Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Long distance touring/camping on a C650GT?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    42

    Long distance touring/camping on a C650GT?

    I have ridden R1200GSs for a long time, and now own a 2014. They are marvelous bikes, but as I get into my early 70s, I find the bike harder to control at low speeds and to move around the garage and driveway when fully loaded. Thinking about a C650GT. I have looked all over this site for reports about long distance touring and find only anecdotal comments, e.g., someone drove one to Alaska, someone else did the Iron Butt, etc., but I would appreciate hearing from CGT riders about getting onto the scooter the stuff they might have taken on extended trips on a GS. Things like tent, Thermarest, Kermit chair, etc. I have seen no pictures of CGTs with soft-sided rear pannier bags. Not necessary? Not available? Any other thoughts germane to the subject?

    Thanks for your willingness to help.

    carlc

  2. #2
    Cage Rattler wezul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Glen Ellyn, IL
    Posts
    3,784
    It's doable. Had a dead battery force the issue one morning just at launch time for the Dells.
    The boot holds a lot of gear, you just don't want anything flammable or heat intolerant in there it can get warm.
    I have not seen side bags or cases but lots of strap down points. I use a large Helen's bag, much the same as I do on my RT. It holds most of my gear; tent, bag, mattress, Kermit.
    The floorboards allow lots of foot placements options, that was a pleasant surprise.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    506
    It is totally doable. You might want to check out the forums for other scooter brands. Just because it is a "BMW", doesn't make it unique to what you're asking about.

    I read on the Yamaha Majesty forum (MajestyUSA) of a rider in Vancover, B.C. who rode basically the four corners of the USA on his Majesty. He had pictures of the bike loaded down posted on there. I took my Burgman 400 to the Northwest Maxi-Scoot Rally and while I could've packed better, it was definitely doable. A lot of what you see on the back seat was the tent and sleeping bag.

    IMG_3703 _1024x768_.JPG

    Some people do attach soft luggage to the sides. The issue there is scratching up the plastic body work. There's ways around it, with a little imagination. One person used cupboard door handles to hold the bags away from the sides and keep them from scratching. I think I'd go with some of the clear protective material now.

    I had my knee replaced last November. Prior to that, I stumbled onto a knee and hip replacement forum. Lots of good info and helpful people on there. http://bonesmart.org/hip-replacement-surgery/
    FWIW, I wouldn't give up hope on riding your current bike. The knee is a more painful and harder to recover from joint replacement. It only took a few weeks before I was riding again...very carefully, and at a few months out, I was 90% recovered. In other words, there's hope and much depends on how much you're willing to work at your physical therapy.

    Chris
    Last edited by daboo; 05-17-2016 at 10:45 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    42

    Thanks for responses

    I continue to be interested in a big scooter. Thanks for the comments and the photo of the loaded Burgman.

    carlc

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Sugar Grove, IL
    Posts
    11
    A couple weeks ago I did a 730 mile ride in 2 1/2 days on a Honda Silverwing with 3 friends all with 1000cc+ motorcycles, no problems, probably took too much stuff but could have carried more for camping as we stayed in hotels. Just purchased a C650GT and I am sure it could easily do the same and maybe better that the Silverwing. I met and talked to guys with Silverwings, 600cc maxi scooter that went on 2000-3000 mile trips many times, no issues, riding with other motorcycles and Burgmans, etc.

    IMG_2503.jpg



    Quote Originally Posted by carlc View Post
    I have ridden R1200GSs for a long time, and now own a 2014. They are marvelous bikes, but as I get into my early 70s, I find the bike harder to control at low speeds and to move around the garage and driveway when fully loaded. Thinking about a C650GT. I have looked all over this site for reports about long distance touring and find only anecdotal comments, e.g., someone drove one to Alaska, someone else did the Iron Butt, etc., but I would appreciate hearing from CGT riders about getting onto the scooter the stuff they might have taken on extended trips on a GS. Things like tent, Thermarest, Kermit chair, etc. I have seen no pictures of CGTs with soft-sided rear pannier bags. Not necessary? Not available? Any other thoughts germane to the subject?

    Thanks for your willingness to help.

    carlc

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    42

    Thanks for response....

    I appreciate your response, both words and photo. After considerable thought on this matter, I decided to go with a Piaggio BV 350. I know, it's not a BMW, nor is it any of the big scooters. I just decided that for once I would try something on the smaller side. It is capable of 65 to 70 mph on highway (actually more like 85 but is nice to have a bit of cushion). Part of the consideration was price of purchase; part of the consideration was cost of upkeep. I could not get comfortable with a major re-build at 24K miles. I wish you well with yours. You are fortunate to have a group to fellow riders to do trips with.

    ar

  7. #7

    touring on the 650

    Carl,
    A bit smaller than your 350, Piaggio has a BV250, which I rode for two summers, about 16K miles all over the midwest. This bike was sweet in town (Chicago for me), but too light on the highway and just not large enough. Then I rode my BMW 650GT for 36K miles over the last 3 summers (13, 14,15), just traded it this spring for a 12RT. It was great except for the maintenance costs. The transmission is spendy to take care of, and complicated so most people will need a dealer to mess with it. The bike weighs enough to be very stable on the highway and was great from a riding standpoint, storage under the seat so easy to use, I kept a full face helmet and my computer bag in there easily. In the end the transmission maintenance was just too much. Enjoy your 350, that bike has tempted me for years.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    42

    Thanks for response....

    I appreciate your writing about both your BV 250 and C650GT. I wish you well with your RT.

    For what it's worth, Piaggio has appeared to really ramp up its game with the BV 350. It weighs just over 400 pounds wet, feels firmly planted at highway speeds, and still gets about the same gas mileage as the 250. Upkeep costs are minimal. But it lacks a lot of stuff that we get used to on BMWs: heated grips, adjustable windscreens, etc.

    This is the first time since 1984 since I have not owned a BMW motorcycle. I still check over Craigslist in this area to see what's on the market. I never say never.

    carlc
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Scooter Whisperer
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Boca Raton Florida
    Posts
    66
    The BVs are nice scooters. I have ridden the 350 and the 500.

    Long distance...I'm going for it! Will be leaving from South Florida, riding the Blue Ridge and Skyline then visit Mom on Long Island. I have no worries about the scooter being able to make the run.

    Then again...I ran the Scooter Cannonball run 3,900 miles on a 1967 Vespa GT.

    I will post some photos and video!
    2013 C650GT
    1964 Vespa GS, 1968 Vespa SS 180, 1964 Vespa GL, 1967 Vespa GT

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    1,110
    Good choice that BV350. I had one and it was a hoot, felt light and nimble.

    In addition to my 1150 RT-P I now have an '06 Aprilia Scarebeo 500GT that has hard bags and a top box large enough for two helmets and can carry a ton of sh-- I mean stuff. Reviews say it can hit 94 MPH. I would be 100% confident to take it anywhere on any highways, etc.
    One note of caution- My scooter is over 425 lbs empty. Loaded up, it handles same as my RT at low speeds. IOW- I have to be careful. Just because something is called a "scooter" doesn't make it small and light, or any different than a motorcycle.
    "The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why" -- Mark Twain

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    42

    Taking my BV350 to Falling Leaf Rally

    I appreciate the several comments to my initial inquiry about riding a scooter for long distance touring. I offer these thoughts after taking my BV350 to the Gateway Riders' Falling Leaf Rally in Potosi, MO on October 7 to 9, 2016. In the past I have made this trip several times, but always on R1100 or R1200 GSs. I live in central Indiana, so going the direct route by interstate highways means a trip of about 350 miles. Going out, I took two lane roads, which added about 75 miles. On the return trip, I took the interstate route. I equipped the scooter with a GPS mounted on an oblong aluminum plate attached via the screw hole where the stock windscreen would normally be mounted, plugging the GPS into the 12v. outlet. I put my tent, thermarest and Kermit chair in a waterproof bag that I strapped behind me on the passenger seat. Sleeping bag and some tools went into the space below the seat, and clothes and other personal effects went into the 36 liter top case. I brought my Gerbing electrically heated jacket in case it turned cold, but did not have to use it.

    The good: 1. Scooter was fully capable of keeping up with traffic. On two lane roads, it was fine at 55 to 60 mph. On the interstate highways I kept it to 65 mph even though it is capable of 80. Needless to say I was passed often on the interstates where the speed limit is 70. 2. Seat was comfortable even after several hours in the saddle. 3. Scooter nimble on the wonderful two lane roads in the Mark Twain National forest south of Potosi. I could with ease keep up with my riding buddies at the rally, all except the one time when their speeds hit triple digits on a long straight stretch. At the rally, it was a source of both curiosity and admiration among my riding buddies.

    The not-so-good: 1. The 12 v. socket is poorly made, thus not holding the GPS plug, which kept falling out. 2. Gasoline mileage dropped significantly. Normally I get around 65 mpg around town. On this trip, it dropped to around 50. Not sure why. Higher speeds means pushing engine rpms toward their upper limit? More heavily loaded? Effect of having a larger windscreen -- a Givi screen that I cut down? Driving into headwinds going both directions? All of the above? The mileage meant that I had to stop every 100 to 125 miles as the gas gauge hit reserve. (By the way, the gas gauge sucks, and filling the tank is always a test of my ability to release the gas pump lever before gasoline gushes out of the top. I fail most of the time no matter how hard I try to anticipate when it is full. Also, the speedometer gets further away from true speed the faster you go. An indicated 70 is really about 65.) 3. When loaded, suspension was not able to handle bumps, and bottomed out on rough roads.

    Overall: Here's the "Duh" statement: This scooter is not an ideal long distance road machine. But we all know this. I just wanted to find out what it would be like. Will I do this again? Probably not. Am I glad I did it? Yes. Life is too short to wonder about possibilities.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    506
    I did a SS1000 on my Suzuki Burgman 400. It actually worked out quite well. Very comfortable as I droned along on I-90 from Seattle to Montana and back. Like sitting on a barcalounger.

    I had planned on my mileage to be somewhat close to "normal"; like you, it ran about 65 or better on trips. But it dropped just like yours did as I got to 75-80 mph. I had to pay far more attention to my fuel stops to make sure I wouldn't run out.

    Motorcycles are not aerodynamic, unless you're looking at something like a Hayabusa that's made for 180+ mph. And just like the mpg charts they showed us back when the gov't tried to convince us there was rational for lowering the national speed limit to save gas, the fuel consumption does go up exponentially as you get above 60 mph. And realistically, you're pushing a barn door through the wind between the fairing and windshield.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder
    John 14:6

  13. #13
    Registered User lasnin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Susanville, California
    Posts
    17

    Yes you can!

    IMG_2953.jpg
    With the side case, the top case, the underseat storage, a day pack, and another DrySpec bag, that's plenty
    of stuff!!

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    42

    To the several contributors to this thread......

    I am the person who started this thread last year. I was considering selling my R1200GS and getting a scooter. If you kept reading you know that I did just that and bought a Piaggio BV350. I even wrote a report about a ride to the Falling Leaf Rally in October 2016, also in this thread. Since that rally, I dwelled more on the negative aspects of trying to travel distances on a scooter than on the positive, and by spring, talked myself into trading, but this time back to the motorcycle, not motor scooter, world. I traded for a Kawasaki KLR 650. So I now own a light, easy to repair, but primitive two wheeled machine. No computers, no ABS, no whirring servo motors when I turn on the ignition. Just a simple bike with loads of aftermarket stuff to make it work for me. Lots of places to hang lots of gear on this bike. Must be careful not to overload. I will most likely regret the non-ABS decision the first time I end up in the emergency room because the front end locked up.

    I wish all scooter riders the best. The BMW 650 scooters look to be a hoot to drive. They are just not in my future.

    carlc

  15. #15

    I have a few vids showing this exact subject

    I put up a video series taking my C650GT on a 3500km trip to Gaspe and back, also I just put up a new thread in this section with my latest videos
    showing how I camp with my C650GT. Check them out!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •