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Old 06-12-2010, 08:40 PM   #16
raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucko
Much as you may want to believe that, it ain't what the sticky says Parallel twins is bofus.
I don't know what that means...
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Old 06-12-2010, 09:07 PM   #17
itsatdm
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Since no one asked, I guess I will. How much prep did you do to this bike?, what type of roads are we talking here? and what is your experience?

Wether your load meets the weight capacity or not, 60kg, plus what sounds like an extra 5 gal of gas is a lot of weight down any kind of rough road.

Personally I think the F650 could be a good base for an adventure touring bike, but improved suspension might have helped with some of your other issues.

I saw your plea for help on the fuel pump issue and it brings up a question that at least worries me.

As these bikes get smarter than me, with electronics that control everything (on a BMW) just what can be done to ensure you getting out of far a way places? or is this just something I need not worry about?

BTW Daig, good find on the fuel pump. In the USA, it would have been what year, make and model. No you will have to go BMW.
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Old 06-12-2010, 10:26 PM   #18
raider
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm
I saw your plea for help on the fuel pump issue and it brings up a question that at least worries me.

As these bikes get smarter than me, with electronics that control everything (on a BMW) just what can be done to ensure you getting out of far a way places? or is this just something I need not worry about?
We see this a lot on here; the truth is that, by and large, tech improvements have improved, not reduced, reliability. Sure, you can rebuild a carb by yourself if you have the skill, but truth be told, on an RTW trip you'd probably have to. I know my "rugged and reliable" DR650 needed two new fuel petcocks in its time (the DR650 uses an engine vacuum-driven petcock), whereas none of my fuel-injected bikes (or cars) have ever had a fuel-related failure.

Fuel injectors, appropriately-designed, are far less user-serviceable but essentially maintenance-free. Of course, they do need to be designed to cope with poor fuel quality - so they need appropriate filtration, control software that can adapt to imperfect injection, and so on.

My grandfather had a Scott from the 1920s that had a little hatch in the crankcase so you could replace the big-end bearings by the roadside. The lack of this feature on my 800 does not mean my big-end bearings are inherently less reliable than the Scott's; indeed, it suggests the opposite!

Like any bike, you need to be comfortable with the maintenance actions you will need to perform on a big trip. On the new-gen F-bikes, that means you need a knowledge of how the computers work, what the error codes mean, and a GS-911 tool. On (say) an XR650, it means a knowledge of jetting, needle valves and checking the float height. The F-bikes also tend to be more "plug and play" than "repair on site" with their componentry, so your spares bucket is more likely to contain a DHL shipping account and a few bucks to drop at an internet cafe than it is to contain piston rings and spare points.

Not impossible stuff, just different. Any big bike trip is about preparation. And dajg might not have loved his unintended delay in Khartoum, but I'm sure one day his grandkids will be bloody sick of hearing about the time gramps got stuck in Sudan and had every mechanic between Khartoum and Munich offering him suggestions on fixing a fuel pump!
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Old 06-12-2010, 11:25 PM   #19
itsatdm
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Fuel injectors, appropriately-designed, are far less user-serviceable but essentially maintenance-free. Of course, they do need to be designed to cope with poor fuel quality - so they need appropriate filtration, control software that can adapt to imperfect injection, and so on.

Like any bike, you need to be comfortable with the maintenance actions you will need to perform on a big trip. On the new-gen F-bikes, that means you need a knowledge of how the computers work, what the error codes mean, and a GS-911 tool. On (say) an XR650, it means a knowledge of jetting, needle valves and checking the float height. The F-bikes also tend to be more "plug and play" than "repair on site" with their componentry, so your spares bucket is more likely to contain a DHL shipping account and a few bucks to drop at an internet cafe than it is to contain piston rings and spare points.


I kind of knew the answer, I just like to read Joel Wiseman's responses. I agree with what you are saying, but being an old phart born waaay before the computer age it is pretty much greek to me.

BMW clearly wants your repair business. The repair manuel is not much help except to replace parts and I would have to buy a laptop to use on the road anyway.

I guess you can't stop progress.
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Old 06-13-2010, 07:31 AM   #20
WoodWorks
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Great post, Raider. I'm going to save it for the next time someone asks me why I chose to buy one of those "black box" motorcycles.

David
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Old 06-13-2010, 08:31 AM   #21
dajg OP
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mods:

hepco and becker crash bars - i rate these very high, very happy with the impacts they took and the damage they obviously prevented

hepco and becker pannier racks - went down at over 90kmh in gravel and bent the shit out of the right side rack. unfortunately (or maybe fortunately - laptop was in this box...) this pannier did not come off like the left one, and nearly got punched through the gas tank.

hepco and becker panniers - seem to hold better in a crash than the touratech ones - the bottoms don't fall out but carry spare lock cylinders - i have replaced 4 and am out of spares - need 2 more to replace the two i broke last week.

hepco and becker bash plate - to be honest i can't figure what failed first - did two of the 4 countersunk bolts pull through first, or did the rubber mounts shear first...? all four rubber mounts were destroyed (stock bmw and would have been used with bmw or touratech plate) and the stock steel bracket adjacent the oil filter was badly bent.

radguard radiator guard. this is australian, and expensive, and i have no idea how effective or necessary it has been, but it weighs very little and made me feel better after fitting it.

1st headlight guard was bmw plastic stuck on with 3m tape. didn't stop the handlebars of a 125 honda i hit at about 120kmh.

2nd headlight guard different model bmw plastic with 4 screws & sits 20mm in front of the light. when i flipped the bike, the windscreen pushed down on the light and shattered the glass. even the steel touratech headlight guard wouldn't have stopped this.

barkbuster handlebar guards. these are australian, and are continuous alloy with plastic plate. they are sensational - have saved the levers and hands many times.

hepco and becker rear rack, just for tying stuff down. i had spare tyres hanging off this and it kept the exhaust away from the sidewalls so freed space on the rear.

tkc 80's. the rear is shot after less than 5000km due to rock.

the rear shock is stock. didn't see the point in changing it before it broke. if and when it fails i'll spend the 875 euro on the ohlins plus shipping and tax...

pump is from a hyundai accent.

chain is did 525 xring or something - not the gold one. the stock cz did 40,000km then i got sick of carrying spare chain and sprockets so i fitted the d.i.d.

i use chain lube in a can, maybe the scott oiler would have been worthwhile.

i carry a spare front indicator. no point - the crash bars and handlebars keep this well away from the ground. other spares incl. chain breaker, also no real need with the d.i.d, headlight bulb, i had clutch and brake levers but sent them home, i carry throttle and clutch cable - no idea how long these should last.

the most useful bits of kit - tie down straps and metal epoxy.

my bike experience - few weeks on an xr250 in cambodia & laos. few weeks on scooters in thailand, vietnam etc. i had the f650 a year before i left aust and took it on logging trails and gravel / dirt roads but in aust these are pretty high standard - maintained for bush fire access and breaks etc. i had 15,000km on the bike when i left. now have 56,000km.

i did the same roads in laos and cambodia with the f650 as i did the years before on xr250. also gravel & poor roads in india, pakistan. ice & snow in turkey & east europe no problems. all carrying my kit.

the roads i did most damage to the bike were sand (too many trees for me to feel comfortable opening the throttle...) and rock - like fist size gravel on flat and stonkers on the hills. this is why i say the clearance isn't adequate for the trip. there isn't the choice of roads where you can say 'no that roads no good i need an alternate so i don't trash the bike'.

i don't have a gs911. chris from jungle junction nairobi (all overlanders in africa will know him - bmw mechanic from way back) reckons its not worth carrying unless you use it all the time and really know how it works. 4 of 5 overlanders i have met in the last 8 months have laptops so i think the computer thing isn't an issue.

i SHOULD have fitted bar risers - i am 6'2" and when i have to stand i'm not in the right position. i reckon wider footpegs aren't really needed.

i really like the bike, and will hopefully still have it when i go home. i post this shit so people put a bit more thought into prep and bike choice. personally even with the higher clearance i think the f800 would not have been much better... there were 6 f800's from south africa which made it to nairobi... all needed new rear shocks... i didn't see them so i can't say how much weight they carried. i just don't see the 650 making it up the west coast (cape town to london) which is my plan... this means shipping it home and kitting out another bike in south africa - hence my comment about bike choice. yes - i admit - i fucked up.

thanks for all the comments.
dave
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Old 06-13-2010, 10:33 AM   #22
itsatdm
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The question wasn't intended as a way to bash you. It just seemed like a lot a weight for rough dirt roads, particularily if most is concentrated on the rear end of a bike. Sand is especially troublesome for me, but my 800 with upgraded suspension handles it pretty well.

A crash will damage any bike, the only difference I see is the price of the repair.

The mounting of the skid plate on the BMW is designed to shear on very hard impacts to prevent further damage to the engine. I would not harden them up. I have 2 additional mounting points on mine, to the crash bars.

I thought the gs 911 was basically a code reader. I did not see the value of it, unless it would help narrow the search for the ailing part. Does is also interpret the codes?, Somebody educate me.

Bought my bike with the intent of doing more distant offroad trips in the west. I can go 5 miles east of my house and be out of cell service. Probably worry more than necessary and it really doesn't matter if I know what I broke or not, if I can't notify some one what part I need. Yes I have a Spot.

itsatdm screwed with this post 06-13-2010 at 10:43 AM
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:20 PM   #23
peekay
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Great report dajg, especially for those preparing to ride Africa or doing an RTW.

As for the "not suitable" part, on balance it might be useful to note again that people like Nick Sanders did a RTW on a Yamaha R1.

Sjaak Lucassen also rode an R1 RTW, then did it again on a Fireblade, crossing Africa, Nepal, Australia, Mongolia, etc:




Near zero ground clearance, road-race geometry, sport suspension, street rims...

Just to show that virtually any bike could make the trip.
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Old 06-13-2010, 01:45 PM   #24
upweekis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucko
Much as you may want to believe that, it ain't what the sticky says Parallel twins is bofus.
Again in English, Please.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:01 PM   #25
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from what i'm reading the major f up was not preping the suspension for this trip. The f650 stock suspension is truely worthless for anything beyond a 150 lb rider on blacktop! no gear just bike and rider. I weigh 210 lbs and could scrape my toes without even having any farkles on the bike very easily, something like this should be a hint especially with a wide chicken strip left! Also in my opinion anyone not buying a shock without adj high speed compression is not doing what they need for offroad with this bike or the f 800. wilbers set a shock up for me (which i'm very happy with) but at that i had to add 6 or 8 clicks of high spd comp to to get it to stop bottoming on just pot holes! We do have a lot of big potholes in pa!
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