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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.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



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  • 2 Post By Warthog

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  #1  
Old 14 May 2020
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Advice on a used BMW

Any BMW people out there - if you could take a moment and comment, it would be most appreciated.....I am planning an RTW trip - and this guy just said maybe - but I'm not an expert - its more mileage that I would like, but I like the price.

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-touring/guel...ure/1500827531

I asked about maintenance - here is the response:
I have some records but not all. 20000 km service was done at dealer, after that at local motorcycle shop. Over its lifetime I have replaced steering head bearings, all wheel bearings, chain and sprockets, tires, oil and filter etc

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 14 May 2020
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I've been out of the bike game for a few years having had the same bike all that time (very uncharacteristic of me) so I've not kept abreast of which more modern bikes fair better than others etc. So bear that in mind when you consider what I write here.

Anyway, I've recently bought another bike and one thing that has helped me gauge its condition is reviewing the service manual; particularly the factory one if a copy can be found online.

Have a look at this one perhaps.

If the 20K service was done at the dealer but beyond that only the basics, there may be some significant tasks that have gone undone and the manual will tell you that based on the service schedule.

That gives you an idea if you need to check anything on the bike in particularly.

Purely as mileage goes 60000km is not masses, but its significant. The bike would dictate how I see that: I've just bought a TDM with 74,000KM. I think it still has lots of service to give, but it does need some work up front. If I'd bought a 2-stroke crosser, then I'd be planning a rebuild!

Whatever you buy, expect to pay an additional 500 on top of that as a rule of thumb. That's been my experience as the little odds and ends that need to be overhauled or replaced become noticeable. And get it serviced properly.
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  #3  
Old 14 May 2020
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Hi.

I am a BMW tech and I also buy and sell bikes. I've had a few F650 (Twin) and I've also worked on hundreds on them. As well as changed a few noisy cam chains (Engine out and cases split - Massive job)

These Rotax 800cc engines are EXCELLENT. 60,000KM is nothing. I wouldn't be worried at all AS LONG AS IT HAS SERVICE RECORDS. I know these engines with 200,000 miles on them.

The bike has been over-landed. So it's been ridden fairly hard over mixed terrain. This is hard on the suspension and bearings etc. So condition and maintenance is everything.

Like Warthog very correctly states, expect to spend some more money on that bike.

I pretty much guarantee the head bearings will need doing (F650/800 weakness).

I would also want a full engine service too. The valves should have been checked at 30,000 miles. Have they ??

Apart from that, it seems like a very nice bike with a lot of accessories.
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Old 14 May 2020
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My wife had the F800. Personally I think the almost identical but slightly de tuned F650 a better bike.
Her stator burnt out at around 50K miles. She had it rewound but that only lasted about 3k miles, I then did some research.
The stators on these early models were not well designed for heat. Some last 50K miles others only 30K (usually in hot countries), I know of 2 that lasted longer in the UK but it’s a temperate climate. My wife’s went after riding through Death Valley on a 3 week trip round the States - the rewinds do not work

BMW changed the design at some stage, I can’t remember the year off hand - Ted probably knows. This is the only way to fix the problem long term and it’s an expensive part. Mind you you could possibly purchase a second hand unit, as long as it’s the newer design.

So, if it were me, I would check to see if this has been done (with a receipt) or factor the price of a new or second hand stator into the purchase price.

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Old 14 May 2020
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The Rotax twins seem to be quite reliable according to the local F650/F800 bike forums in Germany. I bought a 650 twin a year ago, but have only arrived at 20 kkms up to now. So I haven't any experience with higher mileages yet.


One of the bigger problems with these bikes seems to be a regulator/stator problem, which has been mentioned above already. Apparently the stock regulator causes overheating of the stator under certain circumstances, and often the stator only manages around 50 - 70.000 kms.



These guys recommend a regulator built by the German company "Silent Hektik". Unfortunately only in German


Maybe Ted can advise you regarding a better regulator than the standard BMW type.


Otherwise I'm perfectly happy with the 650 twin, but had to change the front springs for off-road purposes. The standart springs are way too soft
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  #6  
Old 14 May 2020
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There's a good review of the F650 twin here: https://adventure-motorcycling.com/b...ong-term-test/

I would certainly consider this bike if heading RTW.
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Old 14 May 2020
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The stators on the early models did occasionally burn out. But not as common as some would lead you to believe. I think I changed about five in my seven years with BMW. Horrendously expensive part from BMW though.

BMW didn't change the stator. They changed the flywheel to a vented design. 2013 I think although don't quote me on that.

I can't recommend a different stator as I only ever fitted BMW ones as I was in a BMW dealership. But there are loads out to chose from though. Usually around £150 for a quality unit.

I don't think the Reg/rect are inherently bad !! But if the stator goes tits up, then I'm sure it 'could' take a reg/rect with it. Don't ask me how. I'm not an electronics expert. I can't remember a reg/rect ever failing on these F800 models though.

I wouldn't let any of this stop you buying it. Just fit a new stator and reg/rect before a trip or have a spare one ready to fit.

The DRZ400 is one of the most popular and sought after Overland bikes. It's stator is a pile of crap too. You just get on with it.


If you're a little shorter in the leg and you prefer the torquey nature of the 650 over the 800, then there aren't many better touring bikes than the F650 Twin. I kept one for about six months. Its a very capable everyday bike and a great foundation for an Overland bike. They just aren't very exciting.
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Last edited by *Touring Ted*; 14 May 2020 at 17:09.
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  #8  
Old 15 May 2020
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I think all these points make for excellent negotiations.

You already have a list of jobs and potential costs that you can rightly say have been listed by a qualified BMW technician and, thus, you think the price too high. If you can knock another 500 off the asking price, that might sweeten the pill.

But I will say this: I bought my TDM about 3 weeks ago. My first bike buy since riding my Transalp 600 (which I'm keeping) over to Estonia in 2009 (IIRR). I plan to have weekend rides and hopefully some European touring with my girlfriend (please lift the border closures by August!!)

It was not particularly cheap for what it was, Estonia's market not being a large one, but there you go.

Since buying it I have had do a full service (oil & filter, cleaning and bleeding brakes, greasing linkages and axles, new spark plugs, new air filter, insulating the HT leads, new tyres, new rear wheel bearings, new rear disc and pads).
The head bearings need tightening, potentially replacing, the fork oil needs changing, the cam chain tensioner is being done under warranty and I'm opting for a valve clearances check preceded by a cam chain renewal (my choice).
Being a used Italian import, the bike itself is cosmetically very tidy with no rust and came with a full givi rack and that was a bonus.

But what's my point, I hear you cry....

My point is that sometimes it's worth waiting and paying that bit more for a bike with fewer unknowns.

Yes that bike in question has accessories and yes it's a good price, but there are a bucket load of unknowns. They might amount to nothing, they may amount to a 4-figure sum that doesn't start with a "1".

At this juncture, were I to be presented with my TDM and what I know now and another with fewer KM and/or a full service history and work done for an extra 1500, I'd probably go for the latter just for the sake of peace of mind.

You are not buying a weekend toy.

You are investing in something that will keep you alive (you don't want to breakdown midway through the Gobi) and keep you moving.

A RTW trip doesn't work if you are stranded.

I'm not trying to be a voice of gloom, but I am trying to potentially remove a source of concern and stress from the equation.
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  #9  
Old 22 May 2020
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I'm curious:

Did you get it?
Still undecided?
Went for something else?
Blew the budget on a new bathroom?
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  #10  
Old 23 May 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warthog View Post
Blew the budget on a new bathroom?
I didn’t realise this concept existed - time for a new campaign:
Bikes before bathrooms
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