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Old 05-11-2005, 03:13 PM   #1
ktmnate OP
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BMW F650 GS questions?

My wife is considering a more upright bike than the Ducati. She wants to be able to ride all day without being half dead. Questions are:

1) what's the service like?
2) any major problems to watch out for?
3) did all the 650GS come with 19" front or did some come with 21"

Thanks

Nate
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:21 PM   #2
Retro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmnate
My wife is considering a more upright bike than the Ducati. She wants to be able to ride all day without being half dead. Questions are:

1) what's the service like?
2) any major problems to watch out for?
3) did all the 650GS come with 19" front or did some come with 21"

Thanks

Nate
The service intervals are 6,000 miles after the 600 mile service. They've ranged in price from $175.00 to $275.00 depending on what needs to be done.

There are no major problems. There were some problems with the early injected bikes, but that has been solved. There have been some sterring head bearing problems, but they too seem rare, and riding style can have a lot to do with that part. The tail ligt assembly is a little weak, but easily and inexpensively fixable.

The Dakar has a 21' wheel. The GS has a 19' wheel. Both wear a 17' rear wheel.
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:28 PM   #3
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Hiya Nate,

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmnate
[...]
1) what's the service like?
2) any major problems to watch out for?
3) did all the 650GS come with 19" front or did some come with 21"
Of course, the best reference is the Chaingang site at f650.com, but here are some of my personal impressions. My 01 is still fairly low mileage (about 10k).

Service: I've done some of the basic stuff and it was straightforward, although I haven't done valves, etc yet. I'm due for another adjustment in a couple of K.... It is a bit of a hassle in that you have to strip down the bike (starting at the tail and working forward) to do just about anything, but after a while you get pretty proficient at it.

Problems: Battery is easy to overlook. I've had one get fairly low on me. I suspect it is a combo of it being in a very warm location, and the PITA factor of getting access to it to check it out. I probably don't check it as often as I should. I've had some cooling problems and the system is probably on the small side in terms of its capacity. I ran fork gaitors and radiator guards and had overheating problems. Switched to neoprene gaitors and it seems to have helped a bit. I've read a lot about head bearings and I believe there are a couple of threads around here on the subject (I think Chain recently wrote up a replacement article). I went to stiffer springs and heavier oil up front, but that is partially because I put a heavier load on the bike than the average

19" front: The F650GS Dakar has a 21" front, the standard (and lowered) F650GS has a 19" front.

Those things said, I've really enjoyed the bike and find it a nice compromise between streetability and riding in the dirt. My longest day was probably 500+ miles including high freeway speeds. It isn't my first choice for that type of work, but it is really hard to find a bike that has the broad range that this bike does.

HTH,

bryan
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Old 05-11-2005, 03:39 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! My wife is getting excited about the bike. Having chased some 650's in Death Valley really got me thinking about them. I have checked out the F650 site and there is so much stuff and I was being lazy. I figured posting here would get me a quick answer.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:18 PM   #5
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As you get some bored time, the f650 site is a good thing to read through. It covers EVERYTHING, although I find it hard to get through.

I have an 01 Dakar. People talk about the 01's having surging problems, although I am not exactly sure what they are talking about...only know mine doesn't feel like it's 'surging.' I think it's hit or miss with it.

I use mine mostly for commuting. I am going to ride it from Naples to Key West in June with my girlfriend. I haven't ridden it off road too much yet. I wouldn't want to bring it on any heavy duty dirt, but that's just me. It feel too heavy for that kind of work, and anyway I have a KLX400 for that.

I have owned it for a month or so now and really enjoy riding this thing. It grows on you. I like it more and more every day I ride it as I get used to the personality of it. You (and your wife) won't be disappointed.
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Old 05-11-2005, 05:38 PM   #6
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Very Enjoyable Bike!

Hi Nate,

I'll just add my 2 cents worth.

Like flux the bike just grows on you. I can't put my finger on it but I ride it more and more. It is really an enjoyable bike to ride.

As you saw at DV the bike is a resonably competent dirt bike. More F650's did the Goler Wash expert loop on Saturday then any other model of bike (followed by KTM LC4's and then R100GS's). I have been amazed at what I have ridden mine through.

You will get a minimum of 55-60 miles per gallon. Maintenance is comparable to your 950 but easier. The F650.com web site covers everything you will ever want to know about the bike. Also, your wife will enjoy the added safety of ABS.

Make sure you look for a used one. You should be able to pick up a nice clean bike for between $4500 to $6000.

Jim in Sacramento
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:39 PM   #7
AceRph
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Just bought an 05 for Honey this last weekend. Factory lowered.



She's not very tall, 5'4" I think. She looks really tall next to it though.

Nice bike. Fun to ride. Plenty of power, smooth and sounds nice.

Honey's sportin' a pretty big grin behind that face shield.

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Old 05-12-2005, 04:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SKWERL
Hiya Nate,



Of course, the best reference is the Chaingang site at f650.com, but here are some of my personal impressions. My 01 is still fairly low mileage (about 10k).

Service: I've done some of the basic stuff and it was straightforward, although I haven't done valves, etc yet. I'm due for another adjustment in a couple of K.... It is a bit of a hassle in that you have to strip down the bike (starting at the tail and working forward) to do just about anything, but after a while you get pretty proficient at it.

Problems: Battery is easy to overlook. I've had one get fairly low on me. I suspect it is a combo of it being in a very warm location, and the PITA factor of getting access to it to check it out. I probably don't check it as often as I should. I've had some cooling problems and the system is probably on the small side in terms of its capacity. I ran fork gaitors and radiator guards and had overheating problems. Switched to neoprene gaitors and it seems to have helped a bit. I've read a lot about head bearings and I believe there are a couple of threads around here on the subject (I think Chain recently wrote up a replacement article). I went to stiffer springs and heavier oil up front, but that is partially because I put a heavier load on the bike than the average

19" front: The F650GS Dakar has a 21" front, the standard (and lowered) F650GS has a 19" front.

Those things said, I've really enjoyed the bike and find it a nice compromise between streetability and riding in the dirt. My longest day was probably 500+ miles including high freeway speeds. It isn't my first choice for that type of work, but it is really hard to find a bike that has the broad range that this bike does.

HTH,

bryan
Real good advice here. Battery. Just seems to cook out fluids.

Oil changes/ differant than my others. I find it to be a pain in the dick, but thats only me.
a. Dump resevoir
b. dump sump
c. open filter compartment
d. cleanup all spilled oil
What ever you DO NOT OVER FILL and its real easy to over fill.

Rear brakes/ Flush and refill often. Everytime I Bleed it it is so dark it scares me. But no real problem.

Bike is a lot of fun to run, lots of rowing through gears sometimes but damn fun.

Stable as hell, Interstates excluded.

We have never had cooling issues. There was a BMW warning that gaitors are verbohten. They block air flow, Must be designed right on the edge.

Wife runs hers all day at 90. Does beat you up after extended Interstate use. But for blastin backroads!!!! Great machine

When I say extended Over 600 miles, Just short on wind protection

gsweave screwed with this post 05-12-2005 at 04:46 AM
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC
You will get a minimum of 55-60 miles per gallon.
If you ride in city traffic, as I do mostly every day, and make lots of short trips, your gas mileage will suffer. I average about 40-45mpg (fuel light comes on at about 140 miles). On the highway, however, I get more like 55-60mpg, and that's cruising at 85mph most of the time (fuel light comes on at around 190 miles). American tank holds 4.4 gallons, fuel light comes on with about 1.1 gallons left in the tank.
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:52 AM   #10
ktmnate OP
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That's some good info. I am hoping to take the wife out and try the bike on for size. With any luck, she will like the Dakar and I could get the 21" front wheel. I have yet to find anyone that hates that 650. It just makes everyone happy. I also can't believe the MPG you guys are getting. I should get one for me and replace my old diesel! Sheeeit I want one now!
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Old 05-12-2005, 07:17 PM   #11
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With gas prices these days, owning the Dakar makes up for the $ I would've spent on gas for my Z71. Basically, the bike pays for itself b/c I ride it to work every day instead of my truck. $10 a week is way cheaper than $60.
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Old 05-13-2005, 10:48 AM   #12
ktmnate OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flux_capacitor
With gas prices these days, owning the Dakar makes up for the $ I would've spent on gas for my Z71. Basically, the bike pays for itself b/c I ride it to work every day instead of my truck. $10 a week is way cheaper than $60.
No joke. My diesel still gets 22mpg but it's 38 miles from home to work. So it starts adding up.
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:36 PM   #13
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We used to have a Diesel Ram... it got expensive after replacing 3 THREE 3!!! trannies! I'll never own a Dodge again.
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by padraig
If you ride in city traffic, as I do mostly every day, and make lots of short trips, your gas mileage will suffer. I average about 40-45mpg (fuel light comes on at about 140 miles). On the highway, however, I get more like 55-60mpg, and that's cruising at 85mph most of the time (fuel light comes on at around 190 miles). American tank holds 4.4 gallons, fuel light comes on with about 1.1 gallons left in the tank.

I got 48mpg on my last tank, but I tend to keep my revs kinda high.

That also included riding around Cubs Park/Wrigley Field/heavy Chicago traffic around 6pm just before an evening game.

The most I've gotten was 72mpg out in the country.
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Old 05-18-2005, 08:23 AM   #15
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If I go slower on the highway, like 55-65, of course the mileage is better. Near 70mpg. I like that, but I also like to keep up with the traffic, which cruises about 85 around here.
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