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Thread: 650 GS vibrating apart

  1. #1

    Thumbs down 650 GS vibrating apart

    I just bought a 2005 F 650 GS (still under warranty) with 6100 miles on it. I wanted to buy the 650 X Enduro but it comes with a 2.5 gallon tank and no aftermarket desert tank is made for it.

    I took it on my first dirt ride, Titus Canyon, in Death Valley, with the BMW Norcal group. 10 miles into the dirt road, I hear this chattering. I stop the bike and the front fender was sitting on my front wheel - the four bolts holding it on were gone. A couple of the guys pulled it out of the wheel well and we stashed it in a pannier. By the end of the trip, two additional screws had fallen out of the rear mud guard. Luckily no damage and the two screws were easily replaced with the addition of some lock-tite. Two weeks ago, on April 12, Saturday, I rode with a friend (on a Honda 650) across the Saline Valley Road in Death Valley, from the north just off CA SR 168 to the south at CA SR 190, a 230 mile day trip, 90 miles of that on dirt road. By the time we got home, we discovered that the entire rear brake light assembly had fallen off the motorcycle, having taken with it my license plate and the bolt holding the right side of my luggage rack for my BMW side cases.

    Needless to say, I am pretty disappointed with the 650 GS. This is a motorcycle that I understood to be capable of going around the world. I live in Bishop, California and bought it because it's suppose to be a reliable machine and perfect for the long dirt road trips around here. The last thing I ever thought was that the entire rear light assembly and my license plate were going to fall off. I'm just kind of wondering what else might shake loose. Now, I have to trailer it to the closest BMW dealer (Reno), 300 miles away. Apparently, this is a point of weakness on the F 650. The service manager in Reno said they can correct the problem by adding an aftermarket strap made by Touratech.

    The GS is a beautiful bike, and BMW's service, you can't beat. I looked at the BMW 650 Enduro, the Suzuki DRZ 400, the Honda XR 650 and the KTM 640. The 650 GS is supposed to be the ultimate dualsport, for riding the long pavement stretches then taking on off on dirt - - and holding together. I'm now thinking that the Honda 650, would have been the better bike.
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    Last edited by yosemite4; 04-26-2008 at 01:41 PM. Reason: Added before picture

  2. #2
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Salem Or.
    It sounds like the bike needs to just be gone over to make sure that things are tight. I don't know if the things that came loose should have been checked by the dealer during set up, or if things just where not tightened properly at the factory.

    I would go over the bike and check everything. Anything found loose would get a drop of Blue loctite.

    I went over my F650 when i first got it. Since then nothing has come loose in the last 6 years and 34K miles.
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '09 F650GS '15 Ducati Multistrada

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Western Washington
    Both the '02 and the '05 Dakars we own had nothing rattle loose while riding the thousands of miles of paint shaker roads in Patagonia. I went through the '02 ahead of time and any thing that seemed likely to loosen up was unbolted, lathered in blue locktite and retorqued to spec. The 05 had just been to the dealer for its 6k service but did not recieve any special attention as far as fasteners were concerned.

    I usually go over all my bikes, pure street, dual sport, and pure dirt with some wrenches, screw drivers, torx drivers, etc. now again as I do routine services like oil and filters and such. They all eventually have some odd random fastener feel a bit loose from time to time and some fasteners that never ever are loose. These F650's are great bikes and I think they are better than or equal to the best of the the other dual sports out there right now with respect to vibrations and things falling off. Just keep an eye (er, wrench) open for loose nuts and bolts and remember that locktite is your friend.

    Good luck with the bike!!!

    P.S. Don't forget to check out the Chaingang's website!

  4. #4
    Don't forget your towel
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Bainbridge Island WA
    The license plate bracket falling off is a well documented issue. That's why TT makes their bracket. It sounds to me like you need to go over all the fasteners on the bike and make sure they are tight.

    I have put about 20K on my Dakar, with a fair amount of that offroad. So far only one fairing screw has gone missing, since I do my own maintenance there's nobody to blame but myself.

    Your GS is capable of RTW touring, after you torque everything down.
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  5. #5
    Have to concur with replies. My 01 sits at 28k and no equipment left at the side of the road.
    Although I use sparingly, I agree that either red or blue lock tight can add peace of mind.

  6. #6
    Tis a thumper, a smooth thumper. But a thumper just the same.

    As others have mentioned, take the time to put a wrench on all visible screws on a regular basis. Add a dab of Loctite.

    My '05 had 20,000 miles on her when I sold it to buy an XChallenge.
    The F had almost no issues in the 2-1/2 years I owned her.

    As long as you are willing to roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty now and again, doing some PM, that bike should be built like a brick--....

    650 enduro? Are you talking about the X country?
    If so yes, your right.

    But if your referring to the X Challenge, there are after market tanks available. TT.

    "4.2 gallon (16L) brining the capacity to 6.6 gallons." that is if you have a cool $1000 to blow on a gas tank.

  7. #7
    Loading the Bike aeneva's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Salt Lake City

    Unhappy My taillight assembly came off

    It came off on the ride home from work, I think the rear wheel may have pulled it off, there is a bumpy section of road where UDOT just paved a large hump over some railroad tracks I drove back later and found my taillight assembly laying on the entrance ramp to Hwy 215 smashed to bits of course, at least my LED survived and I recovered my license plate, all the nuts seem tight the plastic parts that attach to the bike are all broken snapped off. So a tight nut did not help in this situation, I have 5,500 miles on the bike , it came loose once before that is when I Tightened everything down, off to the repair shop.

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