Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => Topic started by: Big E on June 21, 2009, 09:24:35 pm

Title: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Big E on June 21, 2009, 09:24:35 pm
I'm playing around with the idea of upgrading to a BMW 650 Dakar!
Weight wise the Dakar is 7kg ligter than my KLE according to specs and is higher,with more power which is exactly what I'm looking for!
But thats all just specs!
Can some Dakar owners please tell me why the Dakar is such a great bike...or is it? Some pro's and cons please!
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Big E on June 21, 2009, 09:38:39 pm
Pinging Bobnob!!!
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Captain Zef on June 21, 2009, 09:42:51 pm
Koop hom!! >:D

Of 'n KTM >:D
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: DUSTRIDERS on June 21, 2009, 09:45:53 pm
They are nice bikes Big E. Light on fuel and hardly ever give problems. Great seat for long distances. Not a rocket but can be ridden all day long in comfort. Will buy one again if I go back to the 650 class.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Goose on June 21, 2009, 09:58:52 pm
I have a lot of respect for the Dakkie - 2-up wif me & missus - still runs beautifully. Comfy and powerful. Also a model that's stood the test of time. Mine was supposed to be a "temp" bike... but I have really fallen in love with this one.

Highly recommended.....
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Trailrider on June 21, 2009, 10:06:30 pm
Nice bikes. Not as smooth as your twin though.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: the_BOBNOB on June 21, 2009, 10:27:41 pm
you cant go wrong  :thumleft:

the dakar is an awesome bike

i have done 1050km in a single day and i could have done another 500km no problem - it really has the most comfortable seat ever  :ricky:

not the most powerful but the power delivery is smooth and constant  :thumleft:

very fuel efficient - very reliable  :thumleft:

have done a 1000km weekend trip 2 up no problem  :thumleft:

service costs from the dealers are a bit expensive but you only service it every 10000km compared to a klr every 5000km it evens out and might actually work out cheaper  :thumleft:

the only other bikes i would consider in the class if i were you - if you want more solo dirt ability then ktm640 if you want more 2 up touring then maybe a africa twin

i think the dakar is a perfect middle ground between hardcore off-road and touring  :deal:

and you get so much bling bling for the dakar  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: michnus on June 21, 2009, 11:20:28 pm
Great is a understatement.  ;)

The most reliable motor of all 650's
FI, and lightest fuel consumption
10000km service intervals, relatively low service cost
Compact radiator set up
Under seat petrol tank lower COG
Not the best suspension but also not bad, perfect for D/S riding.
Can cover 1000km a day with ease.
No Doo  >:D ;)
Very little mods necessary to ride
Crash-ability quite good  (if there's even such a word)
Bad, bad xorst.
Most people use it for RTW trips


Most documented for repairs and maintenance www.f650.com/faq

It's going to be a cult bike, get yours now.  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: JAmBer on June 21, 2009, 11:55:37 pm
When I trashed my Dakar, I had to make the decision again: which bike? After looking at all the alternatives, it was down to two: The 640A and the Dakar. I opted for the Dakar again for the following reasons:

* Parts are freely available and repairs/servicing reasonably cheap.  Uses "standard sizes". Bearings, spark plugs, tires etc etc are all stocked by third-party suppliers. You can even buy the oil filter for a Bombardier/Aprillia and it fits. No need for BMW's crazy prices for most things.
* Self-service is easy.
* Proven, well-understood design. It's a popular bike with lots of knowledge and experience floating around.
* FI is a beaut (early models had some problems, but no issues post-2005).
* Good fuel range and bulletproof mechanics - essentials for touring. Drive carefully and you can do over 450km on a tank. 340km if you're thrashing it.
* The suspension really is quite adequate for almost every use. I would have refitted the OEM parts if I could get them cheap, but rebuilt my bike with the USD WP's 'cos they were available secondhand.
* Quality components last a long time. It takes a beating and just keeps going. Just ask all the guys who overload these bikes when touring... no problems.
* And it's not bad looking either   ;D

There is only one thing that keeps the Dakar from being the ultimate dual sport bike: its weight, which you can feel in the rough stuff. Though, it sounds like you're used to heavy bikes, so no problem for you? And it's really fine for touring, only a problem when the going gets tough on a technical route. The thing with weight is that it's always a tradeoff - using the same material and making the bike lighter would also make it weaker, reducing its loadability. Else you need more expensive material. I believe BMW made a sensible compromise.

To my mind, the Dakar is the perfect bike. I would buy one again in a heartbeat.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Etienne2T on June 22, 2009, 12:34:53 am
The dakar is the benchmark of the 650 DS bike.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: N[]vA on June 22, 2009, 01:18:04 am
Awesome bikes  :thumleft:

jamber I see you one weight and raise you a stearing rake that makes it feel like you are wrestling a schoolbus when you turn  :laughing4:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: blazes on June 22, 2009, 08:09:41 am
Have enjoyed mine for over 30,000km now and still fall in love with it all over again---everytime i take her on tour. Low stressed motor. Can go all day and needs minimal work done on it. Thought of selling mine a few times ??? But have decided to ride it till the wheels come off.. Goooooood choice IMHO.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Varadero on June 22, 2009, 08:26:24 am
We buy bikes, we ride them and then sell them to "upgrade." I reckon the true test of whether a bike was not just good but bloody excellent is if you ask yourself do you miss it and would you buy it again?  I have to answer yes to both of them with regards to my Dakar, and I think most owners (both past and present) would say so. 
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Big E on June 22, 2009, 08:35:21 am
What must I be on the look-out for? I see theere are alot of them availible between R50-R60K with less than 10 000km on the clock!!!
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Varadero on June 22, 2009, 08:43:27 am
If you are going to play offroad try get one without ABS (don't need the weight or the dumb ass on/off switch that keeps pulling the wires off when you've fitted handlebar raisers) and heated grips (hey I live in Jhb and don't use them - even in winter, just buy yourself a decent pair of gloves), at under 10000km they aren't even run in yet; bet most of the owners that are trying to sell them want to "upgrade" to something bigger, better, faster, ....  Buy it and ride it, add mod's as you go along.     
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: lecap on June 22, 2009, 09:25:30 am
I did not like the Dakar for the following reasons:


It's very tall and very heavy (for a 650) and difficult to handle if you're less than 1.8m

The bike is pretty much set up as a road bike. The suspension is a bit too soft and overdampened for dirt.

The steering head bearings are not sealed but only protected by a washer :o No fork boots either.

The side stand is positioned very awkwardly. It is difficult to tilt the bike over the side stand to spray your chain or fix a tire. 

All three F650GS / GS Dakar I owned developed brain numbing vibrations at 3500 - 4000rpm. My bikes were early models, two Y2K Dakkies and the GS being the most recent - a 2002. Not the normal thumper vibes but the kind that blurs your vision.

I found the engines power delivery uninspiring and pap although the bikes perform well. It's probably a personal thing but I prefer an engine which kicks in at some point and responds crisply to throttle imputs. The F650's throttle cable seems to be 400 metres long and made from rubber.

Body panels are shockingly expensive (spraypainted).

The paper air filter element is tiny.

The water pump drive gear is a piece of cheap shite.


I liked the Dakar for these reasons:

Very good fuel economy

Very good passenger comfort


I would say:
If you are tall, don't mind a slightly heavier bike because you are looking for a tar & gravel tourer, plan to do some to a lot of two up, go for the Dakar.
A good alternative I would also consider is the RD07 Africa Twin.

If you are short and if you want to ride solo and hard dirt & technical stuff look somewhere else.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: edgy on June 22, 2009, 09:42:52 am
I had a Dakar a few years back and really enjoyed it a lot! Great comfort and handling on the road and generally very capable tourer. What i never enjoyed was going off-road...the bike sucked! Heavy and funny enough the width bugged me? Too wide to stand comfortably for long?
My 2c.... 
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: N[]vA on June 22, 2009, 09:54:19 am
I had a Dakar a few years back and really enjoyed it a lot! Great comfort and handling on the road and generally very capable tourer. What i never enjoyed was going off-road...the bike sucked! Heavy and funny enough the width bugged me? Too wide to stand comfortably for long?
My 2c.... 

lol I guess your not used to having something wide between you legs....   :pot:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Ginger Bread Man on June 22, 2009, 10:18:13 am
I had a Dakar a few years back and really enjoyed it a lot! Great comfort and handling on the road and generally very capable tourer. What i never enjoyed was going off-road...the bike sucked! Heavy and funny enough the width bugged me? Too wide to stand comfortably for long?
My 2c.... 

i feel the same, i almost want to double my footpeg width....

 its a great bike, but nothing exciting about the power delivery but as an all-rounder i have found nothing wrong with it, yes a bit heavy( but i come from a kdx 200 so thatís almost double the weight)
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: michnus on June 22, 2009, 10:31:52 am
Aaaag ffs, harden the fuck-up bulk-up with that USN stuff the laaities use, weight nooo problem,  it's not a off road bike it's a d/s bike.   8) :bueller:

 :biggrin:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: the_BOBNOB on June 22, 2009, 10:34:59 am
If you are going to play offroad try get one without ABS (don't need the weight or the dumb ass on/off switch that keeps pulling the wires off when you've fitted handlebar raisers) and heated grips (hey I live in Jhb and don't use them - even in winter, just buy yourself a decent pair of gloves), at under 10000km they aren't even run in yet; bet most of the owners that are trying to sell them want to "upgrade" to something bigger, better, faster, ....  Buy it and ride it, add mod's as you go along.     

cant disagree with you more - ABS is worth its weight in gold if you ask me  :thumleft:

and the heated grips even more so  :biggrin:

you can always disable the ABS if you want to - and i have had no issues with my handle bar raisers and the cables - works perfectly  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: michnus on June 22, 2009, 10:36:42 am
ABS ON ABS OFF, it's a mere push of a button  :biggrin:

Yee to soft for off raod.  ;)
(http://oates.smugmug.com/photos/45070912_TmwHr-M.jpg)
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: growweblaar on June 22, 2009, 10:45:48 am
I love my Dakar :)

All dual-sport bikes are a compromise: you have to decide where you lie on the spectrum of road/distance/power vs technical/dirt ability. For my own requirements the 650 class is the ideal, and the Dakkie the best model.

However:

A. If any manufacturer brought out a similar bike that is 20kg lighter (;D), I would take it immediately

B. I wish the stock exhausts didn't sound so tinny.


And, finally, as for any bike, here's my list of must-have farkles:

1. Crashbars
2. Better screen (most 2nd hand ones seem to have that already)
3. Centre stand

Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: N[]vA on June 22, 2009, 10:46:58 am

However:

A. If any manufacturer brought out a similar bike that is 20kg lighter (;D), I would take it immediately

B. I wish the stock exhausts didn't sound so tinny.


And, finally, as for any bike, here's my list of must-have farkles:

1. Crashbars
2. Better screen (most 2nd hand ones seem to have that already)
3. Centre stand



hows about the new tenere?
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: michnus on June 22, 2009, 10:55:42 am

However:

A. If any manufacturer brought out a similar bike that is 20kg lighter (;D), I would take it immediately

B. I wish the stock exhausts didn't sound so tinny.


And, finally, as for any bike, here's my list of must-have farkles:

1. Crashbars
2. Better screen (most 2nd hand ones seem to have that already)
3. Centre stand



hows about the new tenere?

Is heavier than the Dakar.  ;)
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: N[]vA on June 22, 2009, 10:59:34 am

However:

A. If any manufacturer brought out a similar bike that is 20kg lighter (;D), I would take it immediately

B. I wish the stock exhausts didn't sound so tinny.


And, finally, as for any bike, here's my list of must-have farkles:

1. Crashbars
2. Better screen (most 2nd hand ones seem to have that already)
3. Centre stand



hows about the new tenere?

Is heavier than the Dakar.  ;)

lol :D

to tired and busy to look but whats the weight to power like on the dakie compaired to the tenere?
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Goose on June 22, 2009, 11:01:40 am
Aaaag ffs, harden the fuck-up bulk-up with that USN stuff the laaities use, weight nooo problem,  it's not a off road bike it's a d/s bike.   8) :bueller:

 :biggrin:

+ 2  :laughing4:

.............. and NOT meant for short shits!  :pot:   - for those that cannot reach the ground - the TW200 is ideal!  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Varadero on June 22, 2009, 11:05:06 am
you can always disable the ABS if you want to - and i have had no issues with my handle bar raisers and the cables - works perfectly  :thumleft:

Problem is if you do pull the wires off the back of the unit, like I did, the ABS default setting is ABS on then you can't switch the bloody thing off!  Try soldering them back on in the middle of the Kalahari (thanks to Jan from Country Trax who managed to do just that on mine).  ABS will always be a personal issue, I commute by bike daily and love ABS on it for the highway and commuting BUT for DS bikes on the off road stuff I personally prefer not to have it
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Mark Hardy on June 22, 2009, 11:09:46 am
Apart from the GS 1150 ADV, the GS 650 Dakar is the best GS that BMW made. The only real complaint I have heard is that the suspension needs up grading. Otherwise I think it is a excellent DS bike.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: the_BOBNOB on June 22, 2009, 11:10:41 am
you can always disable the ABS if you want to - and i have had no issues with my handle bar raisers and the cables - works perfectly  :thumleft:

Problem is if you do pull the wires off the back of the unit, like I did, the ABS default setting is ABS on then you can't switch the bloody thing off!  Try soldering them back on in the middle of the Kalahari (thanks to Jan from Country Trax who managed to do just that on mine).  ABS will always be a personal issue, I commute by bike daily and love ABS on it for the highway and commuting BUT for DS bikes on the off road stuff I personally prefer not to have it

must be honest i'm not as hardcore as everyone thinks  :P

on our recent trip to the EC bash i switched of the ABS on the dirt and found that i have become so use to it that i just switched it back on and left it - if i were to buy a bike that did not have ABS i would get use to it as well - but for the time being dirt or tar i use the ABS

you make do with what you have  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: N[]vA on June 22, 2009, 11:10:58 am
(http://www.laughingstock.com.au/images/chopper-nz.jpg)
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Hondsiff Honda on June 22, 2009, 11:23:03 am
KLE to Dakar not sure if thats an upgrade? :pot:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Big E on June 22, 2009, 03:13:06 pm
KLE to Xchal not sure if thats an upgrade? :pot:

What do you mean? Its like going from a 2.5D Isuzu to a 2.8D Isuzu  :biggrin: but both are great bakkies
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: the_wes on June 22, 2009, 04:21:31 pm
What do you want the Dakar for? That would be the deciding factor - if you want a solid, reliable 650cc adventure tourer then the Dakar is hard to beat. If you want something you can throw around a bit as well, it's a little too heavy.

Pros:
- fuel economy
- bullet proof
- comfortable
- packing space

Cons:
- heavy
- slightly sluggish on the throttle
- expensive plastics
- wind protection

I often miss my Dakar, and it must be said that the only reason I sold it was because I was travelling less, and playing more. But for outrides, trips and commuting the Dakar was great. My XChallenge is just lighter and faster.

If I bought one again (and believe me I've thought about it), I would do the following:
- NON ABS. Yes, you can switch it on and off, but it's a pain in the ass (hold button down for 10 seconds every time you start the bike) plus it's a shitty system (has switched on or NOT switched off a number of times with me). Heated grips are for sissies.
- chuck the bars, fit aftermarket bars, raisers and decent hand guards (here's where you'll be glad you went non-abs) - the bars are about as strong as noodles and the handguards are useless
- fit a better screen
- chuck the worthless dual pipe and put a leo vince on. You'll get much better throttle response plus a phenomenal weight saving
- put in a Unifilter air filter, this will help the lethargic throttle even more

Then you've got a winner on your hands, no doubt. Yes, it'll still be a little heavy, but it's only really an issue if you drop it ;)
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Jman on June 22, 2009, 07:46:14 pm
After reading all the info and opinions on the Dakar, I think it is the perfect bike for you BigE, suites your riding style.  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Big E on June 22, 2009, 09:27:30 pm
After reading all the info and opinions on the Dakar, I think it is the perfect bike for you BigE, suites your riding style.  :thumleft:
dit doen nogal ne jman en vd grootste downfalls wat genoem is, is dat jy langer as 1.8m moet wees en d xtra bietjie gewig moet kan hanteer!
Wel...ek is 6.5ft en d KLE wat 7kg swaarder is lig vi my, so ja, nou moet ek net soek vir Ů goeie kopie
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Padvark (ex Gee-S-rider) on June 22, 2009, 09:51:21 pm
What do you want the Dakar for? That would be the deciding factor - if you want a solid, reliable 650cc adventure tourer then the Dakar is hard to beat. If you want something you can throw around a bit as well, it's a little too heavy.

Pros:
- fuel economy
- bullet proof
- comfortable
- packing space

Cons:
- heavy
- slightly sluggish on the throttle
- expensive plastics
- wind protection

I often miss my Dakar, and it must be said that the only reason I sold it was because I was travelling less, and playing more. But for outrides, trips and commuting the Dakar was great. My XChallenge is just lighter and faster.

If I bought one again (and believe me I've thought about it), I would do the following:
- NON ABS. Yes, you can switch it on and off, but it's a pain in the ass (hold button down for 10 seconds every time you start the bike) plus it's a shitty system (has switched on or NOT switched off a number of times with me). Heated grips are for sissies.
- chuck the bars, fit aftermarket bars, raisers and decent hand guards (here's where you'll be glad you went non-abs) - the bars are about as strong as noodles and the handguards are useless
- fit a better screen
- chuck the worthless dual pipe and put a leo vince on. You'll get much better throttle response plus a phenomenal weight saving
- put in a Unifilter air filter, this will help the lethargic throttle even more

Then you've got a winner on your hands, no doubt. Yes, it'll still be a little heavy, but it's only really an issue if you drop it ;)

+1 on every point. Get on and ride around the world Ė I never had a hickup in three years of ownership. Get the heated grips, it makes you use the bike much more in winter (or maybe I'm just a sissie).
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Christian Kuun on June 22, 2009, 09:57:46 pm
You wont regret it- GUARANTEED!!!

I have only had mine for a while and am enjoying it no end. Test rode all the others before buying but I was sold on the Dakkies height (I am tall too) comfort, seat, seating position, pillion seating, fuel economy, ABS, heated grips...ag what the hell, call it the whole package. Suspension could be tougher but then the ride would be harder. I have a 5 000 km ride in a week planned for Sep and am quite confident.
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Jughead on June 23, 2009, 08:09:03 am
FI!!  Need more be said?
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: blazes on June 23, 2009, 08:54:33 pm
What must I be on the look-out for? I see theere are alot of them availible between R50-R60K with less than 10 000km on the clock!!!
Maybe down there--- None in good nick up for grabs here in Guateng. Bought a oil filter for mine today to do the 30k service and the Salesperson told me is looking for three for prospective clients. :o
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: Ginger Bread Man on June 24, 2009, 03:10:26 pm
yep i agree took me 3 months to find something up here, and i ended up making a few compromises,

just look out for the steering bearings, they caught me out...
Title: Re: Why the BMW 650 Dakar?
Post by: umshiniwam on June 25, 2009, 03:15:55 pm
Took me a while to find a Dakar late last year. Found a good deal in Rustenberg eventually.

Not the perfect "Doen/alleS" bike, but about as close to it as you will ever find.