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Old 8 Jan 2010
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F650 Twin Spares

I am planning on riding from Cairo to Capetown leaving 1st Aug. I have a 09
F650gs Twin, a couple of ? (1) What should I replace the stock Shock with, I have read there crap and not prepared to take the risk with. (2) What other spares should I take ie: Clutch/Brake Cables etc. Brake disc ? (3) What tyres are recommended for such a trip, and are spares attainable on route. (4) Finally anything else you can tell me re this bike, what I should take and what I should look for etc.

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Old 13 Jan 2010
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Do note that replacing the stock unit can also lead you into trouble. There are aftermarket options, which (even though they may improve ride quality) are even worse suited for 3rd world conditions than stock ones (maintenance-wise)! But I´m not so familiar with this model, so can´t really tell, if it should be replaced for such a trip or not. Just advicing to think carefully, before replacing suspension items, especially whole units.

Tyres for big bikes probably will not be widely available in Africa (South Africa may be an exemption). If you ride 1-up, I´d consider carrying spares.
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Old 17 Jan 2010
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I too have a f650gs twin (nov 08) and am kitting it out ready for my circumnavigation of africa hopefully starting in sept............my main problems have been sourcing spares or alternatives !!!

Will be replacing my air filter with a k&n - which according to my sources at the bike show has yet to be made

Sprocket, chain will be replaced ! Will take a spare clutch cable, but was wondering about how many other spares i would need inc brake pads ??

At present my friend is just completing his london to cape agulhas trip pretty much minus his rear suspension, that apparently went round about northern malawi - its at this point i wonder how far you have to go with the spares?? He's on 2004 dakar.......

He changed his tyres for anakees in istanbul and appears to be good choice


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Old 26 Jan 2010
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i'm in india on '08 f650gs, about to head into pakistan, then iran-turkey-syria-jordan-egypt and on to south africa. i started from brisbane australia and flew from darwin to kuala lumpur, then did 9500km in se asia b4 flying bike to kathmandu. bike has 29k on it now (bought new), 14k on this trip. i'm riding one up.
i changed to k&n filter in darwin however note that you need to carry mineral turpentine to clean this every 5k (and can't carry it on a plane) and i have only found it in laos so far (also need air filter oil which i found in vientiane too - thanks to fuark the mechanic).
i have the stock shock... no probs so far. it is on the hardest setting.
i am carrying spare front brake pad (no need to take disc), front indicator (looks easy to break in a fall but ok so far - rear indicator protected by pannier racks). have barkbusters on handlebars so no need for brake and clutch levers - also they are steel and should be ok to weld back together in the unlikely event of damage.
i bent the gear shift in a stack but its steel too - easy to re-bend or weld.
also have new did525 chain (spare) but the original chain and sprockets are fine (chain lube or wd40 every 300km) but haven't been able to find sprockets which i want to change at same time maybe in kenya around the 45,000km mark.
unfortunately i have had difficulties getting the spares i want - the following were NOT on the shelf at bmw in brisbane, darwin, bangkok, kuala lumpur or chiang mai (forgot to check in singapore) and had min 3 week wait: paper air filter, rear brake pads, brake and clutch cables, fuel pump repair kit (too exp anyway), irridium spark plugs (auto shop no probs tho), tech spec dvd and something else i forget. so order the parts you want at least a month before you leave.
also maybe i suck at finding parts - but i haven't been able to replace my duct tape in nepal or india :-(
i still have the stock battlewing front tyre - it won't die. i bought a new metzler tourance in bangkok to change it out in the next couple thousand k's (pakistan) however i also had tkc's from home that i used on weekends. at 600 bucks the pair i wanted to use them so am carrying them too. this is too much weight. i expect to kill the tkc's in egypt-sudan (got 3k on them in cambodia - laos) then change back to the tourance front and anakee rear which are near-new. i reckon in retrospect - start with new tyres, probably tkc rear and something else on front (battlewing or tourance?), and carry a spare tkc rear if you can. if you are using tubeless - carry a few compressed air cartridges to re-seat the bead if you can (mine were confiscated trying to board flight from darwin). having been unable to replace the co2 cartriges i bought 1 front and 1 rear tube in bkk.
so far only probs were 2 fuel issues (entering vientiane, and entering bangkok), neither really diagnosed but both fixed by topping up.
i fitted a radguard at a ridiculously expensive price but it has saved my radiator from damage so worth it imho. also h&b crash bars and bash plate have definately earned their way in protection several times over...
hope this helps.
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Old 26 Jan 2010
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Dave when are you planning to be in Egypt ?

Thanks Paul
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