1997 BMW F650 Funduro - reliable?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by JayRitz, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. JayRitz

    JayRitz Adventurer

    Mar 10, 2009
    Southeastern Tennessee
    Well, I finally did it. It has always been a dream of mine to have a dual sport and a few days ago, I bought a well maintained 1997 BMW F650 Funduro for under $1k.:D The couple that sold it to me had hardly ridden it lately, and since I was riding it to maintain it for them, they cut me a sweet deal (I can't tell you how grateful I am to them)! It came with the Corbin seat, Olins shock, aluminum hard bags, helmet, tubes, Kevlar riding suit, only 32k miles, and so on! I had ridden 4 or 5 times before, so I was familiar with it. The guy was the only owner, and did all the maintaince work.

    Ok, to the point. I understand that sites like advrider and the chain gang are there for support and technical help, but there seems to be so many things that can go wrong with the bike (wheel bearings, chain/sprocket, battery, etc).

    My questions:

    1. Have other Funduro owners found their bikes to be reliable?
    2. Should I plan to spend a lot of time working on the bike?

    Not to sound like a "Johnny Raincloud", but my previous bike, a 1984 Honda Magna 700, cost me over $2k in repairs in two years. Not the best of experiences.:baldy

    All that aside, I still am very excited about my new bike. It handles the rodes like a bike should, and I intend to ride it as much as possible. I have taken down a rough trail and it did fine. Love the torque, love the height. Seems to be a great bike!
  2. ADVCoop

    ADVCoop Long timer

    Aug 22, 2007
    Springtown TX
    I can't help you as I have never owned a Funduro, but congrats on the new bike and the sweet deal! :D
  3. foster

    foster Huh?

    Jul 18, 2005
    Cartoogechaye, NC
    That motorcycle has a strong following for a reason. Quit worrying and start riding. :ricky
  4. Mtncrzr

    Mtncrzr Just Kidding, not really

    Mar 24, 2006
    Fort Collins, the Mtns
    Check out www.f650.com for all the Funduro info you can stand. Check out the Technical FAQ sections for the "Classic F650."

    I had a 2000 Funduro and it was a good bike. Not really much maintenance. Good dual-sport and comfy.

    Mine did not like Donner pass or boulder gardens too much though (only 7 inches of travel).

    Wires on the bottom of the ignition key module broke and almost left me stranded once. That was the only problem.
  5. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

    Dec 1, 2005
    McMinnville, Oregon
    You got a steal! I had a 97 and it was a great bike. Steering head bearings and water pump seals were easy fixes and after that it was totally bullet proof. If yours has low miles, you may not even have to consider that work for a long time. Change your coolant though to make sure its anti-corrosive qualities are up to snoff.

    Now, get riding! :deal
    Blue Mule likes this.
  6. markcap

    markcap Been here awhile

    Mar 20, 2007
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Hey Jay,
    I just picked a '97 Funduro late in 2009.

    Winter here in PA has kept me grounded except for maybe 200 miles of some cold weather rides. I had plenty of spare time so I performed the water pump & steer head repairs. ( Both were necessary ) Parts for both repairs, relatively cheap. The tasks were very easy bordering on simple thanks to the great write ups over at the chaingang site. I love this bike. I owned a KLR650 just prior to trading up for this Funduro. I couldn't be happier with this deal. This bike may be nearly as fast & fun as my DL650 Vstrom. I have a real delema this season....

    Enjoy. You bought yourself a great ride.
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Aug 16, 2002
  8. Scottysix9

    Scottysix9 Shhh...

    Nov 27, 2006
    Yes. It is reliable, but as with any used bike, there will be some things to fix. I bought mine with 20,000 miles and have put 25,000 more on it.

    Here were my problems.

    The most expensive fix was when the chain broke in Carlsbad New Mexico. Once I got it home, a tape measure showed the factory stamps in the swingarm were 1/4 inch off, side to side. I have worked on a lot of bikes and never seen this large of an error. I now adjust my chain using a tape from the swingarm pivot to the center of the axle.

    Cost-Chain, sprockets, rear wheel bearings and seals.

    The oil plug stripped the threads in the crankcase..

    Cost- Big tap, new oil plug.

    The plunger that engages the clutch broke a tooth.

    Cost- Plunger, fiber plates (since I had it apart and the plates were worn enough to change).

    While riding to work, it started missing and then quit. Once at the shop, I diagnosed a dead reg/rec.

    Cost- new r/r and time to relocate it from under the seat to the side of the bike where it can get some cool air.

    Other items- tires, brakes, brake discs, fork seals, battery, steering bearings.

    I have also added a temp gauge in place of the clock, heated grips, XM, GPS, Corbin seat, rejetted the carbs for Colorado, driving lights, etc.

    It's a fun little bike, but with 30,000 miles, don't expect it to be maintenance free.

    One more thing. Change the spark plug boots. The stock boots are junk. The resistor corrodes internally and will cause starting and/or running problems. Throw them as far as you can and buy some nice, new NGK's.


    CoatsEast likes this.
  9. zataomm

    zataomm Been here awhile

    Nov 15, 2005
    Loxley, AL
    I'm reviving this thread because I just sold my airhead and am thinking about getting a '97 f650 for sale locally. Bike has less than 6k miles and he's asking $2700, which seems like a good deal.

    One concern I have is that the closest BMW dealer is about 4 hours away. What's routine maintenance like on these bikes? Any special tools required? I have heard from friends who've owned them that with regular servicing they are very reliable.

    This particular bike does not have hard bags; owner said he thought the bag mounts are built in to the bike. Is this the case?

    If I go to look is there anything unique to these bikes I need to check out?

    Thanks for any input you might have.
  10. Railbender

    Railbender Long timer

    Oct 3, 2006
    NW PA
    Routine maintenance is not hard. Probably the worst project is getting the carbs back on if you should remove them.

    On a '97 the bag mounts are not built in.

    Take a look at the FAQs on www.f650.com The Chain Gang is THE source for all things F650. Take a look at the voltage regulator FAQ. That may be the weak point. I did the relocation and have never had a problem.

    For that price/mileage go for it. I like mine much more than the R90/6 I had.

    EastBoundAndDown likes this.
  11. Kiwi Tinkerer

    Kiwi Tinkerer Ross

    Sep 1, 2007
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I had one from new in 1995. Apart from maintenance just a few main things to look out for.
    Steering head bearings: because the oil tank is in the frame. bearings get hot. Just replace them when they get notchy and get riding. No drama.
    Other than that they are dead reliable.

    re the sump plug. If you tighten them to the specified 40Nm torque they will strip. especially if torqued when they have oil on them. 25NM is enough.
    If you accidentally do this, the cheapest fix is to use the plug from a BMW K75 gear box Filler plug. Part number 07119919143. This has the same thread but the thread is longer and will bite into the undamaged thread. Only half of the available thread is used by the original plug so it is as strong as original. No problem. Also, a scab of RTV makes an effective way of avoiding loss of the plug if it comes loose.
  12. rride

    rride Honda NH 750

    Mar 16, 2013
    LA, CA
    And the OP's last post was where are trails in Chattanooga, TN as he rode off into the sunset almost 3 years ago!

    A good story for a great motorcycle :clap:clap
  13. JayRitz

    JayRitz Adventurer

    Mar 10, 2009
    Southeastern Tennessee
    LOL!!! That does sound really good. Sorry for the long time away from the site. Been doing life - work, 1 more kid since last post, job changes, and back to school for my 3rd degree.

    Still riding the Funduro - ride almost daily to work. Have had a few issues with the bike, and have a few more to iron out. Love it when its running tip-top shape.
  14. alma1759

    alma1759 Nothing

    Jun 8, 2010
    Jay, give us the summary? How many miles? What have you done to it?
    Had one myself from new in 1995, ex-wife hated it, sold it with less than a year ownership. I still look at it longingly and I'm trying to steer my son towards one as his second bike...
  15. McJamie


    Oct 3, 2009
    Courtice, Ontario, Canada
    A neighbour up the street had one for sale in the summer, it had 140,000kms on it. That would make it reliable in my books.
    He was however asking $3500.00 dollars for it. Needless to say, he still has it.
  16. JayRitz

    JayRitz Adventurer

    Mar 10, 2009
    Southeastern Tennessee
    Thanks for asking! The first couple years I barely rode it since my work was across the street. Now I commute all year round (10 miles a day :cry) and have put about 8k miles on it. I have taken a few weekend trips up to the Cherohala Skyway and Dragon's Tail, and a few other day trips, but that's about all.

    Since the bike came farkled with Jesse bags, Ohlins shock and Corbin saddle, there was very little to do. This year I added Oxford Handle Bar Muffs for the winter and they work great - 25 degrees the other night and my hands were very comfortable. Oh, and my wife got me a GoPro:evil

    Service: a few oil changes, coolant changes, brake pad changes, greased all the bearings, changed the steering head bearings, checked valves and had the carbs done. I'm sure a few other things, but I don't remember. Bike has never left me stranded. It seems to get a bit noisier as time goes, but it runs fine. As soon as I get a free afternoon(s), I'm gonna change out the chain and sprockets, check cam chain/rails/tensioner, change oil and bleed brakes.

    This is my second bike and I absolutely love it. Has character, and as paranoid of a biker as I am, I'm guessing that I could do the above metioned need-to-do's and ride it anywhere. I've got a bit over 40k, so I'm hoping to get another 40k.

    Just out of curiosity, is there a thread dedicated to just the F650 Classic? I've looked but can't seem to locate one.
  17. Skylane101WP

    Skylane101WP n00b

    Mar 12, 2014
    Scotty, I have a 97 Funduro as well and am planning a Colorado ride in July, can you help w/ how the jetting should be changed for the higher altitudes? Thanks a ton!

  18. Bikaholic51

    Bikaholic51 Electric Kaiser

    Aug 28, 2008
    FIB LAND USA (Wauconda, IL)
    I bought a used 99 for my wife. She has ridden that bike to Glacier National and then up the Canadian Rockies all the way to Jasper. We have traveled Colorado for a couple weeks and did a trip out to the coast of Maine and down to S. Carolina and that bike never skipped a beat. It is down now with a bad R/R but that will be replaced and she will keep riding it. She loves that bike. Only has about 30K on it but thats the bike she uses when we tour cross country. :clap I will UN lower this bike and use it for dirt when she gets a new bike. :evil
  19. New englander

    New englander Adventurer

    Dec 3, 2012
    Central CT
    I have a 97 F650 with 36,000 and it has been the best bike I have ever had. The are rock solid and dead simple to work with if something goes wrong. The FI on the newer F650 may improve gas mileage but it only increases the reliance on the electrical system. The bike has a legendary following and support by the chaingang, where you can find out anything you want to know about the bike. I went a bit overboard last year, went in to adjust valve clearances and ended up buying new pads, rotors, fork seals, chain, voltage rectifier, but with all of that sorted this bike will last. Some riders have over 150,000 miles on their funduros. Just keep up with maintenance and yours will last just as long.

  20. Goomicoo

    Goomicoo Rubber Cow

    Nov 4, 2010
    Here & There
    I just picked up a '99 today.
    Needs a carb rebuild and general maintenance since it has been sitting for a year. Red is not color but the price was right so what the heck.