My BMW F650 GS (twin) test drive report

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by OrangeEnvy, May 13, 2008.

  1. OrangeEnvy

    OrangeEnvy Vicarious Adventurer

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    Hello folks,

    I just had a ride on the 2008 BMW F650 GS on the weekend. This is the 798 cc twin version that we've gotten in Canada one year earlier than you folks in the States.

    That F800; with the boost in hp over the F650GS (twin) is going to be a real treat because this one is really nice. I had some quibbles with it but overall it's good.

    Here's a link to the report.

    Edit for link change

    Edit by pilot: link removed
    #1
  2. TheMule

    TheMule Been here awhile

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    Thanks a bunch for the report, I'll just keep waiting for my chance to ride one.

    Todd
    #2
  3. RobH

    RobH Don't tase me bro

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    Great report. Thanks. Have you ridden a F800GS yet? How do the two compare?
    #3
  4. OrangeEnvy

    OrangeEnvy Vicarious Adventurer

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    Glad you enjoyed the review!

    I haven't gotten to ride the F800GS yet. But it's very comparable to the F650GS with the engine tweaked for more power. We won't see the F800GS here until Fall. *It would have been #1 on my list of bikes to ride if it were here.

    I had interviewed the owner of the shop where I took the test ride a few months back - he had gone to Faro Spain with BMW for a test ride of the F650 and the F800GS. He got to spend the most time on the F650 GS but had glowing reviews for them both. He does sell them too though :)

    Regardless of any bias he may have; with an extra 14 hp over the F650GS the 800 should be fantastic. Here's the interview article if you're interested.


    #4
  5. Zen Slug

    Zen Slug Spineless Adventurer

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    purdy bike!

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. offdachain

    offdachain Adventurer

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    I rode one at a demo day last month. I must say the BMW way of signaling is nonsensical and dangerous.
    #6
  7. the venturer

    the venturer Long timer

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    This new one seems much more like a naked street one rather than an enduro one.
    #7
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Thanks for the test ride report.. Moved it to Beasts :thumb
    #8
  9. blackie

    blackie Been here awhile

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    If you ride the one with the standard seat height, I guarantee you your nuts will develop a new relationship with that pseudo tank :wink: , it slides you forward. It seems the lower seat version is scooped in a way you're sitting back a bit more thats why you didn't feel it.

    Yeah the turn signal operation takes some thinking doesn't it? :eek1
    #9
  10. Grad

    Grad Wannabe

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    Enjoyed the report. Coming off Jap bikes, it took me a few weeks to get used to the BMW turn signals but now I love them. I find them much easier to use than standard signals, and when I swap bikes I hate having to use that tiny little switch that almost all other bikes employ.
    #10
  11. sperkins

    sperkins Been here awhile

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    thanks for the report! i really enjoyed reading it...hopefully more people will start talking about their trips.
    #11
  12. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    Well I FINALLY got a test ride on an F650GS, mine is currently "in production" so I guess that means maybe another month???

    Comenting on the turn signals... they do self-cancel after a short bit if you forget ... so you won't look like a dork forever...

    The 658 I test drove was with lowered suspension and low seat; I am 6' and ordered neither of those but ... that was the only bike set up at the dealer.

    I could not ride on gravel/dirt as this was the dealers bike and I did not want to dust up the demo... I think this bike will do everything I want (which is fire roads, gravel, etc. no hard-core stuff) just fine....
    Limited mostly by two items which have been mentioned before, and that can be addressed....

    1) stock tires are really road oriented... even more so than those on the G650XCountry... The XCountry has the Tourance while the F650GS has the battlewings. Comparing them side by side the Metezler Toruance is not what I would call an "agressive" tire, but is more so than Battlewing...

    So I think my 2nd set of tires will be Tourance, Michelin Anakee, or maybe on up to the Continental TCK80 or ??? beats me ... need to do more research ... but anyway that can be fixed...

    2) Gearing is too tall for the dirt....
    We are stuck with the close ratio of the F800S / ST gearbox where a wide ratio would be better for this bike I think ... but on top of that the final drive gearing is taller on the 650 even than on the 800 ...

    Even taking off on pavement requires a bit of deftness with clutch and throttle, so in the loose wet stuff I think I would get frustrated quickly...
    So, like Blackie and others have mentioned, as soon as possible, I will be dropping to 16T front sprocket like the F800 has... but for road work ... no issues...

    Jim

    (another month ......... sheezzzzzzzzzzzzzz)
    #12
  13. blackie

    blackie Been here awhile

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    But you like it? yes? :rofl
    #13
  14. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap:clap

    Oh yeah................

    If there was any whining in there it was only because I feel compelled to say something to make it less than a 10.0 performance. I was quite concerned before the ride that I'd come back with "buyer's remorse" but ... ummmmm nope that didn't happen... I'm warming up the Credit Card now for farkles...:lol3

    Jim
    #14
  15. okcgunslinger

    okcgunslinger "ain't cheap no mo"

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    I test drove the f650 today, looking for bike for wife. It really felt good very light on top compaired to the 1200 GSA. The drive I took was careful and conserveitive due to first miles on the bike. She will need the lowered frame with the lowered seat and we will opt for ABS if we choose this model. Anybody know options on upgrading the windshield?
    #15
  16. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    OK:

    As I understand it the stock screen from the F800GS is taller so might due for you, and you perhaps could pick up one cheap from an 800 owner that has upgraded further....

    The guy that runs the F800 forum has a shop and sells the Skidmarx

    Which seems like a very good value for the money, BMW offers a touring screen, I forget the price... but they are very proud of it... :D

    I"m sure there are some other options also....

    Jim

    Edit by pilot: I don't know what you thought you were quoting, but it fubared the thread.
    #16
  17. okcgunslinger

    okcgunslinger "ain't cheap no mo"

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    Thanks for the link, I've been looking around and there is going to be some options. The oem windshield has to go for starters. Thats the trouble with adding a horse to the stable, it's just the starter kit. Again thanks.
    #17
  18. Magile

    Magile Long timer Supporter

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    #18
  19. StinkyCheese

    StinkyCheese Long timer Supporter

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    #19
  20. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    I just picked up my very own F650GS yesterday :clap:clap:clap:clap

    I am 6' 1" and about 185lbs, 32" inseam.

    I have put about 200 miles on it so far (150 of that was drive back home from dealer). With the rear spring preload all the way to the "soft" end I can pretty much "flat foot" the bike. Obviously, with the preload cranked up you'd have more ground clearance! I've been messing with it a bit and will probably leave mine at 1/2 turn off the soft end for a while to see........

    I think at least for me that the riding position is excellent except that when I have my butt on the seat where my legs are what feels good, my arms are just a bit too short... so I gotta stare at it and see if I can rotate the bars a bit to the back (then move the mirrors & grips back around ... sigh) or if maybe what I need is one of the handle bar extenders...

    Or maybe after I ride it for a couple weeks I'll think it's all good as is...

    I'd get a ride on it ... and maybe ride a couple miles then jack the pre-load up and ride a few more and see what you think!
    It's a pretty personal thing, but it would not say that the bike is to small for you ...

    Jim
    #20