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Old 09-15-2014, 12:24 PM   #1
AustinXL OP
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Issues with low suspension F650GS twin?

Hello to all, quick question - I am considering buying an F650GS that has the factory low suspension. As I understand it the low suspension does not come with a center stand but one is available (aftermarket or is it made by BMW?).

How necessary is the center stand for servicing the bike? Does it affect cornering? Ideally I would think I would want to add it. If I add the aftermarket one does that affect skid plates, crash guards, header change, etc?

Just trying to plan ahead before I make a large purchase, thanks in advance for any and all advice!
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:42 PM   #2
itsatdm
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I didn't know the F650gs had Factory low suspension. Touratech makes one for it, that I think is better. The Factory low suspension on F700gs only lowers the rear if what I read is correct.

I can't address fitment issues, but I added a center stand to my f800gs, mostly to change tubed tires on the road if necessary.

I did not have one on 2 previous bikes, but had a cheap handy lift that worked fine.


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Old 09-15-2014, 09:34 PM   #3
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Cornering clearance? This isn't a motard or supersport.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:57 AM   #4
Dorito
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I have the factory lowered twin. And I have a modified BMW F650 Twin Center stand on it. The center stand tucks up quite nicely, and it certainly is not the bit that affects your cornering. The crux of the issue is as follows:

To work as designed and get the bike relatively easily onto the center stand, the legs of center stand are too long. They need to be shortened, otherwise it's a real PIA to get the bike to transition onto the stand. Technically, you can still do it without shortening, but it might take you 2 men and a little child to hoist her up.

Carl, the tech at Mortons BMW in Fredericksburg, VA, did mine. He also put reinforcement sleeves in the legs of the stand.

PS Make sure to buy the F650 part # and not the F800 center stand which even has longer legs!
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:51 AM   #5
AustinXL OP
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Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
Cornering clearance? This isn't a motard or supersport.
Yes, someone (who may not know what they're talking about) told me that on the low suspension the center stand can drag in normal corners, that is why the factory didnt put it on but did on the standard height suspension 650 twin. Again - could be completely inaccurate.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:52 AM   #6
AustinXL OP
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Originally Posted by Dorito View Post
I have the factory lowered twin. And I have a modified BMW F650 Twin Center stand on it. The center stand tucks up quite nicely, and it certainly is not the bit that affects your cornering. The crux of the issue is as follows:

To work as designed and get the bike relatively easily onto the center stand, the legs of center stand are too long. They need to be shortened, otherwise it's a real PIA to get the bike to transition onto the stand. Technically, you can still do it without shortening, but it might take you 2 men and a little child to hoist her up.

Carl, the tech at Mortons BMW in Fredericksburg, VA, did mine. He also put reinforcement sleeves in the legs of the stand.

PS Make sure to buy the F650 part # and not the F800 center stand which even has longer legs!
I live about 45 miles from Fredericksburg in Warrenton VA so thats good to know. Did he shorten and install it for you or just shorten it?
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:47 AM   #7
Tom Morrison
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By far, the biggest issue with the low suspension F650 GS is the handling. The increased rake causes slow steering, and any sort of a bump hit at speed is a jarring experience.

Adding Intiminators up front, and a regular sized aftermarket shock in the back will fix the problem.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:40 AM   #8
Dorito
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Originally Posted by AustinXL View Post
I live about 45 miles from Fredericksburg in Warrenton VA so thats good to know. Did he shorten and install it for you or just shorten it?
I didn't ask for installation, but I imagine you could certainly arrange for it via the normal service dept. I think it was only 2 bolts though.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:58 AM   #9
vtbob
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I have a 2010 F650GS with low suspension.

I recommend the center stand. Yes a shorten BMW stand works fine. A couple of note above recommend sources. PS it seems the shortened factory stand works better than the after market.

NO There is NOT a cornering problem with the low suspension bike. My empirical tests have shown the side stand hits first on the left side and my boot/foot peg on the right. Note this make sense the ground clearance of the low suspension and the normal suspension is the SAME when the suspension is fully compressed i.e. hard cornering or big bumps.

My F650GS has soft spring on the rear suspension( I weight 210 plus about 80lbs of gear) so it bottomed occasionally on hard /bumpy cornering. If necessary a higher rate rear spring is the fix.

The comment about increasing rake effecting cornering, while technically correct, seems way over stated. Loweing the rear by a little more than 1 inch change the rake angle by what 1 degree. Whom among us would notice?? In any case, lowering the front forks 1 inch (and easy 20 minute job) fully restores the rake angle....

Ride the bike...buy it if you like it. I taken my all around alaska and across the country twice. Still going strong.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:43 AM   #10
AustinXL OP
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Originally Posted by Tom Morrison View Post
By far, the biggest issue with the low suspension F650 GS is the handling. The increased rake causes slow steering, and any sort of a bump hit at speed is a jarring experience.

Adding Intiminators up front, and a regular sized aftermarket shock in the back will fix the problem.
Is the difference between the stock shock and the low shock only 1"? Well I guess it would be more since the shock doesnt sit 100% vertical, to lower it an inch it would have to be shorter by over an inch.

Does anyone know the exact size of both shocks?

I am of shorter stature (5'8" on a good day) so I felt that the low suspension worked well for me on the bike I sat on. Perhaps if I upgrade the shock to a nicer aftermarket one (suggestions??) I could split the height difference between the two or even just go with stock height shock and low seat.

I used to own a Harley Sportster, the Ricor intiminators were the most effective of the many suspension upgrades I performed.
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Old 09-16-2014, 12:24 PM   #11
Tom Morrison
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinXL View Post
Is the difference between the stock shock and the low shock only 1"? Well I guess it would be more since the shock doesnt sit 100% vertical, to lower it an inch it would have to be shorter by over an inch.

Does anyone know the exact size of both shocks?

I am of shorter stature (5'8" on a good day) so I felt that the low suspension worked well for me on the bike I sat on. Perhaps if I upgrade the shock to a nicer aftermarket one (suggestions??) I could split the height difference between the two or even just go with stock height shock and low seat.

I used to own a Harley Sportster, the Ricor intiminators were the most effective of the many suspension upgrades I performed.
Yup, it's about an inch difference in seat height. At 5'8", unless you are all torso, the standard shock is doable in my view. The Ohlins works ok for me, your mileage might vary. I think Touratec prices are over the top, but some people swear by them. As I said, I found the steering to be too slow and suspension performance to be awful with the low suspension. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinXL View Post
Is the difference between the stock shock and the low shock only 1"? Well I guess it would be more since the shock doesnt sit 100% vertical, to lower it an inch it would have to be shorter by over an inch.

Does anyone know the exact size of both shocks?

I am of shorter stature (5'8" on a good day) so I felt that the low suspension worked well for me on the bike I sat on. Perhaps if I upgrade the shock to a nicer aftermarket one (suggestions??) I could split the height difference between the two or even just go with stock height shock and low seat.

I used to own a Harley Sportster, the Ricor intiminators were the most effective of the many suspension upgrades I performed.

not according to this article. http://www.ridermagazine.com/manufac...den-rated.htm/
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Old 09-16-2014, 01:47 PM   #13
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I think its an inch for the low seat, and an additional inch for the shorter shock, total of roughly 2" difference for the low suspension "package" from the factory as compared to the regular.

Still though, even though I'm short, eventually if I upgrade the rear shock I may go back to (or get closer to) the factory regular size shock.
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Old 09-16-2014, 02:23 PM   #14
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I think you are right. I have a 5mm shorter shock on my bike, which resulted in a 15mm lower seat. That is the result of where the shock is located versus the axle on the swing arm. Typically there is a 3 to ratio difference.

Low seat, low suspension, combinations of both and a Touratech version that lowers front and back all get confusing.

If you want to preserve stock handling you should lower front and back. If you don't, you change frame geomatry.
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Old 09-16-2014, 05:10 PM   #15
flei
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AustinXL: I have had a 2010 F650GS with stock suspension and seat for 2 years and ridden it 10,000 miles. I've mostly rode dirt roads and smaller ¨back roads¨, with some forest service type trails. I am 5'6¨ and the bike fits me well I feel. I can almost flat-foot the bike when stopped. It did take some getting use to when i first got it. Only time it feels too tall for me is when I stop on an off-camber pitch and put out the ¨wrong¨ leg (i.e., the one on the downhill side)! Not sure the low suspension you seek is necessary for you (or worth the compromises in handling, etc.) but of course you should do what you feel is best for you and ENJOY the ride!
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