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Photo by Mark Newton, Mexican camping

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Mark Newton,
Camping in the Mexican desert



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  #46  
Old 22 Aug 2013
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They've all had one and I think all bikes should have them. I'm situated this is still new to some familiar with this bike.

This bike is great in the right hands. Reason is that It's got certain quirks.

BMW tells you to fill the hole with grease, which is stupid and I'm convinced the engineers didn't come up with that one. So if the owner hasn't studied the bike or don't do their own maintenance you'll end up finding lots of complaints about this bike. Bearings, battery, pump, cooling. I'm not flipping here, but this is probably the most documented bike in history. It's got a comprehensive faq on a dedicated webpage including maintenance videos which cover everything down to full engine rebuilt. This bike should never end up in Ted's hands really. ;-)

It mainly leaks during cooling down due to the material contraction rates which are different between the seal and casing. Changing the seal takes 29 mins if you have prepped the bike for it with removing the solid oil line. The new ones came with flexible ones when BM finally pulled thru finger out.
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  #47  
Old 22 Aug 2013
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Thanks again! I didn't own the bike that occupied our garage so I had very little to do with it, apart from put a few miles on the clock

In 12000 miles there were no issues with it - not a lot of mileage sure, but that engine was impressive IMO. I've written about that elsewhere in here.
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  #48  
Old 22 Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Tony will be able to advise you better.. I've only been with BMW specifically for 6 months and we don't get many 650s through the workshop.

Touring Ted
In 4 1/2 years i have only replaced 1 water pump seal on a f650 single. The owner of our dealership and has owned a 650 dakar since new and the only reason he has had any bother with the waterpump is because he dropped it on a rock whilst off roading.
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  #49  
Old 22 Aug 2013
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Well, now I am back to civilisation I will stick to Japanese. Very happy with versys for Europe . Awesome on Tarmac and can do easy dirt roads.

As for Mongolia, I will give a wide berth ( if this is correct expression?) to bmw and will get a YBR125. Boring to cross Europe but great when hitting the soft stuff!
I had enough trouble with my former 650gs to last me a lifetime. On top of that, when I hired a f650 in the US last summer, I had similar electric and electronic issues. Piece of crap..... Never again....

So just starting to plan mongolia ride... That is if I can convince Alistair... Working hard on that
Hope to set off next may (2014).
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  #50  
Old 22 Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by tonylester View Post
In 4 1/2 years i have only replaced 1 water pump seal on a f650 single. The owner of our dealership and has owned a 650 dakar since new and the only reason he has had any bother with the waterpump is because he dropped it on a rock whilst off roading.
It seems far more common when people take them travelling. Mileage irrelevant. Maybe its those long days, temperature, etc. I think it's the impella and bush too.

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  #51  
Old 22 Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
It seems far more common when people take them travelling. Mileage irrelevant. Maybe its those long days, temperature, etc. I think it's the impella and bush too.

Touring Ted
And 100 of miles of corrugation can't help either....
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  #52  
Old 22 Aug 2013
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So just starting to plan mongolia ride... That is if I can convince Alistair... Working hard on that
Hope to set off next may (2014).
Maria....

I'm planning a Mongolia/Siberia trip for spring 2014 too.

Don't say we'll be back in competition for bad luck haha

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  #53  
Old 23 Aug 2013
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And 100 of miles of corrugation can't help either....
Not our experience at all. 17000km including Ruta 40, Camino Austral, Altiplano and general Bolivia and only 1 started leaking in Cusco. The other was fine. It's the luck of the draw with the pump.

With good prep it's a great bike that I'd happily take to Mongolia. Maybe stick with the normal routes and take the horse trails on my WRR, or even better the 57kg FX bike.

FX Bikes Mountain Moto World’s Lightest Motorcycles 125lb 125cc 125mpg

Adventure trim is in development. Chuck it on the train to Ulaan-Ude, change to UB and get lost in Mongolia. It's perfect for that country. Can't wait.
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  #54  
Old 23 Aug 2013
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On the fan I recall a bodge fix I did in Norway or Finland way. The temp switch is a gravity return disk type thing. With typical design care its mounted on its side. The disk cockles over and stick. Jump the pins and the fan might run. You can actually pull the wires off the horn, bodge them to the fan switch loom and when you push the button the fan runs.

Andy
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  #55  
Old 23 Aug 2013
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Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Maria....

I'm planning a Mongolia/Siberia trip for spring 2014 too.

Don't say we'll be back in competition for bad luck haha

www.touringted.com

I hope not! I had enough in South America! When is your estimate departure time next spring? We should catch up....
Talk to you via fb...

Cheers
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  #56  
Old 25 Aug 2013
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My little G650GS has just completed its first proper trip, a trip around Iceland doing virtually every off-road route possible during the time. Then a blast across Norway, Sweden and Finland and a final hideous non-stop long haul run from Hirtshals in Denmark to Aldershot via Calais ( about 1700km including getting lost ) in about 20 hours. Total trip distance was nearly 17000km.

The Icelandic F-roads were a great mixture of deep, soft sand....hard striations....solid rock outcroppings....loose shingle....essentially some of the most varied and demanding terrain the little bike could have gone through, especially riding at speed over those bloody hard hitting rocks.

Servicing

Home serviced to avoid the ridiculous BMW costs for a little bike. Oil and all filters replaced ( K&N fitted ) and new iridium sparkplugs. The Valves have not been touched since new ( now on 20,000 miles )

Modifications

Good bashplate and bars, barkbusters and higher bar mounts, off-road pegs and soft pannier mounts and TKC 80,s fitted to standard cast wheels.

Good results.

1) Cast wheels absolutely amazed me with their toughness..I was convinced several times that I had hit rocks hard enough to bust them, even spokes would have left me really worried.

2) Engine. Did not miss a beat on rough terrain or long distance on motorways, especially as its well over its servicing schedule,exceptional mpg when just tootling along.

3) Brakes, they just worked fine.

4) Electrical system worked without fault...battery replaced beforehand with a Gel type from Hein Gericke. ( I did not realise they still used lead-acid as standard ) lights were fine.

5) Quite simply the bike juist worked with no dramas of concerns.

Bad Points.

1) HANDLEBARS are made of some pathetically weak metal that bent everytime I came off the bike, even at slow speed....made it easier to bend them back I suppose. I would suggest fitting a good quality Renthal set or similar.

2) the Rear shock just could not put up with the travelling, damping went within 4 days....to be honest I really did abuse the bike of some very demanding tracks...but I would suggest fitting a good reliable shock to the rear for peace of mind. Wilbers suspension for example.

3) Clutch and brake levers on handlebars also a tad on the tinny side and bent in their mountings on minor falls.

4) FUEL RANGE. While I never actually ran out of fuel due to planning and carrying a fuel can, the fuel range is pathetic for this kind of bike.

160 miles to reserve at gentle, economical speed at best.

85 miles to reserve going uphill into a headwind at worst.

To my mind the fuel tank is at least 5 litres too small to seriously class itself as an adventure/dual sport bike.

I always carried a 5 litre jerry can for peace of mind.

5) Servicing. Some bits are way too bloody fiddly than they need to be...hence why I have now fitted star trek style iridium spark plugs that last for about 50,000 miles.

6) Lead-Acid Battery. Immediately replace yours as soon as possible, they really have no place being on a bike that can get dropped on a regular basis. When I swopped mine for a Gel battery, the old battery had about 1 inch of fluid left inside it.

7) Pegs and levers etc....I replaced mine with beefed up, welded home made versions of the incredible expensive off-road stuff. £15 for a local welder to make off-road pegs, the standard pegs are useless off road ( too thin ) and the gear lever rubber is lethal.

All in all for a cheap bike, it performed far better than I imagined it would, quite impressed with the core mechanics.

#### Important point i forgot ####

Rectifier fitted to the front, bottom right of engine is the worst place possible for it...I fitted a standard old 650 gs bashplate and a heavily reinforced primary bashplate to protect it....the standard plastic cover is only good for rain.
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  #57  
Old 25 Aug 2013
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A few photos so you can see the general setup of the bike, panniers and sans panniers.

Also the fording depth of the bike is half way up the front black panniers, or to just below the bike seat in height, any more and you are going to start sucking water.
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  #58  
Old 26 Aug 2013
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4) Electrical system worked without fault...battery replaced beforehand with a Gel type from Hein Gericke. ( I did not realise they still used lead-acid as standard ) lights were fine.
It's worse than that. The charging systems was not designed for that battery. It wasn't till the value engineering took place that is was changed (citation needed).

It's the biggest problem that still many people don't appreciate or consider.

I can't trust a company where that stuff can get past QA. No more BMW for me.
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  #59  
Old 26 Aug 2013
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im led to believe that after a certain build date the hot start is fixed already and in my case the larger beak of the sertao also.
Yup... That's true.

However, BMW are still shipping the older none models to dealers WITH the problem and expecting them to fix them under recall/warranty.

Some are going out with the problem... UNFIXED !!
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  #60  
Old 25 Sep 2013
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first 20,000 miles

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Originally Posted by QINAO View Post
I just bought a 2012 Sertao G650GS it is a nice bike, easily maintains 75 mph on the Freeway, took it out in the dirt today did ok for a 450 pound bike. I bought it because I wanted Fuel injection, BMW reliability, GS tourtech add-ons. The bike will be doing the continental divide dirt ride next summer, 2700 miles of dirt roads, then either Alaska or South America. I shopped around for over a year deciding what to buy, this bike won. I have a KTM 520 EXC when I want to ride ruff stuff. I traded in my Harley Road King for the BMW. After I ride this a year, I will be able to tell you if it was a good deal or not. We will see, so far it does exactly what I wanted it to do.
I have now had the bike about 1.5 years and put 20,000 miles on it. About 1/4 real dirt riding loaded. Is a good bike for one person loaded. Is also a very good bike to do dual sport event rides with my 13 year old daugther riding two up. Sucks on the interstates. If I had it to do again I would buy a GS800 or more likely a KTM990.
But after you invest 5000 in touratech add-ons your are stuck the bike for life. Look for posts in the future with 50,000 miles maybe even 100,000 miles on the bike, who knows I ride alot, for someone with 5 kids and a full time job as a Thoracic Surgeon.
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