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-   -   F650 Prep - help please (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/f650-prep-help-please-25235)

twowheels03 17 Jan 2007 18:17

F650 Prep - help please
Hi, we have toured most of Europe on big Touring bikes but we are now planning to ride RTW on two F650's. Can anyone please help advise us what prep needs doing apart from service type stuff. ie, does the subframe need strengthening - whats the best larger fuel tank and from what suplier.
Also does the 650 have any inherant faults apart from the water pump!

Thanks for the help

bmw.bec 17 Jan 2007 20:42

Advice for 650

The 650 is a strong bike in my opinion and i never had any trouble with it. I fitted the touratech tanks and was very impreesed with them - they even bounce! But they are not cheap.

As for strengthening the bike, i replaced the belly pan as felt it was too flimsy with a homemade one and also removed the rear plastic mud guard as this broke whilst riding off road and actually caught in my brakes - no fun.

Hope this helps


twowheels03 17 Jan 2007 21:34

Thanks Becky
Thanks Becky, where did you go & how long did you travel?
Kind Regards

bmw.bec 17 Jan 2007 21:46

We travelled for 12 months through to india and then morrocco. Check out www.2riders-1dream.com for more info.

I think the big thing is to choose a bike you are comfortable with. We met many other bikers on a range of bikes but they could all list pros and cons of they model so theres no easy answer. From my experience i personally had no trouble from the 650 but i'm sure others have had.

Any questions then you can also contact me on my email if you need too.


quastdog 17 Jan 2007 22:02

F650 prep
Renee Cormier had some of the best bike prep info available on his website.

Also see HappyHackers info:

Of course, not specific to prepping for adventure touring, for all things F650

Lots more on the HUBB to discover if you follow the links, do some searches.

major moto 17 Jan 2007 22:05

Where to start?

Well I think the F650 is a great bike! I've just come back from a 9000 mile trip to Gambia and back (see thread on Sahara Forum) and my bike was perfect! Didn't even get a flat (but I'm not sure that is down to the bike!

Took in lots of tarmac (longest day was 680 miles), some really rocky/sandy pistes in Morocco and three days of riding in the Mauritanian desert. With a nice deep flood in Morocco to wade through just for good measure. The F650 took it in it's stride, a great all rounder.

There is a wealth of info out there, some of which you may be aware of, but a great starting point is http://f650.com/ dedicated to, funnily enough, the F650! The FAQs have loads of info on mods etc and very helpful maintenance info! A must for every F650 owner.

Another site is http://www.smellybiker.com He is travelling/has travelled with an F650 and gives the low down on mods he made; those that worked and those which didn't.

For me the following worked:

1. Touratech tank. As bmwbec said, it is expensive, but I wouldn't be without mine, especially in Africa.

2. Handlebar risers. If you are planning to off road then these are a must, unless you have arms like an orangutan!

3. Touratech (TT) Chainguard. Ditch the plastic cr*p together with the "possum scraper" for the reasons bmwbec mentioned.

4. Subframe seems to be really strong as standard. I had my 35L TT panniers and a roll bag on for my trip across some really rough terrain and it held up OK. However if you are planning on taking as much kit as McGregor and Boorman you had better look at an RSJ!

5. Footpegs/gearshifter/rear brake. I managed to get the TT Rallye pegs/shifters/brake from a guy on ebay. A good piece of kit. It all depends on how much off road/track you intend to do. IMO the standard footpegs are not up to it, they are very narrow and would prove uncomfortable for long periods of standing. Having done the BMW off road course in Wales I can say that the standard brake lever will end up shaped like a banana if you fall on it and the same goes for the gearshifter. The alternative, cheaper option, of course is not to fall off!

6. Suspension. Standard set up on the Dakar worked for me. Even with full TT tanks (39litres) and equipment the forks never botomed out. However if you are built like Robby Coltrane I cannot vouch for the reliability of this information!

Well, that should get you started!

Oh yes, Continental TKC 80s work as a good all round tyre(if you need off road capability as well) and gave me about 7000 miles on the rear.

Any other questions give me a shout!


major moto 17 Jan 2007 22:06

Dammit!! I knew I should have learnt to touch type!!!

twowheels03 18 Jan 2007 13:59

Thanks Guys
Thankyou so much, plenty to be getting on with now.
All the best to all of you

drew-at-large 20 Jan 2007 19:37

Hi twowheels03,

Perhaps I'm not too late to add two cents.

A friend did a RTW back in 2003 on a Dakar -- along with a couple of his friends also on Dakars. There were some problems with his friends panniers breaking if I remember. While I don't remember specifics, I think it had more to do with their choice in panniers and problems with the frame of the kit. Henning did not have a problem though (he used a different set of panniers). He also did the TT39 tank kit... which proved beneficial when his buddies ran out of gas. It's on the pricey side, but on longer stretches would prove its value. I would imagine you can mount a small fuel can(s)/(metal)bottle(s) on the rear panniers and/or get some tank panniers (http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=196530) and store some fuel upfront should you opt not to get a larger fuel tank. Perhaps these two links may be of value: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=132974

Anyway, Henning and his friends have a website (www.blue-dunes.com) and probably would answer any questions if pinged. Their maintenance logs are pretty good and can give you some insight on what they experienced. From what I understand, they used the Chain Gang (www.f650.com) for tech support along the way.

Here's a link for a nice tip on how someone can plot their trip on-line as they go using their GPS and a cell/satellite phone -- using the phone's SMS function.

If you set-up a website and/or thread about your RTW adventures, please let me know. I would be interested in seeing your prep, route, etc.. I would imagine others here would be interested as well.

Good luck... and may you always have rubber side down.:scooter:


Dan 23 31 Jan 2007 18:42

Bearings, bearings, bearings.
They're balls. Replace front wheel, rear wheel and head race cheese bearings with higher quality gear and slap on loads of marine grease, especially on the head races, because the oil in the frame cooks them dry. I had to replace all 3 sets within 16,000 miles. Which was a delight.

Suerte, Dan Walsh

blueron 1 Feb 2007 17:34

a couple of good websites
I have no personal experience, but have been reading up on the same subject for a while. Here are a couple of websites that I think you'll benefit from reading.

An English couple who rode F650s to Mongolia and back:


A RTW site with good information on bike preparation/modifications:


Good luck,


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