I have travelled for the last four years with my girlfreind in south america, she rides a 98 DR650, the bike is quite basic, an air cooled engine with oil cooler,the BMW with a water cooled injection motor, in four years we have had very little trouble with it the DR. It is cheap to maintain i.e you can get tyres filters and pads in most big towns or citys. As for riding i have rode both Dr 650 and BMW 650 both are very capable bikes the Bmw is great on the tarmac if you want to get from A to B very quickly, but then the DR will do the same if not quite as fast, but on the dirt road i think the DR comes into its own its light and handles very well even with ally panniers and a roller bag on it, i find that the DR is a very user friendly bike. On my girlfreinds i dropped the suspention down (an easy ten minute job) to allow for her being short in the leg, The standard tank is quite small compared to the BMW tank, so an IRC 17 litre tank was fitted another easy job this now gives a good long mile range, all so a set of bushgards were fitted.Being that the bike is light, i have seen my other half pick it off the ground after she has dropped with no problem and the good thing is that there is very little to break copmpared to the plastic around the front of the BMW, to be quite honest i think that in the right hands the DR650 could run rings around the BMW on and off the road, but i´am sure that there are plenty of people who will tell me i´am wrong and that the BMW is the better bike, but if you look at the price of both bikes new and used the cost of maintaince and repairs i would still say that the DR comes out on top. At the end of the day you have to look at what you want to do with the bike, where you will ride it and how much you want to spend, Both are very good bikes if you can try and get a ride on both. I hope this helps Skip
Do the best you can with what you have,
A stranger in a strange land now heading North South East West to.....