How much dirt can the new F650GS take?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by OaklandLion, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. OaklandLion

    OaklandLion Been here awhile

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    I have 2,000 miles on a new one. Just curious....

    Thanks.
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  2. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    I haven't seen many US ride reports regards the F650 twin off road.
    But I have seen good reports from the UK where they've had this bike for nearly a year now.

    No reason it shouldn't do as well as a Vstrom, Tiger or other big trailie. I would say tires will make a big difference. One question will be how the wheels will withstand hard use.

    Some cast wheels are very strong .... like Vstrom wheels. But BMW don't have much of a track record for making much of anything all that strong (off road strong) ... so let us know if anything cracks either in the wheels, frame, sub frame or any where else.

    How strong are they? Only one way to find out! :deal
    I'm sure the bike will do fine on any fire road and probably even some rougher dirt roads too. The bike should be a delight .... and the price is even reasonable! What has got into BMW anyway? :lol3 :clap

    But I would go a bit easy in rocks, ruts, mud, deep sand, steep up hills or down. It's all a matter of learning to ride a 500 lbs. bike off road. An acquired taste.
    #2
  3. raider

    raider Big red dog

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    Australian Road Rider seemed to favour the new 650 over the 800 on gravel roads (they didn't take it on any tracks, sand, or mud) - they preferred the sense of lighter weight and more controllable throttle response.

    The cast rims may or may not be a weakness, but as KTM have proven with the first 950, spokes don't always buy happiness either!
    #3
  4. Navaho

    Navaho Long timer

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    It does real well on smooth gravel roads, horrible in the mud or sand (even with TKC knobbies), and uncomfortable over big bumps at higher speeds. It takes a lot of practice to be smooth with the throttle at slow speeds. The rear brake is a bit like a padlock, locked up or free. This is not a good offroad bike if the trail is rough. The two main weakness are the soft suspension and the weight.

    It's adequate for what most people would use it for - a smooth dirt road at slower speeds.

    The bike was not designed to take crashes like a dirt bike would. I highly recommend crash bars. My SWMotech bars saved my bike from being totalled two months ago. Still broke/scratched enough parts to add up to over $6k in damage! One plastic side panel = $500. Instrument cluster = $1,100. Headlight = $500. Carry full coverage insurance.
    #4
  5. OaklandLion

    OaklandLion Been here awhile

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    Thanks everyone -

    My original post was pretty brief, so I'll expand a bit. I'm thinking of a ride to say Cabo. So the peninsula highways, a few off-shoots to the beach, that type of thing. Do I even need TKC's for that type of ride?

    I will get crash bars, I also picked up the large OEM engine guard (a lot of money for a simple piece of aluminum!)

    I live in Oakland CA, so if I do this ride, I was thinking of getting the TKCs put on in San Diego.

    I agree about deep ruts, mud, big rocks, etc....best to avoid on this bike.

    Also, super tall first gear. I can't decide if that's a good or bad thing. Maybe a good thing.

    Navaho - you crashed your new F650GS twin?
    #5
  6. Navaho

    Navaho Long timer

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    A 20 mph low side on asphalt. Mostly cosmetic damage. I made a claim and had it restored to new.
    #6
  7. Ed@Ford

    Ed@Ford Long timer

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    Spend the $40 and get the F800GS front sprocket...TKC80's are essential
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  8. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

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    springs on both ends would probably help too-- stock springs let it ride kinda low in the travel
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  9. Navaho

    Navaho Long timer

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    Agreed. I've already done both mods but be careful with new TKC's. They were the reason I crashed (real slick in corners when new :eek1 ).
    #9
  10. tedree

    tedree Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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    TKC80's suck Go with Perelli MT21's Stick with the stock gears if you know how to ride. :thumb If you don't have much off-road riding experience then you should gear down a bit.
    #11
  12. spoof

    spoof on backwards

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    No, you don't. But they won't hurt in the sand.
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  13. tedree

    tedree Been here awhile

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    Hey DAKEZ, do you know if those MT21's come in tubeless and how do they wear on the freeway?
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  14. JakeCWU

    JakeCWU The Notorious H.O.G.

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    It's good in anything non-technical. Well, as good as an 800 cc, 500# motorcycle can be expected to be. The stock tires are worthless, do the TKC's or similar. Any other modifications for your described trip would be extravagant (except the aforementioned crash bars and bash plates).

    G-
    #14
  15. O-Man

    O-Man Been here awhile

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    Tedree, how did the F650 compare to the KLR on your trip. Also, what W/S is that and how do you like it? :D
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  16. Ed@Ford

    Ed@Ford Long timer

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    Nope, I agree to disagree. Did all that MT21, TKC80 trip on my old KLR 650. MT21, especially on the front was poor, on the rear didn't last beyond 2000 miles. TKC80 lasted better on the rear, and was quieter. Of course care was required new, and in the wet on either. In fact, the OD of the TKC80 on the KLR was more than the stock KLR tire, requiring a countershaft sprocket change to "undo" the effect of the taller TKC. I'm assuming the same will happen on the F650GS. I've gone back to my D606 equipped dirt bikes for riding stuff that an F650GS would require TKC80's for.
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  17. OaklandLion

    OaklandLion Been here awhile

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    Thanks Ed - heading to motown friday for the holidays. Grew up in the burbs....
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  18. tedree

    tedree Been here awhile

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    My Buddies KLR did great. I didn't have a chance to ride it offroad to compare but from what I saw it did a great job in all conditions. It was his 1st trip on it and he had no issues. My W/S is a PowerBronze. It works really well for me with the Shoei Hornet. It blocks the wind really nice up to about 75mph on the freeway. Good price too. Bout $125......
    #18