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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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  • 1 Post By markharf
  • 1 Post By Threewheelbonnie
  • 1 Post By Amused117
  • 1 Post By spicystew
  • 3 Post By mark manley
  • 1 Post By chasbmw
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  #1  
Old 17 Jan 2020
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BMW F650 Central Asia?

Hi everyone,

So I am starting with a fairly small budget trying to keep it under 2500 euro at a maximum, there is a fairly cheap F650 hanging around for 1550 euro which would also give me some spare money to mod it out a little before my trip, however I would like some input before purchasing.

Its a 1999 model with around 40k clocked, seems to be good condition with recent service. I am new to adventure bikes and my overall motorcycle knowledge when it comes to the mechanical side is lacking, will this bike give me any trouble due to lack of parts accessible particularly in central Asia? Are general repairs more tricky on this then the average adventure bike?

I will be doing more research on this model on top of any info anyone can supply here, so far it looks like its only meant for light off road and mostly for paved roads and would need to mod it out to get it on anything harder.

I am keeping an eye out for other bikes which seem in my budget that my pop up such as the DR650, XT600, KLE500 etc but if nothing does show up in the next week or two im going to have to make a decision as I want to prep for my April start.

So to sum up, is this a good adventure motorcycle for someone who is new to DIY roadside repairs for basic stuff, are there accessible parts in Central Asia and is it good for light off roading?

Thanks for any info you can give.

edit:

From what I can see by doing a bit more research is that some people say its a piece of shit and others say its a very reliable bike, hard to pin down what is bias or not. Also not sure how accessible BMW parts are outside of Europe/ USA so would still like some info on that.

Last edited by spicystew; 17 Jan 2020 at 17:01.
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  #2  
Old 17 Jan 2020
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A 20 year old bike is going to have some issues no matter what's been done to it during its previous lifetime(s). First thing you want to consider is having it checked out by an independent mechanic so you'll have a head start on knowing what those issues are likely to involve. Then prepare yourself for all the other stuff--mostly minor, in most cases--that will go wrong.

Second issue based on my personal experience--it's a short bike, and for me almost intolerably uncomfortable for that reason alone. Think about how this might affect you, or not.

Last, ALL bikes need some modifications before taking off on a long trip where you don't speak the language and where parts might be hard to find and consequences for failure more severe. It's nice when you find a bike which has had most of the necessary mods done (and paid for) by previous owners.

Hope that's helpful. I've got no informed opinions on your specific questions.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 18 Jan 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
A 20 year old bike is going to have some issues no matter what's been done to it during its previous lifetime(s). First thing you want to consider is having it checked out by an independent mechanic so you'll have a head start on knowing what those issues are likely to involve. Then prepare yourself for all the other stuff--mostly minor, in most cases--that will go wrong.

Second issue based on my personal experience--it's a short bike, and for me almost intolerably uncomfortable for that reason alone. Think about how this might affect you, or not.

Last, ALL bikes need some modifications before taking off on a long trip where you don't speak the language and where parts might be hard to find and consequences for failure more severe. It's nice when you find a bike which has had most of the necessary mods done (and paid for) by previous owners.

Hope that's helpful. I've got no informed opinions on your specific questions.

Mark
All good points, I was going to get a mechanic to check it out before hand but I will still hold off for a bit longer for something better to show.

Thanks for your reply
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  #4  
Old 18 Jan 2020
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F650 weak points are

Voltage Regulator, they burn. Check the charging voltage.

Waterpump shaft supported on a lipseal and no drain so when they go the coolant and oil mix until the head gasket goes. Check the history, check the oil for going brown, look to see if the drain is there/clear, buy a seal kit.

Fan switches. Mounted upside down so they stick. Run the motor until it kicks in (or boils).

The forks are weak and have been known to snap. Any sign of damage, run away don't walk.

The chain is the right size for a CB250N, if it's knackered don't worry you'll be buying more.

This is a 20 year old bike made by Aprillia and sold only as a way to get you hooked on "free" coffee and buying from suited lizards every 18 months. I had two and wouldn't touch one now.

There are better bikes out there for your money. Wait until something Japanese and air-cooled comes along or go newer and smaller.

Andy
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  #5  
Old 18 Jan 2020
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I’ve lived and worked in Asia and generally they have a host of Japanese made machines piling around the streets, mostly hondas, so for parts ‘onthego’ I would suggest one of those if there’s no budget for a new machine. Transalp type? The problem is anything that old will have issues and you’ll not be able to foresee what they may be. Good luck....
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  #6  
Old 18 Jan 2020
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I have decided its probably best not to go with the BMW, while I am still holding out on something newer I have seen a Yamaha XTZ750 Super Tenere, 1995 with 38000km and has been fully overhauled, it looks brand new. Besides the age it honestly looks exactly like what I would want, plenty of power, would be great for getting off road a bit and already has a few mods done to it. It is on the higher end of my budget being almost 3000 euro but it might be a good option.
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  #7  
Old 18 Jan 2020
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I have also seen a nice looking Transalp for around the same price, 2002 with 22000km. Hmmm getting harder to choose between the few available or waiting for something else, but at least its good to have some more options.
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  #8  
Old 18 Jan 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicystew View Post
I have seen a Yamaha XTZ750 Super Tenere, 1995 with 38000km and has been fully overhauled, it looks brand new. Besides the age it honestly looks exactly like what I would want, plenty of power, would be great for getting off road a bit and already has a few mods done to it. It is on the higher end of my budget being almost 3000 euro but it might be a good option.
I don't know of any major flaws with this bike but have only ever met one person travelling on one and that was 25 years ago, apart from it's age it was an unusual bike when new and even more so now. You will not be needing anything that big and I would suggest looking for something in the 250-500cc range, Japanese, sold in larger numbers and less than 20 years old.
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  #9  
Old 23 Jan 2020
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Smaller and lighter the better, remember there won’t be many times that road conditions/ traffic will allow you to ride much more than 60 MPH.


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  #10  
Old 24 Jan 2020
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I agree with the two last posters here. Smaller and lighter is definetively the best way to go. It will so much easier when the roads get bad and the going gets tough. It will be cheaper to buy, less fuel consumption and it will allow you more money for the initial travel.
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  #11  
Old 24 Jan 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spicystew View Post
Hi everyone,

So I am starting with a fairly small budget trying to keep it under 2500 euro at a maximum, there is a fairly cheap F650 hanging around for 1550 euro which would also give me some spare money to mod it out a little before my trip, however I would like some input before purchasing.

Its a 1999 model with around 40k clocked, seems to be good condition with recent service. I am new to adventure bikes and my overall motorcycle knowledge when it comes to the mechanical side is lacking, will this bike give me any trouble due to lack of parts accessible particularly in central Asia? Are general repairs more tricky on this then the average adventure bike?

I will be doing more research on this model on top of any info anyone can supply here, so far it looks like its only meant for light off road and mostly for paved roads and would need to mod it out to get it on anything harder.

I am keeping an eye out for other bikes which seem in my budget that my pop up such as the DR650, XT600, KLE500 etc but if nothing does show up in the next week or two im going to have to make a decision as I want to prep for my April start.

So to sum up, is this a good adventure motorcycle for someone who is new to DIY roadside repairs for basic stuff, are there accessible parts in Central Asia and is it good for light off roading?

Thanks for any info you can give.

edit:

From what I can see by doing a bit more research is that some people say its a piece of shit and others say its a very reliable bike, hard to pin down what is bias or not. Also not sure how accessible BMW parts are outside of Europe/ USA so would still like some info on that.
As any bike it has its good and bad sides. I would check/replace water pump seals before trip it's known weak spot. Also if bike set/hasn't been used it's good idea to run it for a while to see if any issues surface.. something like commuting and a few longer trips. Have valve clearance checked/adjusted.

The other thing there are spots with 400-500km between gas and F650 while thrifty doesn't have range you would need a RotopaX or fuel bladder for those places good luck.
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  #12  
Old 19 Feb 2020
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Just curious what bike did you go for? There’s a chap on Facebook travelling with a Yamaha 660 Tenere and I think it’s the 3rd time his engines been taken out.
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  #13  
Old 19 Feb 2020
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Originally Posted by spicystew View Post
I have also seen a nice looking Transalp for around the same price, 2002 with 22000km. Hmmm getting harder to choose between the few available or waiting for something else, but at least its good to have some more options.
That seems to be the one that ticks the boxes
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