The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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anybody know if bmw are planning to produce an adventure version of the dakar650? big tank? kickstart? proper pannier,s better suspension .the 1150 adventure was a great success so why not a 650 version ?look at how many rtw travellers use the 650/dakar.just a thought.
I think the suggestion above is a good one - nothing like building your own bike to get things just the way you want.
On another note, I think that BMW views the 650 Dakar as on par with the Adventure, as in it being a more dirt/ travel worthy version of the regular GS. The main difference would be the lack of any increase to the fuel capacity - a much lamented oversite on their part. I think the Dakar would have sold much better with an extra 2 gallons of capacity.
I am currently try to decide if to go with the 650 Dakar to travel light and underpowered or if to more robust, power and heavier.. and when I started adding all the extras that I had to install in the 650, larger tank, guards, lights, bags, enforcementes, radiator screens, it made me think that I would rather buy a few years older of the 1150. Shame because I kind of like the 650 Dakar much better.
So, I am still wondering what to get. Any thoughts on this? 650 or 1150
If you're travelling solo, I highly recommend the 650 over the 11xxgs, it's much lighter, easier to deal with in the rough stuff, easier to pickup, and maintenance and tires are cheaper etc.
The only advantage the 11xxgs has is more power on the highway, and although you do spend a lot time there, it's not enough better to make up for the other times for most people. If you're doing a RTW record or something then the power is great, but for normal stuff, it's just not needed, or worth the extra weight.
I rode an R80G/S, which has LESS power than the 650, rtw with a passenger, and it was more than adequate for power. The only advantage the R80/100GS's have over the 650 is a little more room for a passenger.
Try picking up a fully loaded R11xxGS (or even an UNloaded one!) and you may find the decision of which way to go is easy...
Re more fuel capacity for the 650 Dakar - a bigger tank is nice, but generally not needed, and mostly just adds a lot of weight.
I know people that have gone rtw with a large tank, and said after it was a waste of money, the one or two times it was good they could have just carried a jerry can instead.
I have a big tank on my R80G/S and while nice, it's NOT critical. If you have the money, fine buy one, but if you're on a tight budget, forget it, just carry a jerry can somewhere.
Remember - you are probably on a ROAD - and the average car has no greater range than the average bike, so there HAS TO be a gas station for the cars that the road was built for. For the VERY rare time when there isn't, you'll find that jerry cans are readily available.
Hi, I'd like to jump in on this thread to get an opinion on the F650 for travelling 2-up.
Grant, I agree with your comments above and elsewhere on this site about smaller/lighter bike being generally better for travelling for a whole range of reasons. I would like to take my F650 Dakar to Europe next year for about 4 months travelling including camping. May include western Russia and Turkey - to be determined. I would have no doubt about the Dakar for riding solo with gear, but I have this nagging concern about 2-up with panniers & topbox including camping gear.
What do you think, is that asking too much of the 650? Note that power & speed are not my issue, do I risk handling problems or frame/suspension problems?
Skillo, power and speed are not the issue, agreed - the main difference is purely one of comfort - will SHE be happy on the back of the 650? If you're big folks, probably not - if smaller, could well be ok. Do at least a couple of long hard days two up with all your gear and the decision should be easy. And remember it's mostly her decision... although you may decide against too! There is a big difference two up between the 650 and 11xxGS.
Thanks Grant, there are plenty HU stories about travelling 1-up on the F650 classic, GS & Dakar, but I cannot remember reading any travellers going 2-up on these bikes. This just made me wonder why?
Actually we both like the Dakar to travel on (for up to 6 hours/day or more) and we fit on it quite well, although it is very cosy. But thats with small-ish soft panniers and no top box, for 2 or 3 days with no camping. I will have to fit hard paniers and top box for 4 months of travel, so this may change the way we think. We took a 1100GS for a spin to size it up and although the 1100 definately cruises better over 100kmh and obviously more room, my pillion says she is more comfortable on the Dakar!
Only one way to find out I suppose, fit up some hard panniers and try it all out at home, then re-assess....
Thank you very much for your advise 650 vs 11xx, I will follow your recommendation and get a 650 Dakar.
My other dilema is if the year makes a big difference. Should I spend more money and get a 2004/5 or the 2001 that I have found that already is equiped with all the ideal things, guards, bags, with 12K would be ok?
Pablo, I doubt if it makes much difference regarding a 2001 vs a later model year F650 GS. However, there is a very active website for 650 GS enthusiasts, and you might post that question there for a better opinion than mine. The address is www.F650GS.com.
I know of a highly modified 650GS which has been transformed into about as close to a F650GS Adventure as possible, with off-pavement capabilities well beyond the Dakar. It isn't currently up for sale, but might become so in the near future. Drop me an email if you might be interested.
The 2001 model was the first year of the current model run and was notorious for having surging issues with the fuel injection. I would probably skip that year. If you do look at a used one, be sure to ride it thoroughly, and note any surging, I rode a used 2001 for sale from a local BMW dealer and the surging was horrible. It can be very difficult, if not impossible to fix. My understanding is that the 2002 and later years are much better, but some bikes still had surging problems. You don't want to inherit a problem like this.
The website above has more on the surging issue. I strongly considered the F650 for two-up travel also, but ended up buying a Transalp. Not because the Transalp was better, but I just happened to find a good deal on used one. For a single cylinder bike, the F650 rides like a twin, its very smooth and solid and it is definately proven as an rtw bike.
[This message has been edited by davidmc (edited 04 December 2004).]
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