Raising a lowered F650GS to standard hieght, my final thoughts

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Dadayama, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Dadayama

    Dadayama Constant Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    607
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    Ok... After spending many hours dealing with BMW parts departments, studying the parts break downs and talking with Ohlins shock experts I have arrived at the truth concerning some things i have read on-line in regards to raising a lowered F650GS. There are two main myths that i will address and i have searched for their source and believe i have found them.

    1. Myth one: You have to change the front suspension as well as the back suspension to raise the bike to standard size.

    This is incorrect. The only difference on the BMW F650GS (Twin) between the standard suspension and the lowered suspension is the rear shock. There is no adjustment to the front suspension.

    The source of this myth is the F650GS (single cylinder) made prior to 2008. On those bikes (now named G650GS, there is a spacer on the front suspension, which needs to be changed out, but not on the modern F650GS-twin.

    2. Myth two: There is only one shock used for both the F650GS and the F800GS.

    This is incorrect. There are two different shocks with two different part numbers. They have two different lengths and two different strokes.

    In regards to Ohlin shocks... There is not one single shock for both the F650GS and F800GS. There is two totally different shocks for each. The F650GS will take a BM801 and the F800GS will take a BM802. There is a total of 15 mm difference in the length between the two shocks.

    I believe the source of the myth is that they are both listed as the same type... S46DR1B

    Hopefully this will be helpful to others who are looking to raise their factory lowered bikes to standard heights in the future or those looking to replace or sell Ohlin shocks for a F650GS.

    Don't shoot the messenger

    Take care
    Peter
    #1
  2. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    Good to know. My F650 was sold to me as a lowered, but the previous owner had replaced the factory rear shock for an Ohlins. The mechanic at the dealer told me it was a "lowered" Ohlins shock. After my "lowered" side stand extender didn't fit, I started to question the mechanic's knowledge. Only after talking with Ohlins did i find out my bike was returned to standard height and Ohlins does not make "lowered" shocks for the 2008+ F650GS.
    #2
  3. FT-WA-MD-GS

    FT-WA-MD-GS n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    I/we will let you know what parts are needed to lift a lowered 2009 F650GS. The Mrs has put 42K on her OEM shock and we're thinking that replacing the shock with a new Ohlins will give it more carrying capacity and certainly more ground clearance. Want to use the coupons provided at the BMW Off-road Training School in Greer, SC. Although she's still not fond of dirt, we are getting a few more opportunities here & there [just enjoyed a ride down old Rt 66 in Oklahoma]. We had a fantastic 6,000 mile trip from MD to the RA Rally in CO along a southern route while returning along a northern route. It's certainly a big, beautiful country if you get out on some backroads to see it for yourself.

    [​IMG]

    If you're inclined, more at: http://s1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc466/philager/Trip to Colorado/

    Will let you know if we get the Lifting mission accomplished according to my plans (service appt on 1Aug12).
    Ciao!
    Phil

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    2009 F650GS,
    2009 Kawasaki KLX250S,
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    #3
  4. markymcd

    markymcd Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    890
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Don't forget folks that if you raise your lowered 650 twin to a non-lowered one you will also have to replace your side stand.

    cheers,
    Mark
    #4
  5. Mollygrubber

    Mollygrubber Eschew obfuscation

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,632
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    My wife has a factory lowered F698, and it is still a little too tall for her. Her forks are all the way up in the triple tree. I assume lowering her forks will (if the OP's "Myth # 1 is correct) actually balance the suspension geometry front-to-back, as well as give her less reach to the ground?
    #5
  6. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,370
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    I would. If BMW just lowers the rear, that surprises me. It does change the geomatry of the bike. I assume a dealer fix, so maybe that explains.
    #6
  7. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,461
    Location:
    On a RTW ride - currently touring the U.S.
    If you do just slide up the forks in the triples without internally limiting travel at the same time, make sure there is enough room between the bottom of the lower triple and the low fender at full compression. That could be painful otherwise.
    #7
  8. Dadayama

    Dadayama Constant Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    607
    Location:
    Oklahoma City

    Hello

    for the record... the only difference in an F650GS twin between the lowered version and the the standard version is the rear shock, which sits right under you butt when you sit down... the lowered shock is a bit shorter so you sit lower... There is no adjusting the front forks as far as BMW is concerned...

    Though it may sound like a good idea to lower the front forks, i would check with a qualified suspension person first... suspensions are a tricky and complicated thing...

    Pedro over and out...
    #8
  9. flatland964

    flatland964 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    190
    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    A couple of years ago I went with an Ohlins in my factory lowered 650 to bring it back to standard height and increase the load capacity for better two up riding. Only changes are the rear shock/spring and the kickstand. As has been said, nothing changes up front.

    That said, shortly after changing the rear shock I became dissatisfied with the front suspension, particularly the dive and the front/back rocking of the bike over high speed bumps. I don't know if things actually changed because of the stiffer rear shock, or if the Ohlins was so good in the rear that it just made the shortcomings of the front suspension more obvious. In any case, a pair of intiminators had a very positive affect and I am happy with the suspension now.
    #9
  10. Dadayama

    Dadayama Constant Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    607
    Location:
    Oklahoma City
    I did the same as you but in different order... i put the Intiminators on first then the Ohlin... and like you am very happy with the set up...
    #10
  11. FT-WA-MD-GS

    FT-WA-MD-GS n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Maryland, USA
    Karen got her new Ohlins 801 shock installed during a scheduled service appointment on the third anniversary of her F650 purchase, 1Aug12. We paid $773 + S&H for the Ohlins shock from Fast Bike Industries (with the Greer SC BMW Off-road Training coupon). After failing to find any used side/center stands online, it cost $168 for the center stand & $132 for a new side-stand at Morton's BMW. We ended up paying $105 in labor for this portion of the routine service. We too ordered and installed the Intiminators at ya’lls’ informed suggestion ($149 + S&H) in order to improve the front end’s behavior. No other adjustments made to the front end. So raising her 2009 F650GS cost us about $1,361, not including our own time and labor to do the fork upgrade. She very much likes the feel of her new & improved suspension. Thanks to everyone for sharing your prior research and riding experience! :1drink
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    [FONT=&quot]Sláinte![/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Phil & Karen[/FONT]
    2010 F800GS,
    2009 F650GS,
    2009 Kawasaki KLX250S,
    2008 Honda CRF230L, and
    1975 R90S.
    #11
  12. ubermick

    ubermick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    *casts spell of thread necromancy*

    Righty-ho. I purchased for myself a factory lowered 2010 last autumn, and am beginning to eye raising it upwards. Still having a hard time believing that BMW would do nothing suspension-wise between the two heights other than the rear shock - would think it throws the geometry off, as others have mentioned above (from riding mountain bikes in my pre-fat-bastard days, I know that even just a half inch difference to one measurement without compensating elsewhere, can cause a massive difference in feel), but oh well, what do I know, German engineering and all that.

    Anyways, been poring over the recommendations for the replacement, which seems to boil down to 50% Ohlins, 50% Wilbers, 100% the stock shock is awful compared to those two. Leaning towards Wilbers right now, since BeemerShop is in my neck of the woods, and by all accounts Ted is da man.

    Fly in the ointment, though, is the Euro. Right now, the going rate for a three-way Wilbers for my bike is about $900, plus tax since I'm in California. Not a cheap proposition - but SEEMINGLY the same shock from Germany would be about $300 cheaper, thanks to the current exchange rate:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/321771727415

    My German is rusty, but am I right in thinking that this seems to be the correct shock, with the ad asking the relevant questions such as rider weight, gear weight, riding style, etc. so would assume that I could order that, wait the month or so for it to arrive, and then putter down to Ted to have him do the install. (And be yelled at likely for not buying local, but hey, $300 is $300, especially with a wife constantly looking at the credit card bills.)
    #12
  13. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,263
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    Talk to Ted about the yacugar shock. A couple friends say they compare very favorable to the Wilber's
    Fwiw I have the Wilber's and wouldn't hesitate to buy another one


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #13
  14. ubermick

    ubermick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Oddometer:
    696
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Yeesh, those those Yacugars are as expensive/more so than the Wilbers!
    #14