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  #46  
Old 22 Feb 2008
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Iraq in a pointless war we cannot hope to win.

Last edited by mollydog; 22 Mar 2009 at 00:31.
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  #47  
Old 23 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
............
My guess is that this company knew enough about riding in Africa to make a sensible short list of bikes to provide for their customers and, ultimately, to make a well informed decision about the single type of bike to be used.........
My guess is that this company made these decisions based on marketing needs, and very little else.
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  #48  
Old 23 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
I'm thinking that in the USA at least, the F650 singles may become somewhat collectible. You can still find some new ones in dealers here.


Patrick
Not a bad thought - my impression of the market here is that they are still selling pretty well as a second hand bike: a 1 year old standard model in a dealership has an asking price only a little less than they cost when new a few months ago (and there was only one on the showroom floor that I visited; loads of used 1200GSs though).
The Dakar is probably even more desirable now that they are not available new - we talked about it previously - that name has to come on some future BMW model!

BTW, , right now the Triumph Street Triple has a waiting list in the UK into Aug-Sept this year, and anyone selling a second hand one can ask more than the new list price at present - but they are few and far between!
The salesman I spoke with thinks that the new Tiger Cub could be released later this year- say August as T did with the Street Triple in 07 - but I am not so sure. If they can keep selling the Street version like that, then why bother with another version for a smallish market?
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  #49  
Old 23 Feb 2008
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After reading other thread re BMWs it does seem like they are going down the cost cutting route only the 1200s are true BMWs now as the others are using lots of chineese parts. Read MCN and theres plenty about it. The new 800s seem to be suffering with reliability issues too. I also think they are selling loads because of LWR/LWD. Come on KTM bring out a model where I can touch the ground.
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  #50  
Old 23 Feb 2008
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At present I believe all the Euro companies are having a tough time simply making a better bike than a KLR or DR at a reasonable price. Both these bikes original designs are over two decades old.
Nothing New Under The Sun.

Last edited by mollydog; 22 Mar 2009 at 00:32.
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  #51  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by stuxtttr View Post
.....The new 800s seem to be suffering with reliability issues too......
I appreciate reading some true facts regarding any 800 problems.
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  #52  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
At present I believe all the Euro companies are having a tough time simply making a better bike than a KLR or DR at a reasonable price.
Maybe that's why BMW are producing parts in Asia. Aren't most if not all Euro parts/ bikes produced locally? Higher wages = higher cost. Lower wages often mean lower quality. I've noticed that with outdoor companies moving their production to cheap asian companies having trouble (at first at least) with keeping the quality up.

As for the later F quality. I'm still not conviced. It might be worse, or it may not. When I was doing the trip through northern Asia, whenever I heard about a KTM it was about a failing KTM and I didn't see any of them. But read any forum around and it's often no.1. Similar for the DR. It's not highly rated in Chris Scott's book and I haven't seen any or heard of any on and overland trip. That might change on the next one.

Personally, if you prepare for a trip I believe you prepare to resolve most if all weak points of your perticular bike. And if anything else happens you get by and consider it an adventure. We had 2 Lambeth prepared 3AJ Tenere's and had some issues (failing one way starter gear for one which made it interesting), but just got by and kept going. Eveyone else we met had and did the same.
This forum is aimed at overland trips, not weekend warrior rides. Who has ever heard of an overland trip that hasn't had any issues? If personally don't like the idea of a trip where everything is smooth sailing. But each their own I suppose.
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  #53  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
...............Similar for the DR. It's not highly rated in Chris Scott's book and I haven't seen any or heard of any on and overland trip............
So, factual to you?
Where else have you gathered facts or information for forming an opinion?
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  #54  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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So, factual to me what?

Where have I heard what I suggested? Page 42 of AMH. Fact
Where have I heard nothing about them? Between Dublin and Vladivostok. Fact
Where have I heard good things about them? ADVrider and local (Aussie) adventure biking mags. Fact
Mostly when they consider the value for money. No frills just go. Everyone has the same complaints about them though.

What opinion have I voiced on the DR exactly? I take it you've got one and think highly of it?

Last edited by tmotten; 24 Feb 2008 at 10:17.
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  #55  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Back on to the Topic

How bad is the F650GS. I am considering one for my RTW trip. Having rode one I find it more refined than most singles and lighter than the twins. Kind of middle ground.
What sells this bike to me is its economy. Find it hard to justify a trip round the world on a bike with economy of 50mpg when the GS is capable of 75mpg. I want to see the world by causing as little damage as possible. On the other hand I dont want a bike giving me hell which is why I am tempted by Honda.

From my research preperation for the GS involves...
replacing of head and wheel bearings with quality items
changing oil return hose to allow easy water pump access
stronger sub frame and side stand bolts
quality hose clips
good radiator protection (especially where it meets the frame)
high quality MX fork seals

Annoying maintenance issues...
fuel regulator / filter
valves require a lot of parts to be removed for access (a good thing as it means you check the bike more thoroughly)
head bearings require a special tool
have to drain an oil tank (can be done without removing as stated in manual)

Problems I am aware of and can plan for...
Ignition trigger fails and takes weeks to source (carry spare)
Fuel pump failures (buy assembly from a breakers, take only the pump)
Water pump (carry spare, replace every 20k)
Shims (check sizes before departure, carry spares)

I have read forums and there do seem to be 'electrical issues', most of which seem to be caused by loose connections to the battery. A GS911 will help with fault diagnosis.

I have read many trip reports and people seem to expect their BMW to perform perfectly. Are the problems related to naive BMW owners. There seems to be a definitive split, those who entrust BMW dealers with maintenance and the people who perform their own. I have never heard of an Engine failure, 100,000 miles seems possible.

I would prefer an Africa Twin to a F650GS. Being environmentlly conscious is important to me (also good for the soul), so.....

How Bad is a Well Maintained F650GS.

Last edited by DarrenM; 24 Feb 2008 at 20:23.
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  #56  
Old 24 Feb 2008
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Originally Posted by DarrenM View Post
I have never read of an Engine failure, 100,000 miles seems possible.
Unlike (most?) other singles the engine will do 100.000 miles without problems.
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  #57  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarrenM View Post
From my research preperation for the GS involves...
replacing of head and wheel bearings with quality items
changing oil return hose to allow easy water pump access
stronger sub frame and side stand bolts
quality hose clips
good radiator protection (especially where it meets the frame)
high quality MX fork seals

Annoying maintenance issues...
fuel regulator / filter
valves require a lot of parts to be removed for access (a good thing as it means you check the bike more thoroughly)
head bearings require a special tool
have to drain an oil tank (can be done without removing as stated in manual)

Problems I am aware of and can plan for...
Ignition trigger fails and takes weeks to source (carry spare)
Fuel pump failures (buy assembly from a breakers, take only the pump)
Water pump (carry spare, replace every 20k)
Shims (check sizes before departure, carry spares)

I have read forums and there do seem to be 'electrical issues', most of which seem to be caused by loose connections to the battery. A GS911 will help with fault diagnosis.
How Bad is a Well Maintained F650GS.
That last question is impossible to answer, as you never know how well a bike is maintained by listening to their owners.

I would agree with some of your mods. Being the radiator guard for which chicken wire (the stuff with the fine holes) works well so far, and the foam between the frame and the radiator is tested and works well.
The clips are easily done and I did that one because I didn’t like the look of the OEM ones. But really, when would you have to take them off.
There are a few options on the chain gang forum on the oil return line. Depending on how much money you want to throw at it, it can be taken care of.
I agree on the subframe bolts, but haven’t seen any issues with the side stand bolt. But in saying that, I never felt that I could sit on the bike while on the side stand, so this could be something I should have a look at. Thanks for the tip.
I also agree on it being not such a bad idea to take a lot of stuff off to do the valve check. Because it’s a good excuse to change oil properly, clean the filter and check the battery fluid level (if you have one of those batteries). It’s still is a bit of a pain though.
The waterpump issue sucks but is well know.
As for the electrical issue I agree with the loosening of the battery bolt and also the side stand switch, but other bikes also have this as I experienced myself. The voltage regulater has also failed on some F’s.

The others I’m not sure about. The steering head bearing thing is hard to judge for me as most people (I reckon) don’t grease them up when they get the bike. Same for the swing arm bearings. This is something that got pointed out to me when I did a maintenance course. I added heaps of grease on my brand new one, and they were not very greasy at all when I looked at them. I’ll bring some spares, but will be interested to find out the mileage of the OEM ones. As for the tool for this. I didn’t use one greasing the bearing, and while scanning the FAQ on the chain gang on this topic didn’t see a mention of it. Do you mean the socket with the 2 prongs on it?
Similar for the fuel regulator that has the filter integrated. I added a separate fuel filter just before it and will be interested to see if that will keep all the crut out of the regulator. Can only find out.
Also for the seals. I’ve put some sealsavers on them and am interested to see how long the seals will last. I’m still taking some though. Honda do them as well apparently.
Don’t think you can call the shim thing a problem. Just comes with the valve design. Most people from what I read don’t have to change them often.

I quite liked doing a ‘few’ mods (which I would have done on any bike I would have bought for an overland trip) as it’s a good opportunity to get familiar with the bike. Something I didn’t do on the last trip which turned out to be unnecessarily ‘interesting’. I might have done things reducing the longevity of the bike. But that’s someone else’s problem now.

Other mod I have done are:
Removing the possum scraper, oil drain valve, bar risers, centre stand (thrown in by dealer), bash plate extension guard, centre stand bash plate, engine guard, fairing guard, NB’s crap flap, luggage racks (only fitted the rear one so far), battery upgrade, Fastway foot pegs, Stebel horn, spotties, volt meter, mirror upgrade (FAR hinged ones), stainless steel oil filter, foam air filter, headlight protector, front sprocket cover, fork spring and emulator, an 8 circuit accessories wiring loom, tool tube in front of the bash plate, Philips xtreme headlight (keeping the stock ones as spares. Need spares anyway, might as well get some better ones and fit them).

Mods still on the list are: flexible indicators, shocks, flexible oil return hose, maybe handlebars but probably can’t be bothered.
I would have done the big stuff in any case but wouldn’t have done if I wouldn’t have bought this bike for an overland trip. But than again, I probably wouldn’t have gone this bike either.
Parts out of the ordinary that I’m taking other than some I mentioned above are a spare oil pressure sensor, valve and some engine side cover gasgets just in case. Needed them on the last trip.
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  #58  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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Lots learned from the Japanese. BMW are probably the LAST

Last edited by mollydog; 22 Mar 2009 at 00:33.
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  #59  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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What opinion have I voiced on the DR exactly? I take it you've got one and think highly of it?[/QUOTE]
Cheers,

Last edited by mollydog; 22 Mar 2009 at 00:34.
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  #60  
Old 25 Feb 2008
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[QUOTE=mollydog;176548]
The DRZ was the most popular Baja rental bike among the five or six companies that run rides down there. These bikes lead a hard life, they've held up really well. NO ONE rents BMW's in Baja ... for any price.QUOTE]

Off course not. Neither would I. Not all Beemer owners are indoctrinated nutters. Untill the 450 comes out they aren't in that market properly. The X gets good reviews but in that market there are other better less taller bikes for sure. But that discussion is more at home on ADVrider than here. That was the reason I made the weekend warrior vs. 25000km around a continent comment.
That 450 might just end that stigma about BM riders.

When I was up to replace the Tenere with something new I contemplated 3 bikes. The 640, the Dakar and very distantly the DR. But seeing as that one reminded me too much of the Tenere in form and design, the KTM had bad stories associated with it on my trip as well as the fact that my Mrs couldn't touch the ground and not being able to test ride it here didn't help. The Dakar was the obvious choise. But the comfort, large capacity alternator, plenty of farkles and a very well organised and active user base made it overwhelmingly clear to be the best choise bike for us for an overland trip. It has issues, but that's all part of it.

There is still room for a 250-450 range bike in our garage for single trails out the back here.
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