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Old 03-25-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
Bruce Caldwell OP
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Questions For F650GS Owners

I've got a few questions for you F650 owners out there. My 81 year old dad is taking delivery of a new F650GS next weekend. He's had an 05 1200GS since it was new but has decided to get something else that's a little lighter & with, hopefully, a lower seat height as the 1200 has gotten to be too much of handful for him at his age. The dealer found one with lowered suspension from another dealer so we're hopeing this bike will suit him for the remainder of his riding years. He already knows that he wants a taller windscreen so we'll look at Cee Baileys & givi. He's about 5'-9" so if anyone has either screen what do you think of it? Also, to save money he'll probably get some soft luggage instead of the BMW panniers so recommendations on that appreciated as well. Any other info that anybody has such as how is the bike for touring, ease of maintenance, strong points, weak points etc. etc. would also be appreciated. By the way, i'll be doing the service on it, at least most of it & i'll probably inherit it one day. So again, we would appreciate all the info. we can get on this bike. Thanks
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:40 PM   #2
vtbob
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I've had my F650GS with lowered suspension, for almost a year now. It replaced my R1100RT as i fount the newer R1200 just too big. 12k miles later i could not be more pleased.

the bike is the same size as my old 1982 R100RT, it is a bit lighter, a bit more powerfull and handle substantially better. i love the fact that I can flat foot it at any time, easy to back out of parking spots, stand up at stop lights etc etc.

I think he will be happy.

I like full coverage wind screens so have chosen the Aeroflow set up which give better coverage. it is more expensive but it is very high quality . Stable to well over 100mph..or max speed of about 115

I can not speak to soft saddle bags as I have Jessie's. I do highly recommend the Wonderlich tank bag..good size, custom mount for the F650/800GS and is nearly perfectly water proof with out adding it's rain cover.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:23 PM   #3
Boxur
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I've put 19K miles on my 2010 model and I have the 18" Cee Bailey. Sometimes I think I'd be better off without it. I think it adds to the buffeting issue around the big trucks etc. But on the back roads and in general, it serves its purpose.

He might not like the lowered version, even with his size. I have a buddy who used to have the F650GS twin that was lowered and he just became unhappy with it so low to the ground. Mine is not the lowered suspension and I find it very easy to flatfoot with my 5' 10" and 31" inseam. And I generally run with the preload cranked up pretty high.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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81???????????
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:52 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by soph9 View Post
81???????????
about fell off my chair when I read the 1200gs part
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Old 03-26-2011, 04:32 AM   #6
lmclamore
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81 is the new 55

I have an 81 year old at work that still runs the Marine Corps Marathon every year! 26 miles!?!?!

I am not in terrible shape but I couldn't do that when I was 18.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:27 AM   #7
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Have him try it with just the factory lower seat, that should be more than enough. I have the standard seat [ I'm 5'11" ] and have no problem at all flatfooting it.
I would think any dealer would switch seats for him to try.
For all practical purposes, other than maybe top end, my F 650 GS performs as well as the R1150Gs Adventure I had before. I use the 12" CeeBailys on mine and it works for me.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:28 AM   #8
Bruce Caldwell OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soph9 View Post
81???????????
My dad has had one kind or another motorcycle since 1968 & my mother never tried to discourage him from riding until now. He says she's crazy if she thinks he's going to spend the rest of his life without a bike. He bought my brother & I our first bike in 1970 & we've been riding since.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:30 AM   #9
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thats awesome - age is just a number...there are people less than half his age couldn't hold up a bike (but i'm sure they know all the latest computer games and can sit there for hours...)

hope he rides many more miles, obvious that he loves it!
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:52 AM   #10
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I'm sure riding keeps him young. Well done.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:20 AM   #11
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I'm 6' with a 30" inseam and think he should check out the standard height bike first I have worked the suspension and added the 1" taller tt seat and while at this height (35") it is a bit tall i can still flat foot and have much better suspension than stock so for me the ride is much more enjoyable. The front forks stock have 0 preload and on my bike saged 2" under its own weight so once i put my weight on it i had very little travel left. I added intemanators to the front forks which helped the valveing and added 1/2" preload to the spring which puts it inthe ballpark for me (220lbs) wilbers shock for the back (the rear needs more high speed compression for square edge hits so it doesn't bottom) plus jesse bags. while the bike is a bit heavy in this setup i can go where i want and pick it up loaded myself so i'm pretty sure he will be happy with it just think about what adjustments you will have to make so it will suit him. I also have a cbaily 18" windshield and while i don't think its perfect it isn't bad. would also sugesst bark busters, k60's if he likes offroad and the bmw skid plate.i have a roadgear tank bag i like but full lock l turns hits the horn(have to order the tt button guard)
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Old 03-26-2011, 02:46 PM   #12
AlanI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Caldwell View Post
My 81 year old dad is taking delivery of a new F650GS next weekend.
Well I can't really add more to what has already been said but simply posted to say that I take my hat off to your dad. By the way, does he still have to be in the house before ten at night?
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Caldwell View Post
My 81 year old dad is taking delivery of a new F650GS next weekend.
81? Holy crap, I hope I'm doing that well at 71! Rock on!

The stock windscreen is rather short, so a new one makes sense. He will probably not like the stock seat, lots of opinions about the "best" one out there, but if the bike is tall anyway, check out the BMW "comfort" seat, which is IIRC 1" lower than stock.
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Old 03-27-2011, 02:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorfiets View Post
about fell off my chair when I read the 1200gs part
Paul Mihalka is that old , rides a 1200 GS ADV and has way over a million miles in the saddle and still going strong. I met him at a Savannah rally few months back, very impressive guy. He posts a lot of good stuff here in ADVRIDER and BMWST.

The Cee Bailey will work fine if your dad keeps it under 55, but for less money you can get an adjustable Madstad that works great at any speed.

You better figure in the cost of new seat unless dad is one of those guys who can ride on an upholstered 2X6 and not complain.
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Old 03-27-2011, 04:25 PM   #15
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I dont know about the screens you mentioned but I <3 my Wunderlich vario.

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