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Old 09-17-2007, 01:21 AM   #1
bradfromoakland OP
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BMW F650GS Dakar or suzuki v strom 650

trying to find the right bike for my trip to alaska. I know there will be a lot of slab but would like to be able do a little off road.. and future plains may take me to baja ca. any thoughts
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:15 AM   #2
PeterW
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I had the F650, not the Dakar - the Dakar was better off road.

I'd take a DL 650.

It'll handle good dirt roads with less rider effort than the BMW's and it has reasonable wind protection. For the road sections it's way ahead.
The wind on the F used to beat me to death, not a problem on the DL. 300km's was a long day on the F, 1000km and I'm still going on the DL.

The positives for the BMW shouldn't come into play on that trip
- better ground clearance - you can take road bikes on that trip.
- 21" front wheel, also a non event unless you have large objects to get over.

"A little off road" pretty much is what the DL is good at, it's not a real dirt bike, but if it looks like a road you could get one of the pretend 4WD's down it'll handle it easilly.


That said, either will probably do the trip, so if you really want the BMW go for it. If you weren't doing it for the fun of the ride you'd just fly there right ?.

Pete
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:14 AM   #3
BMR
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The regular GS650 is a great road bike....I think the larger front wheel on the Dakar model (21 vs 19) handicaps it a bit for sporty cornering on the road.

This topic has probably been hashed over a few dozen times. Try a search for past opinions too.
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Old 09-17-2007, 12:49 PM   #4
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just take a gander at mica peak and look to see which bike has had more trouble the BigMoneyWaster or the DumbLooking650.

Really it comes down to which bike will make you the happiest
Not some internet forum...

I ride the DL, and I wouldn't even think of the BMW.
I have three airhead's in the garage.
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
BMR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squish
just take a gander at mica peak and look to see which bike has had more trouble the BigMoneyWaster or the DumbLooking650.

Really it comes down to which bike will make you the happiest
Not some internet forum...

I ride the DL, and I wouldn't even think of the BMW.
I have three airhead's in the garage.

Hmmm..another "My bike is better than your bike" reply. How original.
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:51 PM   #6
bradfromoakland OP
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thanks for your help. it's hard to get a test ride on a DL around here. Bmw will have a test fleet.. but suzuki's not having it..... my old bike is a sportster so the new one witch ever will be better thanks...
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:02 PM   #7
earthroamer
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Test-ride both bikes and pick the one that you like the most. There is no wrong answer.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:47 PM   #8
Big_John
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthroamer
Test-ride both bikes and pick the one that you like the most. There is no wrong answer.

+1 !!!!

I did just that. I test rode both bikes. I really liked both bikes. But, for me....My riding is like this:

70% Pavement
15% Maintained, Dirt Forest Roads
5% Single Track or Pasture Roads

For me....the DL650 was the better choice and all it took was one run up Hwy 24 to Woodland Park, CO on the Wee and I was sold. Oh my God it loves the twisties!!!!!

It is also....not afraid of the dirt.

These two pics are from the recent, 3-day ride that the wife and I did (2-Up) with the Massive Givi 45 x 3. The Wee-Strom performed very impressively. Never a lack of power!!!!



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Old 09-25-2007, 08:29 PM   #9
DougRoost
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Hmmmm....you call that dirt?
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:19 AM   #10
Mz660
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I am horrible at taking care of a bike. I bought mine used last year with 2475 miles on her & I just changed the spark plugs and air filter @ 35,000 and she never missed a beat. I have ridden very rough gravel roads and even single tracked her. She may not be beautiful, but she seems to be trouble free. Also, even loaded she is great at passing trucks on the Mt. Passes. I have often considered the F650, but am glad i didn't buy one. Just look through some of the many threads like show us your v-strom and see how others are setting their bikes up.

All those miles and still using the stock seat. I use the Tourances and am getting over 14k on the rear 16 on the front.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:41 AM   #11
rokklym
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradfromoakland
trying to find the right bike for my trip to alaska. I know there will be a lot of slab but would like to be able do a little off road.. and future plains may take me to baja ca. any thoughts
Either bike would be great for Alaska, both have strengths and weeknesses so decide where you want your tradeoff to be. As far as taking it to Baja, both bikes would be a bit too much for serious Baja riding ( for most people ). Both great, dependable bikes. Buy what makes YOU happy and it will be the right bike for your trip.
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:48 AM   #12
FlyingFinn
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Forget the "or"...

I have struggled with the same question, V-Strom or Dakar or KLR...
and finally found the perfect solution. Replace the "or" with "and"



--
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:26 AM   #13
earthroamer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingFinn
I have struggled with the same question, V-Strom or Dakar or KLR...
and finally found the perfect solution. Replace the "or" with "and"



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Ahhh!! The correct answer.
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Old 09-26-2007, 03:44 PM   #14
ekms377
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My wife and I have a DL650 and a F650GS. I think both are very comparable with each having their own pros and cons. I think the DL will be better on slab and the BMW on dirt.....but either can do both. The Beemer will get better gas mileage being a single and the DL will be better riding 2-up. The BMW is lighter as well. I think you could be happy with either....just go with your gut feeling......BTW both of our bikes are 4 sale.....ha ha.
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