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Thread: Long distance touring/camping on a C650GT?

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  1. #1
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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

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