'10 BF 650i
Bought it new, have a little over 7400 kms on it now.
Parts that failed/broke: (I'll come back to this point because I can't think of anything yet...)
Parts that wore out because that's what they do:
Front brake pads, replace once with Race Driven pads.
Parts that were replaced because I'm dumb:
Belt at 206hrs/3986kms.
Here's my story on the belts...and I'm not an expert but after 7400kms of trail/snow/mud/rocks/etc I can tell you my thoughts and you can do with them what you like.
The belt light will come on roughly ever 100 hours to remind you to adjust the deflection. The light turns on, nothing else, no limp mode, no walking home, just a little light that turns on. After you check/adjust, you unplug a connector, plug in a supplied jumper connector, cycle the key, it resets and goes away for another 100(ish) hours.
I got to 100 hrs, it was working fine, I reset the light without checking the deflection and life went on. I thought "I'll check it when I get time"..well, that turned into 200 hours. At 200, I dropped it off to a local guy that's good with brutes, asked him to check and adjust the deflection because it was jerking a little on a slow pull away, esp with two people on board. He called me, "you need a belt, it's a little too thin, ought to be replaced" I brought him a new belt, he put it on, without any adjusting, deflection was back to where it was brand new.
The new belt has performed exactly like the new one did that was on there when I got the bike new. It's now starting to jerk a bit on slow pull-aways again, but I expected that..the first one was replaced at around 4000kms. I'm getting close to 8000kms now.
My experience tells me that the way I drive mine, I can say to hell with the deflection, and toss a new belt at it every 4000kms. I get a new belt and peace of mind when I'm 100kms out in the woods, I'm not paying someone to tear it apart and fiddle with shims, or spending the time doing it myself....I've never smoked the belt, and don't plan to.
I have 25" bighorns and stop and think before I do stuff, so if a situation warrants low gear, I put it in low gear.
You can certainly check and adjust the deflection every weekend if you want, I'm just saying that I haven't and in 7400kms, no ill effects.
They don't have a wet clutch like the grizz...so, when you give it a little throttle, the primary immediately starts to close on the belt. It starts to pull, but it's slipping (it's supposed to). You pull away (ever so gently) and within about 5' you feel the primary squeeze to the point where hooks up, isn't slipping anymore and you're off. That first few feet is (IMO) where brute belts wear. I make it a habit to give the throttle a good solid bump when I'm pulling away, so it reduces that slipping time to next to nothing.
Just like pulling away with a standard car/truck, whatever. The clutch slips as you're getting rolling, once the slipping is over it can turn like that for a million miles and it will never wear one tiny bit. Ride the clutch a lot and slip it, you'll cook it quickly. Let it slip just enough to do its job and pull away like you mean it, it'll last nearly forever. Same way the BF belts work...if it's slipping, it's wearing. Avoid slipping it.
Just like a car clutch starts to grab hard when it's getting thin and worn, so does a brute belt. They wear a little thin and the primary can't squeeze it like it's designed to so it grabs and slips, grabs and slips...that's the jerking/chatter I mentioned...meaning...it's worn, replace it soon.
The rear brake...It's friction plates that run in the rear diff oil. It never sees water, mud, dirt, ice, snow, etc. You squeeze the brake and it works, regardless of the conditions, hot, cold, wet, dry, whatever. I've never had to adjust mine and it still works as well as it did off the showroom floor. And, they last darn near forever....no mud in them to grind them away.
Diff-lock. Love-hate. The lever's right there, quick and easy to grab when you need it. Get stuck and be over on the right side pushing and working the throttle and the diff lock lever is right....oh crap...it's wayyy the frig over THERE and you can't reach it. There is an easy mod that essentially involves adding a pin, so you can pull it all the way on and slide the pin down, locking the lever on.
As for the fact that you can feather it on and off quickly, not having to either have all or nothing, I like that. Some do, some don't...
My diff lock has also not required any adjustment or maintenance.
I have also not had to replace a suspension/steering part...INCLUDING the a-arm bushings/bearings....
But, I do have a little play in one upper ball joint, and a little slack in one rear wheel bearing..nothing that would stop me from going for a ride, but they'll need to be done shortly.
7400kms, I certainly can't complain.
As for more maintenance...I don't think so...at least in my case.
They do require a valve adjustment now and again, as the valves seat into the heads the valves will tighten up so you have no lash, and if ignored the valves will be so tight they'll hang open giving you backfiring and burned valves. If you can read a book and run a feeler gauge, the valve adjustment can be done yourself in a couple hours.
Oil is cheaper than metal, so I change fluids, etc way below what the manufacturer recommends. I change the oil, filter, and the front/rear diff oils every 800 kms. I check the front and rear after every ride in case water got in.
The front diff can easily get water in past the axle seals, so keep an eye on it. If it gets water in it, change it. It holds about 1/3 of a pint of 10w40. It's not gonna break the bank.
The rear diff takes TDH (Transmission/Differential/Hydraulic) fluid and it's about $18 a gallon at wally-world. All my oil changes and I'm only on my 2nd jug.
And no wet clutch so no friction modifiers and la-dee-da to worry about. Mine gets whatever brand name 10w40 is on sale.
My only complaint about my brute is the soft suspension in the rear and the lack of ground clearance created by it. It's not horribly, but when you're banging on stuff that the other guys drove right over, it can get old.....apples to apples though, the guy I usually ride with has a Cat on 26's. The Cat (if I remember) had the highest ground clearance of any stock bike for that year...) whatever....the ground clearance thing has never ruined my day. I wish there was more, but there isn't.
Blah blah blah.....not sure if you're still reading or if you passed out yet....anyway.....there's not as bad as people say. Treat them right, they'll return the favour.....or at least, mine certainly has.
"In dog beers, I've only had one!"
2010 Brute Force 650 4x4i - Smokey Blue
1998 Grizzly 600 - Blue Smoke
Last edited by gcfishguy; 07-13-2013 at 08:47 AM.