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Old 01-10-2015, 01:05 PM   #1
RMAK OP
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Looking for a retirement bike-F650?

I have a history of motorcycles starting in 1970. I've owned most of the major brands, done restorations of classic British bikes and bought new BMWs, etc. I'm not bragging, just trying to give a brief background for my question.

I have sold off all but one of my stable of bikes. I have kept my modified Triumph Scrambler, a bike I love and have thought I'd never sell.

However, I'm getting older. My hands and wrists are increasing arthritic as is all my other joints. My reaction time isn't what it used to be either. I got a scare from a very close call with a woman on a cell phone pulling out in front of me and it's just by the grace of God I am here to talk about it. The bottom line is I have no intentions to do much highway riding anymore. I am looking at selling the Scrambler (will be a great buy for someone) which I didn't even take out last year.

I have been looking around for a small, all purpose putt around bike. My first thought was an enduro type so I could go out to the woods on our property or ride into town if I wanted to. I'm looking for inexpensive, light weight without a lot of maintenance required.

I'm open to suggestions. I found a few F650 BMWs pretty cheap and I'm wondering if one of those would fit the bill, maybe with some more aggressive tires. Thanks in advance to anyone who has some ideas.
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:33 PM   #2
JayRitz
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Love my '97 F650

Hey RMAK,

For what you describe, the F650 (I'm assuming you are referring to the single-cylinder) would be a great bike. It's very nimble and has enough juice for a jaunt down the hwy. With the right tires, I'm sure you'd be fine at a slower pace in the woods.

As for maintainence, it's not something you have to spend a lot of time on, and that which you have to do can be done by you. There's a few "notorious" things to watch for (water pump seal, stearing head bearings, etc) which aren't hard to do nor expensive. You can find all the how-to knowledge on the F650.com website or in video format on YouTube

Good luck on your search. I've had my F650 for 5 years and have never been stranded. The longer I have it, the more I love it. I have an Ohlins shock, Corbin saddle and Jesse hard bags. It currently has 44k miles on it. I'd expect that, for a bike that old with that many miles, it would run around $2200-$2500.

Good luck
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Old 01-10-2015, 01:37 PM   #3
yvinogradov
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Have you considered Yamaha TW200?
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:04 PM   #4
John861
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Laugh

Could consider a DR650. A little more CC for road use, still mellow everywhere. By the way, that scrambler would be something to interest a fella like myself. Pictures or maybe a PM when you wanna pay ways would be awesome!!
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:06 PM   #5
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:02 AM   #6
markk53
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I will say you sound like you would enjoy the BMW since you seem to have a leaning toward Euro bikes. If you like it you have met 80% of the requirements to enjoy it. I personally really liked the look of those 650 Dakar singles... really cool.

I think you will find the dual sport type layout better than even the standard street bikes. I'm selling my street bike because I enjoy riding my KLX650 single more and quicker on the road, while still having a great ride on dirt/gravel. I did go to a 250 because I want to go more serious off road and found the 250 to almost feel like a mountain bike after riding the 650 - it's too big for my size, where the 250 is right for going on rougher single track.

The key point is to realize there are all kinds of handlebar bends to suit your needs.

Some riders will put risers on the bars, some allowing pull back as well as rise (Rox). Personally I find the low bars as is to be fine, I tend to ride on the front of the seat like an MXer and risers on the 250 felt like I was riding with ape hangers. I also don't ride around standing up, when I stand it is for more aggressive riding so the lower bars are right for me. Apparenty my brother was similar in that he did risers then took them off. Both of us rode trials bikes over the years, so it's not as if we don't like to stand.

My brother is actually running a set of alloy trials bend bars on his dual sport, I'm running a set of CR bend bars on my 650, not sure what is on the 250, but they're a Renthal MX bend of some sort. Taller riders may use high versons of the MX bend or ATV bars which have more rise. But it's all about the pull back bend that affects your wrists.

So no matter what you get, keep bar changes in mind. You probably already know bars are a make or break and even a half inch in rise makes a difference.

Ride one of the BMWs and see if they meet your desires.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:24 AM   #7
RMAK OP
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John, I'll probably make a decision in the spring. Here is the bike. I'm running a powder coated black tank with gatemouth badges now and smaller fiberglass fenders, but everything else is about the same. I have all the original red/white sheet metal and pipes, a set of Mohave high pipes go with it too. Wheels are aluminum hubs, rims with SS spokes. Custom bracketed mini gages. Lots of small modifications to make the bike lighter and more nimble. It's running a big bore kit, TPA 813 cams and flatside carbs. It moves pretty good!


btw, Mark, I've owned a GS and an R12R. I am partial to Beemers. I did have a look at the Yamaha TW200s yvinogradvo. Not bad! Thanks for all the input.

RMAK screwed with this post 01-11-2015 at 08:33 AM
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
GlennR
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I really enjoy my little Yamaha XT225 dual sport. It's small & nimble. The BMW 650 might be great, but probably too heavy on the trails.

I admit XT225 is very minimalist on the highway, but I have ridden it on the interstate and even on a couple 2+ hour little "road trips". I only rode the interstate for about 20-30 minutes because I didn't enjoy the wind or the extra high RPMs. However, I really enjoyed it on the 2 lane country highways, even running it between 65-70 mph. I can ride the same bike & same tires (Shinko 244) on tough mountain trails.

If you haven't owned or ridden a small dual sport I would highly recommend you give one a try. I'm 50, but feel like a 15 year old kid every time I ride it.


When I get too old to ride the XT225 I guess my 2 wheel days will be over. I can't imagine an easier bike to ride that's still capable enough to really enjoy.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:51 AM   #9
Kawidad
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Nice trumpet!!!!

IMO, the F650 single would be an excellent choice for what you describe.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:14 AM   #10
Merlin III
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I have thought of the 650 for myself for the same general reasons, but I find it hard dealing with the idea of going back to a one cylinder bike.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:42 AM   #11
BUZZARD II
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I'm a geezer with arthritis in both wrists and thumbs. I've also owned both a '01 Bonnie and a F-650 Dakar. Unless your really going to do a lot of dirt road riding I'd stick with the Triumph. It is a very well balanced bike between it's power, handling, gearing, and toque. It's about the easiest to ride bike I've ever owned. The Dakar was very tall. more so than a standard F-650. It was also expensive to maintain and a pain to work on. Just a simple oil change is a PITA.

I'm now on a KLR NE which is much cheaper to own and maintain than the Beemer. I like it more than the Dakar for a number of reasons. However I have two bikes, a Harley for big road trips and the KLR for back/dirt road trips.

For just one bike the F-650 would be better than just a KLR, but the scrambler would be better than both as a single bike. I think you really have to ask yourself, "How dirty do I want to get?"

When I get to the point of looking at one last bike to take into my eighties I would be thinking Triumph Bonnie or Moto Guzzi V7 Stone. And just because of weight that Stone looks good.

How about a 20 year old KLR for dirt cheap, dirt thrills and hang onto the Scrambler until you get your mojo back?
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:45 AM   #12
BUZZARD II
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Oh, one other thing. Have you tried Mobic? Bad for the liver but it can keep you going. Good luck, I feel your pain.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:29 AM   #13
LexLeroy
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+1 on the DR650 - you can make it into anything that you want it to be. The XR650L is also fun for playing but it's taller and more dirt oriented. Used examples can be had cheaply and there's a huge support community for either one.

Old age creeps up on us all. I was talking to a friend the other day and remarked how this little blue pill that I just discovered was changing my life. He says, "What? Viagra?" I replied, "No... Aleve."
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:17 PM   #14
MartiniUp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LexLeroy View Post
+1 on the DR650 - you can make it into anything that you want it to be. The XR650L is also fun for playing but it's taller and more dirt oriented. Used examples can be had cheaply and there's a huge support community for either one.

Old age creeps up on us all. I was talking to a friend the other day and remarked how this little blue pill that I just discovered was changing my life. He says, "What? Viagra?" I replied, "No... Aleve."
Yep, the DR650 is very hard to beat for many reasons. The only negative for me is the weight that gets more problematic with each birthday. I am seriously interested in one of the 250 bikes for that reason alone. I still fine the paved roads beyond boring and only useful for getting to the good stuff. Becoming more "minimalist" by the day.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:54 PM   #15
dreccles
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The BMW 650 is a great bike, but....

The Kawasaki KLR has won in the direct comparison reviews I have seen.

The quote from a major Moto mag was " the KLR is like the perfect taco - cheap, hearty, and satisfying" when comparing to the BMW G650 in 2009.
Don't even get me going on how it beat out the Husqvarna Terra, Triumph 800 XC, Yamaha Tenere, KTM 990 Adventure in the Apocalypse scenario; the #1 pick was the KLR! "... the AK47 of Adventure bikes" :-) "simple, reliable, and effective"

As true today as it has been since the mid=80's

of course, like the Zook DR, the Kawi is modifiable to your wants'; and needs.
a light-weight battery and aftermarket exhaust will drop at least 25lbs, and
the 6 gallon tank doesn't always have to be full.... it drops well into the upper 300lb range
and is a CAPABLE touring bike too!


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