How I first saw the f650gs as a very low milage trade-in.

How I first saw the f650gs as a very low milage trade-in.

Purchasing this excellently maintained, very low mileage f650gs as my first “traditional” motorcycle seemed like a reasonable approach to dipping my feet in the water of shifting two-wheeled transport. The price was less than half of a brand new model at the time, this bike had just 3009 original miles on the clock, had a low seat and suspension from the factory, OEM hard cases, and was my favorite color: Blue!

The local (hard to call them local exactally as they are in Baton Rouge Louisiana, over 80 miles away and not terrifically convenient…but not horribly inconvenient either) BMW dealership is BMW Motorcycles of Baton Rouge. As one would expect when doing business at a premium brand dealership, they were very friendly and willing to work with me as I began my shopping experience.

I knew that, for my first two-wheeled shifty, finding a bike that I felt “in control of” would be important.  Two feet firmly on the ground, not necessarily flat-footed, but firm and stable was an important consideration to me.  At 29.5″, I felt very reassured that this bike was a great fit.  The seat comfort level was just ok, not great, but overall this was a great place to start my two-wheeled adventure.

Cleaned up and ready for delivery.

Cleaned up and ready for delivery.

After the first few hundred miles on this bike, I fully realized why these bikes are known as “thumpers.”  At speeds less then 45mph, this bike had a relatively smooth ride, but at highway speeds, the level of vibration was equivalent to that of a small earthquake.  I began reading all of the available information I could from other riders and most seemed to either not really “notice” the problem, or had learned to live with it.  Surely this could not be the best I could expect from a motorcycle designed and built by one of the worlds leading manufacturers?

After new tires, a new seat, heavier bar ends, gel padded gloves, and 2000 miles, I decided that this simply was not the bike for me…

f650gs_3 10 12 033f650gs_SeatConceptsf650gs_3 10 12 032

Through the corse of my research, it appears that even though there is a cult following for this bike that has devotees that refuse to acknowledge any deficiencies in the design or implementation of this bike,  even BMW updated the design of this bike to a two cylinder model that is reportedly much more smooth across the rpm range of operation.

 

Water cooled, 652cc, Single, DOHC

Power: 49.63 HP (36.5 kW) @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 60 Nm (44.25 lb-ft) @ 5000 rpm
Final drive: Chain
Top speed: 102.53 mph
Curb weight: 425.5 lbs

Engine and transmission
Engine type: 1 cylinders, 4-stroke, Single
Displacement: 652 cc (39.84 cubic inches)
Bore × stroke: 3.94 inch × 3.27 inch (oversquare – shortstroke)
Cooling system: Water cooled
Power: 49.63 HP (36.5 kW) @ 6500 rpm
Torque: 60 Nm (44.25 lb-ft) @ 5000 rpm
Throttle: Cable operated
Valves
Valve train: DOHC, variable
Valves per cylinder: 4
Fuel and ignition
Sparks per cylinder: 1
Fuel supply system: Fuel injection
Ignition type: Digital CDI
Compression: 11.5:1
Engine mounting: Transverse
Lubrication system: Wet sump
Gear box: Manual 5-speed
Clutch: Wet, multiple discs, cable operated
Final drive: Chain
Starter: Electric
Dimensions
Physical measures
Length: 85.6 inch
Width: 35.8 inch
Height: 49.8 inch
Wheel base: 58.2 inch
Seat height: 30.7 inch
Weight
Curb weight: 425.5 lbs
Dry weight: 385.8 lbs
Chassis and suspension
Frame type: steel, Single cradle frame
Front
Suspension: Cartridge
Suspension travel: 6.69 inch
Fork angle: 61°
Brake: Single Disk, Ø11.81 inch
Tire: 100 / 90 R19 S
Rear
Suspension: mono shock, Swingarm
Suspension travel: 6.5 inch
Brake: Disk, Ø9.45 inch
Tire: 130 / 80 R17 S
Other
ABS available: Yes
Power-to-weight ratio: 0.19 KW/lbs (5.29 lbs/HP)
Top speed: 102.53 mph
Fuel capacity: 4.57 gals
Number of riders: 2 persons

 

1993: BMW F650 Funduro dual purpose motorcycle launched, originally manufactured by Aprilia for BMW.
1995: BMW F650 Funduro gets centre stand as standard, otherwise colour changes only.
1997: BMW F650 Strada launched as a more road-biased motorcycle.
1999: BMW F650 Funduro discontinued / BMW F650 Strada SE version launched (virtually same as standard Strada but with heated grips, taller screen etc).
2000: BMW F650GS launched: styled as a mini BMW R1150GS.
2001: BMW F650CS launched.
2003: Both BMW F650 Strada and BMW F650 Strada SE versions discontinued. BMW F650 GS Dakar version launched with taller suspension and higher screen.
2005: BMW F650CS discontinued.
2006: BMW F650GS and BMW F650GS Dakar versions remain.

 

Other Versions

BMW F650: The original, entry-level, dual purpose Funduro: a key machine for BMW.
BMW F650 Strada: More dedicated street motorcycle than the basic, earlier BMW F650s. Shorter wheelbase, lower seat etc…
BMW F650CS: Street motorcycle with funkier styling and belt drive: competent but ultimately a bit gutless in the power department.
BMW F650GS Dakar: Off-road biased motorcycle with nifty, racy paint job, higher screen, taller seat, different wheels and longer travel.

 

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Born as the baby to the BMW R1150GS (now 1200cc), the BMW F650GS has a long and credible pedigree, including a string of varients. The BMW F650 has off-road pretentions but, in the real world, is a sturdy and sensible road motorcycle (the BMW F650 Dakar’s the one for the green lanes), it deals with most situations with predictable power and confidence.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners’ rating rating is 3

The BMW F650 is a work horse and power house in one, neat package. With loads of torque, there’s power right through the rev range, taking you from town, to country to motorways with relative ease. The BMW F650’s smooth delivery makes for easy riding and it’s tried and tested, providing effortless welly. A very reliable if perhaps a little uninspiring motorcycle

 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners’ rating rating is 3

Competent and confidence-inspiring but the F650 GS lacks passion. The suspension’s slightly wallowy and you can feel the weight when you’re tipping it into corners but it’s nothing dreadful and the motorcycle holds the road well. The gears clunk and there’s a bit of play on the throttle but otherwise it’s a very stable ride. Excellent in town.

 

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners’ rating rating is 3.5

Typically with BMW, there’s no shortage of bits and pieces available for the BMW F650 to tart your motorcycle up but most of them are extras. Standard equipment on the BMW F650 includes clear clocks, an adjustable clutch lever and a centre stand. But the BMW F650’s screen is not effective, there’s precious little storage and the motorcycle has no fuel gauge. Pay more for ABS, heated grips etc on this motorcycle

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners’ rating rating is 4

Top notch, basically. With a sturdy body, great finish and excellent aftersales service, there’s not a lot to complain about on this motorcycle. Consistent and reliable, the BMW F650 probably has more mileage in it than the average rider. These motorcycles are built to last… and they do.

 

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners’ rating rating is 3.5

It’s not a budget motorcycle, especially if you want to add any extras, but you’re paying for quality and, to some extent, peace of mind. Furthermore, the BMW F650 GS motorcycle provides a lot of miles to the gallon and sits in insurance group 9, which won’t break the bank. A safe, robust choice, they hold their price well. Find a BMW F650 for sale.

 

  1. Happy Trails Highway Peg Kit
  2. Madstad Adjustable Windshield
  3. Garmin Zumo 665
  4. Givi Top Case Mounting Bracket
  5. Seat Concepts Embossed Seat Cover

 

 

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