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Old 12-02-2012, 08:33 AM   #841
sagedrifter
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My 2007 DR650 is the only bike I've had that's never let me down. My 07 FJR died a few times with major electrical issue requiring back orderd parts. My 05 KTM ADV had many issues too. Loose a water pump and not notice it quick enough and say bye to the engine. Had a Honda ST that died far from home and was too expensive to fix.

The DR650 is still the most reliable one so far and its had a hard life loaded down on rough roads. No water pumps, no fuel pumps, no fuel injection to fail, no oil burning, no frame failures. Transmission failures can happen on any bike, especially one that's ran hard as an ADV ride. Always choose a simple easy to work on bike for true ADV rides.

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Old 12-02-2012, 10:38 PM   #842
warewolf
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Originally Posted by PHILinFRANCE View Post
hell if it dont pop i'll end up with two DRs
Maybe box up the spare engine ready to ship in case yours lets go mid-trip. Then you just gotta get someone to ship it to you and someone local (yourself?) to install it. Job done for minimal time & cost... if it does happen at all.

Back when I bought my 640 Adventure I researched lots about reliability and found so many examples of even the supposedly "grandfather's axe" reliable bikes inexplicably grenading that I just bought the bike I liked best. Any individual bike can go bang, many have foibles that may or may not need prevention or cure, but statistically no brand or model built this millenium could be called "unreliable". You make you choice and take your chances, and enjoy it while it lasts!
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:08 AM   #843
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Now we're talking , cracking idea Warewolf , ilike it.

Cheers Phil
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:41 AM   #844
_cy_
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Hey Cy, have you actually read this thread? Start to finish?
When you do read it ... you'll find not much is really known about this problem: why it happens or what the fix is. There is a smattering of data ... but very little actually known.
Some estimate the % to be LESS THAN 1% of DR's worldwide. ~

If you think you have found a better travel bike, buy it. NONE are perfect. Some are far worse and more troublesome than the DR650.
have not read this entire thread (very few will take the time to read a 50+ page thread), but have dropped in from time to time. that and read a few ride reports of a tranny ending a trip, etc.

mainly it came up when I was doing my research on which RTW bike to purchase.

since I didn't want/trust electronics this eliminated all late model bikes like R800GS. which I'm convinced are among the worst for trip ending $$$ breakdowns.

winner was R80G/S based on simplicity, durability, weight, parts support, etc. so that's what I purchased. helped that I lucked on to an R80G/S with a frame off restoration. engine balanced to 1/10 gram, tranny redone, forks revalved, new rear shock, etc. etc. essentially like starting with a new bike.

seems DR650 are reliable as any. looks like I was fooled by this report.

_cy_ screwed with this post 12-03-2012 at 03:01 AM
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #845
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
winner was R80G/S based on simplicity, durability, weight, parts support, etc. so that's what I purchased. helped that I lucked on to an R80G/S with a frame off restoration. engine balanced to 1/10 gram, tranny redone, forks revalved, new rear shock, etc. etc. essentially like starting with a new bike.

seems DR650 are reliable as any. looks like I was fooled by this report.
From reports I've read ... I agree on the F800GS. Surprising since it's all new, modern technology, really BMW's flagship ADV bike.

Excellent choice on the R80GS. It's great your bike has had the full frame up resto and upgrades. Makes it a really good bike. But I still question the electrics as even with Diode board up grades, modern generators ... they still can act up. Really low output. Things like those Bosch Boat Anchor starter motors are more trouble .. and just have me scratching my head. WhY? After several BMW's ... I much prefer Japanese electrics.

The R80GS is one of only a few BMW's I've owned. I bought a nice used
1981 GS in 1985. Rode it cross country (USA). Pretty much left it stock, save bigger tank and better seat.

Wish I never sold it ... they are collectable now, worth WAY more than what I paid for mine. I then moved onto serious Japanese HP and went through my VFR and Ninja period Let the R80GS go.
(I'm lucky to have survived! ... 4 Ninjas, two VFR's!!)

I've since recovered ... the DR650 is about all I need most times. I've got my WR250F and 1050 Tiger if I need a change of pace or shot of big power.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:04 AM   #846
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
From reports I've read ... I agree on the F800GS. Surprising since it's all new, modern technology, really BMW's flagship ADV bike.

Excellent choice on the R80GS. It's great your bike has had the full frame up resto and upgrades. Makes it a really good bike. But I still question the electrics as even with Diode board up grades, modern generators ... they still can act up. Really low output. Things like those Bosch Boat Anchor starter motors are more trouble .. and just have me scratching my head. WhY? After several BMW's ... I much prefer Japanese electrics.
sad but if/when something major goes wrong with modern BMW GS bikes.. $$$$ not unusual to be wacked with a $3k-$6k bill. that would be trip ending for most folks traveling on a budget.

R800GS has no knock sensor, so if/when someone gets a bad load of fuel... if someone is not listening for knocks... engine could get destroyed in a hurry. try replacing a bad ABS board on a budget? ya right...

in all fairness, above is basically true for ALL modern bikes with fuel injection, ABS, etc. etc. one major down = $$$$

my R80 G/S has a new wiring harness along with Fairchild diode board, 400 watt upgrade and most importantly electronic ignition removed in favor of point/condenser. only weak point left is the possibility of rotor going out. Bosch starters are heavy but reliable, carrying a spare rotor, point/cond, volt reg, etc.

in short all possible weak points like frame reinforcements, etc. have been addressed on my G/S. only high tech item is Shorai LFX 36 LiFePO4 battery that's part of a long term test.

_cy_ screwed with this post 12-03-2012 at 11:12 AM
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:37 PM   #847
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Originally Posted by warewolf View Post
Maybe box up the spare engine ready to ship in case yours lets go mid-trip. Then you just gotta get someone to ship it to you and someone local (yourself?) to install it. Job done for minimal time & cost... if it does happen at all.

Back when I bought my 640 Adventure I researched lots about reliability and found so many examples of even the supposedly "grandfather's axe" reliable bikes inexplicably grenading that I just bought the bike I liked best. Any individual bike can go bang, many have foibles that may or may not need prevention or cure, but statistically no brand or model built this millenium could be called "unreliable". You make you choice and take your chances, and enjoy it while it lasts!
Ive been planning on this very good idea for quite a while. The problem is, I cant find a spare low mileage (or any mileage actually) DR650 engine. I have a friend who is willing to store it and ship it, and it does not scare me in the least to swap engines myself. Any advice on where to get a motor? Ive tried ebay, all of craigslist, and even google- havent found one yet.

Only got like 3-5 months before my trip- need a backup motor
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:38 PM   #848
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Originally Posted by PHILinFRANCE View Post
Now we're talking , cracking idea Warewolf , ilike it.

Cheers Phil

Too bad you dont have that nice case saver I toted across the atlantic eh Phil, lol bummer we couldnt hook up, Beynac and Dome were so close, damn cell phones. We even had a cold one for you.

Enjoy your trip mate, I wouldnt hesitate it on mine.



Cheers, Todd
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:02 PM   #849
NordieBoy OP
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Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
Ive been planning on this very good idea for quite a while. The problem is, I cant find a spare low mileage (or any mileage actually) DR650 engine. I have a friend who is willing to store it and ship it, and it does not scare me in the least to swap engines myself. Any advice on where to get a motor? Ive tried ebay, all of craigslist, and even google- havent found one yet.

Only got like 3-5 months before my trip- need a backup motor
I bought a cheap bike and sold the bits I didn't need.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #850
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
Ive been planning on this very good idea for quite a while. The problem is, I cant find a spare low mileage (or any mileage actually) DR650 engine. I have a friend who is willing to store it and ship it, and it does not scare me in the least to swap engines myself. Any advice on where to get a motor? Ive tried ebay, all of craigslist, and even google- havent found one yet.

Only got like 3-5 months before my trip- need a backup motor
You want a spare motor for an Alaska trip? It's not like AK is the Bolivian AltiPlano, Mongolia or the Salar de Uyuni.

If you're riding up from FLA, the whole lower 48 is well stocked with shops, rental truck places, internet and good cell service. Not much risk if something goes wrong ... don't let bodgers mess with your bike. Do your own work.

As for AK, from what I've heard it's more and more Motor Home friendly. Sure, it's a long ride but relatively easy. Take care the bike, it will make it.

Best way to get a decent DR650 motor? Find a crashed DR650 or one someone has lost interest in. Recently there were TWO here in the SF Bay Area Craig's list. Both were runners ... for around $1500. Use the motor, part out the rest cheap and get some of your money back.

Probably cheaper to rent a pick up truck, load up your bike, truck it home and fix it there? Freight service for a crated motor could be quite a bit? $$$$.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:41 PM   #851
Foot dragger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSF1200S View Post
Ive been planning on this very good idea for quite a while. The problem is, I cant find a spare low mileage (or any mileage actually) DR650 engine. I have a friend who is willing to store it and ship it, and it does not scare me in the least to swap engines myself. Any advice on where to get a motor? Ive tried ebay, all of craigslist, and even google- havent found one yet.

Only got like 3-5 months before my trip- need a backup motor
Buy a whole low miles DR,pull the engine,sell the parts left over on ebay,or keep some for spares,ignition bits,etc. Once you do this.......Nothing will EVER break on your DR. Murpy's law.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:50 PM   #852
Foot dragger
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Originally Posted by doug s. View Post
if i were planning a rtw and were concerned about reliability, no way i'd choose a bmw over a dr650...

ymmv,

doug s.
I had a 76 R75/6 once,went through it top to bottom. Then after seeing how it was put together I was a little (lot) worried about taking it anywhere very far. The antique electrical system,the spline worship required,the clunky Bing carbs that either leaked,or they didnt, and no amount of work on them could change their minds. I know there are myriad fixes on top of fixes for all their problems but ...........I just aint a beemer guy it turns out.

The DR? Its the one bike Ive got here that only requires gas and basic maintenance,and very little of either compared to many bikes. I just dont fool with it.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:24 PM   #853
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by Foot dragger View Post
I had a 76 R75/6 once,went through it top to bottom. Then after seeing how it was put together I was a little (lot) worried about taking it anywhere very far. The antique electrical system,the spline worship required,the clunky Bing carbs that either leaked,or they didnt, and no amount of work on them could change their minds. I know there are myriad fixes on top of fixes for all their problems but ...........I just aint a beemer guy it turns out.

The DR? Its the one bike Ive got here that only requires gas and basic maintenance,and very little of either compared to many bikes. I just dont fool with it.
I pretty much agree. I bought a really tricked out R100RS after my R80GS was sold. Bad move. Most unreliable motorcycle ever ... and major issues even BMW could not explain. (Egg shaped flywheel/ring gear that kept breaking starter motors) ... but owners were familiar with the problem.

I ride with several BMW Air Head experts. They love to fiddle with them. One guy was a dealer mechanic. Who knows? Maybe later I'll come back to the old Air Heads some day. But for serious riding, I'll take the DR thanks.
Old BMW's remind me in a way of pre WW-2 Farm equipment ... but less reliable. But they do have a certain charm
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:16 PM   #854
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Well, im not going to "take care" of the bike by avoiding the nastier offroad sections- its going to be ridden hard. That said, I plan to clean the air filter once every week (more if needed) and change the oil every 800-1000 miles. Thats probably overkill, but im trying to be safe. Im most concerned about completing the trip- yeah sure id rent a pickup and drive back home, but then my trip is over. An engine in a crate ready to go can be had in a few weeks or less, half a day to swap, and im back on the road. Ive done most of what I can do to lessen the strain on higher gears- pumper carb, lower gearing (14/43, prolly 15/43 for asphalt long stretches), weight off the bike, packing light (under 60 pounds, prolly about 40), and I wont run it under 3k in 4th or 5th (and im easy on it in third below 3k- 1st and 2nd gear ill lug a bit).

Yeah, its not likely. But still, 2 bikes out of 30 guys you rode with blew third? This thread? All the unreported blowups? Im going to be running hard out there? Seems smart to have a backup, especially since I cant prevent it. Im even considering tearing my engine down and replacing 3rd (possibly with the nova set) 4th and 5th as well as the shift forks, rings, and any bearings that may be needed. Keep in mind- im considering this with an engine that has around 7k miles on it.The bike does not whine in any gear, not that whining is necessary for a gear to blow as weve seen..

Ill be honest- if the DR650 makes the whole trip, I will be pleased, not really surprised, and it will have been the perfect bike. If it blows, ill definitely wish I had got a WR250R.

I absolutely love this bike and I mean that- I love the torque offroad, its light on the road, its solid at speed, it can move on asphalt, its a plow offroad, etc. But this 3rd gear is bullshit..
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:21 PM   #855
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
...... BMW Air Head experts...... They love to fiddle with them...... But they do have a certain charm
I love to fiddle with my DR: change oil and filter, lube chain, change oil and filter, lube chain, change oil and filter, lube chain.......................................
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