My concern re: F650gs Twin

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Osm3um, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Osm3um

    Osm3um Adventurer

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    I am in the process of purchasing a BMW f800gs, f650gs or g650gs.

    Regarding the F650GS twin, I can not seem to get past the fact it is:
    • Actually an 800cc engine. IMHO this marketing of this as a 650 is a mistake and will be changed.
    • The G650gs will be available soon. What does that mean for the future of the twin?
    • If I purchase a 650 twin and the model gets eliminated what would that mean for future parts availability etc.
    For those of you who have a long history with BMWs:

    Given the above would it be a bad decision to purchase a F650 twin or am I just paranoid?

    Thanks,
    Bob

    PS Was going to post this on f650.com but my account has yet to become active.
    #1
  2. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

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    yep
    #2
  3. DolphinJohn

    DolphinJohn Caveman

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    Go for the 800.
    #3
  4. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    The G650GS is available now (one on the floor at Ventura BMW) and is priced significantly lower then the 650 twin. Price difference due mostly to the lack of options on the G (all included in base price) and the extras on the F (ABS, heated grips, etc).

    IMO there is enough common parts on the 650 & 800 twin that parts will not be an issue.
    #4
  5. DolphinJohn

    DolphinJohn Caveman

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    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three.
    I can't speak for the 650 twin, but I had a 650 single ('06)
    which is the same bike as the new G650GS
    I loved that bike, put almost 20,000 miles in 2 yrs.
    Rode cross-country, Alaska, Arctic Circle, Trans America Trail.
    Great bike, never had a single problem, ever. 70 mpg on the TAT

    Have the 800GS now and love it so far. Much more power, smoother,
    feels lighter.
    Basically it's bigger, faster, stronger, better.
    It's also twice as much money, after ABS, OBC, center stand, etc.

    BTW, why didn't they just keep the F650 (single)
    and make the twins the G series???
    #5
  6. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    I simply dont get it, why they decided to call an 800cc bike "650".

    And even if there was some logic that I fail to see, to call it exactly the same - F650GS - as the previous 1-cylinder model, which is totally different from this, just adds to the confusion.

    A few customers could have fully missed, that its actually an 800, and bought something else instead. Besides, getting all spare part orders right in the future will be interesting, when most customers will just simply have ´a F650GS´ that they want to get parts to.

    Making things unnecessarily complicated for their potential customers & their dealer network, I think all they did was shoot themselves in the leg with that one. Its a great bike, though!
    #6
  7. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    "F650GS" has been BMW's entry level bike for a few years now, the 71hp 800cc twin F650GS simply replaces the older single cylinder bike & is now the entry level bike. BMW probably didn't want to lose the connection between the name & the fact that it's their entry level bike, hence retaining the name, confusing as it may be to some.

    Once the differences between the two bikes have been pointed out to a customer, there's no more confusion. If a customer fails to do any research & then fails to speak to a Salesman, they only have themselves to blame. Model names don't always reflect the number of cylinders or capacity - have you ever thought that an R1 had just the one cylinder? :D

    There's no confusion with spare parts as they tend to be ordered via the frame number which is specific to that bike. A decent Parts Advisor would know exactly which of the two bikes a customer had simply by looking at the first two digits of the 7 digit frame number as they're in alphabetical & chronological order. Asking how many cylinders their bike had also tends to clarify matters......
    #7
  8. Wildman

    Wildman Long timer

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    The F650GS twin has a 798cc engine.

    Get over it!
    #8
  9. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    oh really? You know, I´ve previously worked for Honda,Kawasaki,Piaggio,Vespa (and plenty of other non 2-wheel vehicles) spare parts departments for a about 7 years combined, and nowadays I work for Suzuki spare parts (including motorcycles, scooters, ATV´s, outboards and hell, even generators!)

    The reality is, that usually people do not have the VIN numbers of their vehicles at hand, when they call to order parts. And there´s so many times when they do not know the exact model year of their vehicles, either. This sounds strange, but it is true, especially, when the vehicles are a bit older.

    Not everyone of course. Some have fully correct information on all these, but still 3-4 out of 5 seem to think that there´s some kind of a crystal ball, which the dealer uses to get the right parts for them. It just goes wrong so many times, and then the incorrect parts are returned, and the (hopefully!) correct ones are ordered... I know the cargo companies are very happy with that!

    And easy to say, that you should always check the VIN number (everyone except some of the customers know this full well), because in real life you´ll have to be able to process a great number of orders daily, so not always possible.

    I know for a fact, that if Suzuki (for example) now made a whole new dirt bike, thats got 2 cylinders, and for whatever reason, decided to call it a DR650, it would cause endless hassle. Not everyone is interested in the technology of their ride at all, and it is understandable, too, as a bike may be just one of their ´toys´, or whatever. But it often does lead to confusion.
    #9
  10. Wildman

    Wildman Long timer

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    Did you check what Possu does?
    #10
  11. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    I sell them & have yet to experience or even hear of parts confusion. Most customers who buy them are aware of the single cylinder bikes & in many cases, that's what they're trading up from. If they're not aware of the earlier model of the same name, we make them aware & take care to point out the differences, it's part of the sales process, pointing out the benefits & features of the new bike.
    #11
  12. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    Well, lets just say that Im not going to start an argument about whether or not all customers in reality communicate their vehicles VIN numbers to the dealers before ordering, and whether or not they all know the model years correctly. This is something that I see in my work every day.

    A great percentage of all parts returns originate from these two inadequate or incorrect informations.

    But this wasnt the original point, which was, whether or not such model namings as the old/new F650GS can cause confusion, and I believe they surely can, and there are several reasons for that. Even if the part systems of BMW are better organised than the ones I´ve worked for.

    It may all work nicely on paper, but I believe it will cause a few problems in the long run, compared to if they had chosen to give it a fully new name.
    #12
  13. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    Whatever, our system works & our customers are happy.

    Perhaps you're blessed with a lower calibre of customer? :augie
    #13
  14. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Look at all the confusion it causes on this website..........




    :lol3



    Osm3um- Get the one you like best, whatever they name it. I wouldn't worry about the parts availability issue either.
    #14
  15. JRWooden

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

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    Bob:

    $0.02 from me:

    Go ride all three the way you would ride if you owned them, take a peek in your wallet (if that is a factor :D) and I think you will have your answer.

    Brief summary:
    The single - nice bike, lighter than the others, but a big THUMPER so not so nice for distance road riding for most folk, less power then the twins.

    "650" twin - less hardcore than the 800 but very nice. That's what I've got so maybe I'm biased. The best short description I've heard is:
    "
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    800 - you gotta be a bit taller to ride this ... fine machine. hardcore.

    I don't think you'd be UNhappy with any, but I'll bet after you ride and ponder life and the open road(s) it'll come to you.

    As others have said, I don't think parts availabilty on the 658 will be an issue....

    [/FONT]
    #15
  16. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,180
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    Perhaps you´ll want to get back into that, say, 5-6 years later, when there are plenty of both 1- and 2-cylinder second-hand ´BMW F650GS´s circulating your roads, some with several previous owners - and then see, if there has ever been any confusion? I´m sure that it works just fine - for now.

    And no, I dont want to start bashing the customers, in the end they pay my salary, too. They are free to choose the level of their knowledge of the vehicles that they own. Some provide excellent info.

    But it still remains a fact, that some insist getting the parts ordered quicker than they can even provide the VIN-number. And that surprisingly many (not all) actually do ride older bikes than they may think they ride. The possibility gets bigger as the bike gets older.

    Personally, I dont believe there would any notable difference in the so-called ´caliber´ of our customers compared to yours, for example. Or at least this same thing has been going on with all different brands, and different employers that I´ve worked with, for nearly a decade. And it is no secret in the sparepart-business, either (we are a part of Suzuki Germany, so get to work very closely with them).
    #16
  17. Rick West

    Rick West Function not Farkles

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,222
    Location:
    Out West For Awhile
    My dealer said that the F650GS was called a 650 to make it sound less intimidating to their target market, which is women. According to him, it is working. Mostly female interest in this model. He jokes that the staff refer to it as "the lady GS".
    #17
  18. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,230
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    The calibre of customer was a joke, lighten up. :D

    I still don't think it will an issue in 5-6 years time, there's no confusion between the old K1200GT (flat 4 K100 derived engine) and the current K1200GT (4 cylinders across the frame) despite their only similarities being the BMW roundel, shaft drive & a wheel at each end. If an owner is unsure as to what he's riding, a couple of searching questions from a knowledgable Parts or Sales guy will soon determine the facts.

    I think it helps that in the UK, registration numbers stay with the vehicle for its life and are age related, just knowing a couple of the more important digits of the reg number will let you know what you're dealing with.

    Good point.

    As long as the customer/owner knows what he's riding, there'll be no problem. :thumb
    #18
  19. Osm3um

    Osm3um Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    28
    Thanks for the useful suggestion (s). I really do appreciate it. This is one of the biggest purchases people make (House, car, motorcycle)

    It appears that I started a bit of a fire storm. I do understand the differences between the three. I am planning on taking some long trips (i.e. Washington to Alaska, Washington to CA).

    My primary question/concern is whether BMW has a history of putting out models that, within a year or two, simply disappears. Given the silly naming convention of selling a bike and labeling with the wrong size, I would guess this would be the perfect bike to take out of production. IF that happens, am I buying into a dead end (limited third party parts, limited support from BMW, etc.)?

    I apologize for hitting a nerve, but do appreciate everyone's help.

    Bob

    BTW got approved for the loan so it is coming soon.:clap
    #19
  20. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,960
    Location:
    Ashland, OR, USA
    You keep bringing up this red herring about a VIN number, Pecha72. Nobody needs to know their VIN number. A customer walks up to the parts counter: "I need an oil filter for an F650." Parts guy: "Single or Twin?"

    No confusion, and no VIN number necessary. :norton

    David
    #20