Why do you consider the F650GS/F700GS a newbie or girl bike?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Jeuneyer, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    "I think it's like big trucks. The bigger your truck or the more CCs you have the smaller your dick. Before you get too mad, I drive a Dodge Ram and have an 1100 GS"

    I too have a small dick.. 10 inches and as big around as a beer can!!! I need to get a bigger truck and an F800GS!! My 658 is holding me back!! GH
    #21
  2. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    The 658 is a capable bike. Stock its a little funky, with way to long a wheelbase IMO at roughly 62" for its low height.
    For those that understand low rpm torque, you can drive the 658 off the bottom.
    It is deceivingly fast. Faster than my Triumph Scrambler and faster than my friends 1200 Guzzi Coppa Italia. The Guzzi whoops on my Scrambler.
    I bought mine because its the lightest twin cylinder street motorcycle available (originally stated at 377 lbs dry, although they bumped up the weight spec).
    The 658 is a good candidate to build up.
    Put an 800 aftermarket shock on and work the front to an equal height (various ways) and you have a tall-ish, light-ish adv touring steed with 19/17 tubeless wheels.
    A nice combo.
    I just did a 3000 mile + trip on mine. I carved the twisties, ran dirt and got up to 62 mpg. A great adv tourer for me.

    I think the 700 is a good looking, classy upgrade to the 650. Wish I had one.


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    #22
  3. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

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    Motorcycles are bought for fun. Part of that fun for a lot of people is building an alternate image of themselves by the bike they ride and the clothes they wear.

    Harley riders, for the most part, are an excellent example of this. They get dressed up to match a folk image of the bad biker, dress their bikes the same way, and many evan adopt an attitude/persona they they don't use in their daily life.
    Biking is an alternate self image that they put on to make build their ego, makes them happy. There are a lot of Harley riders!!

    The GS craze, in my opinion, is a similar circumstance for many GS riders....not all, but many. While many are anti harley/bikers they are pro BMW/ riders ethos....and adopt the gnarly adventure rider profile as their self image. Just look at the self labeling tags they put on their post on this blog. In this alternate GS world the look of the bike is most important. The old cliche of bigger is better is alive and well. 60hp-R100GS...85hp F800GS, 100hp R1100GS, 115hp R1200GS and now 125hp R1200GS wet head. Note the bikes have also gotten bigger, heavier, poorer off road, faster on road during all of this. Now most BMW GS run on Hight Test gas....sort of an oxymoron for finding as gas station 200 miles from now where....gas milage for the GSA is some time in the 35mpg range...no wonder it needs an 8 gallon tank!

    When I go for a BMW event, or any other for that matter, I do a GS version of the chicken strip test for cafe racers. I check out the skid pans for scratches, dings, big dents. If they are pristine its give a clear measure of how that bike is ridden, if the rider is a profiler or real. A quick look at the tires tellls a lot. The typical dual sport tire is just a street tire with a bit more open tread...worthless in mud etc. Some put on lug and semi lug tires. Of couse these give significantly better off road traction. Checking them out a bit closer, look for stone cuts, tears in the lugs, especially in the side lugs. If you only see tires worn square and the lugs in pristine condition, they have not seem much if any off road... profiling!

    The F650GS and F700GS are actually among the better Adventure / dual sport bikes. They have adequate power for touring pavement at speed. More than adequate power for off road. Better gas milage so gas is less of a problem in truly remote areas. Run on run on regular gas(loops 700 no more). Weigh less and are of more user friendly height for most riders, dabbing you foot on a rut, log, stone is easier for most people. Most people can actually push the bike backward while setting on the seat....WOW what a feature! Suspension travel is more than adequate for most speed and train conditions.

    You get the idea. Loven my F650GS twin. bagged alaska, yukon, NWT, Labrador, and a lot of back roads here in Vermont
    #23
  4. SDDinNH

    SDDinNH Ridgerunner

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    Although I agree with most of what you say, and I don't know exactly why Bob, that paragraph strikes me as very "elitist". It may be just the way I read it, but it seems to me that you are saying that just because you don't run knobbies and don't do a lot of "mud" and single track to bash your bike up makes you a "wannabe".

    I know that for the fire roads and National Forest roads that I run in NH, Tourances work just fine and I run slow enough to hardly ever need my bash plate or crash bars. I see way more moose that way :lol3 They are there simply for "insurance" for me. Sure, if I was gonna do Alaksa or Labrador, I'd use different tires, but the Tourances or the Anakees would go back on when I got home. For general use, they work just fine for me. Plus, given the "road maintenance" (or lack of it) that Vt and NH are doing these days, you need one of these "adventure bikes" just to get around on the back roads up here. :lol3

    I guess it all depends on how you define "Adventure Riding".

    Another point is that I'm grateful for these people. Although they may not use the bike in the way you would like in order to define them as true "Adventure Riders", if they were not buying them, no one would be making them for you "knarly dirt riders" to use. Sales are sales to BMW and it is what drives these bikes into and out of :eek1 the market place. I would hope that many of these so called "posers" keep buying them so the bikes continually get improved and are around for everyone to use. The 658 is a great bike even if you never take it off road.

    :beer
    #24
  5. epicxcrider

    epicxcrider Been here awhile

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    It just looks like a girly bike

    Flame on!:ksteve
    #25
  6. river-rider

    river-rider Adventurer

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    "I check out the skid pans for scratches, dings, big dents. If they are pristine its give a clear measure of how that bike is ridden, if the rider is a profiler or real. A quick look at the tires tellls a lot."

    1. no scatches, dings or dents could mean I ride in rockless areas, that I just replaced the bash plate or am so skilled I don't hit the things you do.
    2. Would your observation skill set, looking at my GS, give you a full understanding of the bikes I own, I beat a Yamaha 250 to death when I need to.
    3. Some folks may not have to beg, borrow and steal to own these bikes but I had to do 2 out of 3. My first and only NEW bike/vehicle and I'm on my 9th bike and in my 50's. Beat the crap out of my pride and joy? no thanks
    4. If you pulled up next to me as we start into the twisties sporting those big lug knobbies and the 21" gyroscope front wheel, , don't worry I'll wait for you at the next stop LOL
    5. By your own measure you appear to be a noob everytime you buy new tires
    #26
  7. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    Which brings up the 650/700's biggest drawback.

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    But IMO the 658/700 is a good road tourer with dirt road capability.
    To each their own on how they decide to use it.
    #27
  8. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

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    I don't think I'm being an elitist. There are many better off road riders than I...certainly now I very seldom get on a jeep trail or single track. There are many road riders better than I too.

    I like to wander around...back roads, dirt roads...the far north...

    I'm too old and too weak to mussle a 500lb bike around in the dirt....let along pull it out of a mud bog...so I don't go close to any of that stuff any more!

    Re tires. I've settled on Tourance EXP for most of my riding. When I went to Alaska and thought about riding the Dempster and Dalton in the very likely wet weather, I put a set of Hideneaus on my bike. I highly recommend them for long distance dirt road riding. They wear forever!
    Now that i'm home, they are off the bike, sitting in my barn waiting for my next long dirt road trip.

    I agree about the poor back roads....that is one of the reasons I have the F650GS. and not my old R1100RT. The 19 front wheel is clearly better...especially on dirt roads.

    I do look at things critically....seperate real motorcycle needs from eye candy or the "current" look. Just my nerd showing thru.
    Two point I was trying to make. 1 Motorcycle are meant to be fun, bring joy to their owners. 2 Many owner find that joy of ownership by have the motorcycle represent a lifestyle or image,,, how it looks, how one looks on the motor cycle as much if not more than how the motorcycle actually performs or how much of the motorcycle performance they actually use.

    Everyone, please enjoy your ride!
    #28
  9. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    Yes quite the pair CB, thanks. I bought the Scrambler first, sort of as a hooligan throwback, and a slower bike than all the sportbikes I've owned in the past.
    I then tried using the Scrambler for adv use, only being semi-successful.
    Lack of suspension and a proper, secure way to hold gear being its drawbacks. I've slid it, jumped it and have not yet gone down on it since sept '09 when purchased.
    Still I race it all over the place, but I limit its off pavement use now.
    I do weekend trips on it with a single pack on my solo seat rack.
    It sounds good, looks good and has good appeal when parked in between a bunch of Harleys out on the road. :evil
    The Scrambler has character and many will ask about it from young to old timers.
    My Scrambler is fun to ride.

    The 658 is superior in most every way, except character. No one asks about my beemer, unless they are the adv types.
    The 658 is plusher, has more power and carries a load well.

    Funny thing... The fly screen of the Scrambler is superior to the beemer screen in every way - quieter air and smoother air, go figure... :huh

    Both great fun bikes, and at least for the short term will keep both for a while.

    The parallel twin is a good simple design...
    #29
  10. SDDinNH

    SDDinNH Ridgerunner

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    Sorry I got it wrong Bob, I told you it was probably in the way I was reading your previous statement. The above I agree with.

    Ride Safe :beer
    #30
  11. JGoody

    JGoody Been here awhile

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    I got a F650GS as a return to biking after a long absence from motorcycles. The funny part is that it's more powerful and faster than the old Triumph I had in the 60s -- and that bike was a hoot. We have become jaded when an 800cc engine is for beginners.
    #31
  12. Jeuneyer

    Jeuneyer He don't say much.

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    Thanks for all of the great responses and comments. It seems to be a mixed bag of opinions. The reason I have asked is that in May I have "permission" to buy whatever I want. It is killing me to wait until then but I have narrowed down my choices. I know that image should be meaningless but in reality it does matter. No matter how much I like the bike I have or how ideal it is for what I use it for, if I have to explain that to everybody who asks, it would get to me. I don't see me getting this chance of having such a free pass to buy whatever I want like this for a while so I don't want to screw it up and be longing for more a year later. Keep the comments and opinions coming. I am most interested in regular guys who already own a F650/700 and how they currently use them as well as if they are wanting something else or are content.
    #32
  13. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40 Been here awhile

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    If perceived image is big deal to you and you are tall enough then maybe the F800GS might be it, or better yet if you have the fund, the new R1200GSA might be it for you.

    My 1st bike was a Honda Rebel 450 and I still have it, I really wanted to to ride it across country and maybe around the world but many critical parts for this bike is no longer available, the bike was uncomfortable for highway riding...So I knew I needed another more capable and reliable bike...I'm also an avid mountain biker and long distance bicycle tourer so bike fitting and comfortablity is very big deal. Since I am also a much shorter guy and the factory lower F650GS fits me just nicely, I bought it last April, then just rode it across country from San Francisco Bay Area to New York City and down Blue Ridge Parkway to Atlanta. I just love this bike, most people I talked to was interested about the long rides, most other bikes I saw on the road are....Harleys, quite few people never saw a BWM GS before, some could'nt tell the differences between my bike and the big 1200GS and I thought my bike cost $20,000. I even got many complements on how good my F650GS looks.

    From years of riding bicycles, my thought is when you have a good bike, it would disappear underneath you, it would be come about the ride not the bike, and the F650GS is like that it's a great bike. Next year, I plan to either ride the F650GS to Alaska or take my mountain bike and ride across the Himalaya. To me it's more about the rides and the bikes are important tools to accomplish those rides, and the F650GS is great and also a good looking tool.

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    #33
  14. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    Yeah sure but you are a cheater, Your F650GS looks marvelous in these "F800GS like" colors :lol3
    #34
  15. Teli Rides

    Teli Rides Adventurer

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    Hi

    Have no doubt it is a perfectly capable bike, I do not consider my self in anyway shape or form an expert biker, I still have way much to learn... But the bike is solid as they come.

    - Speed bumps without slowing down, always! this is Mexico, after all, you can find sleeping policemen in the middle of nowhere..
    - Keeping up with a K1300 S in tight twisties... of course as the bends get wider my friend smokes me in a heartbeat, I'm talking handling not sheer power.
    - Cruising at 100 mph in toll roads all day long
    - Riding dirt roads at 40-50 mph and flying over ruts, no problem... Mild stuff, I'm not doing the Dakar, but still faster than any car or, sane mind would
    - Going over potholes at speed so deep and wide that would easily destroy ANY car or SUV suspension.
    - Having several "Oh Sh$%" moments and coming out amazed about what an incredible piece of machinery this bike is... again, I've not ridden a KTM with modified suspension or the likes...

    So far the suspension has only bottomed out a couple times ( I'm on the lighter side) in said "Oh,Sh&!" moments and. Some say that alloy rims are no good, as for now, nothing, not even the slightest dent.

    The only thing that has broken so far is the topcase base plate, and that is not a BMW part...

    Another good thing about riding it in Mexico, is that the bike is inconspicuous for a big(ish) ride, for riding alone in through god forsaken towns that is a good thing..


    Now, for the looks, I'm really not a fan of it, the rims are hideous, the fairing looks way too simple, the new F700 is not that bad but the 800 still looks better, if you don't have height issues go for the F800, for me the F800 is too tall. Also I hate seeing girls riding them on every brochure.. I know I'm shallow, so what...haha!

    I think that on the rational side the 650/700 is perfect and I won't need anything else for a while, the bike is far more capable than I am.. now when it comes to bikes, having one that gives you the goosebumps when you see it zoom past you on the road or sit on it on the dealer is more important... and that's why I'll break the bank and trade mine, as soon as the new '13 12 GS hits the dealers... :deal



    Cheers
    #35
  16. Jeuneyer

    Jeuneyer He don't say much.

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    This is what I'm talking about! I seriously doubt I will ever accoumplish the trips that you have already finished. I guess you prove it's capability and satisfaction longevity.
    #36
  17. Jeuneyer

    Jeuneyer He don't say much.

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    Thanks for your honest review. I understand what you mean about the girls in the ads. It sounds like the general concensus is even though that is the case, the bikes are still respected and regarded as perfectly capable and not really a compromise. The R12 is certainly more than I need or even want at this point. I have a short commute a few times a week and riding with friends on the weekend. I usually only have time for 1 overnight trip per year (for now). I think the F650/700/800 or even a Triumph will suit me fine when I can finally pull the trigger in May. Trying to decide between a bunch of great bikes is a good problem to have.
    #37
  18. betasigscoot

    betasigscoot Palaverer

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    It has been marketed as an "entry level bike", and is a bike I'd let my wife start riding solo if she were ever interested beyond the XR250.

    Here's some things that make it more of a newbie bike
    -BMW offers a detuned map with only 34hp for the F658, but nothing of the sort for the F800. In my opinion, this is excellent, and should be available for more motorcycles. Many sportbikes have this (and for good reason).
    -On the street, the bike has plenty of practical power, but the "fun" factor is lagging past 5 or 6K rpm. Wheelies aren't as easy, and stoppies are almost nonexistent. The front suspension is pretty good for what it is with the Intimators. Riding 2up isn't an issue with this bike, but I find it more difficult to blow the doors off a car, unless they're driving Miss Daisy.

    I don't really do any of this stuff anymore, and can't say I miss it.
    #38
  19. Iggster

    Iggster Tornanti ├╝ber alles!

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    I rented a F650GS in Germany back in June. I had never even seen one "in person" until I was packing the rental. My first impression on the looks was that it was just plain badass. The real fun began when riding it for 8 days through the Alps. I've owned a lot of bikes, old & new, but have never owned a bike that performed like the F650GS did. It was so much fun to ride!

    I liked it so much that when I returned to the US, I promptly sold a 1974 R90/6 and found a killer deal on a 2011 F650GS. And when I say "promptly," I mean in less than 2 weeks! I couldn't wait to get out on the local roads that I know well...and there was no disappointment there, no buyers remorse at all.

    I use the bike mainly for commuting to work (a whopping 4 miles!), day rides, canyon carving, grocery-getting, etc. I have never been much of a dirt rider, but I have taken the F650 off road quite a few times. I am beginning to enjoy the dirt more and more as I get more comfortable. It's very nice to be able to disable the ABS with a push of a button! I used to have a KTM Adventure 640 and it was just too damn tall for me. Riding it became a PITA and no fun at all. I could be a tad too big for the F650, but...whatever. I'm very comfortable on it and it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it. As to your question, I am far beyond content!
    #39
  20. leftshark

    leftshark Been here awhile

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    Seems like a lot of people in here have a hate on for the 800. I own one, after testing both the 698 and the 800 I decided the 800 was just more suitable for off road. Forks were better and more ridged, spoked wheels, 21 inch wheel and much to my chagrin, ground clearance ( 29inch inseam). I was coming off a smaller but also tall bike so it did't feel to awkward, your skills just have to more honed. That all being said the 698 was a wonderful ride and I would buy one in a heartbeat if I was more road oriented. And I like the extra hp. If that requires me to have a small penis, the. So be it.
    #40