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View Full Version : I rode the new BMW F650GS twin



Massimo1
04-20-2008, 07:49 AM
I took a test ride on the Beemer 650 this past week. It's got a lot going for it.

Here are the things I liked in no particular order:
- very very smooth in the low gears. The gearing seems just right for town/city.
- quick acceleration but not overwhelming (which is good). It is a 650 after all.
- comfortable seat and ride position.
- nice panel display, with shift indicator
- tight turning radius
- relatively narrow - good for heavy traffic
- hit neutral correctly every time, even though this was a new bike with only 1000k on it
- nice suspension for simple off-road stuff
- low seat, shorties can get their feet on the ground
- really quiet

Here's what I didn't like in no particular order:
- should have a bigger fuel tank
- brake fluid reservoir is big, is on a shock mount rather high over the handlebar, so it jiggles a lot and really is distracting.
- separate left and right turn signal buttons (each one is under the corresponding grip). this is very confusing, as the turn-off switch is also separate (located under right turn signal button). really dumb idea.
- windscreen is worthlessly short. Even the dealer thought so. You can use the taller one from the 800, but it's 200 euros more. Robbery.
- LED tail-light which is standard on Peg is 110 euros extra on BMW. I think stock incandescent is good enough. BMW LED light isn't all that well-visible compared to Peg's.
- dash computer with all the niceties is extra. Again, standard on Peg, though functions are different (no shift indicator, no fuel in tank calculator). Since when is a fuel gauge a "nicety" you should pay extra for.
- too quiet, needs more growl.
- unable to hug the bike comfortably with my knees like I can on Peg. My knees kinda stuck out a little.`As there is no tank in the standard position (it's under the seat), they could have made it more huggable.
- no rear hugger. this bike is gonna get filthy under the seat.

Overall, BMW is nickeling and diming the buyer to death on the extras that should be standard on a bike that is already damn expensive (dare I say overpriced?). Here the bike starts at 7900 euros, but add ABS (no resale here without that), computer, center stand and higher windscreen and you are over 9000 euros.

My verdict: actually a really nice, easy to ride, sweet bike, plenty of power, but not worth the money. If it came in around 7500-8000 euros (okay a bit over what wee-strom costs, I'd really consider it).

Compared to my Peg, the Peg simply is more fun-handling, probably because of the street set-up, and more torquey in 1st, which I like a bit better. Still, the Beemer's quickness & smoothness in 1st and 2nd is really nice. Like I said, the lower gears are just right for town/city. I felt the same about the wee-strom and Versys. I am not so convinced about that on the Peg.

But --- if DynoJet ever gets the PCIII done for the 2007 peg, I'll be a happy camper.

NormanBiscuit
09-26-2008, 06:29 PM
Is this not a 800cc Bike? Stupidly still called a 650 by BMW.

Cupid Stunt
09-27-2008, 01:35 AM
Is this not a 800cc Bike? Stupidly still called a 650 by BMW.
Yes it is

Though from what I've read the 650(800) is a better allrounder, testers had trouble coping with the 800 off-road as it's power delivery low down was snatch causing the rear wheel to spin up on more technical stuff, seat height is far better on the 650 too (unless you're a lanky git)

Odds are that resale value of the 650 will be low as due to biker nature they'll all want to go for the "800" despite the fact that the 650 will probably fit requirements better, so look out for used bargains on 650's

Weedy23
09-27-2008, 02:20 AM
I considered buying this in favour of the Peg, right up until I spoke to a guy who was riding one at a petrol station not too far from here.

He reeled off a list of complaints and things that had broken that left me open mouthed and speechless! The price was another factor that put me off buying it, for 4k you can't really go far wrong with the Peg.

fazerjane
09-27-2008, 04:18 AM
There's been press reports about quality issues - and you don't expect that at the price of a BMW. I think we're all better off with our Pegs!

AberdeenAngus
09-27-2008, 02:17 PM
As the 650 is just a rericted 800 and, as insurance companies will charge you for an 800 either way, its a shame BM didn't embrace the new technology and give the rider dialable power depending on terrain etc.

PetrolHead
09-27-2008, 05:01 PM
There's been press reports about quality issues - and you don't expect that at the price of a BMW. I think we're all better off with our Pegs!

Don't forget, when I went on a test ride the BMW bike broke down!!! Felt poor quality at start of the ride and my fears were confirmed 20 mins later.

fazerjane
09-28-2008, 05:24 AM
Don't forget, when I went on a test ride the BMW bike broke down!!! Felt poor quality at start of the ride and my fears were confirmed 20 mins later.

Oh! That's bad. Never had that happen - you definitely wouldn't buy a bike that broke down on the test. What a disaster for BMW.