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Gone over to the dark side...

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I bought an '09 DRZ400SM last June to return to motorcycling after a 16 year break. The Dizzer has been everything I expected and more than I hoped for. However, I've spent way more time on the pavement, particularly the highway, than I ever expected. When I sold my last bikes in '94 after 30 years of riding I hated any kind of street/highway riding. I would only ride offroad. I guess the break did me good because now I just enjoy being back on a bike, no matter where.

Long story short, the Dizzer is too tall for me to be comfortable much with offroad riding (I'm 5'5½" with short legs) and not really a bike I want to spend a lot of highway time on. I've had a desire for a WeeStrom, which is also too tall, or a BMW F650GS which I thought was too tall, too.

........... Until I sat on a factory-lowered one in Calgary a few weeks ago. Damn thing actually fits!! No, REALLY fits ... both feet flat on the ground with a teensy bit of knee flex. A total revelation!! :smirk: :smirk:

This is my first non-Japanese bike since my '64 Triumph. It was a tough decision but after riding it for a couple of weeks it was the right one. There's just no substitute for a bike that really fits properly. This is a picture of my first ride on it. You can't see the stupid grin under the helmet but trust me, it's there!!

IMG_1755.jpg

This forum has been a great help to me in getting the DRZ tuned and sorted and a great bunch of people to just hang out with. My thanks to everyone for their contributions to the site. If you know of anyone looking for a low-mileage '09 white SM in Saskatchewan just point them in my direction. When I sell the bike I'll definitely point the new owner to this site. It's invaluable.

...ken...

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Is that the F650GS that has the 800 cc twin engine? I don't know why they make several models of the bike, all with the same engine, but the models are F650 & F800. I had an F650 years ago that was a 650 cc, a very nice ride. My brother has the F800GS and loves it as a street bike but knows not to take it very far off pavement.

The only thing I dislike about my DRZ is the seat height.

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Is that the F650GS that has the 800 cc twin engine? I don't know why they make several models of the bike, all with the same engine, but the models are F650 & F800. I had an F650 years ago that was a 650 cc, a very nice ride. My brother has the F800GS and loves it as a street bike but knows not to take it very far off pavement.

The only thing I dislike about my DRZ is the seat height.

The above is a twin 800 cc. They come as a thumper 650 as well . You can get the thumper at around 7k..... The above about 11k ..... And the f800gs for about 14.5k . All different bikes have different characteristics. The big 800 a hoot in the dirt..... Whereas the above f650gs is less dirt.... More street. I fully understand your grinning. Welcome to the dark side.....

Erling

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Beautiful bike! I am sure the torque on that twin puts a smile on your face!

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Sweet ride, having more than 1 cylinder is a good thing when you get out on the open road.

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Hey motoinmoab,

As erling said, the different 800cc twin models make sense when you look at the characteristics of the two bikes versus each other and in comparison to the bigger and smaller GS models.

There are lots of large-size folks who want a bike that fits and has close to "big bike" performance but don't want something as big as the 1200. The F800 fills the bill very nicely.

Then there are folks who want the performance and size of a mid-displacement (e.g. 600-650 class) bike. These folks range in body size from those who would be comfortable on an F800 to those like me who are built a lot closer to mother earth. The F650 has the performance of a good 650 (but with 800-class torque!!!) and less weight than most 650s. The standard suspension version can accomodate a range of sizes just by changing seats from low to standard to tall. Plus there is a factory lowered version that, with the low seat, fits really short people like me.

The torque, combined with the lack of flywheel, is a two-edged sword. It hauls like a freight train from almost any engine speed in any gear. But if you turn the throttle in the lower gears you better mean it ... and be prepared for it. It takes a lot of practice to get comfortable with the throttle on loose surfaces in the lower gears.

But, Damn!!, it sure is fun when you grab a handful and run it up through the gears. :smirk: You can be up to freeway speed (70mph) in just a few short seconds. And then you still have three more gears to go!! :smirk:

...ken...

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I was told when I got rid of my 1150 GS that...I was going over to the dark side...:smirk: But hey, tearing up a drz just makes more sense..and is a lot funner !

But what is so cool is that you are the first male I have heard of that likes the factory lowered beemer :smirk:

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Ken, It's sad to see you drift away from the DRZ forum ...Your 2c has been ,at times ,very thought provoking and helpful to most....

But ,for the moment, it seems you are on a winner there with the BM...

Enjoy your new ride and all the best mate,

Cheers,Craig

P.S. You will be back...they all come back..lol

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After I went to the darker side 2 years ago, I thought that the z would be sold, but found that there were room for both bikes.... As they are quite different. I'm not sure it would be the case if the Z was not a 470. I think it would have gone in a heart beat.

Either bike puts a big grin on my face..... I have the 8gs

Erling

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Hey motoinmoab,

As erling said, the different 800cc twin models make sense when you look at the characteristics of the two bikes versus each other and in comparison to the bigger and smaller GS models.

...ken...

Ken- I had a '99 F650, dual carb model right before they went fuel injected, and I loved the bike. It was nice and low, well balanced, smooth and easy to ride. I was coming off a R100GS that I dropped just about every ride because I have a 29" inseam. (A stupid tall bike, like my DRZ) ((stupid tall for someone my height)) The newer ones are sooo superior, the technology is amazing. BUT- still my question is this: why call it a 650 when it's an 800 cc? If it's a different model, change the GS to some other designation like they do on all their other bikes- GS, R, LT, K. It's just confusing and not really how they have traditionally labeled models. No, I don't have a better designation in mind.

Your bike looks great, and judging by how much my brother raves about his F800GS, I'm sure you have hit the sweet spot. And when I get tired of dropping my DRZ I may have to follow you to that 800cc 650.

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But what is so cool is that you are the first male I have heard of that likes the factory lowered beemer :smirk:

At 64 I'm way past any macho tendencies that might get in the way of enjoying my ride to the fullest. So I'm free to not only love the way this bike fits me and buy it but also to say so publicly. :smirk:

But you raise a good point. I sold my Suzuki GS500E to a young lady looking for a bike that fit her decently. The GS500 was definitely a better fit for her than anything else she had tried. But when I told her to throw a leg over the BMW you should have seen her face light up!! You could see that she'll be saving her money for one some day in the future. BMW seems to be the only manufacturer that is making a serious effort to make bikes that fit women properly right off the showroom floor without modifications and compromises.

@Erling, I have to sell the DRZ. No choice. The BMW is the third bike I've bought in 11 months and it was expensive. I'm destitute. If I want to do any trips on the BMW, the other two bikes have to go. I sold the GS500E a couple weeks ago. It went quickly. Still not much interest in the DRZ.

Thanks for the kind comments, Craig. This is one of the best and most helpful forums I've ever been part of and I've participated in many over the past twenty-five years or so. It's truly a joy to occasionally find a forum where folks with strong opinions can go nose to nose on a specific subject and still maintain respect for each other instead of letting it get all personal and pissy.

...ken...

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