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  #1  
Old 20 Mar 2010
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bmw surging problems putting me off....

hi will be taking my test soon and was really looking forward to bmw ownership......either the 1150 adventure or the 650 dakar......
but have been reading about these surging and stalling problems...
is it an easy fix or is it not happening to all bikes....i just know it,d be something that would drive me mad while riding to the alps or something....
didnt really want to go for the honda africa twin or the ktm adventure as the mpg on the twin isnt as good and i dont like the look off the ktm......many thanks for any advice answers opinions......
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  #2  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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There are actually very FEW bikes that surge, mostly older 1100s. Apparently the problem is slightly offset TPS (throttle position sensor) compared to throttle's zero position - basically meaning EFI mapping is slightly offset with the actual throttle's response.

Search for the "zero-zero" procedure for R1100 / 1150 bikes in the internet -tons of information. It's made to look like a complicated fix, since there's just too much information about it and people tend to overemphasize things in the internet, but in reality it's a dead simple solution that can be done with a simple scredriver and a voltmeter, IMHO probably even a complete n00b can do it.
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  #3  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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Surging in the 650 was also 'solved' with the release of the 2-spark engine in 2005 and newer models.

Besides, surging wasn't a 'universal' issue - just an issue with some people, some BMW bikes it seems.

Surging is also something experienced by experienced riders. I suspect most riders who bought a 650 or 1100 model as a first bike probably never realized their bike surged, until someone told them it surged.

So, buy an 1150 or 650 after 2004 and don't worry about it. That is, of course, if it starts surging in say Africa, its likely due to fuel issues, not the bike.
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  #4  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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I've got a single spark Dakar-it does do the occasional cut out-but never been an issue-probably 5 times in as many years.
See the websites either UK f650.co.uk or search on chain gang for US equivalent.

Its a good bike-I'm 6ft 95kg-and hauls me and kit around. If I was doing long distance/speedier touring right now-I'd probably go for the 1150 though
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  #5  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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Thats made me feel better.....i just know it would have driven me insane....but thought the Beemer is such a popular bike it couldnt be that bad otherwise they wouldnt keep making them....must be just a classic case off internet off diagnosis,,or the fact im off work at the moment and have to much time on my hands.....
Many thanks for the replys and i shall proceed on my quest into a two wheeled world rather than the usual 4wd drive one......
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  #6  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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I have a 2001 dakar, bought second hand in 2005. A couple of surging issues in the first couple of years, but no problem since then. As in previous replies, check out the chain gang and f650 websites. There is now a haynes manual for the f650.

If you do buy a beemer, the dealership I use for parts etc. is CW Motorcycles in Dorchester.

baswacky.
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  #7  
Old 21 Mar 2010
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Having ridden for 30 years on many different bikes, I would not recommend an 1150GS as a first bike. If you want an adventure style I would go for a Transalp, XT660Z or similar to start with. Big GS`s are heavy lumps. They are fine when on the move, but you will have to paddle around on it occasionally and the adventure has an even higher seat height. I own an 1100GS and whilst I admire the build quality and suspension technology they are not the be all and end all. I would recommend a lighter bike until you have got your biking roadcraft sorted and confidence up. If you must have a BMW, go for the 650 t start with.
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  #8  
Old 22 Mar 2010
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I agree. If this is to be your first bike then some would say start with a much smaller bike and maybe ride it round home and do shorter distances for a year or so. I started on 50cc dirt bikes, then to 90cc for road and on up the ladder. Somehow, I'm still alive. Motorcycling is hazardous.

The 1150 can even be daunting for experienced riders, especially when loaded up for touring. Mostly in just parking the beast or doing slow going in traffic. Also, if you ever plan to go off road as you would so easily do on your 4x4, you may be surprised when that big GS falls on you.

The F650 singles are nice bikes but a bit heavy for a single. Still, as a first bike it could be very good, but also consider the Japanese choices out there and trust me, once you ride a KTM, you WILL want one. Remember, KTM is the bike Ewan & Charlie Should have taken!

Once you put in some time/miles and get confidence I would very much consider either the BMW F800GS or F650GS (twin). Lighter, less expensive, fun and better off road than most twins.

I'm sure someone offers riding training in the UK. I'd sign up for that first thing. Learning good riding habits from the first is a good idea.
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Old 22 Mar 2010
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Some very good advice their and i agree with most/all off it.......My reasoning i think for going straight for the bigger bike was....
1.I live in Scotland and their are lots off quiet roads to gain experiance on...
2.my size,im 6ft 3in and 18 stone....
3.I thought id head straight for what id probably end up with so id only have to pay out for one bike....someone once told me i,d get bored off the 650 very quick as ive ridden bikes before,, so not a complete novice...although no experiance on the road...

But yes my sensible sides always said go for the smaller bike to gain some knowledge....
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  #10  
Old 22 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4overland View Post
1.I live in Scotland and their are lots off quiet roads to gain experiance on...
2.my size,im 6ft 3in and 18 stone....
With your size you'll make R1150GS look like a small 250cc bike! Comfort wise there's nothing better than the big R-series GSes for your size, especially if you plan to do a lot of long distance, then IMHO, nothing beats it in stock in terms of ergonomics. I know some big lads ended up with the big GS who say most of other big trailies need some serious adjustments for ergos to make them bearable while on the big GS they just fit right in.

Don't listen the bollox about big GS being heavy to nail around on tighter offroad tracks - it's all about the rider and they are very capable bikes in the right hands (LWR guys were an obvious n00bs back then who'd probably had killed KTM image as an offroad bikes for real if they'd taken those big KTMs!) And I do filter traffic on my fully loaded R1100GS 2-up around dense Asian cities like locals do with their 50-125cc schooters with minimum fuss, it's all about experience.

I'd say make up your own mind and go for what your heart tells you. With your size R1150GS is not a bad choice as a first bike if you have a balanced attitude and patience not to push it too much or test (your own) limits too often in the beginning. All the boxer-GSes have very smooth power delivery and when fully loaded they handle unbelievably well (under load it's where the telelever really starts to shine while most of other bikes I've tested start to act like overweight cows with weak legs IMO). But if you want to go the 1150 route and plan to do some harder offroad while travelling - go for the Adventure model if you can, more suspension travel comes in handy quite often. ADV seat is not as comfy as the standard GS seat though, but it's easily fixable.

PS: a very good idea is to buy some additional cheap-as-chips dirt bike (i.e. Suzi DR 350) to trash it around on your backyard's dirt tracks on Sundays to gain experience and later to keep your riding abilities "warm" while you can use your big trailie for the serious long distance adventure travelling without breaking a bank if you crash it in the process of learning or experimenting.

Cheers, Margus
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  #11  
Old 23 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4overland View Post
hi will be taking my test soon and was really looking forward to bmw ownership......
Why? If it's because you want a lot of power and want to be able to ride at 100 mph all day and still not worry too much about the off bit of dirt track that's fine. The BMW's are competant, as are various other makes. If on the other hand you've got it into your head that BMW are in any way superior to Honda, Yamaha, etc. in their service and build quality prepare to be very disapointed. This image of BMW's is just advertising. No one ever got to shag an Italian model because they bought a Ducati, no one ever won a race because their Suzuki had Rizla written down the side, you meet some right ********s on Hondas and some BMW's are Friday afternoon built POS. BMW use the same rubbish components and build their bikes based on the profit margin just like everyone else.

I would seriously suggest that you visit as many bike dealers as possible and look at every possible model that might fit your needs. Talk to as many owners as you can and try not to be taken in by the advertising and the need for some owners to defend their purchases. Look at what people have actually done with the bikes and see how the dealers treat you.

Andy
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  #12  
Old 23 Mar 2010
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The most annoying thing with owning a BMW is people telling you that you have the wrong bike. This is also more or less true for the KTM...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Talk to as many owners as you can and try not to be taken in by the advertising and the need for some owners to defend their purchases.

That's a very good tip, an even better tip would be to talk with the people who actually own the bikes in question and have used them for long trips.
The owners who needs to defend their purchases are usually identified by the way they talk about "other" brands.
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Old 23 Mar 2010
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Oops ive been moved......
Thing is i suppose everyones got their own idea off the perfect bike as each individual is different so its an awkward thing for me to ask everyones opinions....
I suppose that the reason ive opted for the Beemers is not for the badge,,its just that i have watched both Bormans long way round and downs also the race to Dakar and just became into the GS as it was the only bike id seen in action plus i liked the look.........
Im pretty sure that i will go straight for a bigger bike and get a smaller one to join a local enduro club or something.....maybe the big bike will be a mistake maybe it wont...i suppose ill learn by my mistakes also if i think shit its to big ill just lay it up till im ready....
The ktm 640 adventure I quite liked the look of so will have a gander into that.....and i do like the look of the africa twin....just they are not as good on the mpg and thats something ill be looking at a bit too....
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  #14  
Old 23 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
I would seriously suggest that you visit as many bike dealers as possible and look at every possible model that might fit your needs. Talk to as many owners as you can and try not to be taken in by the advertising and the need for some owners to defend their purchases. Look at what people have actually done with the bikes and see how the dealers treat you.
Andy
Good advice that!
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  #15  
Old 24 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4overland View Post
Oops ive been moved......
I suppose that the reason ive opted for the Beemers is not for the badge,,its just that i have watched both Bormans long way round and downs also the race to Dakar and just became into the GS as it was the only bike id seen in action plus i liked the look.........
....
If looks are important to you that's fine. I don't worry, but I know some people do.

I've been there and bought the T-shirt on the "tools" thing though. I can pick up any golf club from some battered thing at a pitch and putt to the best carbon fibre, logo'd, hand balanced ones there are. Nothing will turn me into Tiger Woods except a heck of a lot of practice. I've bought various bikes in my time with expectations of what they would let me do, a fair few were just a waste of money as I didn't get to put the time in to make the most of them. I wouldn't assume that because the actor and his mate used BMW's they will suit you (or not), they had their support team etc. Starting from scratch the main thing IMHO is to get to know the bike you choose. Before you can do that you need to know if you'd rather deal with a surging FI unit or duff ring antenna, or tubeless tyres with tubes, or whatever other badly thought out feature each and every bike comes with at least one of.

Edit to add: I hope you enjoy whatever you get.


Andy

Last edited by Threewheelbonnie; 24 Mar 2010 at 19:54.
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