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Old 06-05-2012, 08:23 PM   #31
WoodWorks
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Lordy, dirt bike, enduro, road bike, I don't give a rusty f**k what label you want to slap on it. It's capable of going all day in sand, mud, and gravel, provided the rider has the desire and some skill. And it's certainly more capable of doing that than any "road bike" you'd care to name.

So michelsavage, take Bucko's advice and get those DVDs, then take her out and practice (a lot), and you'll be just fine on your trip down to Ushuaia. None of us pop out of the womb knowing how to ride through deep sand or mud. And all of us who try spend a lot of time falling down and picking up our bikes.

So pay no attention to the guys with the humongous testicles. They're just jealous because they can't ride down there with you.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:29 PM   #32
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Gray area on how we are defining.
Take away the 'dirtbike' name and give it an 'adventure bike' name and you can have a different mentality on how you approach 'off pavement'.
Race bike? No. Duh
Bike to take the two track jeep trail to the mtn. top lookout tower? Maybe so.
It sure does take a bit of 'dirtbike' skill to take the porky 'adventure bike' out & back successfully.
So take a adv bike course or ride a dirtbike for a while and get the feel!

I laugh when one person thinks his opinion is fact.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:36 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by michelsavage View Post
For a Montreal Ushuaia trip this Fall, I bought a F650GS all farkled up. On my first outing off road, I hit a bit of sand and I hit the ground. Now, I'm beginning to have doubts: is it possible that anywhere a 650 or 800 "enduro" (or any so-called "adventure bike") can go, any road bike can go too? So far, my F650GS is as wobbly on gravel as my previous Intruder, if not more due to narrow tires. Are there any REAL advantages to a 650/800 off road, over any road bike? Or is it just hype, myth, status and image. So far, I find my F650GS far less comfortable than any bike I've had in the past, almost too high, and pretty hard to control over anything but pavement. I thought that with the F650GS, you could just turn off the road, drive across the field without hesitation. Now I discover that, well, it ain't too good in sand, it ain't too good in mud, it's wobbly over gravel.
You need to watch and understand this video.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:28 PM   #34
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You need to watch and understand this video.


Ryan
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:44 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by michelsavage View Post
For a Montreal Ushuaia trip this Fall, I bought a F650GS all farkled up. On my first outing off road, I hit a bit of sand and I hit the ground. Now, I'm beginning to have doubts: is it possible that anywhere a 650 or 800 "enduro" (or any so-called "adventure bike") can go, any road bike can go too? So far, my F650GS is as wobbly on gravel as my previous Intruder, if not more due to narrow tires. Are there any REAL advantages to a 650/800 off road, over any road bike? Or is it just hype, myth, status and image. So far, I find my F650GS far less comfortable than any bike I've had in the past, almost too high, and pretty hard to control over anything but pavement. I thought that with the F650GS, you could just turn off the road, drive across the field without hesitation. Now I discover that, well, it ain't too good in sand, it ain't too good in mud, it's wobbly over gravel.

Lots of good points brought up but honestly they just confuse the issue and you really only need to understand 4 things.

Your F650 GS will do the trip you want.
You need to get better Knobbier tires than what came on the bike ( TKC80, D606, T63, Shinko 244 Front etc.)
You are not a good dirt rider! You need to practice. Watch all the videos you can, practice all you can.
It's not BMW's fault you fell down in the dirt. Skills are learned you CANNOT buy them. No matter what line of shit the sales man gives you. Use you nose, if if smells fishy keep you finger out of it.

Good luck and keep practicing. You will get better. How good you get depends on you. Your bike is not the the limiting factor at this point in your riding carreer.

J
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:38 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by goldentaco View Post
lots of good points brought up but honestly they just confuse the issue and you really only need to understand 4 things.

Your f650 gs will do the trip you want.
You need to get better knobbier tires than what came on the bike ( tkc80, d606, t63, shinko 244 front etc.)
you are not a good dirt rider! You need to practice. Watch all the videos you can, practice all you can.
It's not bmw's fault you fell down in the dirt. Skills are learned you cannot buy them. No matter what line of shit the sales man gives you. Use you nose, if if smells fishy keep you finger out of it.

Good luck and keep practicing. You will get better. How good you get depends on you. Your bike is not the the limiting factor at this point in your riding carreer.

J

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Old 06-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #37
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I laugh when one person thinks his opinion is fact.
Bwahahahahahaha, that's gold right there. Welcome to the interwebz...home of factual opinions on anything.

Right back at ya.



You should have taken the Blue pill Neo.

Look...a dirt bike


another one

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Old 06-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #38
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Come on Snowy, we had a good sensible thread going on. We understand what you are saying. Your point is made.
I have a dirtbike, an adventure bike and a streetbike too, for various riding needs.
Some here ride their 800/658 GS off road, in the dirt a lot.
Therefore they will point out theirs gets ridden like a dirtbike often (standing up, leaning back, sliding, stream crossings etc).
But yes we know its not.

So practice for the newer riders and for the old dogs.... Go for it!

BTW I have a hell of a time in two track sand trails. What a work out.
I would surely love to leave those to the dirtbike, lean back & gas it.
But sometimes you gotta do it when you are a 100 miles out and have no choice.
Cheers
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:11 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by michelsavage View Post
So, if the F650GS is a road bike, maybe I should have kept my Intruder and save a bundle.

Yet, on the other hand, I'm committed to the twin and will try to make the best out of it. From now on, I'll treat it as a road bike and stay away from sand.

Yet, I feel I'm victim of hype/marketing...
Dirt bike, enduro, dual sport, road bike terms, used to be more clear cut. Now we have adventure bike and adventure touring bikes. Yes it is manufacturing hype in order to sell bikes and the term is used rather loosely. It makes for lively arguments.

Your bike has some attributes of a dual sport. A little more suspension travel, ground clearance, narrow seat for standing while riding, frame geometry for stability and an engine that develops good torque at low and mid rpms. What separates it from the usual vision of a dual sport is weight, the amount and quality of its suspension and ground clearance. It is a matter of degree, not some radical change of design.

Dirt riding is a learned skill set, riding like you are on pavement will only result in falling down. There is more emphasis on keeping your weight centered over the bike while it does its thing and applying pressure to the foot pegs for weight transfer when needed.

Because they are so heavy, you need to ride these bikes differently than a lighter true dual sport. Faster on sand so they don't dig in. Use momentum to get over some tough spots. Don't try to horse them around, and relax. That only comes with time and experience.

Knobbys help in the soft stuff. Not so much on the rear, if the sand or gravel is not that deep and the underlying surface is hard. Running less than street tire pressures make life easier.

At this point it is you, not the bike holding you back.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:47 AM   #40
High Country Herb
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I'm not the least bit surprised that you, being new to off roading, had difficulties. It isn't your fault, nor the bike's fault, it's just lack of practice and a relatively heavy bike for off roading. To get down to a light enough bike to be easy to "enduro", however, you wont have enough power for long 2-up trips with luggage. The truth is most street bikes can handle dirt roads if you go slow enough. I off road my Aprilia, which is less dirt oriented than your BMW, but you won't see me attempting any hill climb competitions. I typically keep it under 25 mph off road, because my tires are 90% pavement/10% dirt, and I have some pretty vulnerable engine components. Your bike is built to withstand the abuse of riding off road fast; that is what you paid for.

Dirt/gravel is inherently "wobbly". That is the "feel" everyone is talking about. The knobbier your tires, the more stable it will feel, but it still won't feel like pavement. Of course the knobbier your tires, the more unstable it will feel on pavement. The tires that came with the bike were likely designed mostly for pavement. You will have to choose your tires based on your needs.

Technique is a huge factor when tackling things like sand and mud. No bike is good at that, it is all technique: which peg to weight, do I lean back or forward, do I get on the throttle or let off. Advrider is a great source of advice for this kind of stuff. Keep asking questions, and try to keep a thick skin for all the smart ass (but good natured) comments you'll surely recieve.

A few custom parts go a long way to making your bike better for specific conditions. It sounds like you need an aftermarket seat such as Russel Day Long, Corbin...there are lots of options. You may also want to look into lowering the bike a bit. For sand, you may want a steering dampener. (I just read about their effectiveness in sand right here on good ol' Advrider.com.)

Good luck, and don't give up!
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:28 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by High Country Herb View Post
I'm not the least bit surprised that you, being new to off roading, had difficulties. It isn't your fault, nor the bike's fault, it's just lack of practice and a relatively heavy bike for off roading. To get down to a light enough bike to be easy to "enduro", however, you wont have enough power for long 2-up trips with luggage. The truth is most street bikes can handle dirt roads if you go slow enough. I off road my Aprilia, which is less dirt oriented than your BMW, but you won't see me attempting any hill climb competitions. I typically keep it under 25 mph off road, because my tires are 90% pavement/10% dirt, and I have some pretty vulnerable engine components. Your bike is built to withstand the abuse of riding off road fast; that is what you paid for.

Dirt/gravel is inherently "wobbly". That is the "feel" everyone is talking about. The knobbier your tires, the more stable it will feel, but it still won't feel like pavement. Of course the knobbier your tires, the more unstable it will feel on pavement. The tires that came with the bike were likely designed mostly for pavement. You will have to choose your tires based on your needs.

Technique is a huge factor when tackling things like sand and mud. No bike is good at that, it is all technique: which peg to weight, do I lean back or forward, do I get on the throttle or let off. Advrider is a great source of advice for this kind of stuff. Keep asking questions, and try to keep a thick skin for all the smart ass (but good natured) comments you'll surely recieve.

A few custom parts go a long way to making your bike better for specific conditions. It sounds like you need an aftermarket seat such as Russel Day Long, Corbin...there are lots of options. You may also want to look into lowering the bike a bit. For sand, you may want a steering dampener. (I just read about their effectiveness in sand right here on good ol' Advrider.com.)

Good luck, and don't give up!
Very true..... To illustrate this...." wobble" we did a ride last year in the Gila forest.... sadly most is now on fire... But in this short video we reach speeds of 70 mph. on gravel...and if you look carefully you can see the "wobble" of the passing rider.....

">
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:14 PM   #42
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Hey guys ! Thanks !

This is very encouraging, and I'm booking at once off-road riding lessons/sessions with Moto Inter.

We all have fantasies. here's mine:

I'm riding on a Mexican at 80 km/h, enjoying the landscape. But it's getting late, and in this exotic land, I need to find a spot for the night/my tent. Oh, here's a group of trees to starboard that look inviting. Without a hesitation, I turn off the pavement and ride over tall grass up to the trees, stop, install my tent and enjoy.

That's why I bought a F650GS.

It looks, however, less simple than that.
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:33 PM   #43
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that is one fast mexican!!


on a serious note, I do not see why your f650gs shouldn't be able to do that....tons of RR on here with photos to back it up of people on the 658's doing much more than just exiting the road and heading across some grass etc. to set up a camp. Different tires and new skills should change the game.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by michelsavage View Post
This is very encouraging, and I'm booking at once off-road riding lessons/sessions with Moto Inter.

We all have fantasies. here's mine:

I'm riding on a Mexican at 80 km/h, enjoying the landscape. But it's getting late, and in this exotic land, I need to find a spot for the night/my tent. Oh, here's a group of trees to starboard that look inviting. Without a hesitation, I turn off the pavement and ride over tall grass up to the trees, stop, install my tent and enjoy.

That's why I bought a F650GS.

It looks, however, less simple than that.
Totally doable. You may want to slow down to below 80 km/h before leaving the roadway, though, because there are soccer ball sized rocks hiding in the tall grass.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:02 PM   #45
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Come on Snowy, we had a good sensible thread going on.
What...I actually like that Versys. The S1000RR may seem a little over done with knobbies...but how much fun would that be right up to the point where you become just another organ donor?

So what exactly is the difference between that Versys and an F-series BMW? Apart from the front wheel size?

Would it not go just as far off road? Would it not be just as versatile? It has very good adjustable suspension....Mmmmmm...adjustments (you regular BMW owners may not know what that is)...and a great little motor.

I've seen guys take them as far as any BMW has gone.

Why is the F-series so much different?

Or is the F-series a "dirt bike" just because BMW implies it in their advertising?
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