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Thread: Advice for a new rider

  1. #31
    Intermediate Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Landenberg, PA
    I have no experience with the newer 650's but I've found that I have trouble with the centerstand on my '05 only if the bags are on. If the bags (or at least the left one) is off the bike, I can ge the proper leverage. It also helps to use the heel of my boot rather than the ball of my foot.

    As for taking it down, I do that from a seated position and rock it forward.

    On my 1200 GS, I recently learned to walk it off by holding the handle bars and grabbing the bar on the frame. Then I simply walk it forward and it drops straight and easy. Is this an option on the newer 650's?

  2. #32
    What I have found is that, like lifting a bike, getting it onto the center stand requires a specific technique. If you don't have the right body posture and motion it will not work. It was incredible how much time I spent trying to lift my bike and then I modified my stance according to something I read online and it worked like a charm. The same thing for getting it onto the stand. If I stick my butt out, I'm not going to get leverage and it isn't going to pop up onto the stand. I still need to work on this, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that there's an easy way and a hard way to accomplish lifting the bike and getting it on the center stand.

    BTW, the reason I keep it on the center stand is that I have little kids in the neighborhood (plus my own kids) and I feel that the bike is more stable on the center stand than on the kick stand. If a child should get an inkling to climb on the bike (which they know they shouldn't do... but kids will be kids) I feel that it's less likely to fall over.

    Also, the reason I need to know how to lift my bike is that I will be riding alone quite a lot. I feel I need to be as self sufficient as possible.

    Getting it off the center stand: sitting on the bike and rocking it forward is definitely easier, but my dealer told me not to do this. I can't remember the reason, but she said it wasn't a good idea. With that said, I will probably be using this technique since i really don't want to lay down my bike again.

    Tracy, I just re-read your question about grabbing the handlebars and the frame and walking it off the stand. I think that is what Gina (my dealer) told me to do. I will ask her again and post her explanation.


  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by manicmechanic View Post
    Paging Skert to the white courtesy phone!
    Yep! That's exactly where I learned how to lift my bike.

  4. #34
    Registered User nytrashman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    westchester co. NY
    not sure if this has already been said but join the chain gang ( there is a ton of info there and the inmates are very helpful.

  5. #35
    Registered User Bullett's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Southern Oregon coast.
    Beautiful bike, Angie! Enjoy!

    I sometimes have the center stand blues, too. I usually park the bike in gear on the side stand, unless I have a "need" to put it up.

    I don't know how the center stand is on your bike. My F650 has a curved bottom that slides when you try to rock the bike off of the stand on smooth concrete. I've learned to put the toe of my boot in front of the stand to keep it from sliding.
    '07 R1200RT (my favorite!); '12 Yamaha Super Tenere (El Gordo); '07 Suzuki DR650SE (!);
    '59 R 26 (my first)

  6. #36
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    So. Cal.


    Don't put it on the centerstand. Yea I know....technique. I can put my bikes on their centerstands but really, why bother? The centerstands are great for changing a tire or doing maintanence, but otherwise is there really a good reason to have the bike on the centerstand? SUre, I've heard the arguments about fluids being unevenly distributed.....but I figure if it's good enough for Kawa, Suzuki and Yamaha it's good enough for my bikes too.

    Gotta make sure your sidestand is down before you take it off the centerstand. I learned that after my first service. Dang dealer always parks the bikes on the centerstand with the sidestand up. Hate that.
    2013 R12RT, 2012 Yami FZ6R, 07 F650GS (Sold), 09 R12RT (Sold),
    IBA# 529

  7. #37
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    53 sMiles south of Alpine, TX USA
    It's my motto that whoever puts my bike on the centerstand is the one who is responsible for taking it OFF the center stand.

    Sidestand works for me!

    Live fully. Laugh deeply. Love widely.
    BMW MOA Ambassador Emeritus / FOM / Roving Forum Moderator/
    Selected Friends of Wile E Coyote/ A Million 100 thousand BMW sMiles

  8. #38
    BMW MOV Muriel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    White River Jct, VT
    I'm on my 3rd F650 (and about 140,000 miles), and starting with the '07, it became very difficult to get the bike on the centerstand. Of course with an F650, this is necessary in order to maintain your chain.

    When on a trip, I ask for help. When at home I back the bike onto a 1/4" piece of plywood. With a near empty tank, I can just barely get the bike on the centerstand. The odd thing was, when I first got the bike (before the bags were installed), it was easy! The dealer offered to find someone to cut the centerstand a bit, but I'm just afraid the weld would let go.

    I carry a small travel purse around my neck; besides the zipped "dollar area", it has two other zippered pockets and two other "slide-in" pockets. I keep my license, credit card, and a couple other items in the netted zipper pocket - this makes it easy to extract the credit card for gasoline purchases. My registration and insurance are tucked into the "dollar area". I do have separate "wallets" for membership cards, medical cards and the like. As someone else said, forget the other "girlie things". I do have a lipstick and a chapstick in a jacket pocket. A comb or brush? Fingers do pretty well!

    Don't let anyone talk you into looking for another bike before you're ready. The F650 is economical, gets the best gas mileage, runs on regular, and you can pick it up! I've had mine up to 90 uphill passing a truck, and I wasn't out of throttle. It goes as fast as you need to go. And it's a near bullet proof as you're going to find. As more than one mechanic has said - "nothing" goes wrong with them. Well, as near "nothing" as you'll get :-)

    BMW MOA Secretary
    '07 F650 '12 F650 twin
    Running on One Cylinder - except when running on two

  9. #39
    Registered User xp8103's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Awesome looking ride! Don't feel bad about your "center stand transgression", it happens to ALL of us. My advice to my wife is to "be ready" when coming off. ALWAYS have the side stand down. Once you've done it a number of times, you'll become more comfortable with it. You're fortunate if you can rock your bike off the center stand while on it. Both my wife and I aren't much but about 5'6" so that's out for both of us. Coming off the cs just takes practice.

    Our 1100 is harder to get on the center stand than the K which is fortunate because the K shouldn't be stored on the side stand for any length of time in the first place (thanks for THAT BMW!! )

    If there is ANYTHING true about our bikes it's that they tend to the top heavy.
    Nik #140220 - '95 R1100RSL | '88 K75C | '77 R100RS | '06 DL650
    '96 R1100RS - R.I.P.
    Maine Airhead A/M
    Helmets don't save lives but loud pipes do?

  10. #40
    The center stand thing for me is necessary for two practical reasons: 1) I have kids all over the neighborhood, plus my own kids, who may get the idea to crawl onto the bike even though they know they are not supposed to. I feel it's much more stable on the center stand - if the kids do get ornery and climb on it I feel more confident that the bike wouldn't tip over on them. 2) I have limited space in my garage. We are squeezing in two cars and the bike into a small 2 car garage. Having it on the center stand takes up less space.

    I have figured out how to get it up on the stand and back down without injury or incident so I'm making progress!

    Regarding carrying stuff, I really like Muriel's idea of using a small over the shoulder wallet purse. That's a perfect idea but I wonder how bulkier things would fit into it. I have to carry an inhaler and medication with me - maybe it would fit? I did order a small tank bag which will fit more stuff. I wish it would just GET HERE so I could try it out!

    Also, wanted to update you - I ventured out beyond my neighborhood for the first time on Sunday. Some friends invited me to ride with them - we toured the countryside for about an hour or so. I now have almost 80 miles logged. HAHA! That probably makes a lot of you laugh hysterically! But ya gotta start somewhere!

    I'm loving the bike - it's absolutely PERFECT for me. I can't imagine starting out on anything else. She'll be in my stable for a long time... on the center stand. :

  11. #41
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Milford, IA
    I own a 1997 650ST and absolutely love the bike. Right now it is in for some minor repairs and I hope to have it back soon! I too have problems with the center stand and my husband is the one that normally puts it up for me. I can get it off the center stand without any problem, both on and off the bike. I think that part of the problem is that the bike is factory lowered and the center of gravity is right above the center stand. Ross' 650 Funduro is easier to put on the center stand than my bike. Maybe I will see you on these Iowa roads sometime! Terry

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by rtdirks View Post
    Maybe I will see you on these Iowa roads sometime!
    A fellow Iowan! Hello! Nice to hear from you, Terry.

  13. #43
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central WA
    Congrats on your beautiful bike!

    Lots of good advice already given. I don't much care for the big plastic top cases, I really like the BMW soft tail bag.

    I got lucky and found BOTH of them for sale on the Chain Gang site for 100$. I only use the monstrous 'add on' bag when I go grocery shopping or on a trip.

    We have a set of the BMW System cases on one of our GS's, and while they look really nice, they dent easily. I use soft luggage on mine. Moto-Sport racks and Ortlieb dry bags.

    And if I'm just going to work or on a day trip when I don't need to carry 5 tons of stuff, I have an Aerostich messenger bag style purse. In pink.

    I also have the larger dispatch bag if I do need to carry just a little bit.

    And come visit the Chain Gang
    Too damn many bikes to list

  14. #44
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Milford, IA
    I was hoping to get my ride back tomorrow but the parts are not in yet, bummer, let's get together sometime.....Terry

  15. #45
    From MARS
    A lady friend just bought an '03 F650 GS. When she asked for my advise, I told her when she's on the road, think of herself as one of the front fenders on a car and put herself where she can best be seen. That'll help give her time to figure out what she needs/wants to add.

    You have a great bike. There's one in my future.


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