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Thread: F650 Dakar Vibration Question

  1. #1
    SlaveToCurves/Wind/Motion jono's Avatar
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    F650 Dakar Vibration Question

    I am a long-time BMW owner - currently on a R1150RS. In the past I've had K-bikes, RTs and a GS-PD. The wife had a 97 F650ST which I rode on occasion - so I'm aware of what the bike is generally like. For a variety of reasons, I'm considering moving from the RS to another bike - partly because I'm on my third brake modulator . I hadn't seen anything in the BMW line recently that interests me, but after reading a report about the F650 Dakar, I developed some interest.

    I scooted up to my dealer last week on my RS and asked about a test ride. He put me on a 06 Dakar with less than 100 miles on it which I took for about a 10 mile spin. It took a little bit of practice stopping to get used to the seat height but I found the bike's handling to be quite nice and it had plenty of oompf as I remembered with the ST. Scooting around at low speeds, it felt smooth as glass - much smoother than my RS. The thing that concerned me, was that when I got out on a highway and hit 70mph at ~5K rpms - there was a decided vibration that came through both the bars and the pegs. I pushed it a little more to around 75mph and it felt like the vibration was lessening, but couldn't be sure. I didn't want to rev the bike much higher, because I wasn't sure about the break-in limitations and I was a little concerned about pushing a bike with less than 100 miles on its tires. Can someone give me some insight as to whether this is an inherent aspect of this bike, a break-in issue or perhaps the tires? It was a bit of a shock to get back on my RS and adjust to being "down in the bike" as opposed to being "on top" on the F650. I think I would get over that pretty quickly. Except for the vibration, I'm thinking pretty seriously about going to the F650 - the dealer offered me a decent amount on a trade-in for the RS.

    One other question - when I got back to the dealer, I couldn't get the bike into neutral to save my butt. Is that a break-in issue?

    Cheers,
    jono

    2014 BMW K1600GT (Sixer)
    1975 Norton Commando (Oiler)

  2. #2
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    Jono, I have an '06 Dakar and it's fine at crusing along at 70. Sure it has more vibes than a twin or four-cylinder but that's a bit the nature of a thumper. The F650 is the smoothest of them all FWIW.

    The shifting gets better with time and I've learned to either get it in neutral before coming to a complete stop, or full-pull the clutch, or turn it off get it in neutral and restart.

    If it had been my first (re-entry) into street bikes (before the R1150GS), I'd be completely happy with it being my only bike. So without comparing apples to oranges, it's a great little bike that has a big heart...

    JMO
    YMMV

    Doc
    Russ
    "If you took the time to really get to know me...you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

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  3. #3
    Registered User dealsgap's Avatar
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    I have an 06 as well, and have a few highway miles on it. I agree, their is a little vibration at that speed but not much. Have not had problems getting it into neutral other than sometimes it is in neutral but the light is not on right away.

    Brad

  4. #4
    Rally Rat
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFDOC
    Jono, I have an '06 Dakar and it's fine at crusing along at 70. Sure it has more vibes than a twin or four-cylinder but that's a bit the nature of a thumper. The F650 is the smoothest of them all FWIW.

    The shifting gets better with time and I've learned to either get it in neutral before coming to a complete stop, or full-pull the clutch, or turn it off get it in neutral and restart.


    Doc
    SFDOC is right..The shifting does get better with mileage..

  5. #5
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    My bike is rougher at 70 than anywhere else in the powerband.

    Sarah

  6. #6
    dlearl476
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    AFAIK, the newer models don't come with bar end weights. Adding them would help a lot.

  7. #7
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    Vibrations

    I've got an '06 Dakar. I don't recall getting any serious or different vibes at 70 mph. I did change my screen to a taller Cee-Bailey for less buffetting, and this has made it smoother at higher speeds. Was it a high frequency vibe or more of a low frequency thing?

    If the vibe occurs around 70 regardless of which gear you are in, then it has an imbalanced tire, something's loose or you need to firm up the suspension pre-load. If not, then definately transfer of engine vibes to the handlebars. I suspect it has more to do with a combination of several factors including speed, your height, weight, suspension settings, tire pressure, etceteras, all conspiring to create different turbulence patterns for different bike/rider combinations. I recently put my old windscreen back on for a ride, and couldn't stand the shaking I took at any speed. Bar end weights will help for high frequency vibes (from engine), but not for low frequency vibes from turbulence.

    I've never ridden any of the "R" or "K" bikes, so I can't give much comparison, but I do ride with them and the bike does a pretty good job keeping up (and sometimes leading), and I love getting 60 MPG.

    As mentioned by other, shifting gets much better after 3000 miles. I only use neutral when backing the bike out of my shed, otherwise it is always in gear.

  8. #8
    SlaveToCurves/Wind/Motion jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buck_taylor
    I've got an '06 Dakar. I don't recall getting any serious or different vibes at 70 mph. I did change my screen to a taller Cee-Bailey for less buffetting, and this has made it smoother at higher speeds. Was it a high frequency vibe or more of a low frequency thing?

    If the vibe occurs around 70 regardless of which gear you are in, then it has an imbalanced tire, something's loose or you need to firm up the suspension pre-load. If not, then definately transfer of engine vibes to the handlebars. I suspect it has more to do with a combination of several factors including speed, your height, weight, suspension settings, tire pressure, etceteras, all conspiring to create different turbulence patterns for different bike/rider combinations. I recently put my old windscreen back on for a ride, and couldn't stand the shaking I took at any speed. Bar end weights will help for high frequency vibes (from engine), but not for low frequency vibes from turbulence.
    It was a high frequency vibe from the motor coming through the bars and the pegs. Having read a number of posts and articles on the F650 web sites, what I experienced seems to be a trait of the motor that most people don't mind. Since I experienced it only briefly I can't say if this would bother me or not. I'm a little gunshy since buying a K100RS back in the late 80's where I found a vibration at ~70mph that the dealer convinced me wouldn't annoy - and I found it really did annoy me - to the point I got rid of the bike.

    Thanks for all the input - I think I'm going to wait until spring before deciding.

    Cheers,
    jono

    2014 BMW K1600GT (Sixer)
    1975 Norton Commando (Oiler)

  9. #9
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    F650 Dakar Vibration Question

    I'm thinking about getting these:

    http://www.hunterflatbars.com/

  10. #10
    bjohnson
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    I just got an '07 and am still in the break in mode. There are no bad vibes under 5k. I had a KTM 640 a while back and it was a lot worse. My k12rs that I traded in on the dakar had an annoying vibe that would put my right hand to sleep.
    ben

  11. #11
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    Cool

    I have an '03 F650GS (32000 miles) and an '03 R1150R (20000 miles). I could easily live with only the 650. It does have more vibration than the R, but thats to be expected with the Thumper. As said before bar-end weights will help. Finding neutral on my 650 is a bit of a challenge. It's often in neutral and the light is not on. I've not had anyone look at it 'cause I don't care.

  12. #12
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Finding Neutral

    The easiest way is to be in first and shut off engine using the key.

    After engine stops turn the key back on and the tranny will slide into neutral with just a bit of up pressure on lever

    Green light come on.

  13. #13
    dlearl476
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acejones
    Finding neutral on my 650 is a bit of a challenge. It's often in neutral and the light is not on. I've not had anyone look at it 'cause I don't care.
    I noticed early on that my F doesn't like 2-1 shifts. (a lot of transmissions dont') I shift 2-N-1 with a release of the clutch lever in neutral and it seems to be fine.

    As for the occasional light malfunction, flick lever twist throttle slightly combined with rocking the bike forward usually gets it back on. Like you, it's never bothered me enough to worry about it.

  14. #14
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    I have an '07 Dakar - there is a little peg vibration at 70, it's goes away at 65 or just over 70. No bar vibration that I can detect. I moved to the 650 from a GS1150 - which had a LOT of bar vibration. I reduced it by swapping the bars for some Ricky bars/risers - it got better. Overall, I find the vibration on the 650 less than the big twin.

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