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Thread: Need some advice...

  1. #1
    I love to lurk! tvgal2000's Avatar
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    Need some advice...

    I know that my question will ultimately be my own decision but... I'm going to Gillette from Milwaukee, WI.

    I can't decide between riding my '88 K75s or my 07 F650GS. Here are the pros/cons: K75S - smooth, great for the highways, comfortable seat BUT not very easy for me to handle at low speeds (think 25 mph) and is an older bike. F650GS- new, easier to handle, especially at low speeds, has roadside assistance BUT has an uncomfortable seat and is lightweight on highways. I'll be staying off I-80 as much as possible.

    I don't have a ton of LD riding experience (did ride to Lima Rally a couple of years ago) so that's why I"m not sure about which bike. I will be riding alone (I'm female) and will be staying in motels on the way there.

    I'm just looking for some input from the wizened members of this esteemed forum! Thanks in advance!
    Sarah B
    Milwaukee,WI
    '09 R1200GS 'Starbuck' my big silver baby
    '13 K1600GTL Graphite Grey... yet unnamed!

  2. #2
    @ the Big Muddy & I-80 bluestune's Avatar
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    If I may read between your lines, it sounds like you are a bit more at home on the 650. That bike will have all the road manners you need for a trip to Gillette, and will haul more than you will need.

    Regarding the saddle, I'm sure there are others who have the same issue and I'm sure some of them will chime in, but, here's my thought. Consider an after-market saddle if you plan on keeping the bike. If you don't want to spend that kind of money try an Air Hawk pad, gel pad or even sheepskin over your existing saddle.

    There will probably be several riders from your area heading to Gillette to ride with if you're concerned about break downs, flats or whatever. Just post a message asking to ride with some other BMW riders to the rally, folks on this forum are pretty friendly.

    Good luck and see you in Gillette.
    1976 R90/6

  3. #3
    Registered User Rapid_Roy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvgal2000 View Post
    I know that my question will ultimately be my own decision but... I'm going to Gillette from Milwaukee, WI.

    I can't decide between riding my '88 K75s or my 07 F650GS. Here are the pros/cons: K75S - smooth, great for the highways, comfortable seat BUT not very easy for me to handle at low speeds (think 25 mph) and is an older bike. F650GS- new, easier to handle, especially at low speeds, has roadside assistance BUT has an uncomfortable seat and is lightweight on highways. I'll be staying off I-80 as much as possible.

    I don't have a ton of LD riding experience (did ride to Lima Rally a couple of years ago) so that's why I"m not sure about which bike. I will be riding alone (I'm female) and will be staying in motels on the way there.

    I'm just looking for some input from the wizened members of this esteemed forum! Thanks in advance!
    It sounds like the F650GS would be more fun, and I always take back roads when I can. The Freeway is helpful when you need to save time so how much vacation time is always a variable. If I had enough time, I'd opt for back roads and the GS. You will also be packed for travel which might help it be more stable, with the added weight.
    19 BMWMOA Nationals under my belt, and I have no idea what I am doing.

  4. #4
    Rally Rat nytrashman's Avatar
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    i am riding my '07 F650GS to Gillette from NY. get yourself an Alaskan Leather Sheepskin butt pad, it makes a huge difference in saddle comfort.

  5. #5
    Novice Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
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    Take the GS and order a new saddle from Rick Mayer (assuming he's there). It made a world of difference on my GS.

    No matter what you finally decide, you will have a great time!

  6. #6
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    What to ride?

    I have ridden { and still have} an R100RS AND an F650GS to long distance MOA rallies. Either is fine, as far as I am concerned. BUT, the GS shines on a long trip when you don't know what is coming at you. { Road construction, bad camping ground, median turn-around due to accident, etc.}
    We are all old enough to remember when a 650 was a large bike. Your GS will easily break the interstate speed limits all day long, and is quite stable at speed! As my home is in Conn., I have to take the slab out, to get to the good stuff quickly and safely, due to our high congestion.
    What am I riding to Gillette? My newly purchased 1993 R100GSPD, for all the "unimproved" stuff out west. Yippee-ki-yay. Good luck and safe trip.

    Jim

  7. #7
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Do you have time to get to an advanced rider course? If you're going to keep the
    K75 you've got to be comfortable riding it under any condition, else why keep it?

    One way to gain confidence is by increasing your skills, another way is practice, practice practice. If you do have many years and miles on the K75 and still feel uncomfortable at slow speeds, maybe its just a bad fit. Many people recommend that bike for new riders, especially women riders, but I think that is a mistake, it's a very top heavy bike, not the best choice for starters.

    Take the bike that you'll enjoy riding long days on. Enjoy your trip!
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

  8. #8
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    I agree with Gail. CG on that K-Bike is a bit high for many riders.

    Take the 650 for better riding qualities, reliability (being newer) and enjoy yourself.

    Also, an ERC between now and July might not be a bad idea. I teach this up in Manitowoc Co., but I'm sure there is something closer to home for you.

    Good Luck.

  9. #9
    Registered User rmarkr's Avatar
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    Which bike?

    I have similar bikes. If I'm slabbing it I much prefer the the K bike. It just seems to get through the miles more quickly and comfortably. If there is any hint of mud or deep sand, stay off the k bike.
    I've fitted the Corbin canyon? seat to the 650. What a difference. It moves your butt a little futher back on the bike, which really helps the posture, and is ergonomically correctly shaped, so its comfortable for long rides. ($$$ maybe 400, and its base is very heavy) The F bike will carry the same load as the k bike, and is much easier to handle in akward situations. There is a smaller rear sprocket available from touratech, which helps to keep the revs down on the highway.
    Whichever bike - enjoy the ride!
    FBike rightS.jpg
    Mark

    "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most" Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    With you being a female and riding alone, I would suggest the new bike for the dependability factor. The K75 is a dependable bike but it is old and the potential of a breakdown is greater.

    I had a K75 for six or seven years and I never got really comfortable with it due to its height and top heaviness. A short inseam is not a good match with a K75.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  11. #11
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    With you being a female and riding alone, I would suggest the new bike for the dependability factor. The K75 is a dependable bike but it is old and the potential of a breakdown is greater.

    I had a K75 for six or seven years and I never got really comfortable with it due to its height and top heaviness. A short inseam is not a good match with a K75.
    Would you recommend that men take a less dependible bike?
    Gail Hatch
    SheRidesABeemer's Blog
    05 R12GS
    87 K75CT

  12. #12
    Rally Rat Sue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    With you being a female and riding alone, I would suggest the new bike for the dependability factor. The K75 is a dependable bike but it is old and the potential of a breakdown is greater.
    Tell that to Paul Glaves.


    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I had a K75 for six or seven years and I never got really comfortable with it due to its height and top heaviness. A short inseam is not a good match with a K75.
    I have over 200K on my 1987 K75. Many of those miles were by myself. I never bought into the "short inseam" philosophy.

    All that being said....

    Hey TVGal ! Good to see you on the forum.

    Missed you at Oktoberfest last year....

    But back on point: I think you are being overly hard on yourself. Your skills are definitely good enough to take either bike. The K bike will probably be a better "Go-Fast" bike, and the GS more fun on secondary roads.

    So -Which one would you really prefer to take?
    Sue Rihn #43753
    BMW MOA Director - Ambassador
    Sometimes it's the bend in the road that makes life worth the ride.

  13. #13
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Better mpg's:)

    If a newer F650, the mpg's alone would be the best reason to ride it. My daughter rides a F650 too and travels alone from Tucson to Seattle on it this month(alone). Its her first big trip on her F650ST'97 model. It runs perfect and she has a Sargeant seat, Jesse bags,etc..,all set for the long runs. I rode a '99 F650 far and wide around the western USA and never had a minutes trouble. Keep the chain well lubed with chain wax,etcetc.. It will go far to making a comfortable ride, keeping the chain in good order. Otherwise, F650's are perfect long haulers,imo, Randy13233

  14. #14
    I love to lurk! tvgal2000's Avatar
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    Smile Thanks!

    I knew I'd get some sound advice from my fellow MOA members!

    To answer some questions:
    I'm planning on an advanced rider course (not MSF - it's Total Control Advanced Street Course -- I haven't taken a course from them so I don't know what exactly is covered) before the rally. I was thinking of riding the K75S for the course since I don't have too much problem handling the F650. I'd love to get practice time on the K75S but I'm afraid that if I go to an empty parking lot and drop the bike, I may not be able to pick it up (Yes, I took Skort's class! -- but I don't know that it's foolproof -- and I've been known to be a fool!!)

    I know that by the end of my Lima rally trip, the K bike was not too intimidating because of the miles and situations I rode through. But I think that I've been spoiled by the lower center of gravity that the F bike gives me. Maybe I just need to get high-heeled motorcycle boots! (Do they make them? ) It would certainly help with the inseam deficiency!!

    I appreciate all the input! It's reassuring that there's a wealth of knowledge within reach!
    Sarah B
    Milwaukee,WI
    '09 R1200GS 'Starbuck' my big silver baby
    '13 K1600GTL Graphite Grey... yet unnamed!

  15. #15
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheRidesABeemer View Post
    Would you recommend that men take a less dependible bike?
    Now Gail - Osbornk's advice is valid.

    In a world that unfortunately still preys on what it perceives as the 'weaker sex,' his cautionary tone resonates true.

    No one is advising her not to make the ride - just stack the deck in her favor.

    Hope to see her (and you) in Gillette.

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