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Old 07-03-2012, 03:32 PM   #75
Title Free Since '12
gfloyd2002's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2011
Location: Bridgetown, Barbados
Oddometer: 139
There has been much said about the negatives of calling the model the 700, rather than goto an 800GS and 800GSA. But the marketing guys got dealt a difficult hand.

So, in 2007 they "upgrade" the thumper 650 to a parallel twin. They keep the F650GS name, which makes sense as an attempt to bring the old crowd to the new model and keep the reputation from the old name. That works for me because the thumper F650GS was retired and this was the replacement. Makes sense sort of to go with F650GS, particularly because it is detuned to hit a slightly different market and you want to distinguish it from the F800GS while keeping the old F650GS marketing benefits. Fair enough.

But then, you get lots of demand for the old single cylinder, so you bring it back essentially whole as a G650GS and confusion sets in. Ok, is this the pre 2007 thumper F650GS, the post 2007 twin F650G, or the post 2009 G650GS which is essentially the same as the pre-2007 F650GS, but with a Chinese engine? This naming confusion is far from the lack of respect for customers alleged elsewhere here -- they were responding to customers who wanted the thumper back and the confusion is the penalty. The G650GS has the closer link to the pre 2007 thumper F650GS, you can't really keep calling the 800cc twin the F650GS.

So now they update the twin F650GS and up the horsepower and add options to bring it slightly upmarket. What do the marketing people do now? They've got old F650GS models that are like the new G650GS models, and new F650GS models that are creeping ever closer to the F800GS in power and options. And you can't call the new twin an F800GS (going to an otherwise sensible 800GS/800GSA naming convention) because the F800GS name has been taken now since 2007 by a different bike - you'd just be creating more confusion. What you do is wish that back in 2007, you'd have had the foresight to call the parallel twin bikes the F800GS and the F800GSA, but it is too late for that. So, what you do is try to distinguish the F650GS and G650GS from one another, recognize the twin got a power upgrade and is closer to the F800GS call it an F700GS. Not a perfect solution, but there aren't a lot of great options.

And, as I mentioned, a problem that is the direct result of trying to respond to customers by offering the old thumper 650 again in 2009. Certainly not evidence of some anti-customer plot.
Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvements are roads of genius ~ William Blake
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