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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 8 Apr 2002
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Location: Mexico City, MEXICO
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What to buy f650gs or dakar ?


I am about to buy a f650 within the
next days. I'll be doing 90% road,
10% off-road. I'll normally do 3-4 hours travels and occasionally longer. Most of the
time we'll be two on the bike (about
140 kgs for both).

Which bike do you recomend to get, the
regular GS or the Dakar ?

For example, I'm curious whether the
height of the Dakar would be better
for when two people go on the bike
or the opposite.

I'll appreciate your help.

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Old 18 Apr 2002
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 30
I have just ordered my F650 Dakar so I can't provide any rwal world experience, but here are my 2 cents worth anyway. The Dakar is probably overkill given the amount of road travelling you will be doing, BUT I would imagine the suspension of the Dakar and added height would make the Dakar version better for 2-up riding. Talk to the BMW shop about this also. I find that most BMW dealers are very knowlegable and genuinly interested in helping rather than just making a sale. They should be able to give good guidance and a test ride to find out what suites you best.

Good luck!

Johan Rodskog
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Old 26 Apr 2002
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I test rode the F650GS in preparation for purchasing a Dakar (not one available to test ride). Riding on both is very similar but seat height much higher on the Dakar. Suspension travel soakes up the bumps far better (especially when two up). Higher screen also offers better wind protection as does the hand protectors. Thinking ahead theres a much better choice of front 'trail' tyres for the 21" front wheel. Mine also came with a remote reservoir for the rear shock attached to the right hand side frame by the engine (first the dealer had seen like this).
Not had the bike long and still running in so not a view of 'seasoned' Dakar rider, but very pleased with the bike so far.

Hope this helps.

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Old 30 Apr 2002
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Location: Country NSW Australia
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I rode a new Dakar for 4000Kms around New Zealand in January. We were two up, total about 130Kgs, plus full load of as much as would fit in panniers. No problems at all, had a great trip.

It depends on how tall you are. I am 175cms and the height was a major pain although I did not drop the bike. I had to seek out flat places to stop, and mounting the bike on any kind of slope was just about impossible.

If you are 180cms or more the Dakar will be terrific for you. If less than that make sure you try it first....

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Old 15 Aug 2008
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Location: dallas tx. usa
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Which bike to buy...

My friend Ed is pushing me to buy a 650 Dekar. I've always ridden Japanese bikes and had great luck! Boy am I getting confused.
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Old 16 Aug 2008
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Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Posts: 973
If those are the bikes you have chosen, then test ride, test ride, test ride. Its the only way to get an idea of what is the best bike for you.

To be honest, if you are doing 10% off-road (depending on how severe that off-road is) you might was to consider a more road-biased bike. You'll be a lot more comfortable, and probably have a bit more power to play with (two-up may be a bit of a load for a 650) for most of your journey. Otherwise, you compromise 90% of your KMs to make 10% a bit easier, unless the off-road is very difficult terrain....

Just something to consider.

Happy testing...
Adventure: it's an experience, not a style!
(so ride what you like, but ride it somewhere new!)
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Old 16 Aug 2008
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Location: West Yorkshire UK
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Originally Posted by dave harrold View Post
My friend Ed is pushing me to buy a 650 Dekar. I've always ridden Japanese bikes and had great luck! Boy am I getting confused.
I think the pushing part describes how you feel? I had four BMW's in a row and have also had other European and Japanese bikes. The F650's (had two carbed ones 1994-2003) were decent enough but not the level above say the XT600E in the way that say the R80GS was. There is a thread below that also covers this.

Good luck with your choice, but I'd really say to go with what you want unless you are planning a serious 2 bike trip and want interchangeable spares.

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