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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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  #1  
Old 30 Aug 2007
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RTW - 2-up on a F650GS

My wife and I have started to plan to do this, we are committed to our plan as the house was sold last month. It's going to be another year or so till we actually get going & here comes the dilemma - I have a F650GS & we are comfortable on it on camping trips. I know Grant & Susan have done it together on almost a similar bike - but is there any one else with expereince doing this 2-up. I am planning on upgrading the suspension & shock; but I really don't want to change bikes, not after getting it almost tour ready for previous solo trips.
Any thoughts from the expereinced ones.
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  #2  
Old 30 Aug 2007
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you need to replace the subframe bolts. Have the holes drilled out for 10mm bolts (the 8mm ones WILL BREAK).

I'm a believer in Gross Vehicle Weight limits - as in, you exceed them, shit happens, stuff breaks, and it isn't because BMW makes a lousy bike!

You two, with full riding gear on (boots, gloves and all), should ride down to a weighing station and check out your GVW, sans "stuff". May give you something to reflect on.
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  #3  
Old 30 Aug 2007
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I found this online

BMW F650GS

Unladen Weight with Full Tank
193Kg / 425 lb

Dry Weight
175.4 Kg / 386 lb

Permitted Total Weight
380 Kg / 837 lb

Payload (with standard equipment)
187 Kg / 412 lb

Seat Height (Unladen)
780 mm (30.70 inches)

Fuel Consumption over 100 Km @ constant 90Kph
3.4 litres / 83 mpg / 69 mpg US

Fuel Consumption over 100 Km @ constant 120Kph
5.0 litres / 56 mpg / 47 mpg US

Useable Tank Volume
17.3 litres / 3.8 UK gal / 4.57 US gal

Reserve
Approx. 4.5 litres / .99 UK gal / 1.19 US gal
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  #4  
Old 30 Aug 2007
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Two up Vs One up

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeast View Post
My wife and I have started to plan to do this, we are committed to our plan as the house was sold last month. It's going to be another year or so till we actually get going & here comes the dilemma - I have a F650GS & we are comfortable on it on camping trips. I know Grant & Susan have done it together on almost a similar bike - but is there any one else with expereince doing this 2-up. I am planning on upgrading the suspension & shock; but I really don't want to change bikes, not after getting it almost tour ready for previous solo trips.
Any thoughts from the expereinced ones.
Blackbeast,
I find it hard to imagine doing a long/RTW trip two up on the 650GS: my wife has one - OK it has lowered suspension and a lower seat for her - but it is the same bike basically, a 2005 model.
We have ridden it with her as pillion (she does not want to ride it herself with a passenger) but, IMO, two people on this bike and seat combination are too close together for long term comfort; we were thinking of doing a couple of weeks touring in Europe in this way. Her head was constantly banging against the back of my helmet for instance (maybe it is the way that I ride!!).
In summary, we do day trips two up but no more than that.
But, you say that you have done some camping trips but you don't say for how long.

I have used the bike, solo, doing a few hundred miles in a days riding on tarmac with no problems at all; fully loaded with luggage for camping over a few days or more (always returns 70 mpg - that's the UK gallon!).

Hope this helps in the thought process! - why not take two 650GSs??
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Old 30 Aug 2007
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I have seen websites of people traveling 2-up on all the 650cc bikes: F650GS along with the KLR and V-Strom. Here is a couple of Kiwis on a 650gs: BV Home If you search, you will find more stories.

It doesn’t mean they were comfortable, just that it has been done….

When I (we) travel to central-south America in the future, it will be 2-up on ones of these bikes, so I’m very interested to read about people’s experiences on the medium cc bikes.
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Old 31 Aug 2007
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Thanks guys for "weighing" in. Lots to think about. Our costs will literally double by having a second bike both prepp'ing the bike, gas, shipping and carnet. The thought did cross my mind about the bigger BMW, again, cost of carnet with the more expensive bike turned me off. So, I guess I should start looking for an older 1150GS or 1200GS for going 2-up.
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  #7  
Old 31 Aug 2007
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Have fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeast View Post
Thanks guys for "weighing" in. Lots to think about. Our costs will literally double by having a second bike both prepp'ing the bike, gas, shipping and carnet. The thought did cross my mind about the bigger BMW, again, cost of carnet with the more expensive bike turned me off. So, I guess I should start looking for an older 1150GS or 1200GS for going 2-up.
I see from another thread that you are looking at other than BMW bikes; lots to consider for sure!
You don't say what type of riding conditions you expect to "enjoy" on your routes - mix of tarmac, dirt etc or how far you plan to ride per day, but there is a load of discussion of these, and a whole lot more, factors in deciding on a bike.
I guess the saving grace facet is that the planning of the journey is just (well almost) as satisfying and enjoyable as the travel itself!

Good luck,
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  #8  
Old 31 Aug 2007
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Since you have a year to decide, why not load up and do some short rides and see how comfortable you are?
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  #9  
Old 1 Sep 2007
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Thumbs up

Blackbeast, my, now wife and I did 26,000 miles from london to australia on a
on a 1978 R65 bm back in 1994 two up, shit thats getting a while ago now....We mainly did tar roads. Though in Iran ,Pakistan and India we did a fare share of dirt.We had very little dramas .did put a set of Konis on before leaving . only cracked a pannier frame .rebuilt the gearbox in Iran , the only thing I didn't really look at before going btw the bike was a basket case 12 months before heading off .. So It can be done

steve
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  #10  
Old 1 Sep 2007
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Two Up

Hey BB,

I see you are from Van as well. How's the rest of the summer been? Currently ridıng two up in Turkey after quickly coming across Europe. Ridıng a Vstrom. I too debated about bikes as will only be two up for part of the trip.

There are some couples doing well on theır 650s out there, but from my perspective you will be thankful for a larger bike. Hard to explain but it performs like you are riding well within the bikes limits with the extra weight and passenger. Biggest downside is the extra cost for fuel consumption with the bigger motor. I am biased of course, but İ would buy a low mileage Vstrom from the US (I got mine for less than 6K - a 2006 with less than 3000 miles on it) and spend all the money you save on a longer trip. If you are going to be around, İ'll be back in BC briefly in September if you want to get together for a .

Cheers.
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  #11  
Old 2 Sep 2007
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If you're open to other bikes, I'd suggest the Zuki DL1000 for 2-up travel. That bike will sht-n-get...and carry the load, too.
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  #12  
Old 2 Sep 2007
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Hi Blackbeast,

I did a two up tour of Ireland on my F650GS last year and, whilst it was a lot of fun, it was a bit of a tight fit once we'd fully loaded up with both of us and all the luggage.

A bigger bike might cost a bit more to run, ship, etc, but I think you'd appreciate the extra space it would give you.

Ben
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  #13  
Old 3 Sep 2007
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I guess part of the fun is the research & planning, let alone actually doing the trip.
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  #14  
Old 3 Sep 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackBeast View Post
I guess part of the fun is the research & planning, let alone actually doing the trip.

Told you so!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #15  
Old 4 Sep 2007
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We did about 3000km two-up (over about 5 days) and it was fine. It was all good highway riding though, and not much pressure on the suspension. The wife leaned back against the topbox and used our tent/sleeping bag rolls, which were strapped to soft panniers, as armrests. She often dozed off. She had a leather padded cloth thingy which she sat on to stop sliding forward, and was protected from the wind as I sat up on an airhawk. Sometimes she even crossed her legs (but she is small and flexible). The main issue was the loss of power which, while not totally debilitating, did mean the bike was revving in low gear to get up the steeper hills. I found the petrol consumption was quite high, perhaps 50% higher when fully loaded with an extra person. I might be exaggerating this figure but I remember being struck by how much more petrol I was using. In my view, a bigger bike would be better for the extra power, but on all other fronts the F650 is fine.
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