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Old 04-10-2015, 01:08 PM   #1
libella OP
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: Brighton
Oddometer: 2
BMW F650 for shorties?


Just planning to buy my first bike and having a little panic . I say first, actually I had an ancient Honda CB350 before, but have been without bike for about 2 years.
I'm planning to do some fairly big trips (mostly Europe, nothing too adventurous - yet) and have seen a BMW F650. I went to see it today and realised I am really......short...... 5'4, which for a woman is probably fairly decent, but I could only get one tip of my toe down at a time! And it seemed massive compared to my old Honda. I've had a look around on the internet, and it seems with a Wunderlich seat and some Koubalinks I might be able to get 2 inches off. I was also wearing silly shoes at the time.
Am I hugely out of my depth here? All research makes me think this is the most appropriate adv bike (for a shorty and someone who doesn't really know what they're doing). Has anyone got any experience here, or suggestions?

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Old 04-10-2015, 02:02 PM   #2
Motorbike Man
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Joined: Aug 2008
Location: Northern Nevada...until I move on.
Oddometer: 87
Hi, I don't have a ton of experience with The F650, i know the dakar is higher than the standard, however i believe that the older F650's (single cyclinder seem like they sit higher) than the 2009 F650 (twin cyclinder) i have ridden was pretty short, but again i'm 6'4". My mother (who's bike it is) is 5'7" and she touches both feet just fine.

I have KTM 640's and they are extremely tall, as my girlfriend at 5'10" has a tough time touching the ground on her 2" lowered 2001 640 adventure. We run Kouba Links on that, and it seems to have altered the rear suspension in a negative way, it bottoms out easier and seems to loose damping affect in extremely rough terrain.

I would consider getting the bike you feel most comfortable on, and then getting it lowered via the actual shocks and springs, it would help keep your geometry better.

Good luck with whatever bike you choose.
It's not where you go, but how you get there...thats the real adventure.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:59 PM   #3
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Aspen, Colorado
Oddometer: 865
My wife is 5'3" and rides an 07 F650GS. We have a Kouba -1 link, the forks slid down in the triple clamps 3/4", and then I shaved the seat down a little. She wears good boots with a thicker sole and a little heal. She does just fine and loves the bike.

We started her out with a 2" Kouba, but it proves too low and the handling suffered some. I was able to get the seat height the same by altering it a little, and then raising the suspension back up as described above.
DRZ440E, KLX440R, DRZ250, KTM 950S Adv, F650GS, & F650GS Dakar
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Old 04-10-2015, 05:48 PM   #4
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Lake Champlain, Vermont
Oddometer: 627
1" lowering links, raise the forks 1" and get a lower seat. Also turn the shock adjuster soft all the way- that's another 1/2 inch or so
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Old 04-11-2015, 08:45 AM   #5
libella OP
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: Brighton
Oddometer: 2
Thanks for all your help! I'm going back next week with some proper boots and in the mean time I'm going to try out a friend's bigger bike on a quiet road so I can get a bit more confidence!
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Old 04-11-2015, 12:11 PM   #6
Zoef zoef
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Finnøy Island, near Stavanger, Norway
Oddometer: 387
In addition to the above, you can also mount a lower rear tyre.
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