Considering a BMW 650CS

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by leftfield6, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. leftfield6

    leftfield6 That is Mattie in the pic, was the best dog ever

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    That's right a BMW 650CS. Right now I'm bikeless, but lookng to buy one this fall while the prices are down. Have been looking a number of bikes. Used to own a Honda Hawk GT (NT650) that was a great bike, so I've looked at a few of those, also like the looks and feel of the Honda 599 (Hornet) so I've checked those out too.

    Really was looking for a good commuter/occasional long trip versatile bike in the 650-750cc range. Had never heard of the BMW 650CS until I stumbled across one for sale for $4200.

    Interesting, it only has 1200 miles on a 2005, so it's hardly even past the break-in mileage, and I can probably negotiate to less that $4000 for a kinda-newish BMW.

    It's definitely an odd styled bike, but it seems really practical. I'm 6 foot, and 210 pounds, and liked the way it fit. Havent test driven it yet, just test-sat, so to speak.

    Any opinions on this bike? For $4000, a BMW with 1200 miles seems like a good deal.
    #1
  2. dduelin

    dduelin Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord Of My Heart

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    The original Honda NC700X without it's price point or reliability.
    #2
  3. BCC

    BCC I know better

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    My wife had one and loved it. Would ride it everyday on her 20 mile commute and weekends 100 miles to our boat.

    Stone cold reliable.

    She did the experienced rider course on it and out danced everyone....

    Would I wanna go across the country on it? Probably not. But a few 500 mile days, back to back, sure.

    The backpack where the gas tank usually is, was nice.

    Her next BMW was a R1200R.
    #3
  4. leftfield6

    leftfield6 That is Mattie in the pic, was the best dog ever

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    At $4000 for a bike with 1200 miles, maybe the price point is okay now, eh? :ear
    #4
  5. Tomcat503

    Tomcat503 Usually Just Lurking

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    I had a 2005 F650CS as well. It was my first bike right after the MSF course and getting my MC license. I'm a larger guy than you and had had no troubles with the fit. The 2005 has the dual spark engine which improves throttle response and surging that some of the earlier models experienced. The F800ST/S were the successor models to this bike. Based on using it as a commuter with occasional long trips you'll be fine. My longest day on it was about 450 miles.

    Pros:
    Rotex Engine is very reliable
    65-70 MPG
    Handles well
    Belt drive - no chain to oil
    ABS (It's an option / not standard)
    Heated grips
    Gas tank is under seat for lower CG

    Cons:
    Styling may not be everyone's cup of tea (but I also have a 1200GS so what do I know :lol3)
    Seat is not the most comfortable for long trips (an Airhawk cushion fixed that)

    A great resource is F650.com http://f650.com/forum/forum.php in the "Black Belt Gang" (F650CS) section.

    Gone but not forgotten:

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. dduelin

    dduelin Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord Of My Heart

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    Perhaps.

    An 8 year old motorcycle with no use may need seals or other rubber items looked over. Tires replaced too unless the date codes are recent. Ironically lack of use is sometimes harder on machinery than regular use. The oil was changed before it was stored, right? Or was it left to sit the last 7 years - you will get to ride it and get it checked out if you cannot do that yourself?

    My own thoughts are unless you really want an inexpensive kind-of BMW there are better motorcycles in the used market for $4000 even if they have miles on them. You mentioned the 599, but not the other Japanese 650s at this price point. Just my two cents.
    #6
  7. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Been here awhile

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    We had a F650CS for a couple of years and I rode it fairly frequently out in the country on some decent twisties, wife rode it daily as a commuter. Super fuel mileage, perfect reliability, light, handled very well.


    My neighbor has the bike now and rides it daily. Still no problems. He and I rode to the mountains for a weekend recently, no complaints, Bike loved the ultra twisty back roads.

    I'd own another.
    #7
  8. Tilter

    Tilter Been here awhile

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    I never heard that this BMW had reliability issues. Where did you see that?

    OP: these are fun, reliable little bikes in my experience. I've known three guys well who had one and another few I knew casually. I only heard good things with the exception of how much all the gear that one buys when one owns a BMW motorcycle costs. You know, that special jacket, the extra cool pants, etc hehe.

    Japanese bikes are great. That new Honda 700 seems really, really nice. The new cb1100 has me really excited. Ill definitely own one at some point as a second bike. But the BMW has that specialness, that culture that a few other Marques share. A sense of camaraderie for owning a share in tradition.

    And if you couldn't give a rat's tail about all that stuff then just know its a cool, fun, reliable bike.

    An did you do want something Japanese and cool and in the South I know a guy selling a pristine 2007 Honda 919 for like $3k or so.
    #8
  9. dduelin

    dduelin Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord Of My Heart

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    Regarding my comment on price point and reliability ............. I was speaking in broad generalities between the two brands.
    #9
  10. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    That made me think how awesome the NC would be with a belt drive..
    #10
  11. jfurf

    jfurf Been here awhile

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    Whenever I see one on the road (not often, fortunately) I think It looks like a bike for middle-aged cat ladies. It's like the PT Cruiser of motorcycles. :rofl
    #11
  12. DiabloADV

    DiabloADV Semi-Occasional

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    I just rebuilt the motor and transmission from a 72 CB350 and a 70 R60/5. If the modern bikes are built and designed anything like these older ones, I'd stick with BMW.

    There is a reason so many old low-mile Hondas are around. They stopped running, were too expensive to fix, and then parked in a shed for 30 years.
    #12
  13. Gator8

    Gator8 He did what in his cup?

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    Super reliable every day commuter. Easy to ride, light and flickable.
    I have had to replace a few pieces on mine (2002) that have broken due to vibration, but the dual-sparks have a lot less vibration.
    #13
  14. dduelin

    dduelin Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord Of My Heart

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    I think you would stop short of saying BMW enjoys a better reputation for reliability than Honda does.

    As far as your second supposition, it falls short under examination. In 1971 Honda sold more than 140,000 USA model CB350s which was about 20% of total production that year (700,000). It was their best selling model then and sold well for two more years after 1971. There were nearly half a million CB350's sold between 1968 and 1973. In contrast, BMW did not pass half a million motorcycles produced until 50 years after introduction - it took from 1923 to 1973. Until 1955 there were virtually no BMWs sold in the USA, Honda did not begin US sales until late 1959. By 1972 BMW sales were still less than 15,000 a year in the whole flipping world. Do the math. There are a lot of low mileage Honda motorcycles in sheds because there were a shed load of Honda motorcycles being sold 40 years ago. I could not find sale figures for 1972 but in the year my R100 was sold, 1982, fewer than 3000 BMWs were sold in the USA. About 2800 if I recall.

    Further, the CB350 cost about $850 in 1972. The R60/5 probably cost about $1800-$2000 and a few thousand BMWs were sold in the same year Honda sold 3/4 of a million motorcycles with 20% of them CB350s. The kind of fellow that bought a BMW R60/5 in 1972 was not the same fellow that bought a Honda 350. They tended not to store them in sheds.

    You can check my references: The Honda Story by Ian Falloon, The BMW Story and BMW Boxer Twins by Ian Falloon, Standard Catalog of Japanese Motorcycles 1959-2007 by Mitchell.
    #14
  15. leftfield6

    leftfield6 That is Mattie in the pic, was the best dog ever

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    Interesting comments, thanks everyone, for the input.

    So, here is my update, in the form of pics of the bike home in my garage!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Yep, that's 1040 miles on the bike, and the title history seems to match up to that being a real number. Originally a CA bike, the original owner moved to TN in 2009, and transferred title. The VIN record shows that mileage was 784. Sold to the guy I bought it from in 2010, and then he hardly used the bike, adding only another 200 or so miles.

    The bike had been stored indoors in a climate controlled garage, so it seems to have survived it's inactivity in pretty good nick. All the rubber bits seem to be soft and pliable with no evidence of dryrot or hardening. Working on getting the tags for it all legal, so no long rides yet, but I've put about 50 miles on it so far and all is good. Paint and finish is perfect, not a single scratch.

    The tank had about a gallon of one year old gas that had been treated with stabilizer, I added another two gallons of fresh, and it seems to be running fine. I'll run this mixed tank until the low fuel light comes on and then fill it up with fresh.

    Bike has factory heated grips and ABS. Picked it up for just north of $3000. Pretty happy with the deal so far.
    #15
  16. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Love that bike!
    Great find!
    #16
  17. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    For the price, you did well.. and as a commuter bike, it's perfect to beat around town on it and to go on trips.. A lady friend of mine has one and she has something like 45,000 miles on hers, no problems, except for frequent steering head bearing replacements.
    #17
  18. dduelin

    dduelin Be Thou My Vision, Oh Lord Of My Heart

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    It looks like you got a deal there.
    #18
  19. RapidRobert

    RapidRobert Viagra Donor & reprobate

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    +1 on your nice find! :thumb
    #19
  20. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    I wanted to like this machine for the simplicity and the belt drive but I just couldn't deal with the looks when I nearly bought one (for $5500!) several years ago. I am tremendously envious of your find, a steal and so very very practical. I love belt drive, though the comment about this being the "PT cruiser of bikes," gave me pause. I've read the exact same description of my Bonneville from people who think the Hinckley twin is a heaving pig. People are hard to please.
    #20