|04-15-2012, 10:14 AM||#1|
Joined: Feb 2004
Location: UK and around
F650GS SE impressions in Morocco
Hi all, thought you might like to know my thoughts on riding the new F650 GS SE from UK to Morocco and back (to update my guidebook). I asked for this bike in particular (not the Sertao offered, or the 800) as I believe it's a better all-round RTW overlander than the 800: lower, tubeless, lighter, 19" front, less revvy.
SE is a new '800-like' paint job AFAICT, plus a long list of options: main stand, ABS, computer, heated grips.
The bike lent to me had all of that + BM bash plate, engine crash bars, hand guards + metal mule rack, tall screen and rad guard. And best of all - Heidenau K60 tyres.
The 650 didn't miss a beat in 4000 miles from new - the worst I can say was some surging when the thing got hot going slow in sand or on rocks with a back wind. Once the track eased up that went away. Don't know if that's normal.
The other problem was the high, road-oriented gearing. I expected this and dropped the front cog by one tooth to 16 but it was nowhere near enough to make a difference. On the piste I never got beyond second for hours, but the clutch managed fine. Never adjusted it.
Oh, and the seat which became by far the worst thing on that bike! I had to buy some foam to get me home from Morocco. After that, an 800-km day was easy. I'm tall enough but still liked the low seat height for off road paddling and just plain getting on.
Average mpg was 56.8US, about 5% worse than an XT660Z Tenere I used for a similar trip 3 years ago, but of course I had a much smoother engine this time. I met up with a mate on a bored out TT250R out there and one day I was even 10% better than him on fuel. All with lower gearing and baggage as wide as a cart: how do they do it?
Once they wore in those K60s were brilliant on everything from wet roads to dry tracks, even thick bull dust. And at the rate they wear (a third down on my trip) I won't be buying TKCs again.
All things considered the bike was easy to handle on the non-technical, mostly dry dirt you get in Mk. 19 inch front no problem that I could tell and the bash plate hardly got a beating. Suspension is firm as you all know - that helped. Only mountain dirt hairpins were difficult - again maybe the tall gearing exacerbated that.
More detail on the bike and some of the gear I used on my www.
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