BMW F650GS (twin) vs 650 Strom vs Versys Comparo Article.

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by OrangeEnvy, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. OrangeEnvy

    OrangeEnvy Vicarious Adventurer

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    Hi folks,

    My comparison article featuring the 2008 BMW F650GS (twin)... the 798cc version vs Suzuki DL650 V-Strom vs Versys 650 article on Canadian Motorcycle Rider online magazine.

    I had some input from ADV riders/readers along the way. Thanks for all the posts and info!

    Here's a link
    #1
  2. andmoon

    andmoon Long timer

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    Wouldn't that be a f800?
    #2
  3. dduelin

    dduelin Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord Of My Heart

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    Nope. The new F650GS uses the Rotax based 798cc motor, with tweaks, already in use in the F800S and ST. Doesn't every manufacturer call their 800's "650s"?

    Now it makes sense why the 800GS was delayed until the 2009 model year due to the "high demand for the F650" reason BMW gave.
    #3
  4. XLNOIR

    XLNOIR n00b

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    I read articles to compare bikes not bike specs.

    "Not too many people in Canada have had the opportunity to ride the F650GS as of yet but we spoke to a fellow who has."

    That speaks volumes. Try again.
    #4
  5. OrangeEnvy

    OrangeEnvy Vicarious Adventurer

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    One negative comment out of the 1,000 or so that read it... I'll take that.

    When the bike is not available to ride you have to focus on the specs a little more. I did interview a fellow who rode the bike in Faro Spain courtesy of BMW. He's not just some joe blow who's never ridden a bike either. He's been a motorcyclist and mechanic for 30 years, races regularly, and owns a multi-brand dealership, was there in Milan when the F800GS was introduced etc. So not a bad person to get a riding impression from in my opinion.

    Would you buy a bike without comparing specs and only on ridng impressions? I wouldn't.

    #5
  6. Superstar

    Superstar Been here awhile

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    Or they needed the time to ramp up the Chinese engine factory?
    #6
  7. OrangeEnvy

    OrangeEnvy Vicarious Adventurer

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    I believe Rotax has an engine building plant in Austria. The 450X is the one that'll have the engine built in Taiwan by Kymco. Kymco started out in 1963 producing parts for Honda. Now, they're the largest manufacturer of scooters in Taiwan.

    #7
  8. Redne Dab

    Redne Dab Poseur Extraordinaire

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    Nice article. I will share this with some friends currently in shopping mode.

    Thanks!
    #8
  9. Thumdar

    Thumdar Adventurer

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    When I read comparison reviews, I like to have the author give their opinion within the conclusion. There was some good spec comparison that was helpful to me but still ~ what did the reviewer ultimately think?

    P.S. First post! :wave
    #9
  10. Ed@Ford

    Ed@Ford Long timer

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    I had troubles with your "magazine" email address...so here are my comments:
    Mr. Smith is to be commended on his comparison of these 3 bikes. In Canada you have a tough choice as the prices are so similar. In the USA, the BMW F650GS twin will be available about July, but will be more expensive as Kawasaki & Suzuki will discount below MSRP. Some important trivia was missed however:

    1. The optional low Versys seat is $$$$$$

    2. The low BMW seat is free...the lowered suspension was correctly noted as NOT free

    3. The excellent optional gel Vstrom seat is very reasonably priced in the USA. The much taller DL1000 is available and is cheaper than the short Versys seat

    4. Versys is available in europe with ABS. In fact the Bosch ABS used on BMW, Versys and DL650 are all the same...Bosch tells you so on their website. Only the BMW can be switched off...BUT folks have learned how to turn the DL ABS off for offroad use. Go to the UK (I think) Suzuki website to see some excellent movies of DL650 ABS in action! The ABS appears to weigh 2.2 kg

    5. In europe there is an optional DL windshield with the "W" profile similar to the F650 and F800 GS....they seem to be quite quiet

    6. It's amazing they all weigh the same...when you factor in the DL weight includes the ABS

    7. Strange the BMW has the smallest tank



    Ed King, Dearborn MI



    PS: I'm waiting for a 650 to arrive in London Ontario to check out. I got to try on the 800 at the Detroit bike show in Jan '08...it's just too tall and too $$$$$$$...no matter WHO's dollars!
    #10
  11. OrangeEnvy

    OrangeEnvy Vicarious Adventurer

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    Congrats on the first post! It's an addictive site!

    Your comments have been noted.

    I did include some of what I ultimately thought but didn't come right out an say this bike is the best. You can't go wrong with any of the bikes if you keep the intended purpose in mind. The Verys is probably the least capable off-pavement of the bikes. In standard form they're all intended to be mostly on-pavement bikes though so that might not be the biggest concern. The Strom gets rave reviews by riders everywhere. It has the biggest tank (range). But the BMW has a bigger engine yet is the lightest. The Beemer also has a significant torque advantage. It has the smallest tank too so if range is really important than 10ft-lbs of extra torque at a lower rpm may not matter most to you. The BMW also costs near $1000 more to be equipped the same as a Strom (with ABS). You also get two extra years of warranty and the 3 years of roadside assistance. Important to some.

    There is no clear winner because what is best for me might not be best for you. I've tried to give an unbiased impression of all the bikes and let the reader decide which they like best.

    Put it this way though... I wouldn't buy either a Versys or a Strom without paying a visit to the local BMW dealership.

    #11
  12. motoman250f

    motoman250f Been here awhile

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    pretty well put together but it didn't help me at all.. I know all that. if your going to compare them lets hear how people liked the roll on power, brakes handling, etc. between those 3,,, pretty cool point on the punisher headlight :D
    #12
  13. Dave92029

    Dave92029 Been here awhile

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    I enjoyed the article, but since the Canadian $ and US$ exchange rate has come close to parity, I am surprised at the price indicated for the Wee Strom. I just bought a 2008 Black for less than US $6,360.

    I also found the lower seat height, and substantially larger fuel tank, coupled with over 50 US MPG on the Wee important to my decision making, but you focused on the weight difference?

    The $2,500 + difference between the "Real World" cost to me in the US for a Wee Strom compared to the BMW made my decision very easy. You also didn't mention BMW's traditionally high maintenance costs?
    #13
  14. BMR

    BMR Long timer

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    Nice work, Canucklehead. :D

    I remember you asking about naming your website a few months ago.
    #14
  15. GB007

    GB007 Been here awhile

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    Good article! Thanks:1drink
    #15
  16. OrangeEnvy

    OrangeEnvy Vicarious Adventurer

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    Yup - that was me... Glad I made the change now. It was some good advice.

    #16
  17. Thumdar

    Thumdar Adventurer

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    Good stuff, OrangeEnvy. As far as I'm concerned, any info I can get is good.

    Today I hit the Kawi & Suzuki dealers and had a look, sit and feel (didn't even ask for a test ride). I started with the Wee and my initial impression was, "Damn!! That's a big bike!" I've read some people saying that when sitting on it, there seems to be a whole lot out in front of you, and I can now see why. Sitting on it felt rock solid and comfortable and yes, I could feel its weight. One thing I was paying attention to was how high I sat on it. I'm 5'8" on a good day with kinda short legs so, being flat-footed wasn't quite possible.

    I left and went straight to see the Versys and was instantly seeing the difference in the size of the bike. Maybe the specs say they're not much different, but it sure seemed that way. Sitting on the Versys I immediately felt it to be more manageable as it was defintely lighter and narrower between the legs. The one big problem I have with the Kawi is the 17" front wheel. The bike seems to almost tilt slightly forward (could be an illusion) whereas the Wee Strom did not at all.

    The ergonomics on both bikes felt great. I liked the narrowness of the Versys but the Suzuki clearly had more seating area room. I also instantly noticed that the Versys lacked real storage capability as compared to the Wee. At this point I'm CLEARLY leaning toward the V-Strom.
    #17
  18. choccoloco

    choccoloco Cabin Fever....

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    That's a classic example how every rider is different. I'm also 5'8 from recolection that's about 178cm, my torso is larger, therefore my legs are shorter but I still raised the bike 1" & I have some sheep skin on the riders position. If the bike is completely in an upright position than only the ball of my foot is on the ground, with a little lean I'm flat footed. When off road with gear & preload up gives me alot more confidence off road, plus that's my style of riding.
    All big up front, IMO better touring onroad, offroad you can muscle it around, makes it fun :D
    #18