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Old 11-28-2004, 12:07 PM   #16
Doc_Busa OP
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Thanks again! About the F650, I heard that I should look for 2004 (or newer) models due to the twin spark making the motor much smoother. The source of this information is questionable... is it true or is it bull?
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Old 11-28-2004, 02:52 PM   #17
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My Indirect Opinion Worth What Ya Paid For It...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_Busa
My wife is looking for a dual-sport to replace her SV650 (her first bike).
Depends on what you call "dualsport". Around here, my DRZ-S is considered a dualsport, heck anything with signals, mirror and a street plate is a "dualsport".

Stroms are good 90-95% road bikes (OK I have a 1000), they are ok on smooth dirt and gravel roads, not so good on "abandoned" or "woods" roads, there are very few trails that I would take mine on, and I think I know the trails around here pretty well (arrowing and sweep crew for enduros and turkey runs, trail boss for an upcoming dualsport run). I don't even like the way my DL puts (or doesn't put) power down on washboard dirt/gravel roads, but then I'm used to my DRZ (main ride) with the big suspension travel (so soft initial travel) and 11 to 15 psi in the rear......

The beemer single has gotta be better off-road, but not quite so smooth & powerful on highway runs.

So whadya wanna use the bike for - that's what it comes down to.
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Old 11-28-2004, 03:16 PM   #18
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Can't stand to not ask

OK, so I gotta ask. Why not get her the KLR650 or the Honda XL650 ? both have bulletproof reputations, very forgiving bikes to ride, but I'd say neither is 'slick' like the DL is. but there are LOTS of them available. you can always mount a small windscreen like the Deuce from Memphis shades on anything with handlebars

z
p.s. i'm biased cause my dirt ride is an XR650R. i have no idea what top speed is but its way up there where I don't need to be riding! and that's stock. they are easily manipulated for about 15% more HP
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Old 11-28-2004, 04:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy112652
My experience with buying things for my wife/daughters is that all the science doesn't means very much. It will alsways be "what she wants".
You sir, are a wise man.
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Old 11-28-2004, 04:32 PM   #20
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My wife rode the V-Strom Bueller now has and we now "share" an 05 F650GSA . Here are some other thoughts on the two...

The V-Strom is a far better highway bike and slightly more comfortable; however, she was troubled by the Strom's susceptibility to cross winds. After a couple of wind gusts almost pushed her out of her lane she lost some confidence in the bike and was unlikely to get it back.

She has rather long legs and was able to flat foot the Strom with it lowered 7/8" ...although she wasn't clearing the seat completely. She had a hard time maneuvering the bike in parking lots and tight spaces and would spend too much time worrying about where she was going to stop and how she was going to handle it.

Bear in mind that the Strom holds about 6 galllons of gas...that is a significant amount of weight up high when the tank is full....between 45-50 pounds, if I recall correctly.

We decided that a cruiser was more consistent with her riding interests and abilities and I had never gotten emotionally attached to the Strom so we sold it.

She will ride the F650 but doesn't like it as much as the Strom..."It doesn't have any power!" That is one of my chief complaints with the bike...it's just a bit low on power and torque, given its weight. I personally don't enjoy riding it at speeds above 65 mph. To me it becomes pretty buzzy as the engine starts winding up. I'm hoping this will improve with more miles...the bike currently has 2500 miles on it. Ten more HP or so [ and perhaps a 6th gear ]and it would be just about right in my opinion....that would make it pretty much like the Strom wouldn't it?

I became keenly aware of the F650's weight when I dropped it riding solo off pavement one day. It was laying on a downhill slope and I had allot of trouble righting the bike...I'm 5-11 and 190...not exactly a waif. That being said, the F650 rides wonderfully on the dirt and smooth gravel roads in the national forest arounds here.

I also became aware of the F650's limitations as an off road bike when I ventured onto some rough dual track trails off the main forest service roads. It really needs a stiffer suspension and more ground clearance, but my inseam is limited. The additional 1.5" with the stock seat for the Dakar version is about all the extra height I am comfortable with right now, particularly given the bike's weight.

I rode the VStrom off pavement a couple of times and it scared the hell out me...seemed like riding a draft horse on roller skates. I can't imagine how the guys that ride the 1150's off road do it.... they are far better riders than I am likely to be any time soon.

Coming from an SV650, I think she will like the engine on the Strom better but might be intimidated by its size and weight. If she's going to be on the highway, she'll probably be happier with the Strom. If she plans to do some mild off pavement riding, she'll probably be happier with the BMW.

In my opinion, the BMW does better on the highway than the Strom does off highway and is therefore, a more versatile bike. I also believe it to be a more appropriate choice for someone of smaller stature and average or less than average riding skills. The Strom is a damn fine bike, though.

There's no doubt the Strom is less expensive to buy and maintain, but cost of ownership is usually secondary to what I [or she] likes or wants.

Good luck!
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Old 11-28-2004, 10:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_Busa
Thanks again! About the F650, I heard that I should look for 2004 (or newer) models due to the twin spark making the motor much smoother. The source of this information is questionable... is it true or is it bull?
I would say it's bull. I rode a 2001 model a couple years back and it was very smooth, even cruising at 85mph. And most reviews I've read comment on how the bike is so smooth it doesn't feel like a single. As far as I know BMW went with the twin spark simply for emissions reasons.
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twinrider screwed with this post 11-28-2004 at 10:46 PM
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Old 11-29-2004, 07:47 AM   #22
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Used, Used, Used

If you end up deciding on the F650 or one of it's variants, don't buy new. There are a ton of used F650's around that can be had for pretty darn cheap. Really.

My wife has wanted a F650GS for a few years. Especially since two local friends got them and seemed to enjoy them. However, a new F650GS fully loaded (hard luggage, heated grips, tank bag, etc..) was looking to be just around $10K. Almost $11K for the Dakar.

Screw that.

We began our search for a used unit and found one locally (Denver) on Ebay and made a private purchase. Snagged a 01 F650GS for < $5K. It was fully loaded and had 17K miles. You could not tell it from a new bike except that ours did not have ABS.

Unless you're the kind of person who just HAS to have a new bike, spent 30-60 days looking for a used unit and keep $4K+ in your pocket. Here, www.ibmwr.org, f650.com, ebay, www.cycletrader.com, etc.. will show you what's out there.

My wife used to ride a SV650 and loves the F650GS. The VStrom (either) just did not appeal to her. We get what SHE wants.

Just my .02.

Tom
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Old 11-29-2004, 08:26 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_vervaeke

My wife used to ride a SV650 and loves the F650GS. The VStrom (either) just did not appeal to her. We get what SHE wants.

Just my .02.

Tom
Smart man. Don't forget the GSL sits much lower than the standard F650GS. My wife sat on the GSL and it sat even lower than her lowered F650ST.
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:14 AM   #24
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What are people paying for insurnace on the F650GS.
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Old 11-29-2004, 09:14 PM   #25
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What does SHE want?

I spent hours researching bikes for my wife. Then, armed with knowledge about her size, inseam, riding experience, etc., I would point out various bikes and make recommendations to her. I showed her many photos of bikes online and we would visit the dealers so she could see them in person. In the end, it came down to what was most pleasing to her eye, regardless of what I thought, or thoughtful and well-meaning people on these boards recommended.

The funny thing is, I showed her other F650s, and she turned her nose up at all of them. Then one day she says, "what's that bike?" Well it was another F650, just like the other ones, except it had a yellow windshield ...Huh? It happened to be for sale, and...
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Old 12-03-2004, 05:02 AM   #26
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I have puchased for a strom 650 begining of April 04. And had 26500 kilometers in less than 7 months on it. I want to share my experience with DL 650. (Hope my English will be enough.)

I tried my DL 650 on highways, gravel, in water, under hard hard rain, on montains, in mud etc etc. Nearly in every condition..

Now I had a Honda Varadero for one week. Of course it is too early to write something about varadero but I start to think from now, "Why I need to change my DL 650?".. No reason.

I tried F650, pegaso, gs 1150, caponord, transalp, africa twin several times. Yes, not enogh time but I tried. Let me write my oppinion, DL 650 was the best. This oppinion is not because of price.

That is right, DL 650 is not designd for off road. But be sure, nobody (who really know and ride a Dl 650) can say "DL 650 is not suitable for off road.

Again, I accept it is not design for only off road. I accept that, but if you want I can show you some pictures which proofs what a Dl 650 can do.

Of course ground clearence is not enough, 15-16 centimeters.
But please, can you tell me how many of you (who have a bike which has a 20 centimeters of ground clearence) hardened your bikes like jumping on 20 centimeters of stones? I need more height of ground clearence only once.

And long rides, comfort, vibration? 5750 kilometers in 8-9 days. 900 kilometers in one day. What a saddle!! I can not say it was comfortable as my armchair. But it was nearly like my sofa ;-).. joke aside, I never felt tired, I never felt wind pressure, no vibration.. And after one week with Varadero, I can say that, "it is more comfortable than Honda Varadero (Which is very famous in Europe with it's comfort.)"

Sidecases, topcase and one friend of mine on highway. Climbing with 150 kilometers/h no problem and 190 kilometers/h on normal road conditions. Maybe more than 20 minutes.

And in city traffic, in traffic jam? (By the way, I live in Istanbul ;-) )

It lok like a big trailee. But in city traffic you would feel it like a scooter! Am I boosted? ;-) Maybe a little.

Anyway, as an owner of different bike I can easly say that, "V Strom 650 is the best of its segmebnt and if you buy it, probabvly you will never need a different bike."

Regards,
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Old 12-03-2004, 11:59 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invisible
I have puchased for a strom 650 begining of April 04. And had 26500 kilometers in less than 7 months on it. I want to share my experience with DL 650. (Hope my English will be enough.)

I tried my DL 650 on highways, gravel, in water, under hard hard rain, on montains, in mud etc etc. Nearly in every condition..

Now I had a Honda Varadero for one week. Of course it is too early to write something about varadero but I start to think from now, "Why I need to change my DL 650?".. No reason.

I tried F650, pegaso, gs 1150, caponord, transalp, africa twin several times. Yes, not enogh time but I tried. Let me write my oppinion, DL 650 was the best. This oppinion is not because of price.

That is right, DL 650 is not designd for off road. But be sure, nobody (who really know and ride a Dl 650) can say "DL 650 is not suitable for off road.

Again, I accept it is not design for only off road. I accept that, but if you want I can show you some pictures which proofs what a Dl 650 can do.

Of course ground clearence is not enough, 15-16 centimeters.
But please, can you tell me how many of you (who have a bike which has a 20 centimeters of ground clearence) hardened your bikes like jumping on 20 centimeters of stones? I need more height of ground clearence only once.

And long rides, comfort, vibration? 5750 kilometers in 8-9 days. 900 kilometers in one day. What a saddle!! I can not say it was comfortable as my armchair. But it was nearly like my sofa ;-).. joke aside, I never felt tired, I never felt wind pressure, no vibration.. And after one week with Varadero, I can say that, "it is more comfortable than Honda Varadero (Which is very famous in Europe with it's comfort.)"

Sidecases, topcase and one friend of mine on highway. Climbing with 150 kilometers/h no problem and 190 kilometers/h on normal road conditions. Maybe more than 20 minutes.

And in city traffic, in traffic jam? (By the way, I live in Istanbul ;-) )

It lok like a big trailee. But in city traffic you would feel it like a scooter! Am I boosted? ;-) Maybe a little.

Anyway, as an owner of different bike I can easly say that, "V Strom 650 is the best of its segmebnt and if you buy it, probabvly you will never need a different bike."

Regards,
Very well said, you english held up just fine.
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Old 12-03-2004, 12:35 PM   #28
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My vote F650

I have riden them both and I have a 03 F650. Good bike. The weight feels like it is lower than any similar bike. I get a worse of 46 MPG if riding loaded down at 90mph. I have gotten 83 (averaged over 2 tanks) poking along on back roads at 55mph and less. 60 MPG is average.

You can cruise at whatever speed you can take the wind blast. I have a Wunderlich and the best comprimise cruise speed for me is 78-80 MPH. Much faster and I get alot of wind. Anything less is gravy.

I did a unofficial comparision with a weestrom. The end result was I had him beat until 78-80MPH at which point he easily left me.

I have cruised 2 up loaded down in the mountains and had no problems. If you scream down the interstate you can change your sprockets to match same as taking it offroad.

You don't have to take your tankbag off to refuel. All others you do.

Maintenance is fairly simple. You can do the valves yourself but it will take awhile. Things are tight in there but after you do it once its fairly easy. The rest is normal stuff unless you have ABS then I recommend a dealer bleed them and you will also need the dealer to read the codes if you need to.

Of all the bikes I have owned I have more fun on this bike than any of the others. It does everything well nothing perfect. The best thing you can do is take a test ride. She will know if she likes it or not!

Here is a pic of mine.



I have added a custom heated seat, Jesse bags, backrest for wife, CB/intercom/satellite radio setup, bigger windscreen, crash bars, heated grips.

Its loaded up for touring as you can see!
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Old 12-03-2004, 01:25 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andy112652
My experience with buying things for my wife/daughters is that all the science doesn't means very much. It will alsways be "what she wants".
,



Busa,
I went from a Dakar to a DL1000 and even though I don't know much about your SO, I have a feeling that a test ride will not be enough to really make a decision between and F650 and DL650. The main reason I like my Strom better than the Dakar is a combination of things and none of which I really can explain technically. So here's the "girly" analysis of the two.

Strom:
Saddle is very comfy for long rides
Acceleration is VERY nice
Bike cost and parts are, for the most part, cheaper.
Centerstand available that won't void the warranty
There's a dealer down the road from me
Services aren't needed as frequently
There's a gas gauge
The stock lights are plenty for seeing at night and I don't feel the need for more
Wind protection is nice
Seems to have a much more flickable design than the Dakar

Dakar:
Saddle sucks
Acceleration is okay but not enough for me
Parts and servicing are a pain in the butt with no dealer nearby
ABS
Heated Grips
Lighting sucks too if you don't install PIAA's or whatever
It's a thumper alright

All in all I feel like I graduated from the Dakar to the Strom... however I went up in CC's too so I'm sure that has something to do with my opinion. If I had disposable income laying around I would've gotten the 1150GS but I didn't, so I got the next best thing in my price range.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-03-2004, 04:36 PM   #30
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Invisible,

Anyone who rides a motorcycle in the chaos of istanbul traffic has my respect.
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