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  #1  
Old 26 Dec 2003
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F650 Dakar - two-up - opinions?

I am considering the F650 Dakar for a trip through Asia, and I am looking for some opinions on how suitable this bike is for two-up riding.

I know the R100GS and the R11xxGS may be more suitable for two-up, but the R100/R80GS seems too old for my limited mechanical abilities and the R11xxGS is too heavy and expensive.

Even though there may be better two-up bikes out there, would the F650 Dakar work sufficiently for two-up touring? What are some of the limiting factors of using this bike for two-up and can they be overcome?

-Dave
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  #2  
Old 27 Dec 2003
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We met Ralph Dixon at the Oz HU meeting and he had ridden Oz to Uk on an F650 funduro. I don't think he had any problems and the Dakar is probably more suited??

His website is:
http://www.weride4ms.org/
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  #3  
Old 27 Dec 2003
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We did Jordan to the UK, 4 people, on an F650 and an 1150GS. The 650 is OK for smaller, lighter riders but I'd recommend the 1150 for 2 larger adults. The 1150 is not heavy at all when it's moving!
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  #4  
Old 28 Dec 2003
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I had the standard 650GS for a short time. The bike was fine two up, although we didn't tour on it, we did a couple of longish journey's and it was comfortable and handling was fine. As long as you don't intend blatting along the autobahn it would be OK. Not sure how robust the subframe is on these bikes. If you intended fitting ali' panniers it would be worth thinking about strengthening it, especially travelling two up with all your gear and a few spares.

Also worth considering something like a 'Transalp' There a little better two up, being a twin so smoother. The penalty is little more weight.
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  #5  
Old 28 Dec 2003
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The Transalp seems like a great bike, except that Transalps and Africa Twins are not available in the USA. It seems like the only other option in the USA as far as non-single cylinders go is a big BMW.

Living in California, which may be the largest motorcycle market in the world, it truly amazes me that we don't have at least the Africa Twin or the Transalp. I guess Honda figures that we just want big cruisers over here...

-Dave
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  #6  
Old 28 Dec 2003
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hi

Ive got a Dakar, currently touring central America with BMW top case, Touratech ali panniers and touratech tank bag with side panniers.

I couldnt imagine having someone else on the back as well. think it would be too heavy and a strain on the suspension, especially on the rougher roads.

I chose the 650 becuase I am travelling alon and wanted to be sure I could pick up the bike after a spill. for two up thats less of a problem and in that situation I would defeintely have gone for the bigger bike

but just my opinion of course. hope it helps

richard

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  #7  
Old 29 Dec 2003
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David:

For what it's worth, We put on aprox. 6,000 km in Australia riding 2 up with luggage, neither my wife or I are small people. I already owned the bike and thought we might as well try it, I was satisfied with the performance other than the front end was a bit lighter so I couldn't stick with the sport bikes in the corners. I was happy enough with it that I bought another one for here in Canada to replace my R1100R that my son wrote off when he hit a deer. We did a 5,000 km trip 2 up thru B.C.(T. U. meet in Revelstoke) last summer and are headed to Mexico with it in January. Most of the riding has been done on pavement though and I'm not sure how it would stand up to prolonged heavy loads on rough surface. Ride safe.

Chuck
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  #8  
Old 30 Dec 2003
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I've just completed a ride from London to Singapore on the 650 Dakar. It is a good bike for one person, but I think it really would struggle with 2 up plus luggage, especially if you are looking to take on some of the more interesting roads.

Richard (Kiwi)

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  #9  
Old 5 Jan 2004
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I did some road based touring on an F650 with my wife on the back. Neither of us are skinny runts. The subframe seems tough, and with the suspension on full preload the steering wasn't too light (much less so than with an R100GS's standard suspension). However, while going around a moderate corner up hill at about 50mph the back sagged way to far and the centre stand dug into the road, flicking the back out sharply. I kept it upright, but it wasn't fun.
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  #10  
Old 5 Jan 2004
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And to add to that, the R100GS with standard suspension and a passenger (or too much luggage) can be pretty terrifying too. I just put an Ohlins rear shock on mine, which has completely sorted it. However, I still think that the newer GS (with it's telelever and ABS) is by far the safest bet for 2-up touring.
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  #11  
Old 11 Jan 2004
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Hi, I rode 2 up from UK to Oz on a 1961 350 AJS in 93 to 95 so I think an F650 would be fine, maybe not as comfortable and fast as an 1150GS but then again it wont be as heavy or cumbersome either. Regards Chris
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  #12  
Old 13 Jan 2004
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Hi Dave, Where are you planning to ride in Asia? Many countries in South East Asia rent bikes very cheaply,and it saves the shipping costs.. In Thailand you can rent a decent Transalp or TDM 850 for $30us a day. It also depends on what type of riding you want to do. Most offroad in SE Asia is really dirt bike territory, and even a Dakar might be too big in the mud. I've ridden the F-650gs and it is a great all round bike, but it does suffer a bit two up. Cheers, Cameron

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  #13  
Old 13 Jan 2004
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Hi Cameron-

I don't think renting is very practical for me as I will be riding from Europe to Australia over a one year timeframe. And my daily budget in SE Asia will be about $20USD/day. I have rented bikes in SE Asia in the past, and yes, I think it is a great way to go for shorter trips. I did not know you can rent Transalps though!

One another note, thanks for all the responses. It sounds like two-up on a Dakar may be possible? I mean, could a Dakar be ok for two-up with some modifications, like a good rear shock and a custom saddle?

I still don't really understand what would limit the Dakar. It seems like the power could be lacking, but adequate. And the comfort...perhaps a custom saddle? Or would the bike just be too "top-heavy" with two people plus gear?

Other than some extra power and perhaps a couple inches of extra saddle length, what other factors make the twins a better choice over the big singles?

Dave
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  #14  
Old 13 Jan 2004
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Dave, to answer your last question first - not much!

Power and room to move around is about all the REAL difference for two-up.

It's ALL relative - people have toured two-up on just about everything and thought it was fine - then they get something bigger and more powerful and wonder how they ever survived on the old bike. BUT they did, and had a good time. People on R11xxGS's wonder how people survive two-up on R80G/S's - but we do fine.

Ride what you like and are comfortable with and can afford - and have a great time!

RE rear shock - NOT an Ohlins - their reliability on F650's generally is suspect. Contact Works Performance in LA and see what they can do for you - tell them I sent you.

RE Top heavy - try a Triumph Tiger sometime and there will be no further comments about Dakars being top-heavy - and people have toured happily on Tigers.

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  #15  
Old 27 Feb 2004
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Dave:
An update on the F650 with 2 up in Mexico, We put on 6500 kms, about 500 of that on dirt, gravel and sand, the Dakar handled it all well except when we hit a bad pot hole on pavement and threw the chain, after we got it back on I made sure I wasn't running it too loose and set the preload on the shock up to max and we had no further problems. the chain and sprockets were about shot when we finished but as there was 22,000 km on the origional chain it was probably to be expected. We have installed a Corbin seat and both of us find it much more comfortable than the stock seat.
I am going to try a 1 tooth smaller sprocket on the front this time, the consensus on www.f650.com was that it mkes it a bit more pleasant on dirt roads and doesn't make much difference at highway speeds.
Regards
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