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Old 05-14-2012, 11:31 AM   #226
SS in Vzla.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Yea, hanging that VR (Voltage Regulator) out in the breeze will help a lot.
Unfortunately there are several other things to keep an eye on with your bike:
1. F650's are known for over charging and cooking the battery. Hopefully your new VR will keep things in spec. But measure voltage once in a while to check up. Should not exceed about 14.2 volts when running. (over 2500 rpm) That happens when the VR is bad. He has a new VR and if he relocates it, so that it is in a more ventilated place on the bike (instead as underneath the seat...stupid location for a VR), that should not be a problem anymore. He still has a wet battery since that's the only one he could find in Central America... He needs to keep a close eye on the water level of the battery. On a long trip, I'd check it every other day (especially if he's riding through tropical heat)... And check it EVERY time the bike takes a nap... Because that battery will fry very fast once there's no fluid in it... Thankfully, the F bump starts very easily If you find yourself in need of getting a new battery down the road, do your best to get a sealed one, even if it is smaller and you have to rig something to get it to fit, it is still better. Relocated VR + sealed battery = NO more electrical problems.... (My bike hasn't had a problem since I've done this... more than 100.000 Kms ago... Have several other friends with Funduros that have had similar experiences )

2. Bearings ... where to start? F650's are also famous for eating wheel bearings. Check them often and carry spares. If you do lots of water crossings you'll need to clean and re-pack with grease more often. No idea why this happens ... but it is very well documented. I've changed wheel bearings on my bike three times during its life and I'n not one to wash a bike very often...As I mentioned, I have got several friends with Funduros and we have not experienced (unusual) wear for any of the bearings, but it wouldn't hurt to check them while you are still in Bogota... you know know where you can get them repaired if needed and it is a relatively cheap and fast job (DO buy good bearings, none of the chinese cheap stuff)

When you have time/inclination, also cop a feel on your steering head, swing arm and linkage bearings. Mostly these will survive, it's mainly wheel bearings that seem to fail prematurely ... but check them all when you can.

3. The Shock holding bolt (Upper) can bend causing mis-alignment of the Shock which can then cause leaking and eventually failure. Not super common, but has happened to quite few doing hard off road miles on loaded bike. I think there may be some fixes for this ... not sure?? I think maybe you are mistaken from the F800/F650 (Twin Engine BIkes) multiple threads on this subject... Ryan is riding a 1997 F650 Funduro (also know as "Classic"... it is a carburated bike, very diffrenet to the new twins)....At least I've never heard of any problems such as you describe on a Classic F (wouldn't know about the newer models)
Ask the old timers ... and avoid the Kool-Aid drinkers claiming these bikes never have problems. That is a lie. Been there, towed them. Not a Kool-Aid drinker (OK, maybe Orange kool aid ... check my signature), but still think this is a great bike and that's why I've kept it even though I have some "nicer" ones now IME this is a bulletproof bike... as long as you do preventative maintenance on it, as with any other vehicle (the PM on this bikes does not take much)... I've pounded on my 1998F650 pretty hard and have never had her complain or leave me stranded.

4. Forks. The OE Showa forks on your F650 are underspec'd for the bike. Totally true... If you haven't, put some 15wt oil in there and you will see a big improvement... There's not much else you can do to make them better, except some progressive springs and even then they are very deficient.
Quite a few have broken right off the bike. This is rare but not unheard of. This is well documented, but it has happened on BMW F650GS bikes from the year 2000 to the year 2005. This are still Rotax 650 Singles, other than Fuel Injection the engines are basically the same, but the front forks are different than those on the 1994-2000 F650 Funduro. The Classic F has had no problems with forks breaking under normal circumstances.
Look for tell tale witness marks that may indicate cracking. There is documentation on all this if you read up or ask long time F650 riders/travelers.
Ride on Ryan we wanna see some more of those great photograpy skills of yours

Hey Grifter, not meaning to start a pissing contest here, just trying to clarify some things from my experience as a long-time-problem-free F650 owner...
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Old 05-14-2012, 11:59 AM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
He needs to keep a close eye on the water level of the battery. On a long trip, I'd check it every other day (especially if he's riding through tropical heat)... And check it EVERY time the bike takes a nap... Because that battery will fry very fast once there's no fluid in it...
Yea, I would have gone to a sealed battery first thing, before ever leaving on a long ride. Why take a chance? Change it out for the first high quality sealed battery you find! I haven't owned a bike with a non-sealed, liquid battery in over 20 years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
I've changed wheel bearings on my bike three times during its life and I'n not one to wash a bike very often...As I mentioned, I have got several friends with Funduros and we have not experienced (unusual) wear for any of the bearings, but it wouldn't hurt to check them while you are still in Bogota... you know know where you can get them repaired if needed and it is a relatively cheap and fast job (DO buy good bearings, none of the chinese cheap stuff)
yea, it's an easy job and bearings are common and available. Just something to be aware of. Read the ride reports. Virtually every report I've read involving an F650 has had wheel bearing problems, including Adam's (Jedimaster) before he switched from his F650 to a DR650. He put 75,000 miles on his DR650 with only minor issues. Not so with his F650 BMW.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
I think maybe you are mistaken from the F800/F650 (Twin Engine BIkes) multiple threads on this subject... Ryan is riding a 1997 F650 Funduro (also know as "Classic"... it is a carburated bike, very diffrenet to the new twins)....At least I've never heard of any problems such as you describe on a Classic F (wouldn't know about the newer models)
The early Funduro is probably one of the best all the way around. You're correct ... I'm crossing up some info ... sorry, my mistake.

But there have been several reports about failed F650 shocks, just not from the bent bolt (F800) ... and there was one well known case where the top mount snapped and had to be welded in Russia. (Striking Viking RTW report) The point is ... if used hard and heavily loaded off road, you can have an issue. (Also, see Simon and Lisa report, her F650 had failed shock .... but after huge mileage an abuse)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Not a Kool-Aid drinker (OK, maybe Orange kool aid ... check my signature), but still think this is a great bike and that's why I've kept it even though I have some "nicer" ones now IME this is a bulletproof bike... as long as you do preventative maintenance on it, as with any other vehicle (the PM on this bikes does not take much)... I've pounded on my 1998F650 pretty hard and have never had her complain or leave me stranded.
All GOOD. Good to hear! Have you ever read about "Smelly Biker"? His luck was not so good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
The Classic F has had no problems with forks breaking under normal circumstances.
This is really good news. BMW must have sourced the lowest spec Showas later on. I've never, ever heard of a fork breaking off a bike ... in 50 years of riding on over 60 bikes. Glad Ryan does NOT have to worry about that one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Hey Grifter, not meaning to start a pissing contest here, just trying to clarify some things from my experience as a long time F650 owner...
No worries. Ryan is VERY LUCKY to have your expertise available! (and so are we all ) Thanks for the corrections on my comments.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:45 AM   #228
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llama

Ryan,
Make sure you get the title for the llama and carry it with you!!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 10:30 AM   #229
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Virtually every report I've read involving an F650 has had wheel bearing problems, including Adam's (Jedimaster) before he switched from his F650 to a DR650. He put 75,000 miles on his DR650 with only minor issues. Not so with his F650 BMW.
Hijack of the thread for a little clarity.

If you read all of Adam's posts about his DR you would also know that it eats rear carrier bearings too I think he mentioned it as the bike's "Achilles heel" in one of his posts To add, his BMW was loaded way heavier than his DR ever was and he has more miles on the BMW in all the previous counties he visited before arriving in South America, every bike takes work to keep it going after beating on it for so many miles, the heavier the kit on the bike the more work typically.

I ride a F650 Dakar loaded about as heavy as anyone would probably want and I've only lost one set of carrier bearings on the cush drive in 40,000 miles, about 20000 miles loaded heavy on my trip South so far and never an actual wheel bearing. I've broke two grade 10.9 bolts in the top eyelet of the shock and front triple link and having replaced both of those with 12.9 bolts have not sheared one since.

Every bike has it's flaws and weaknesses and I will guarantee Adam's DR would have had a lot more if he carried the same rear hard pannier setup and kit that his BMW did through all the countries he did before even getting to South America.

You are comparing two way different setups in bikes imo.

Ryan's Funduro and the later F650 varieties are well proven travel bikes just as you and Adam believe in your DRs. Weight of the kit is a major factory and DR will usually be set up with lighter kit than the BMWs in my experience.

The majority of people will always have an easier time handling a lighter weight bike, hence the phase "less is more" but hell I like to have exactely what I think I want My bike is heavier than any DR every thought about being
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:01 AM   #230
Adv Grifter
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The majority of people will always have an easier time handling a lighter weight bike, hence the phase "less is more" but hell I like to have exactely what I think I want My bike is heavier than any DR every thought about being

Uh huh. Courtesy of Jammin Jay. One of many overloaded DR's doing RTW.
Not sure, but I think Jay might have mentioned the 700 lb. figure at some point?

The Hubb bearings failures are rare and most are due to guys installing cheap, Chinese "All Balls" bearings instead of stock Koyo bearings. Everyone's an expert ... and think they know more than the Japanese engineers!

Most failed hubb bearing reports come from Australia, where bikes are ridden pretty hard. I'm on my 3rd DR650. Never lost a wheel bearing or hubb bearing on any, now approaching 50K on my '06. But I don't carry much weight (65 lbs.) not done RTW. But Baja is generally a pretty good test for a bike's reliability.

I used to carry a lot of stuff riding years ago, in the 70's. No longer.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #231
SS in Vzla.
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Now that you put Jamming Jay's photo up there, I must point out that he blew the engine on his first DR on a trip to Alaska. And he has had a fair share of mechanical problems on this second DR also. More than other bikes of different brands.
Does this mean the DR is bad? IMO, no... It just means Jamming Jay has had more bad luck than others, or the bike has not had the proper wrenching performed on her (i.e... a really knowledgeable person... I know I've broken a lot of things on my bikes just learning )... Weight definitely will be an issue on how fast any vehicle shows some wear on its parts... (Ryan, is traveling VERY light BTW)....

But, ANY overland vehicle (not just motorcycles), will need proper maintenance, preventative maintenance would be ideal, but as I'm sure you know from your own travels, that is hard to do sometimes while on the road, especially when you are not very mechanically inclined.... The less preventative maintenance a bike gets, the more repairs it will actually need...

One more important thing... we (RR readers) might go through one RR in one or two days, while the actual rider did the trip in 6 months or more, meaning the three or four problems that we might read on someone's RR have been spread out through MANY miles.... miles that a "normal" bike would not see, especially with heavy loads all the time.

In the end, ride what you like... Riding should be fun and you should enjoy whatever you are riding... You might not like the BMW and the DR is THE bike for you... That's totally cool... It does not mean it is THE bike period...
We are allowed to think our own bikes are THE bike also

Just sayin'

BTW.... 700 pounds? pffft... that's what one of Throttlemeister's panniers weigh (and he has FOUR of them)
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:45 PM   #232
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For those that dont know, Throttlemeister and his bike will be shown in the next episode of "Horders."

Sorry for contributing to the hijack Ryan. We can actually do your RR for you, no need for you to find good internet or visit those pesky cafe's.

I think my RR was hijacked for about a month. But I didnt check it for that month so the inmates took it over with some funny stuff. It was good to know that I was missed.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:40 PM   #233
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Enjoy Colombia man! I had a blast there!!!
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:06 PM   #234
Adv Grifter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS in Vzla. View Post
Now that you put Jamming Jay's photo up there, I must point out that he blew the engine on his first DR on a trip to Alaska. And he has had a fair share of mechanical problems on this second DR also. More than other bikes of different brands.
Does this mean the DR is bad? IMO, no... It just means Jamming Jay has had more bad luck than others, or the bike has not had the proper wrenching performed on her (i.e... a really knowledgeable person... I know I've broken a lot of things on my bikes just learning )... Weight definitely will be an issue on how fast any vehicle shows some wear on its parts... (Ryan, is traveling VERY light BTW)....
Very good points and some excellent comments all the way around regards travel, maintenance and attitude.

Can't say specifically why Jay's 1st DR motor expired on his AK ride (but I can guess). He made some mistakes, was new to motorcycles/maintenance and several amateur mechanics messed around with the bike.

But we do know why the 2nd motor (different bike) had problems. He bought an old, high mileage DR650 ('1998) and during the rebuild screwed up reassembly of the cam chain tensioner. He also fit non-stock parts, like carb/piston and non standard "All Balls" bearings. (cheap Chinese bearings which later failed) That motor truly blew ... not reusable. This was due to faulty installment of tensioner mechanism. All laid out in Jay's report.

Jay has learned a lot about his DR and motorcycles in general since he started in 2008. Has had some good luck ... and bad luck ... and has given us some great ride reports!

Jay actually ended up doing Mex, Cent. Am and S. America another motor lent to him by his friend! That motor has been perfect ... (all stock)

Nearly two years later, when he had it "rebuilt" in Brazil (at about 30 or 40,000 miles?) it didn't need it. As mentioned the non stock All Balls bearings failed and the Non Stock Carb caused problems when the needle broke. Other than that, not many other major problems that I remember. Jay is now brilliant on his maintenance and seems to have a great intuitive feel for his bike and its needs.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:03 AM   #235
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post

Uh huh. Courtesy of Jammin Jay. One of many overloaded DR's doing RTW.
Not sure, but I think Jay might have mentioned the 700 lb. figure at some point?
Yeah I forgot about Jay's, one of the few very heavy ones but I bet I still weigh more and I know I'm riding a different kind of trip than Jay I put quite a bit of stress on my poor old girl
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:50 AM   #236
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Great RR!

Keep on truckin. Would love to see more. Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:06 AM   #237
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Whoa! Lots of new replies! I will do an update soon, just got back from Girardot where I went to a wierd Colombian country club with some people I met. Bike is running great.

A fellow rider, Claudio from Rio de Janeiro just asked me if I knew a good mechanic in Cartagena, where he is having problems. If anyone knows any let me know. He is headed North, from Rio to Alaska. I told him to do a RR but he doesnt have one yet, he had not discovered ADV when I met him.

Colombia is really a whole new level as far as riding goes, its nuts here.

More soon.
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:22 AM   #238
Adv Grifter
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Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
Yeah I forgot about Jay's, one of the few very heavy ones but I bet I still weigh more and I know I'm riding a different kind of trip than Jay I put quite a bit of stress on my poor old girl
Holy CRAP! That looks serious! I hope you came out OK? Looks like your spare tire and luggage may have taken some of the hit! A good reason for packing things up! I've put my enduro race bikes upside down a few times, so far kept the DR from going 180.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:14 PM   #239
SS in Vzla.
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Holy CRAP! That looks serious! I hope you came out OK? Looks like your spare tire and luggage may have taken some of the hit! A good reason for packing things up! I've put my enduro race bikes upside down a few times, so far kept the DR from going 180.

That was not an accident... that's the way them Okies change tires on a bike
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:49 PM   #240
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Kickig ass once again, Colombia Libre

Quote:
Sorry for contributing to the hijack Ryan. We can actually do your RR for you, no need for you to find good internet or visit those pesky cafe's.
Quote:
That was not an accident... that's the way them Okies change tires on a bike
This is great, never a dull moment. When I forget to update you guys can do the entertaining.

I would like to say a very important thanks to Steve the Professor, aka Dr. Moons. I have been in contact with him and he has been there for me every time I had an F650 question. His replies are quick and dead on. I am not sure what I would do without him actually. Thanks Steve!

Thanks to him, SS en Vzla, and everyone else who sent me contact info or mechanic recomendations. I really appreciate the support. I am back on the road.

Here I am in the motorcycle passing lane, heading West from Bogotá. When the traffic finally opened up I felt so good, and when I got to the first toll station, I saw the special lane for bikes and I jumped for joy.

Bienvenido a Colombia libre!



I do really like Bogotá but two weeks was way too long.



The graffiti was sweet though









Quote:
Once you get down past La Piscina, it gets rough pretty fast, especially around moto heaven as I'm sure you figured out.
Found it! It seemed to be divided between the street with the transvestite prostitutes and the 100% female ones. I didnt take pictures of them though. Heres a fried chicken joint in the middle of the sketchiest spot in town (that I have seen so far).

¨

Check out this dude



Here is a Tejo court, its a game Colombians get drunk and play. They throw a big metal disc at piles of gunpowder and watch it blow up. Its kind of like throwing bean bags, except with explosions.



I rented a bicycle while I was in Bogotá and checked out the bike lanes, Bogotá is the city of books, museums and bicyclists, oh and graffiti, and a bit of crime too I guess.



Morning aerobic session



Colombians like asses, female jeans have padding in them to make the ass look bigger, and some girls get implants. I went to a club later and did some research.



Colombian phone booth, you just pay them to use thier phone. They usually have one for each provider so you choose the one your friend has and make a cheap call. They are everywhere and very convenient



Moto heaven







Pablo Escobars harley



Gold plated of course



Pablos guns



Pablos Raybans



The thing to do in Bogotá is dip cheese into chocolate...



...in this cafe, in an old street car



Leaving Bogotá I rode with Matt, Rebecca, Bob and Emily, from Kentucky. They invited me to stay with thier friend Andrea in Melgar. It was great to ride with them right after doing a couple of repairs. It made me feel better in case something were to happen.



Andrea took us to a wierd Colombian country club that had dozens of pools and bars, a zoo, a zipline, a big swing, a sculpture park, a bowling alley etc. We dropped our bags at her house and rode to the club in the morning. It was really cool to be riding on the highway with no bags. Andrea rode with me, it was the first time on this trip that I had ridden with a passenger. It was fun and she probably weighed less than my luggage, but she talked more. Everytime I passed a bus she would say "Ryan! Im gowna kill you!"

At the bowling alley at the country club I bowled a 139, hell yeah. I think it was the shoes. Actually the whole outfit is probably what did it.



Here are the bikes at Andreas place



You should always try new junk food, like this one, the kiss of the black woman



Colombian beer has very cool cans



Did I mention Andreas place had a pool? Finally my luck is changing. Andrea is really cool, she is an Etymologist and everytime she sees a bug she picks it up and checks it out.



Heres me and Bob at the zoo. Bob is riding with his girlfriend Rebecca on a Vstrom 650, from Kentucky to Argentina, Rebecca took the photos of me riding.





Andrea invited us to go out in Bogotá on Saturday night so I took the oppurtunity to see some more of the city, this time with a local.

We rode back to Bogota and all the traffic.






That night we had burgers at El Corral. The rumour is that this place mixes earthworms with the ground beef. No one seems to know where the rumour started but everyone seems to have heard of it.



It was in a really nice part of town, in the North. My worm burger was delicious.



To get there we rode the bus, through some not so nice parts of town. Some guy got on the bus covered in blood, must have gotten his ass kicked, he was bleeding everywhere.



The club was fun, good mix of styles and I got pretty drunk and made it home some time before sunrise.





Arturo, Andrea, Emily and Maria Camila





Colombians make the acordion really cool. I love vallenata. If you havent seen "The Winds Journeys" you must rent it immediately, its on Netflix. Its a badass movie about a cursed accordion.



Here is Bob at the end of the night/early morning or whatever, "Lets go back to the Hostel and drink beer" says Bob.







Kicking ass once again, tomorrow I ride North.

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