It's been quite a while since I rode one of these, but the current model is very similar to the one I rode, so I will include the review in this "new" section.
In fact the BMW F650 has remained pretty much the same - apart from some styling tweaks - ever since it was first introduced in ... well quite a few years ago! And yes, it did drop the "Funduro" moniker that it originally had along the way.
It's an unusual thing really; and quite unlike anything else from the BMW stable. Perhaps that's because it has it's origins in sources outside BMW. The bike itself was based on an Aprillia design, and the engine came from Rotax. But BMW twiddled with the whole thing to ensure it met it's high standard of quality. It's also much smaller, of course, than other BMWs. Indeed it feels quite small; almost like a chubby kind of trail-bike.
With around 36kw it certainly isn't powerful for it's capacity, but the performance is quite adequate. (And it does make it eligible for NSW's Learner Approved scheme; so you can legally ride a BMW while on your Ls or Ps!). It's also very smooth; especially for a single. There's not a lot of power there, but it's okay; for what it is anyway. In fact I recall being fairly impressed with it's performance. Not just the "go-factor", but the way it went about it. It was fast enough to be pleasantly enjoyable, but not powerful enough to cause problems in rough going.
I remember thinking, when I rode it, that the gearing was quite high for "trail-riding" purposes. It needed to get a few revs up and a bit of speed happening before it really got going happily. But then it isn't really a trail-bike is it! I suppose it's a kind of mid-capacity all-road tourer; and as that the gearing would be fine. Tight fire-trails might not be it's ideal, but more open dirt roads and tracks would be okay.
The ride is very smooth too. This also added to the pleasant experience of riding this little all-road tourer.
The styling is a bit weird, and that open luggage-rack thing in the tank looks a bit ugly to my eyes. Some might call it "quirky", but I don't think I could park it in the shed and admire it!
When it was first introduced it was very expensive. From memory, it cost around $10,000 even back then. Okay, it was a cheap BMW, but still pretty costly for what it really was. Over the years they've held the price pretty steady and now, at $13,500, it seems better value. Although it's still a good $1,000 more than the similar size Honda Transalp (and the Honda looks better!). It's also only a couple of thousand or so less than a Triumph Tiger. And if you aren't intimidated by the size of the Triumph (and really, it isn't that intimidating!), I reckon the extra dollars would be well spent, because you step up into a whole new class of motorcycle with the Triumph. I know which one I'd buy! (See my review of the Triumph in this section). And if you couldn't afford (or didn't want) the Tiger, I'd be giving the Transalp a good look!
I did enjoy my ride on this; and at the time I could easily imagine riding it a lot further and enjoying it a lot more. But that was a while ago, and I've ridden a lot of other bikes since then. And personally, I think I'd be looking at other options if I was in the market for this type of bike.
P.S. The F650 also comes in a "Dakar" version now. It looks like a big trailie, in the same sort of way the Yamaha XTX does. There are hand-guards and extra goodies befitting the "Paris-Dakar" kind of theme. An interesting variation.
Ridden ..?(A few years ago). Reviewed 2006.
This gets confusing. They up-dated the model a while ago, slotting in a new 800cc twin-cylinder engine from the F-series road-bikes. It got a "GS" suffix in the name, to become the F650GS. But because the old model had been so popular, they left the name the same. But, because the old model had been so popular, they then decided to continue it. (Getting confused yet?). And they changed the name to G650 GS. So there is now an F800 GS and an F650 GS, both of which have an 800cc engine, and then there's the G650 GS which is really the old F650. (Confused? Tell BMW!).
Anyway, the G650 GS, as it now is, has continued in pretty much the same form as it always was. 37kW, 60Nm of torque - both produced at low revs - and 175kg dry weight. And just $11,990 (+ORC). It's very well-sorted, and also very cheap - for a BMW! It looks the same, so the styling is more quirky than most of these duallies, but it's a good thing.
No real changes from what I wrote above, in 2010. It’s different to the old F650 I first rode, but not much different really; the basics are still the same. The price has come down though, to just $9,990 +ORC
Click here to return to the front page. Click your BACK button to return to the previous page.