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Thread: High speed cruising on older 650?

  1. #1
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    High speed cruising on older 650?

    Is this an oxymoron?

    I'm toying with the idea of picking up a second bike, and one option I'm considering is an F650ST. However, one of the uses for this bike will be a trip to Alaska, about 10,000 miles round trip. I'm worried that a 650 single will be uncomfortable (primarily noise, vibration, buffeting) for extended high speed (80+ mph) highway riding. I'm also told that the bike's future owner would want a touring-friendly bike, so long distance cruising is an overall concern (not just for the AK trip).
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

  2. #2
    dlearl476
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    Yes, you can ride an F to AK and back and yes, there are more comfortable bikes on which you could do it.
    One of the big plus' of the F is that it uses a lot of parts that are generic and available at just about any bike shop anywhere. It also doesn't have any "new-fangled" technology that any competent mechanic in the middle of nowhere can't figure out.
    On the down side, you've got the aforementioned aerodynamics and what I consider to be an OEM suspension made of Oatmeal. I wouldn't want to ride a fully loaded one around the block, much less 10,000 miles.
    If you haven't already, check out The Chaingang The FAQs are a treasure trove of answers to the questions you're asking.

  3. #3
    SniggletyFidget syeager's Avatar
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    I find the F650 to be most comfortable at higher highway speeds - bear in mind this is from low-mileage observations riding a service loaner and my SO's new 650GS, but it's my story and I'm sticking to it.

    Dlearl's right in that the F650's Rotax power and simplicity may - repeat, MAY - make it the ideal BMW for rides in and out of Alaska. There are more Rotax motors in use in Alaska than most people realize (read: lots of Rotax-powered snowmachines and home-built airplanes), though I'm not entirely sure what parts would be interchangeable between engine styles and such.

    I would venture to guess that parts availability (from an ordering standpoint as well as that of the custom-machined emergency spares/replacements standpoint) would be pretty good. People back home have been making their own parts with regular garage equipment since before I was born since it's usually quicker to make it than order it. Alaskans have developed an interesting way of living with long-term bodges until they get a chance to thaw out in Seattle.

    I wouldn't fear the trip. I have a bit of trepidation about taking my 1150GS because of the parts/repair issue, but I could probably get a tow from my girl's F650 if I needed it

    HTH

    Scott
    Scott Yeager

  4. #4
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    My friend Gary Van Voorhis has ridden his Dakar from Boston to Alaska and back, two up with camping gear. He also rode from Boston to South America last year. They came up about 600 miles short of Tierra Del Fuego, which was their original intention. Border crossing delays held them up.

    But yeah, the F will go whereever you want it to without complaint.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  5. #5
    leave my monkey alone LORAZEPAM's Avatar
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    is that the temperature control for the heated/cooled AGV helmet? I almost bought one, but the fact that the helmet weighed about 15 pounds (seemed that way anyway) I passed.
    Gale Smith
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  6. #6
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    Re: Re: High speed cruising on older 650?

    Originally posted by flash412
    A carbureted F650 is a great choice for an Alaska trip due to the fact that it has NO parts that REQUIRE a dealer (like BMW fool-infected bikes do). But you'd be better off with a "Funduro" which has a 19" front wheel instead of the 18" of the ST. Don't worry about highway speed or distance. I've done three 1000 mile days on mine and several >700 mile days, all fully loaded. I run the stock windscreen without any problems. I'm 6'1". It'll do 85mph all day long without a whimper (and then some).
    Thanks (everyone) for the good info. I started to poke around the Chain Gang website and will look there more thoroughly. Still not sure if the Funduro or ST would be better (still leaning toward ST, maybe with a different screen for the trip). I'll look at the AVI later.

    Here are more details as to the bike's usage:

    1) Purchase and sort out as necessary, use as second bike for visiting riders

    2) Ride to AK by 5'4" experienced rider. I would be riding my airhead RS, so we'd stick to the paved roads. I've been to AK in a cage several years ago, so I know that paved is often a loosely applied term (especially during road construction season). I'm confident that my RS will make the trip easily, so an ST should be fine as well. Easy to work on is good, I do most all of the wrenching on my airhead and would like something just as easy (or close to it) to work on. The hangup here is that my buddy isn't convinced that a 650 thumper would be comfortable for that long of a trip.

    3) After the trip the bike will then be a second bike until its future owner (5'4" zero experience rider) wants it. It will then be her all-around bike (day rides, short tours, hopefully more).
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

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