGS - so that I can stand for longer periods.
7. Also installed a fold-away gear lever, crash bars that protect the front "Tupperware", thus protecting the radiator in case of a fall.
8. Installed protective radiator grille to keep stones away from the fins.
9. Connected the power socket direct to the battery for more reliable power to the GPS and moved the power point to the handle bars for easier access and less mud and dust on the socket.
10. For extra fuel: I take along either a 7litre fuel bag or 10litre fuel can locked to the bike/pannier(s).
11. Fitted a centre stand!!! Makes all the difference when having to take a wheel off to fix punctures.
12. Replaced the standard throw-away air filter with an K&N reusable filter. Also expensive, but one less thing to carry.
13. Replaced the standard battery with a stronger and SEALED battery from Wunderlich. It gets hot and the standard battery runs dry and you get stuck in the middle of nowhere... Ever tried pushing the Dakar to get it started?

To sort out the green fuel problem, fitted an aftermarket end can(-nister) to get rid of the catalytic converter. It also gives the bike a tiny bit more power (less restrained) and it sounds less like a commuting bike. Ha-ha. Could get you into trouble when you get back to the EU, I think.

NB. The best investment in the bike was probably the improvement to the rider (me) by going on an very good offroad riding course. Most fun I had in a long time and learnt a lot. The less I put the bike down, the longer it will last!

PM me for a list of what I'm packing for my trip that starts early in March this year.
"The fates lead him who will; him who won't they drag." - Anon
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Old 11 Feb 2010
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Thanks for all your input

Thank you Tony for the advice and Gottoride! It is much appreciated. Ill look into getting an aftermarket exhaust.

Whereabouts are you riding to Gottoride?
Would be great if you could send a copy of your packing list for your trip in March.

Ride safe everyone,
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Old 12 Feb 2010
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You're welcome, Costa - I got a lot of (if not most!) my info, for the trip from HUBB. I'll be travelling from Amsterdam to Alicante (Spain) to Oran (Algeria) and through Algeria, Niger, Burkina, Mali, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, DRC, ANgola, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Mmozamboque, Swaziland and Lesotho to Cape Town. I'll PM you my packing list.

Have fun!
"The fates lead him who will; him who won't they drag." - Anon
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