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Old 10 Sep 2012
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650 vs 1200

Hi all,

I am looking for the BMW 650 riders amongst us, and more importantly those who did a 2-up journey on one. I met some who did it, and they were more interested in doing it on a 1200 than a 650, is this true...?

Why? Because I have the luxury problem that I can choose between a 1200GSAdv and a modified 650 for my next travel to the 'stans for 3 months. I know the pro's and con's of the GSA but not nothing about the 650 as I never owned one before. No, I am not interested in another bike, as I own the GSA and will own the 650 in a week or so.

I'm more into the small little roads, off-road and stuff than the "big highways". Yes I do go offroad with the GSA fully loaded. But I've never been riding 2 up and the wife doesn't want to drive anymore...

So, if you have any experience about this, please tell me (and the world) about it, or at least a link to a blog or... where I can read about it.

- Experiences with the 650 with 2-up (or solo)
- Experiences with the GSA 2-up

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Old 11 Sep 2012
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First point - is the 650 you are talking about the older 650 Rotax single or the later (2008-on, I think) 800 cc twin, also called the F650GS? I imagine that would make a big difference to the 2-up capability.

Second point - (I have only had my 650 single for a few weeks, so take what I say with the appropriate caution) - I bought the bike with the express intention of doing the kind of riding you describe. Smaller roads, some mild off-road, not much highway-bashing. My early impressions are that it will be the ideal machine for the purpose. It's roomy (I'm 6 ft and have added the higher Dakar seat), with a decent passenger perch, fast enough to keep up with 70 mph traffic, and light enough to be chucked about and picked up without a hernia if it all goes wrong. A passenger slows it down, sure, but not terminally so. A friend (6 ft 5 in) reported seeing an indicated 100 mph with his wife on the back on a recent trip to Germany.

I'm done with big bikes for touring. The 1000-mile days they are capable of are not what I want to do, and I'm leaning more towards 'small is good'. I'm very happy with the little 650 single, and as we seem to have similar intentions, I would imagine you would be too. But if you are shortly going to own both, I can only suggest you give them both a fair trial with the wife on board and go from there. That's no help, I know. But plenty have taken the 650 single RTW and I'm very happy with mine.
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Old 11 Sep 2012
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I've got the F650GS Dakar, single spark version. I've not owned it for long, and have not gone two up except for one short trip where my wife hitched a ride to work.

In my opinion, the bike is very capable for two up overlanding if you take care to not overload it. But, and there is a but, with the original seat, my guess is that pillion comfort on long rides could possibly be an issue - as with most bikes.

I would suggest that you take your wife on a 10 hour ride on each bike and let the pillion decide - and then fork over the money for any farkles that you need to make the bike comfortable and practical for both. Because, if the trip isn't enjoyable for the pillion, with the rider wanting to press forward, all sorts of trouble can arise - not only destroying your trip, but also preventing future trips from happening.

My guess is that it will be the 12000...
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Old 11 Sep 2012
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I also agree. The past 2 years I have taken my godson around Europe on 3 week trips, on my 2004 F650 Gs twin spark. He's now 14 and 6 foot same as me.
We can cruise at a steady 80 on auto routes if we have to. We have ridden easy, dry trails 2 up. But most of what we do is minor roads and up and down the mountains.
Lightweight camping. Vario panniers, Wolfman tank bag, gasmask bags as tank pannier bags and a tote bag on the rear carrier.
Comfort. My pillion now findes that the grab rails each side are uncomfotable, bt a gel insert (same as I have at the front) will lift him high enough to clear them. His feet are now size 10, and his boots do compete for space with mine. but when he was still in size 9 it was Ok.
Its a great bike, with great fuel consumption, and as long as the water pump seals have been done there's not a lot to worry about.
For the 2 up riding with luggage, I have found that a Harrison 6 pot caliper on the front disc was money well spent, over the single piston Brembo item.
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Old 12 Sep 2012
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Hi guys,

thx for the answers!
Also after looking up some old (2007...) threads I think it will probably be the GSA for two up and the 650 for me alone!

The main concern is the space and comfort for both of us. on the GSA I'm already squeezed in between the tankbag and the wife, so I guys with the 650 it will be worse... or so I've been reading.

But on the other hand, we'll just have to try it and see what the lady in the back says and feels. I know the GSA is heavy when loaded and with the two of us on it, just did not try it with the 650... something for next week or so.
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Old 12 Sep 2012
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It'll be fun finding out
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