2005 BMW F 650 GS
Slow, but maneuverable in the city
The starter switch sometimes fails unless pressed hard.
The orange seat cover is particularly difficult to keep clean.
This is a very good bike for commuting. I ride about 30 miles a day through city and country over Irish roads, which involves dodging potholes, mud, over-banding, diesel, gravel, taxis, overloaded trucks etc. Quite similar to off-roading actually, but less stable.
However, I would stress that the bike is not up to motorway or highway travel. It is quite under-powered and does not offer any significant wind protection.
My bike is fitted with hand-guards, heated grips, ABS and hazard lights. I recommend all except the ABS. It is not really very effective on a bike with so little power and it is quite expensive. Better to get BMW clothing or panniers for the same price.
On the issue of brakes, this bike really needs a double disk up front, especially as commuting requires good braking. The brakes are linked, but the back is very soft, not enough to actually stop the bike.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th May, 2005
I bought a 2005 650 GS Dakar. It is completely loaded with most every option. Although it does have half the power of many other BMWs, it moves quite well. I can keep up with my buddys on their 1200cc Harleys, and cruise at any legal highway speed and then some, as I commute and cruise the streets of Southwest Florida.
I play off road a bit as well, and the Dakar is just a blast at that. If I had purchased the 1200 GS, I would feel bad about thrashing the thing as I do.
I think my favorite thing is the attention I get on this radical looking machine. The steel cage around the motor gives it the two wheel Hummer look.
The Kawasaki 650 is less than half the price and probably very high quality. But lets face it, BMWs are the king.