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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 13 Jan 2010
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Location: Fairbanks, AK
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G650 Gs-p?

Having a bit of a rough start to the new year as my WR250R was stolen on New Year's Eve morning. She was my only vehicle and dammit I liked it that way, so its time for a new motorbike.

There's very little else that interests me right now so I was planning on simply replacing it with another WR250R, especially considering she gave me a stone reliable and tons of fun for 16,000+ miles in 9 months before being taken from me. But something did catch my eye, the local BMW dealership has a 2009 G650GS-P police demo for sale. I like the looks of the little GS and think it would fit 95% of the riding I do (commuting ~20 miles to work, lots of urban/suburban/rural pavement and dirt road riding) better than the Yamaha since its going to again be my only vehicle. I am going to miss the capability of doing some of the more gnarly DS rides locally, but the day to day livability might make up for it.

In the mean time, what should I know about the BMW 650 singles? Whats special or unique to the police models? I know the earlier models had fork failure issues, did that continue with the later ones? Do they have any electrical gremlins or mechanical problems to watch out for? Any must do mods? How hard is basic maintenance to do on them? Are there decent dual sport tires for the stock 19" front and 17" wheels? Are there other places to get aftermarket bits other than Touratech that aren't quite $$so proud$$ of their products? How expensive are BMW replacement parts?

Sorry for the long post, thanks in advance!
2008 Yamaha WR250R
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Old 13 Jan 2010
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that is alot of questions. I don't know what the P means for a G650GS but my wife owns a 2009 model and it is a nice reliable little motorbike. She does alot of dirt road riding on it and we are taking it overseas this April to start a RTW trip. So far it has handled dirt and tar with equal ease for her and plods along at 80 -100 kmh fully laden. Currently it is running stock standard tourance tyres but we will probably put on some continental TKC's or Mitas dual sport type tyres for better dirt road rideability.
We have fitted it out with mostly touratech stuff which was expensive but it got a bit laborious looking for other gear. The worst feature is the screen that is useless as far as wind protection goes and the BMW large screen is not worth the money as it just directs all the wind to your head. In fact I think BMW have completely neglected this bike in terms of aftermarket accessories.
all said it aint no KTM but is an economical easy going reliable little beast that is well suited to people who are of medium height.

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Old 13 Jan 2010
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The P is the police model, differences from the standard model, as far as I have found online, is a skidplate and engine guards, 2nd battery, light mounts, and hard cases (panniers) from the factory. Basically all the stuff I'd be adding anyways. I think it has a larger oil cooler and fan, or something to that effect, to make the bike tolerate idling for long periods of time better too.
2008 Yamaha WR250R
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Old 13 Jan 2010
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Location: Calgary AB
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It's a good all round bike, but more road than dirt was in their mind during the design.

Keep in mind that most (90%) of 'failure' issues were related to the older models (forks, stalling - surging, etc) and the newer models have only a few left. Mostly quick wear on steering head bearings and water pump seals which varies and are easy to repair (if you plan for them). I've got 2 07 Dakar's which have the original motor (yours has more powerful Xc Chinese assembled motor) and one has had both of those wear out at 18000 km and the other nothing.

Lucky for all new owners this would be the most documented bike on the planet. Check out f650.com and trawl through the FAQ (faq.f650.com). If it's not in there try the forum. There are also workshop manuals and parts fiches to download along with a maintenance DVD which goes as far as splitting the motor completely apart (on the classic model but is basically the same).
There is also all the info to modify the little design "mistakes" to keep the thing running forever. I've got a lot of them on my blog.

I would try and convert it to a Dakar over time. Requires a 21 inch front rim (stock is average anyway), different shock (I went with Wilbers) front rim and longer Dakar forks and associated brake hoses. At the moment a few guys (including myself) have changed to YZ250 front end, so there should be some for sale.
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