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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Firstly hello :howdy:
I've read through a lot of posts on here, but have refrained from posting until passing my test this week :dance: and finally being in a position to purchase a proper bike :riding:

Ok, so a little background - am 31, commute daily 23 odd miles into London and back, and am in need of a bike to improve on my current Piaggio 125 :oops: Bike will be used mainly for commuting, but may get used for a limited bit of short touring / days out.

Am definitely not a power ranger type and practicality must come first with this bike, hence I'm quite keen on the 650 CS - no chain to mess with must be a bonus if I'm to use it year round, right??

So I need some convincing. Are there any real downsides to the 650? What's the weather protection like from the screen? What's riding a big single like through London traffic? What will it be like on the 12 miles of 3-lane A-road I do each day?

I've had other recommendations such as Honda CBF600 and Honda Deauville (shaft drive also appealing), Suzuki V-Strom. Would be interested to hear views on why the F650 over these suggestions? I realise folks on here might be a tad biased, but I'm keen to hear why you lot like the 650 that much :not worthy:

Sorry for the long first post :whistle: happy to hear any replies.
Nik
 

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I have just gone through this myself. I looked at all the facts and figures and was sure I needed a CS. I got myself a test ride at a dealers on both a CS and GS, and went for the GS instead. I liked the CS. It was comfy, practical, and smooth, but in the end the GS won it for me. It just felt more like a bike should, whatever that means. For me it is hard to quantify, its just a feeling thing. I said to the dealer, if I lived in London, the CS would make perfect sense to me. Its a great communitng tool. It feels more flickable than the GS and would probably be better in traffic. But I live in rural Britain with poor roads. And I wanted something a bit more than a commuter. I suggest finding a dealer with both bikes in stock and try a back to back test. Good luck whichever way you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers Gilps.

Also meant to add, I will be test riding as many bikes as possible!
 
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Agree with Gilps... try both the CS and the GS before buying. Any BMW dealer would probably have one of each for you to try.

Don't worry about the chain and sprockets... no probs. Did 19,500 miles on the last set and that was through Russia, Mongolia and the Gobi desert and back!

The CS is to the the BMW range what the Ka is to Fords... and I'm trying to PC!

Try both... no contest!
:riding:
 

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Well, I recently passed my test on a CS, and had to buy a Beemer after that! I opted for an older Funduro due to limited funds, but essentially it's very similar to the CS and GS...650cc, upright sitting position and excellent for traffic! I find it very light and easy to nip between cars on the M4. (I do 80 miles a day, and I don't feel shattered after it-I look forward to hopping on the bike in the morning!)

I reckon I'm hooked on this style of bike and will deffo be buying Beemers in the future. :mrgreen:
 

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I agree the upright position as most enduros are, is definitly better for visibility when in traffic and more comfortable on longer trips.
The GS is a good comfy ride.
 
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I'm an old Sachs carb F650 rider and didn't like the CS at first because of the rubber band drive. Now after experts on this site explained the exact model differences and the sophistocated frame that allows the CS to work, I'd love a CS.

Its frame almost separates the drive like a Norton or HD gearbox-primary combo for the sensitive band drive that can't slip and must near orthogonal (or at right angle) to gearbox pulley at all times. No chain! No more CS's either, so its a BMW classic from day one. The GS will be geared more performance oriented, but they are the same engines, so adjustments may be made if that's what you want (it will be challenging too). The frame is the coolest feature if it handles with the same clearance specs as well as GS (?).

And a little different without cool gas mass between the legs, but there are heat tiles made to keep plastic from melting, that may have insulation effect as well (link below).

http://www.rockymountainatv.com/pro...Id=18&webTypeId=51&stockId=10408&navType=type

And finally, if AC hybrid kits (that regenerate up to 30% charge while driving and not using battery cells) ever come, this would be the frame/engine combo that would meet the ticket! They have small 1-man airplanes with similar single rotax engines so its not far fetched at all.

My test to complete the decision would be to take both bikes on good curvey roads, and if handled with same clearance specs, the CS 'should' be superior with frame isolation design. But then again, if the GS was significantly faster, I would cave in like others and go with the GS.

The ride test (take 3 or 4 of them for 30 minutes each on different roads) is the true decision maker no matter how calculated and well thought out your thout proccesses are. Just don't drive back with a big cheshire cat grin until you are through with your all of your planned test rides. Once they see that, the vultures will pounce and its hard to say no, ha-ha.

Good luck and watch out for cars!
 

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As before you really need to try them all...... I think they all have there positives and negatives however all of them are very good bikes.
 

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Test ride them both if you like as everyone said but don't lose sight of the factors you identified in the first place that caused you to consider the CS. If your main use is commuting then practicality is surely a major consideration, particularly re. the final drive.
I have not ridden a GS and do not intend to as it falls outside of my requirements straight away due to the exposed chain: I cannot stand them having tried it out a couple of times with a Suzuki GS500 and an MZ Skorpion. I cannot get on with Scottoilers as they can never be set right to cope in varying weather conditions and you end up with a lubed rear tyre in dry weather or an underlubed chain in wet. I work shifts and commute by bike so when I get home late at night I am not keen to start wiping down and re-oiling a chain either. My experience of the chain sprays is that they either do not last very long at all, particularly in wet weather, or they are so sticky and thick that they pick up dirt and grit easily and the chain starts wearing quickly, plus the waxy ones lead to stiff links and tight spots.
(My opinion is no doubt coloured by many years of commuting on MZ 2-strokes with their minimal maintenance enclosed chains.)
As for all the comments about 'flickability' and ease of manouvering, everything is relative. Test riding the CS revealed it to be at least equal to the Skorpion in this area. Nothing of this size and weight is going to compare with a smaller bike such as my dear old MZ TS250/1 'Supa 5' but then if you want to cruise at 80+ when touring or on your '12 miles of 3-lane A-road' you are going to need something approaching the performance of the 650s.
FWIW I think you are on the right track considering the CS and the Deauville. The Honda is about equal in performance but a bit top heavy and bulky so awkward to park/push around/manouver at walking pace if you are short; fuel economy won't be like a BMW 650 but comfort is good. You might also consider the 400cc+ twist-and-go scooters such as the T-Max which is more fun than it ought to be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Many thanks for all the replies. All very much appreciated.

Niggle, I think you're spot on, and have identified all my reasons for wanting to avoid a chain drive!!

Test drives are in order on a CS and probably a Deauville for comparison. Will definitely try a GS as well just to see :whistle:

I did think long and hard about getting a larger scooter such as a t-Max or Piaggio x9 500. However, having now learned to ride a geared bike I'm keen to continue, and funnily enough I feel much safer on a geared bike than my scooter - somehow just feels like you've got a lot more control on a geared bike.
 

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Twizit - where abouts are you in London approx. You mention an A road - A3?

I've just had the use of various hire bikes after some idiot knocked my GS Dakar over.

The riding position of the GS Dakar is so much better than a lot of other bikes I've ridden - CBF600 for example and Suzuki Bandit - both felt small and very drafty after my lovely Dakar.

CBR600 and YZF Thindercat were both nice bikes to ride - but in my opinion not as good or as much fun as GS Dakar.

Oh - and because I feel they're cowboys - I'd avoid Vines of Guildford if I were you . . .
:doh:
:riding:
 
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Mmmmmmmmmmmm....

Handling and filtering are totally subjective and down to rider skills... a good guy on a Gold Wing can filter where someone on a much narrower bike wouldn't! I've yet to ride a bike that is as good as the F650GS on the twisties...

Also ridden round Europe on my old MZTS250 Superfive and the enclosed chain and sprockets was truly great, and no body has mocked the open chain driven bikes as much as I have in the past. Agree on the comments on the Scotoilers, always either too much or too little, never just right. But don't dismiss the chain out of hand... like I said, did 19,300 miles on the last one, 23 countries, through Russia and Siberia, Mongolia and the Gobi desert and returned through the Stans' ... no probs.

If so much as a stone had got in the belt drive of a CS it would have destroyed it, and if a shaft drive had packed in we would have been well and truly down the river without a paddle.

It takes two minutes to spray the chain with a good grease after a days run, and all of five minutes to adjust it... no probs there then!

www.advancedridingtechniques.info
www.adventure.gs
 

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Don't take any notice of the "belts are vulnerable", there are quite a few instances in the UK of stones going right through a belt and it still performing fine until it had its scheduled change.

If you really want to see how long they can last - pop over to f650.com, and search for dailyrider's posts on his belt life. Over 90k IIRC.
 

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Deauville........ fuel thirsty and nearly as bad as the Valero althoguh i think they do look nice. I nearly bought both but glad I went the BMw route for sure.
 

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Re: Mmmmmmmmmmmm....

Micky said:
But don't dismiss the chain out of hand... like I said, did 19,300 miles on the last one, 23 countries, through Russia and Siberia, Mongolia and the Gobi desert and returned through the Stans' ... no probs.

If so much as a stone had got in the belt drive of a CS it would have destroyed it, and if a shaft drive had packed in we would have been well and truly down the river without a paddle.
Absolutely agree that a belt is not the thing for off roading or unmetalled roads in far away places. FWIW if I was looking for a dual purpose bike for that kind of use the standard GS would be at the top of the list for me personally due to seat height issues as much as anything. (Except I would probably take an old MZ instead :mrgreen: )
 
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BMW may be headed toward the belt drive to replace drive shaft for street use, since putting on F800ST at 85hp. Its lighter, maintenance free, and with a(n expensive) cover would be the ultimate drive. Frame/drive conversions with labor would cost more, not given transmission gear ratio's and other transformations required due to frame geometry.

In US, you can get CS's in $3K's to $4K's used fairly easy, and it would cost much more than that to convert a bike to belt final drive, if could be done at all (except Norton or HD).

It is the future. Chains bite. :nodding:
 
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yjacket2001 said:
It is the future. Chains bite. :nodding:
For heavens sake, chains have been around for over a hundred years on motorcycles... tried and tested! If they see me through the Gobi then they'll do for me for street use... read 'One Man Caravan'
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
oh oh - didn't mean to start a chain vs belt argument on here :naughty: ;)

Ollie, am fairly near to you - Walton, so yes it's the A3 I use. Interesting to hear your thoughts on the CBF600, as that's another bike I was considering. Is it really that much smaller feeling than a 650, or is that more down to the higher riding position on your Dakar?
 
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