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Old 05-13-2008, 09:56 PM   #1
OrangeEnvy OP
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My BMW F650 GS (twin) test drive report

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
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pilot screwed with this post 10-08-2008 at 08:46 AM
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:29 AM   #2
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Thanks a bunch for the report, I'll just keep waiting for my chance to ride one.

Todd
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Old 05-14-2008, 05:42 AM   #3
RobH
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Great report. Thanks. Have you ridden a F800GS yet? How do the two compare?
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Old 05-14-2008, 08:26 AM   #4
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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.


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Originally Posted by RobH
Great report. Thanks. Have you ridden a F800GS yet? How do the two compare?
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:48 AM   #5
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purdy bike!

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Old 05-14-2008, 10:09 AM   #6
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:11 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 05-14-2008, 12:12 PM   #8
the venturer
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This new one seems much more like a naked street one rather than an enduro one.
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Old 05-14-2008, 02:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the test ride report.. Moved it to Beasts
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:13 PM   #10
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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 , 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?
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Old 05-14-2008, 03:16 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 05-14-2008, 04:47 PM   #12
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thanks for the report! i really enjoyed reading it...hopefully more people will start talking about their trips.
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Old 08-23-2008, 06:02 PM   #13
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F650GS test drive.......

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)
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWooden
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)

But you like it? yes?
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:49 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by blackie
But you like it? yes?


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...

Jim
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