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Old 06-03-2004, 06:55 PM   #1
Jman OP
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DR650 or F650GS

All knowing thumper Gods please help me. (Actually a friend of mine.)

A buddy is looking for a dual purpose machine and is torn between the DR650 and the F650GS. His son is getting his motorcycle license this month and would be the primary rider of this machine for a while. Running about 80% street 20% dirt. The son has a fair amount of dirt experience on older mx style bikes.

Once the son is finished with the machine (in a couple of years) Dad wants it back and would be in more of a 50 / 50, dirt / street riding scenario. Dad is an extremely experienced rider with extensive on and off road miles. Currently he has several older pure off-road bikes, an R90S and a R1200C. None of which would be replaced by this new bike.

He is basically retired and travels around in his motorhome with the bikes in tow and rides when he sees the interesting roads. Superslab is not a major concern for this new bike.

So? What would you choose? The DR650 is cheaper but has no resale capability. The BMW may not be as dirt worthy as the DR650. What would you / have you done.

Thanks.

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Old 06-03-2004, 07:28 PM   #2
clintnz
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I'm no thumper god, but I've had a go on both of those machines recently, as mates were riding them during our last few trips.
For 50/50 street/dirt, & for a learner used to dirt bikes, get the DR. The GS is a great, comfortable little tourer/commuter that handles gravel roads nicely, but the DR is much lighter & easier to stand up on, has more suspension for the rough stuff & has similar power. The DR is also way more crashworthy and heaps cheaper to fix in the event of any learner tumbles. The extra seat height may be a downside, but lowering a DR is easy.

Cheers
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Old 06-03-2004, 07:59 PM   #3
Jman OP
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Thanks for the input. What about overall longevity? Will the BMW be around for years longer than the DR or vise versa?

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Old 06-04-2004, 06:45 AM   #4
Ostrich
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Is he considering the Dakar or the standard? Judging by the stable he already has I would push him to the DR650 or maybe even a Honda XR650R with a baja kit. The F650 is a great bike, but it is not the most dirt oriented. If he wants to explore mountain roads where the terrain is absolute shit, the corners are really tight, and there is some dirt mixed in then the F650 is the bomb. If he wants to do single track then I would go for the DR650 or other dualie.

not sure if that is helpful.

Have you seen this comparision?

This review of the F650 pretty spot on if you ask me.

Here is the shootout

I would recommend that he at least test ride the F650GS both standard and Dakar. The bike is too much fun not to at least take it for a 60 miles ride.
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Old 06-04-2004, 07:51 AM   #5
FatChance
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We have both a '00 DR650 and a '05 F650GS. I agree with the above comments. The DR is better if you do more dirt. It will do some touring (has to have a better saddle), but that is certainly not its forte. It is fun in the canyons around here, but I run Dunlop 606 tires, so it is more comfortable in dirt that leaning into curves. It is as reliable as a hammer and a lot of fun. Don't buy new, get a good deal on a recent used model. The F650 is better if you do more paved road riding. It is fun and capable of touring or playing in the twisties. The Dakar is different, but I would probably limit the F650GS to dirt roads I could take in a 2 wheel drive pickup. As with most dual-sports, your tire choice will dictate which side of the compromise you can be comfortable with.
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:20 AM   #6
dr650bc
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I'm partial to the DR as it was so reliable and fun over 25,000 km's over 4 yrs. I disagree about the poor resale. My dealer gave me over $4000 for my 97 when I bought my V-Strom in August 2000. And I would buy new as the list price is less than the DRZ400SE and WAY less than the finicky BMW.In fsct during the winter season, I have seen new DR650's in Vancouver for as low as $5900.

the bike is quite capable on the highway. with a small windshield & some kind of seat improvement, long trips are possible. many trips to the Okanagan from vancouver & one trip to colorado proved that to me.

happy shopping
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Old 06-04-2004, 09:09 AM   #7
rockt
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I'm biased since I own the DR, ( I also have a beemer, so I maintain some objectivity), but the DR is such a great bike for not a lot of money, I think it's the better choice for this guy's needs. His son is going to pound it, (that's what kids do), and the DR is up for that, while the F650 will be really expenisive to fix the lad's indescretions. The DR is lighter and much simpler - air-cooled, (no coolant to mess with, no rad to break off and leave you stranded); carbureted, (easy to jet, repair); and has screw-type valve adjustment, (teach the kid some easy maintenance). Plus, the motor is really bullet-proof, (base gaskets have been known to leak, but '04s have rectified this), powerful, (especially with minor re-jetting) and is surprisingly smooth for a single.

I put on a Corbin seat, IMS tank and a small windshield and it's amazing what a good little adventure tourer my DR has become. It's almost replced the need for another bike. Unless you're buddy is looking to do a lot of longer distance highway riding, the DR will be a better choice.

Good luck,

Richard.
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Old 06-05-2004, 06:13 AM   #8
Flash412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUglyK
Thanks for the input. What about overall longevity? Will the BMW be around for years longer than the DR or vise versa?
Once the Fool Infected BMW is out of warranty, you are SCREWED. Nobody but a BMW dealer can work on fool infected BMWs because BMW does not release the information to read (& write) to the brain box. If you enjoy paying $75/hr and up labor rates, get the BMW. When planning to work on it yourself or take it to a local fixit-guy, get the Suzuki.
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Old 06-05-2004, 06:18 AM   #9
Ostrich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash412
Once the Fool Infected BMW is out of warranty, you are SCREWED. Nobody but a BMW dealer can work on fool infected BMWs because BMW does not release the information to read (& write) to the brain box. If you enjoy paying $75/hr and up labor rates, get the BMW. When planning to work on it yourself or take it to a local fixit-guy, get the Suzuki.
What Fuel Infected stuff do you need to do yourself? If you get a bimmer you just make sure you live in an area where there is a shop that will be easy going on you if you work on your own bike.
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If you use Geico watch out. The buyout for my car was way below any objective figure (KBB, NADA, etc.). Also, I could not get in touch with anyone on the first try during a claim resolution.

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Don't be an impulse buyer... afterall you have time..
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Old 06-05-2004, 06:23 AM   #10
Flash412
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ostrich
What Fuel Infected stuff do you need to do yourself? If you get a bimmer you just make sure you live in an area where there is a shop that will be easy going on you if you work on your own bike.
The question concerned long-term ownership. In ten years, do you think that all the wiring and connectors and sensors and injectors will still be fine? When the bike starts running poorly (or does not start at all), the "troubleshooting" procedure will consist of... take it to the dealer.

However a CARUBERETED F650 is a perfect bike to keep for the next 30 years. But he asked to compare the F650GS, not the Funduro.
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Old 06-05-2004, 09:12 AM   #11
Ostrich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flash412
The question concerned long-term ownership. In ten years, do you think that all the wiring and connectors and sensors and injectors will still be fine? When the bike starts running poorly (or does not start at all), the "troubleshooting" procedure will consist of... take it to the dealer.

However a CARUBERETED F650 is a perfect bike to keep for the next 30 years. But he asked to compare the F650GS, not the Funduro.

How are the wiring connectors doing on your car? How are they doing on the other fuel injected bikes that BMW turned out? They seem to be holding up fine after 10 years. Personally, I am not really concerned about it. If you are then don't buy one.
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If you use Geico watch out. The buyout for my car was way below any objective figure (KBB, NADA, etc.). Also, I could not get in touch with anyone on the first try during a claim resolution.

Just because it's a zoo out there doesn't mean you have to view it from a cage!

Don't be an impulse buyer... afterall you have time..
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Old 06-06-2004, 06:31 PM   #12
wildebube
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Interestingly enough, I've been looking at these same two bikes, but from a different perspective. I'm looking for basically a street bike with some limited amount of off-road capability. Really more dirt road than off road.


For background, let me say that I started out on a Bultaco Pursang 125, then went to a Maico 360, then through a number of what we called dual-purpose or enduros even though they were really street bikes with higher pipes and trials tires. After those I went through a few lightweight Japenese street bikes then 20 some years ago I bought a BMW and have been on BMWs ever since. My current bike is an R1100RS and the one before that was an R100GS/PD. Now I'm looking to downsize and simplify. I won't try to psycho-analyze myself, but over the years as the bikes have gotten bigger, faster, more powerful, and more expensive, they've been better suited to what I was doing, but they seem to have become less and less fun.

Now I've moved out into the country and live several miles from the nearest paved road. I want something smaller, lighter, easier and cheaper to maintain (a BIG complaint about BMW). I want something suitable for commuting 90 miles a day (45 each way), but still fun for exploring the backroads around here - a good percentage of which aren't paved. My first thought was a BMW F650GS, but with the surging and stalling issues, the radiator and water pump issues, the outrageous cost of dealer maintenance (which is absolutely necessary since the only user involvement BMW condones involves nothing but a credit card), and the fact that the nearest dealer is something like 80 miles away, I started looking at alternatives. I'm not sure I even want a bike that requires a special, dealer-only tool just to bleed the brakes. After looking at the three Japanese options, the Suzuki DR650 looks like the best choice for what I want to do with it. It's the cheapest of the three, the most street oriented, has the lowest seat height, and luckily enough, has the closest dealer at only about 30 miles.

So my questions about the DR are more street related than real dirt capabilities. Would a DR650 make a good street/dirt road bike with street being probably 95%? Would 45 miles of highway twice a day vibrate my fillings out and turn my kidneys to mush? Can I reasonably expect to put 50K miles on a DR without totally wearing it out? Is it as easily user-serviced as it appears to be?

Thanks for the input,
Lee
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Old 06-06-2004, 07:06 PM   #13
BMR
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If the usage will truly be 80 road and 20 dirt, plus a 50/50 mix when dad takes over, the DR 650 is a better choice.

I had a GS 650 for 50,000 Kilo's and it's a wonderful machine, but a 90/10 bike at best.....in my opinion.

Ignore Flash, his negative diatribes towards the newer model F650 on www.f650.com were the same as the ones on here. Seems he couldn't get over the upgrade from his carb version to the newer injected version.....

BMR screwed with this post 06-06-2004 at 07:50 PM
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Old 06-06-2004, 07:06 PM   #14
pathfinder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUglyK
All knowing thumper Gods please help me. (Actually a friend of mine.)

A buddy is looking for a dual purpose machine and is torn between the DR650 and the F650GS. His son is getting his motorcycle license this month and would be the primary rider of this machine for a while. Running about 80% street 20% dirt. The son has a fair amount of dirt experience on older mx style bikes.

Once the son is finished with the machine (in a couple of years) Dad wants it back and would be in more of a 50 / 50, dirt / street riding scenario. Dad is an extremely experienced rider with extensive on and off road miles. Currently he has several older pure off-road bikes, an R90S and a R1200C. None of which would be replaced by this new bike.

He is basically retired and travels around in his motorhome with the bikes in tow and rides when he sees the interesting roads. Superslab is not a major concern for this new bike.

So? What would you choose? The DR650 is cheaper but has no resale capability. The BMW may not be as dirt worthy as the DR650. What would you / have you done.

Thanks.

I own a 2004 DR650SE that is going to Colorado for two weeks of pass riding next week. I also own a 2001 F650GS. I paid less for the new DR than the F650GS was used in 2003.

I agree that the DR is better in real dirt, but shod with TKC80s the F650GS makes a fair gravel road bike and it is certainly better on the freeway also. The stock Bridgestone Trailwings on the F650GS are not appropriate for gravel. I think the ride on asphalt is plusher on the F650GS, as the stock seat on the DR605 is a 2x4. I need to Corbin it I think. For now, sheepskin will have to do.

The DR650 is substantially lighter and more flickable but has a smaller stock gas tank than the Beemer.

I short - I like them both but am taking the Suzi to ride in Colorado, not the F650GS although I could. I rode some of the passes on an 1150GS, but the lighter Suzi will be much more funner! I am glad to hear that posters think the Suzi motor is bulletproof. I'll soon find out.
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Old 06-06-2004, 07:26 PM   #15
Superannuated
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Lee:


The DR sounds like a good choice for your requirements. To me, the engine is pretty darned smooth at highway speeds, and the bike is great at back roads and reasonably competent on dirt roads. The stock suspension is good on the street and OK on dirt roads (unless you are on the heavy side, in which case aftermarket suspension upgrades are available).

Pick the right tires, do a little re-jetting/open the airbox (more power, runs cooler), and you should be good to go.

As to 50,000 miles on a DR engine, I don't know. Regular oil changes and moderate use could get you there. For info/owner inputs on DR650 longivity check these links:

http://www.multisurfacemotorcycling.com/
http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/DR650/

Good luck,

Superannuated
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