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Old 05-24-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
Sibbo OP
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Tweed Valley , Northern NSW
Oddometer: 358
BMW G 650 engine and cooling reliability?

I'm thinking about buying my first watercooled bike, probably a low mileage G650 Cross Country.

The trouble is water cooling, when I think back over the years of car and truck use and breakdowns, 80% of them were cooling system related and then there's the bloke down the road with his KTM 690 Duke and it's blown it's cooling system twice under 6000 miles . Uninspiring.

So ..... what is the BMW G650 system like ? Is it reliable? Any mods required, any complaints .

and thanks for the help .
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:19 PM   #2
khpossum
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It is a very reliable engine and the cooling system is fine, but not perfect. It would have been nice if they would have made the radiator a bit bigger, but it is alright as is. That is, as long as the fan works. The fan is a somewhat weak link in the cooling system, but not excessively so. The water pump also used to be troublesome, but easily replaceable. Not sure if things have improved with the G650. Some thermostats have needed replacement. Minor issues though.

Overall I'll take my Dakar or my XC anytime for cross continent travels anytime (and have done so). For such trips I take a spare pump impeller / gears and a spare thermostat with me. Cheap and small. I have done a few on the road repairs over the years, but these bikes are easy to work on if the need ever arises. If you don't want to repair yourself any halfway decent mechanic can do it for you with your spare parts.

Go get one, you won't regret it.
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:43 PM   #3
Sibbo OP
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Thanks Possum, generally good news . Does the XC have a temp gauge to tell you if things are playing up ? In that overheating problems happen pretty fast in my experience . 20 seconds can be a long time and the difference between a save and a stuffed head.

Thanks for the headsup about pump impellers and thermostats. I hate thermostats !
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:45 PM   #4
Motopsychoman
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Location: Oaklandish
Oddometer: 824
Eek

If you like to worry, like me, buy a TTO temperature gauge. 22mm hoses. Cost about $40.
Took very little time to install. If I think it is starting to overheat, I back off the throttle for a while.





I felt like the one gauge the bike was lacking was temp.
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Current Rides: '13 Sertao, '98 Bandit 1200, Currently a 1200 piece puzzle: '86 R80G/S PD
Past: '66 Suzuki T10, '72 CL350, '74 GT550, '80 GS750, '7? XT500, '83 RM250, '85 XT500
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Old 05-24-2015, 08:50 PM   #5
Sibbo OP
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Now there's something I'll do first off, one with a flashing red light alarm would be good too.
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Old 05-25-2015, 02:49 AM   #6
fundamentalbass
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Location: New Zealand
Oddometer: 9
39kkm with a G650GS Sertao with zero issues or leaks (only decomp lever). No F650GS single water pump problems, and I cannot remember hearing about a recurring equivalent water pump issue on the Sertao thread (start to finish). Maybe one or two fan failures and replacements. I would still take water pump spares if going to Mongolia, of course. Reported reliability appears to be very good...
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:33 AM   #7
khpossum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibbo View Post
Thanks Possum, generally good news . Does the XC have a temp gauge to tell you if things are playing up ? In that overheating problems happen pretty fast in my experience . 20 seconds can be a long time and the difference between a save and a stuffed head.
My older models all have an over-temp light. I also added an indicator light to show when the fan is running. Easy addition. It will come on and off, even when riding on regular roads when it is hot. Before you do any damage you will know there are problems with water and steam puking out of the radiator. I did that trying to get out of a huge sand bog, I am not very good in sand. No damage done though. I do not remember any reports of severe engine problems due to overheating, not saying it hasn't happened but it is rare obviously.
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