2007 640A trip rating
Just returned Saturday evening from a trip up North up the Dalton to Prudhoe and then up the Dempster to Inuvik. I put around 10,000 km on her in 14 days with a couple of 1000km days in the saddle. I did the trip on a 1150GS and last year on my KLR so it was interesting to see how the 640A was going to do. I'm pretty happy with her.
I packed light. I used Aerostitch tank panniers as saddle bags in which I carried my tools and spares(18lbs). On the luggage rack I had a SealLine 30l dry bag carrying about 10lbs of camping gear (light weight backpacking gear including my TarpTent..1.5lbs; +5 C Western Mountaineering sleeping bag.. 500gm; a light Therma-rest and other stuff like a shaving kit and spare clothing). I used the small Wolfman Enduro bag on the tank and a small daypack on my back for a waterbladder and snacks. The bike handled very well with the light load. My buddy who came with me had his klr so loaded down that it looked like a donkey cart from behind and in some sections he struggled due to the load.
The brakes on the bike are fantastic as they should be with the dual discs up front. I'll keep them and not drop one of them as a lot of guys do. I will still do a lot of riding on the street commuting with the bike so the brakes are needed. Are they too much for the dirt? I'll adjust. Same with the low fender. I like the looks of the fender being a Dakar nut. I did raise the fender up a couple of inches with aluminium brackets (thanks Jon) which I believe should eliminate any problems with mud building up, at least where I will be riding.
The power of the bike was adequate. It did pull away from my buddies donkey cart in a top gear roll on but not like I was expecting considering the load that he was carrying. I have not done any jetting changes or changes to the airbox or exhaust which have been recommended on this site. I'm looking forward to see the difference. The whole trip I averaged 51mpg (imperial) or 5.5lt/100km or 18kms/lt. I ran out of fuel twice and on both occasions I got 60km per reserve before quitting.
Had to run regular fuel up north which was 87octane. I disconnected the ignition curve but the bike ran so poorly that I connected it again and ran it like normal. Not sure if there was any pinging or detonation due to wind noise. This would be a major concern that I would have running this high compression bike in a third world country with bad fuel. I was expecting a little power lose but not that big of a performance drop. It was like I was going to drop the engine.
Now for comfort..... . Sorry guys but I found the 640A very comfortable. Like I said I did a couple of 1000km days and I still have all of my fillings (and I got a lot). The vibration was there but not bothersome. If you clamp your legs tight against the seat and tank you get a weird sound in your ears but nothing that is remarkable. Its like riding a big dirtbike. Guys say that it smoothens out after some jetting changes which would be even better but as it stands its not a issue. I'm amazed that the vibration subject is such issue on this website. The seat is just fine also. I wore bike shorts under my riding pants and ya I had to move around and maybe stand up once in a while but what bikes dont you have to on long days.
Suspension has not been set up yet although before leaving I put in a set of 4.8 fork springs in. I'm going to spend some time setting the suspension up now. I was a little rushed getting ready for the trip so I didnt have much time to play with it. While the KLRs and GS's where have difficulty in the deep sand and gravel on the Dempster the 640A just sailed through it. Went where you pointed it.
Chain and sprockets are worn out. The Metzler Sahara on the back is finished and it did very well for the terrain that I was in. I'll probably get another one. I liked the wind protection..no buffeting. I lock tighted everything before I left and checked everything often. No big issues with reliability or anything falling off.
Bottom line.... I like the bike. My KLR can do any trip just as well but compared to last year, this trip was just a lot more fun.